50 Words or Less
With contemporary styling, breathability, and 360° guaranteed waterproofing, The ECCO Cool 18 GTX is a cleated golf shoe designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
For many golfers, ECCO golf shoes are synonymous with spikeless styles. A look back through the PIG archives reveals it’s the only style we’ve performed reviews on – until now. For many years, ECCO has produced well received cleated golf shoes, and, knowing over half of male golfers still prefer cleats, they weren’t about to stop this year. In fact, they teamed up with GORE to produce a technological marvel called the ECCO Cool 18 GTX. The GORE-TEX Surround and midsole air grids aren’t visible without cutting the shoe in half, but I’ve seen them with my own eyes, so trust in PIG and keep reading.
The first thing that grabbed me when I opened the box of ECCO Cool 18 GTX was the patriotic red, white, and blue color scheme. Then I learned the red is called tomato and the shoes are made in Portugal, and I’m humbly reminded that the colors of our country are used by many. But cheers still, these shoes are going to be extra perfect for national holidays and veteran events.
Overall, the ECCO Cool 18 GTX has a contemporary style, with smooth lines and a lot of little holes. Those holes are actually an important performance feature that I’ll elaborate on shortly. Did you notice the red material around the shoe opening is all one piece? Instead of a traditional tongue, the shoe features what ECCO calls a sock liner. The holes and the sock liner are what makes this the “18” version of the Cool GTX. The bottom looks like a modern cleated golf shoe, with molded spikes for additional traction.
One touch of the leather and you know these shoes aren’t going to require any break in period. The supple uppers allowed the shoe to flex with my foot, enhancing the fit. The footbed is firm but not uncomfortable, and there are no pressure points associated with the cleat locations. There’s wiggle room in the toe box, and the laces keep the foot stable.
Like the ECCO Cage Pro, there’s a bit too much room around my heel. Wearing a thicker sock helped, but the fit still wasn’t great around the heel. That seems to go against the sock liner concept, which lets you go barefoot. Going down a size in the ECCO Cool 18 GTX may be prudent.
In one of the pictures at the bottom, you’ll see the black insole pulled up. ECCO designed the shoe so you can remove the insole for “extra width”.
Let me get the easy part out of the way – traction is excellent.
Now on to what makes this shoe special: 360° waterproofing and breathability. The GORE-TEX membrane completely surrounds the foot. That’s important because the midsole actually contains holes and air flow channels. Look closely at the picture above and note the green grass you can see through the second hole. Those channels don’t just to keep the shoe light, they also create a grid that allows sweat and air to escape out the bottom of the insole. Not only that, they allow air to come in, keeping your feet cooler. Same with all those little holes on the uppers. I was amazed at how dry my feet and socks were after a hot and humid day on the golf course.
While the technology doesn’t come cheap, the great traction and climate control features make the ECCO Cool 18 GTX a stand out golf shoe. The unique sock liner may be great for going sans socks, but check for fit in a local retailer if you can.