“2014 is looking like it will be a big year for Danish footwear manufacturer ECCO. Its new Street EVO One shoe [is] just hitting stores and some sweet-looking new styles and colors of its classic Tour Hybrid [are] on the way”.
I wrote the above back in December after Ernie Els signed on with ECCO as a brand ambassador. Granted, this prediction was about as safe as penciling in Duke to beat Mercer in the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament…Oh, wait. Bad example.
Anyway, ECCO certainly did its part to help my prognosticating confidence. Its lineup for 2014 is loaded with new colors and styles — from athletic to classic to everywhere in between.
I’ve worn ECCO dress shoes three to four days a week for the past several years. They still look as good as the day I bought them and seem to get more comfortable every day. I can’t imagine a shoe that is made better. That being said, ECCOs never made it into my on-course rotation until a few weeks ago when I laced up a pair of the brand’s new Street EVO One shoes.
ECCO is renowned for its craftsmanship, comfort and style and you can add a fourth, golf-specific characteristic to that list with the Street EVO Ones — performance.
Let’s face it. If you are throwing a 30 pound bag of golf clubs on your back and trekking five+ miles up and down hills and through sand and trees (depending how bad the day is going), then you better have something comfortable on your feet and the Street EVO Ones fit the bill.
The break-in time for the Street EVO Ones totaled all of three holes for me. Great shoes are a lot like great referees in sports and great offensive linemen in the NFL — if you don’t notice them, they are doing their job. By the time I stepped to the fourth tee, I forgot they were even on my feet, so obviously they were doing their job. I didn’t even bother to break these out of the box and wear them around the house before hitting the course. I simply slipped them on and headed for the first tee.
The biggest adjustment for me has been the amount of arch support that the Street EVO Ones provide. I’ve been wearing zero drop shoes on the course for the last few years, so having any level of support through the arches is a new feeling for me. This isn’t a negative, just a bit of a different feeling.
Truth be told, I did give previous iterations of ECCO’s street-style shoes a try, but never really got beyond the ‘try-on’ stage. I wanted them to work for me, but I always felt some slippage in the heel — even when sizing down. The Street EVO Ones, though, have a narrower fit and a lot more stability in the heel than their predecessors. I would still recommend sizing down a half to a full size. ECCOs, even dress shoes, seem to run big.
The most impressive quality to the Street EVO Ones for me has been the traction. As someone who tees off as the sun is rising, keeping both feet in contact with the ground is the utmost importance to me. There’s nothing worse than having your back foot on a slip ‘n slide with OB on the right and water on the left. Forget Freddy Krueger. Mid-swing slips are the things that golf nightmares are made of.
ECCO talks about ‘tour-quality’ grip, 100 traction bars, and 800 traction angles. As a marketing professional during the day, I appreciate the buzz words. As a golfer, I appreciate the performance even more. I’ve worn the Street EVO Ones for six rounds and haven’t had anything remotely close to a slip. The traction really takes me back to the days of metal spikes, but without the feeling of 12 nails going through my foot with every step.
Thanks to some cutting-edge fabrics around the heel and mid-foot area and a wider base, the Street EVO Ones also offer more support and a more stable platform than previous versions of ECCO’s street-style shoes. I also find that they put me in an ideal golf posture with my weight on the balls of my feet. Again, a different feeling than playing in zero drop shoes.
The Street EVO Ones feature ECCO’s water resistant Hydromax™ technology. As mentioned, I’ve worn these in wet conditions without any water issues. As far as I’m concerned, they might as well be called waterproof.
The Street EVO Ones look like a mash up of ECCO’s previous Street Sport model and its BIOM Hybrid. Contrasting details are a huge trend right now in golf shoes and the Street EVO Ones, with their two-tone outsoles and contrasting laces and heel shank, are clearly on point. A second pair of matching laces are included if you prefer a more understated approach. The stitched design in the mid-foot area is also an obvious aesthetic upgrade over previous models from the brand.
The calf leather version is available in a range of six eye-catching colorways — white/dark shadow (shown here), birch/burnt ochre, black/port, medieval blue/silver grey, white/masters green and wild dove/dark shadow. ECCO also just released a camel leather model in three basic colorways — black, camel and warm grey. I’d be surprised if you couldn’t find at least one or two that work for you.
The Street EVO Ones offer an athletic look. They pair nicely with shorts or sporty technical pants. If you favor a more classic look on the course, though, the BIOM Hybrids or Tour Hybrids may be a better complement to your style.
If there was one thing I’d change about the Street EVO Ones, it would be the laces. I’d prefer the sleeker laces that are included with BIOM Zeros or the BIOM Hybrids. Then again, if the style of the laces is the biggest issue for me, then these are obviously solid shoes.
ECCO owns its factories and controls the entire shoemaking process – from raw materials to finished footwear — which results in high-quality products. Those of you who have worn ECCO shoes know the level of quality that I’m talking about. A great example of this quality is the reinforced toe area on the Street EVO Ones.
Over the years, I have had a good number of golf shoes separate in the toe area, but the toe cup on the Street EVO Ones is designed to handle the rigors of the golf swing. While I’ve only worn these for a few rounds, I’d be surprised if there were any quality issues down the road.
ECCO’s Street EVO Ones have been my go-to shoe this spring. In fact, after checking mine out, every member of my regular group of playing partners has gone out and purchased them or ECCO’s BIOM Hybrids. Now that says something!