Tomo Alpha Golf Shoe Review

50 Words or Less

The Tomo Alpha golf shoe gives you the comfort and light weight of a knit shoe with waterproof performance.

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Introduction

Over three years ago, I got to check out the first shoe from newcomer Tomo Golf, the Volume 1 [review HERE].  I was impressed with the comfort, minimalist style, and the affordability.  Since then, Tomo has worked to improve their design, and the result is the Alpha.  This new offering has a similar style but raises the bar on performance with a waterproof knit.

Looks

The Tomo Alpha has a very similar look to Tomo’s first shoe, the Volume 1.  Its knit upper looks more like a running or walking shoe than a traditional golf shoe.  Available in Carbon Black and Oxygen White, the texture of the knit gives the Alpha a look that’s more interesting than the the color choices indicate.

Branding on the Tomo Alpha is kept to a minimum.  The Tomo logo is visible at the top of the tongue and on the pull tab at the heel.  This keeps the look clean and allows the Alpha to be worn with almost anything.

In both black and white, the Tomo Alpha has the playful red sole that we saw on the Volume 1 and 2.  This is only visible to the careful observer when you’re walking or standing, but it’s an eye-catcher when you’re posing your finish after a flushed iron shot.

Comfort

As expected with a knit shoe, the Tomo Alpha is extremely comfortable right out of the box.  The upper has a sock-like fit that moves easily with your foot.

In the sole, Tomo utilizes FLEX Tech for added comfort.  The Alpha has a soft, bouncy feel with each step that makes any walk a bit more enjoyable.  What I really like is that the sole is very soft but not overly thick.  Tomo states that the outsole is 30% thicker, but it doesn’t feel disconnected from the ground like some super padded shoes do.

One final note about the Alpha is that the sizing is slightly on the small side of true-to-size.  I wear a 13 in FootJoy, 14 in Nike.  I got the Alpha in size 13, and it was perfect for my left foot but a hair snug on my slightly-larger right foot.  I would recommend going up half a size if you’re on the fence.

Performance

What impresses me about the Tomo Alpha is that it’s a blend of knit and traditional golf shoes.  The feel is very soft and comfortable, but there is a surprising amount of structure and stability.  My heel feels very locked in and supported, and there’s more lateral stability than I typically get from a knit shoe.

That balance is also present in the heel.  The Alpha is not a zero drop shoe, but it’s not a traditional high heel either.  This makes it accessible to players coming from both traditional and natural motion shoes.

One of the biggest upgrades over the Volume 1 is the waterproofing.  The Alpha is “100%” waterproof, though Tomo does not provide a specific, time-based waterproof warranty.  I put the Alpha in my sink and ran the water full blast, but the inside stayed completely dry.  I would have no issue wearing the Alpha in any weather conditions.

Tomo states that the Alpha is their lightest shoe yet at only 9.6 ounces.  My size 13 weighed in at 12 ounces, which is among the lighter shoes I’ve tested.  The combination of light weight and bouncy FLEX Tech sole allows for long days on the course without tired feet.

Finally, we get to the always-important issue of traction.  Tomo promotes the Alpha as having a “Superwide base” and “multi-direction grip.” When I first saw the Alpha’s sole, I was struck by how shallow the tread is and was concerned that the traction wouldn’t be very good.  I found that in good conditions, the traction is excellent.  It didn’t take many swings before I had the confidence to go at my drives 100%.

Conclusion

The Tomo Golf Alpha is an impressive step forward from a relatively new company.  If you want a go-anywhere shoe that’s light and comfortable but can also succeed in adverse weather, this is worth a look.

Visit Tomo Golf HERE

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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5 Comments

  1. Honestly, I have the Tomo Volume 1 from a few years back and they’re ok for the range or to wear around town but that’s about it. Sounds like they’ve made a big leap forward but, you turned me onto the TRUELINKSWEAR line and I haven’t looked back. 11 pairs later, lol. I couldn’t imagine wearing another brand.

  2. Great review. I have a pair of the Volume 1 shoes and they are incredibly comfortable but support and grip are lacking. I wear them on hot dry days but mainly I wear them as sneakers. This new model sounds like it could be much better for golf.

  3. I now own three models of Tomo Shoes. They are all very good quality shoes. As for Golf, here is my impression: I play at least 4 times a week and carry a single digit handicap. Vol 1 does not give me the stability I need period!. Vol 1X in my opinion are the most comfortable shoes in golf and the stability I’m looking for is there as well as waterproof; they feel like walking on clouds. Alpha look strangely similar to Allbirds Tree Dashers. They are confortable but do not have the support I need. Walking down hill my feet slide to the front of the shoe. On aggressive swings my feet stretch the fabric. The first time I used them was in the morning and my socks got wet just with the dew on the ground. Vol1X Top all other Tomo Shoe, too bad they are not making them anymore.

  4. I have never tried Tomo shoes, but the black Alpha looks really good. I am really encouraged that these have waterproofing as well. I have enjoyed the knit shoes from other brands, but found that the just do not repel water and since the course I play most often having shoes that will keep my feet dry is a most. I may just have to check these out!!

  5. Thanks again Matt, but I hate to say it, but I have been disappointed with every pair of stretchy knit upper golf shoes that I’ve purchased. I haven’t tried these Tomo’s yet, so I can’t say it’s the same with these shoes. I keep wanting this style shoe to work, because they are comfortable shoes around town, but as pointed out by others, my feet slip around during the swing or while walking on slopes. And yeah, they feel fine when I’m walking around the golf shop and taking some practice swings, but it’s only when I get them out on the course that I recognize their limitations, and tying them in different configurations, or wearing thicker socks, doesn’t help. I’ve tried a couple pairs of the Truelinkswear, some FootJoy’s, Skechers, adidas, and others that are now collecting dust. I’ve also found that I compress the mid soles of the lightweight sneaker-style golf shoes (Skechers, true links, adidas) way too quickly — initially they have a nice bouncy rebound effect, but then they compress on the medial side of the shoe, and that’s usually by the third round. I’m not heavy by any means, and I’m easy on my shoes. I don’t leave them in a hot car or garage, and I have closets full of golf shoes, so I can rotate them constantly. I make sure they are cleaned (water and soap) and dried, before I store them on shoe trees, but in recent years I’ve had a number of soles/lasts peel away from the uppers — and a number of my golfing partners have experienced the same — the glues that companies are using to pair the lasts to the uppers fail, and when it happens, invariably in the middle of a round, you not only lose the shoes, but end up losing some portion of a round. I have tried shoe goo and also gave them to a shoe repairman too, but they inevitably fail again. When I drop $150-$200 on a pair of shoes I want them to be more than an experiment or a throwaway item. These lightweight, stretchy knitted shoes are perfectly fine for kicking around the house, but I think I’m done with them for golfing — it’s been an expensive experiment.

    One more thought: I would like it if golf companies were willing to stand behind their products, and provide us consumers with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. Many of the outdoor companies (LLBean, Patagonia, REI, North Face, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Outdoor Research, et cetera) have them. Their gear has to stand up to heavy outdoor use and they’re still making a profit. I would certainly try more types of these shoes, clubs, clothing (another sore subject), and pretty much anything — but it seems the golf-based companies are not able to stand behind their products. Reading their warranties is a joke, they spend more space explaining what they do not cover, and place so many restrictions on returned items, that returning their product is near impossible. And like so many warranties, for things like waterproofing, it seems they fail just after the warrantee ends. Funny how that happens — planned obsolescence?

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