Adidas Golf has given a boost (both literally and figuratively) to its iconic TOUR360 shoe. This latest generation, the TOUR360 BOOST, combines the brand’s critically acclaimed BOOST™ technology, with the signature 360Wrap around the mid-foot.
Adidas Golf launched the new kicks at the ultra-lux Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes last week, and GolfThreads was on hand for the festivities and an exclusive test drive.
While it is difficult to believe that 10 years have passed since golfers slipped on the first generation of the TOUR360, it is easy to see why this shoe is often credited with revolutionizing golf footwear. With the TOUR360, Adidas didn’t just reengineer the traditional dress-style golf shoe, it blew it up and started over. The result was a shoe for the modern game and the new breed of athletes who are playing it. It featured an aggressive stance, an athletic silhouette and an innovative split sole design, which allowed the 360Wrap to hug the mid-foot for support and stability.
At the launch event, Masun Denison, Director of Footwear at Adidas Golf, walked the small crowd through a history of the seven prior iterations of the TOUR360. Of course, everyone had his favorite. Personally, I rocked the 1.0 version, and a few others, but the adipure TOUR360 LTD was the best of the bunch. This shoe combined the comfort of an athletic shoe with top-shelf leather that was typically reserved only for bespoke-quality kicks. And, how about that off-center lacing design!
With the new TOUR360 BOOST, Adidas Golf has taken a decade’s worth of knowledge and created a shoe that features the latest in comfort, performance and innovation. The TOUR360 BOOST incorporates the latest and greatest that the brand has to offer, including full-length BOOST cushioning, an improved 360WRAP, and a dual-density 10-cleat puremotion® TPU outsole. There is no doubt that this is the most advanced shoe that Adidas Golf has ever released.
As someone who appreciates the aesthetics of a golf shoe just as much as the performance, I was thrilled to get a chance to talk with Adidas Golf Senior Footwear Designer Michael Hesterberg about the inspiration behind the design of the TOUR360 BOOST. Hesterberg said that he pulled inspiration from Adidas’ running shoes and the idea of the body in motion. At the same time, he focused on making a bespoke leather shoe athletic, while accentuating the performance of BOOST. The three striking visual design elements on the TOUR360 BOOST are the S-shaped heel curve, which speaks to the idea of the body in motion, the classic toe-down design and the iconic 360 wrap.
“With all the 360 shoes, visually it is about wrapping. When you look at the details, every element is a continuous line. That is the inspiration for the shoe. You see it in the upper where that continuous line is engaging with the body. You even see it with the sole.”
— Michael Hesterberg, Adidas Golf Senior Footwear Designer
The TOUR360 BOOST features full-length BOOST™ cushioning in the forefoot and heel to provide maximum comfort. Adidas has used BOOST in its running shoes over the past few years and Adidas Golf most recently used it in the adipower BOOST shoe that Jason Day and Dustin Johnson laced up this past year.
For those of you unfamiliar with the goodness that is BOOST, here is a brief science lesson. TPU is a hard plastic material. It is used in the outsole on many of the golf shoes on the market today. Adidas, basically, takes small beads of TPU and cooks them. Each of the TPU beads expands and get softer. Think of it as plastic popcorn. Then, all of the soft pellets are pressed together through a steam molding process. The result is a foam that Adidas calls BOOST.
BOOST is said to provide more cushioning and a greater energy return than the standard EVA material that is typically found in the midsoles of shoes. In fact, Adidas says that EVA typically has an energy return of between 50%-65%, where BOOST’s energy return is greater than 84%. The result is better cushioning and less fatigue on the feet and legs. I found that the BOOST in the TOUR360 has a slightly firmer feel than in the adipower BOOST or the ULTRA BOOST running shoe. It is still supremely comfortable, but it seems to offer more stability during the swing since it is firmer.
