Their Own Words ECCO Golf Shoes

By Casey BiererNovember 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
Editors note: ECCO's roots in defying convention run deep. 40 years ago in the small southern Jutland town of Bredebro, Denmark, Karl Toosbuy pioneered a revolution in footwear, choosing comfort over conformity. Tired of having his feet mold to his shoes, he charged that the foot should lead the shoe. A new type of footwear was born.
ECCO approaches design a little differently. They design from the inside out: inside every comfortable shoe is a foot. Outside, you'll find inspiration from nature and fashion trends, the simplicity of Scandinavian design, environmental circumstances, and all the ways you run through the day. That's all important. ECCO responds with shoes that take you from work to play, from casual Friday to tee time on Saturday and back through that great hiking trail on Sunday. ECCO design their shoes to live up to all your functional needs. And inside it all is a comfortable foot.

A conversation with Ed DiStefano, Fitting Specialist, ECCO
Casey / Q:

Ed, tell us about this ECCO van.
Ed / A:
The van is called the Tour and Tech van. The purpose of it is to do promotional events and to go to our vendors for educational training. We have basically a mini showroom in here where can do fitting for either our TOUR players or promotional events at golf courses where well set up with a tent and the van. And we have this big TV in the van that will play various ECCO brand videos. The van also travels and works with our sales reps helping them at their accounts and training them in fitting techniques as well. The goal is to get the outreach to the consumers and also to be able to service our TOUR players. The entire 2008 line is right here in this van. If ECCO Golf makes it I can show it to you here.
Casey / Q:
What is the philosophy behind ECCO golf shoes?
Ed / A:
I can sum up what is so special about ECCO golf shoes in one word. Comfort. We guarantee out of the box comfort with no break in period and that is due to the fit. The fit is snug in the instep and then generous in the toe box area. And the reason that works so well is because thats the way a persons foot is naturally shaped. And because there is extra room up front in the toe box area, the minute the golfer puts the shoe on theyre ready to play 18-holes or even
36-holes without a problem.
Casey / Q:
Take us through an example of what you do to fit a golfer for ECCO golf shoes.
World Class Ecco
World Class ECCO model.
Ed / A:
Lets take a narrow foot, for example. For most golfers with narrow feet it is difficult to get a good fit in a golf shoe. And with ECCO having a more generous toe box, you might think its tough for us to fit a narrow foot. But actually, we can do it quite well. So the first thing I do as a fitter is to measure the foot properly and then get some other informationlike what other shoes have you been wearing. Once I have that information I can zero in on what style in our line will fit you best. And for a narrow foot I pretty much know I am going to fit the golfer in either our new Classic series or in our World Class model shoe. Both these model shoes have the type of a last (fit) that will allow me to customize the shoe to a narrow foot.
Casey / Q:
Use your World Class model as the example for a custom fit.
Ed / A:
OK. Well use the World Class as an example that we will fit to a narrow foot. What I have to do is take volume away from the shoe. And I do that by changing the inlays in the shoe. The great thing about our product is that the inlays are fully removable. They are meant to be changed in and out for fitting and also can be replaced from time to time to keep the shoes fresh and new feeling.
Casey / Q:
What types of inlays do you have?
Ed / A:
There are a couple different kinds of inlays. There is the PU Wedge inlay which can take up to 6 millimeters of volume away from the shoe. But that might be too much for someonemake the instep area a little too snug. So another option is to leave the original inlay in the shoe and add a second inlay on top of it. That inlay on top of inlay will take 3 millimeters of volume away from the shoe which is a happy medium between the two. And generally speaking, with these two types of fitting options, we can fit a golfer very comfortably in to a shoe.
Casey / Q:
And if a golfer has the opposite problema very wide foot?
Ed / A:
For a foot that is very wide we would try and add volume to the shoe by going with a thinner inlay. Also, because some of our shoes have different instep depths, I would be able to select one of our models that has a higher instep and that will help accommodate a wider foot. So because of the selection of shoes in the line we have to choose from and knowing what last fits what type of foot ' and then the different options we have with inlays ' just about any type of foot can be comfortably fit in an ECCO golf shoe.
Casey / Q:
What kind of schedule does this van have?
Ed / A:
