By Tim Baines
There’s a quiet swagger when ECCO posts the words on its website: “ECCO does not chase trends, we create them.”
True. You earn the right to talk the talk when you’ve proven you can walk the walk.
ECCO has become a golf-shoe giant, a manufacturer that is changing with the times, throwing its own unique twist on evolution. Tough to go wrong when you combine traction, comfort and sporty style.
“We were at the other end of it, but we’re on the right side now, said ECCO Canada sales manager Todd Davidson. “Our biggest concern was, is this a one-hit wonder? But we’re here to stay. It’s growing. A lot of guys on tour are playing in our hybrid product.
“One thing we take pride in is ECCO is only a golf footwear company. And we do everything in house. We have our own design team, a factory, a leather facility. We don’t source anything out to a third party so we can control the consistency.
“In four years, we’ve come a long way in comfort and technology. Golf is a traditional and conservative game. We’re bringing new things into the game.”
With 60 different models – 35 for men and 25 for women, there’s certainly plenty of variety. You can surround your feet in comfort with Biom, Biom Hybrid, Biom Zero, EVO One and Street – for men and ladies. Eighty-five percent of the ECCO shoes are hybrid, while 15% have spikes.
Thermal polyurethane is used in the majority of the shoes, fitting right into the comfort concept. PU is light, flexible and supple - and retains its shock-absorbing qualities. Although very flexible, it still provides the foot with a stable grip and excellent stability – keys to an ideal walking experience.
“It lasts quite a bit longer than rubber,” said Davidson. “You can’t cut any corners. We want to position ourselves on the Canadian market as a premium brand.”
The BIOM Hybrid shoes are made with yak hide.
Said Davidson: “I really feel it’s the most comfortable golf shoe we’ve produced.”
As good as the shoes look, the major selling point is still the same thing.
“It looks cool, but how will it perform?” said Davidson. “Once we started to have guys wearing them — Freddie (Couples), Vijay (Singh), Aaron Baddeley … guys on tour were able to get that traction and win so it added a lot of credibility.”
Really, ECCO has much to gain by backing up its motto. You can’t trick golfers into buying something over and over. You need substance and style.
“Golfers are really into the game and they’re technically minded,” said Davidson. “It’s the same as footwear, if it doesn’t perform, it’s worthless.”