50 Words or Less
The ECCO S-Drive golf shoe has a modern look and unconventional lace location. With solid traction and a great balance between flexibility and stability, the shoe performs well in the golf swing. Comfort is concerning.
ECCO has never shied away from unconventional looking golf shoes, and the S-Drive is a prime example. With ECCO, looks are typically the result of design innovation rather than a need for attention. For this shoe, the design intent was to merge the lightweight comfort of a running shoe with the stability requirements of a golf shoe. I found that curious as ECCO doesn’t offer running shoes. But more curious was the location of the lacing. Have the designers gone too far this time? Let’s take a closer look.
Above all else, the location of the lacing grabbed my attention. My brain is so trained to have the laces down the center of my shoes that I couldn’t walk straight looking down at the ECCO S-Drives when I first tried them on.
Getting past the location (we’re not done with that subject) there’s a visual appeal to the modern looking shoes. The uppers, constructed of mesh overlaid and bonded with cutouts of microfiber of the same color, have a lively, curvy pattern. The kiwi color midsole makes a color statement without being flashy and incorporates a zipper-like pattern into the mold.
The shoes are also offered in dark shadow/tomato and Bermuda blue/fire.
Back to that lacing – the asymmetrical location is wonderfully comfortable. The high point of your foot is towards the inside, so it makes perfect sense to have the laces straddle that ridge. It has me questioning why this isn’t the norm.
Inside the shoe, padding is minimal, and the foot bed is firm. I was able to wear the shoes comfortably for a full round right out of the box, but I’d recommend a short break-in period to get used to the feel. I went down a size from my usual and the fit was excellent.
I’m going to continue to play golf in the ECCO S-Drives because they are great performers, but I won’t wear them if I have to walk the course. Sounds crazy right? It’s not that the shoes are uncomfortable, they just give me an awkward gait. Let me try to explain. When I take a step the outside of the heel makes initial contact with the ground, but then my foot slaps the ground as I transition to the ball of my foot. The odd thing is the sole is very flexible. I’m curious to learn what other wearers encounter, as I have been referred to as a freak of nature – by an actual doctor.
Despite my negative comments on my walking gait, that oddity may be the reason my feet felt locked in during the golf swing. The ECCO S-Drive was stable on the back swing, allowing me to build up torque. Transitioning through the swing was fluid and posting on the front foot was again stable. Although it’s challenging to see in the photos, each nub on the sole consists of a central circle and four small protruding squares that create an abundance of traction angles.
In both wet and dry conditions, I found the traction more than acceptable for a non-cleated shoe. And in those wet conditions, water beaded on the uppers and my feet remained dry. The inside also stayed dry when tested under running water from a faucet.
The ECCO S-Drive golf shoes leave me with mixed feelings. They’re simple to pull on, snug up and tie, plus the lacing location is innovative and comfortable. Performance during the swing was cohesive, helping me achieve solid results. But there’s something in the design or construction that doesn’t work for me while walking. I won’t hesitate to play golf in the S-Drives, but I won’t be wearing them to or from the course as I’d expect to do with spikeless golf shoes – especially ones with the look of a running shoe.
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