After getting a complete rundown on the TOUR360 BOOST, I had the opportunity to take it for a spin the following morning on Terranea’s scenic 9-hole Par-3 course. I quickly learned that not only do the folks at Adidas Golf make killer kicks, but they also seem to be able to control the weather. Over the course of an hour and a half, Mother Nature threw Bandon Dunes-esque conditions at us that included everything from sun and wind to rain and a bit of hail. Apparently, Adidas will leave no stone unturned when proving the performance of its shoes.
The good news is that the TOUR360 BOOST straight up performs in any condition. It is the most stable golf shoe that I’ve worn. I could feel the support and stability that the 360Wrap offers as soon as I slipped it on. Adidas re-engineered the 360Wrap to be lighter and stronger with greater adjustability and adaptability. Between this and the heel design, my foot felt like it was locked into place and it felt like it had become one with the shoe.
Adidas Golf put a ton of research into the outsole and traction of the TOUR360 BOOST, which I was thankful for when the rain was coming down sideways. Designers used heat map technology and force plate studies when designing the outsole, and they even took the shoe to Pebble Beach (famous for having some of the softest greens on the left coast) to conduct cleat and spike mark testing.
The 10-cleat outsole provides superior gripping in wet or dry conditions. The dual density outsole offers a combination of a hard perimeter TPU for stability and a softer interior TPU for comfort. The traction elements consist of Adidas’ CenTraXion nubs and thintech(r) cleats. Adidas has caught some flak in the past for using proprietary cleats, but this allows the brand to have complete control over every aspect of the shoe. If you desire, you can replace the thintech(r) cleats with another brand of your choice — just make sure they will work with a PINS System.
One of the biggest differences between the TOUR360 BOOST and earlier generations of the shoe is the full-length outsole. This is the first TOUR360 shoe that has possessed a full-length outsole and it has everything to do with traction. Through testing, Adidas realized that traction could be improved by as much as 15% with this design.
This provided an interesting dilemma, though. How does the 360Wrap fit into a full-length outsole? The answer is the TORSION TUNNEL — a small gap between the outsole and the midsole that allows the 360Wrap to surround the foot. The TORSION TUNNEL is a flexible piece of TPU that allows for independent flexibility and control between the heel and the forefoot. This flexibility, plus the fact that the inside of the TORSION TUNNEL has a high polish finish, prevents dirt and debris from finding a cozy home in the tunnel.
The TOUR360 BOOST will be available in six colorways. The showcase colorway, or as Adidas calls it the ‘hero’ colorway is the White/CoreBlack/PowerRed, which is a tip of the hat to the ‘hero’ color of the original TOUR360. Additional colorways are a boss-esque CoreBlack/CoreBlack/GoldMetallic, a sleek Onix/White/CoreRed, an energetic White/CoreBlack/SolarYellow, a sporty White/EQTBlue/ShockBlue and a clean and understated White/SilverMetallic/DarkSilverMetallic.
A BOA(r) Closure System model will also be available in three colorways. I received a complete education on BOA at the Adidas launch event. For the TOUR360, BOA created an entirely new closure system that fully integrates the cable structure into the 360Wrap. It also uses BOA’s premium IP1 dial. I like that this dial has a low profile and that it sits on the tongue. It offers a cleaner aesthetic than having it on the heel. This dial allows you to tighten or loosen the cables one millimeter at a time.
For those of you who are afraid of breaking the thin BOA wire, just know that they are made from 49 strands of stainless steel wrapped in a nylon coating. BOA estimates that you would need 600 pounds of force to break one of its laces or you would need to bend it about 500,000 times before having an issue. It is safe to say you will be lacing up (or dialing up in this case) the next generation of the TOUR360 by then. Jason Day is expected to be wearing the BOA models in 2016.
Look for the laced versions of the TOUR360 BOOST ($200) to start shipping January 8, 2016, but you can pre-order a pair, or six, now. The BOA versions ($230) are expected to hit store shelves at that same time.