The vans schedule is set 14 months in advance. I know pretty much where Im going to be 14 months in advance of the van being there. Its not 100 percent etched in stone. Things do change, obviously. For example, Im waiting to here about the LPGAs Kingsmill tournamentdoing the pro-amif all the pro-am players are getting a pair of ECCO shoes. That tournament is in the first week of May next year, I think. If that comes through I will have to adjust the schedule a little bit. So, stuff like that comes up and when it does we make changes to the schedule. But most of the time we know where the van is going to be pretty far in advance.
Casey / Q:
And you work with retailers that carry ECCO shoes, right?
Ed / A:
Many of the off-course retailers we work with ' Golf Galaxy, Golfsmith, PGA Superstore, Edwin Watts ' book the van to make an appearance for a day and we can fit a large number of golfers that way. Then the retailer places a custom order for their customer with the details we got from the fitting in the van. And what I have found is that most of the time on the retailers Web site, they will list a schedule of what companies are making appearances at their store throughout the year. So thats a good way to see if the ECCO van is going to be at a store in your town or neighborhood. There is also a PR company ' Buffalo Communications out of Washington, D.C. ' and I submit my schedule a month in advance to them and they help get the word out and market the vans appearance in whatever area I am going to be in.
Casey / Q:
What about private clubs?
Ed / A:
There are also some appearances that dont get any publicity at all. And those are when the van goes to a private club and has a fitting day just for the membership. We dont advertise or market those appearances to the general public because they are member-only events.
Casey / Q:
You told me you have actually made appointments with individuals for fitting.
Casual Cool Ecco
Casual Cool Hydromax ECCO model.
Ed / A:
Thats right. I have made appointments with individual customers, believe it or not. Lets say I am going to be in a certain area of the country visiting a golf store. And I know after that appearance is over I am going to drive to my next scheduled location. Well, if a golfer lives in between and they make an appointment with me Ill stop and fit that golfer. And then they will take the fitting information to their local PGA Professional who can place the order for them or a golf store in their area where ECCO is carried and the retailer will place the order for them. And, of course, they can go on-line to order the shoes directly from ECCO.
Casey / Q:
What about the custom fitting partthe inlays?
Ed / A:
If the fitting requires a customization like we talked about for a narrow foot or a wide foot, I will give the golfer the inlays right out of the van and when they receive their shoes from ECCO they just put the inlays in however we decided for the proper fit. I keep a large and varied inventory of inlays in the van so we can make sure people are properly fitted.
Casey / Q:
There are ECCO outlet stores as well, correct?
Ed / A:
Absolutely. Another option is for a golfer to go to one of our ECCO outlet stores. ECCO outlet stores are company owned and they carry the entire golf line in those stores. So if I custom fit a golfer in the van and give them the inlays they need, they can then go find one of our ECCO outlet stores and get the shoes there. They will also order a particular shoe and size if they dont happen to have it in stock. And these outlet stores also have people who work there who can help fit you as well. I am not the only fitting option for ECCO shoes. I actually have traveled to every one of our ECCO outlet stores and I have trained the people who work there how to custom fit golf shoes.
Casey / Q:
Why is it so important for a golfer to have a golf shoe that fits properly?
Ed / A:
If a shoe is not properly fit then it is going to bother the golfer and the golfer is going to think about the shoe that isnt fitting rather than about their golf game. Its going to be a negative. Its going to detract from the golf experience and may actually lead to a poorly played round. So it is very important to have a pair of golf shoes that fit properly. And with all the various options we have for fitting, I happen to think that ECCO is the way to go in golf shoes. Weve done our job at ECCO when you dont think about your golf shoes at all because they are so comfortable you just play golf and dont even think about what shoes you have on your feet. If you arent thinking about your feet or your shoes when you are playing golf then we have done our job at ECCO.
Casey / Q:
The ECCO shoes I see you wearing, Ed, dont have golf cleats in the bottom. They look like little nubs. Whats up with that?
Ed / A:
I am wearing our World Class model golf shoe but Ive replaced the golf cleats with street caps. Our golf shoes are so comfortable that a lot of people buy our shoes, take the golf cleats out, and put in what are called street caps. Champ makes our street caps for us. They go in the place of the golf cleat and then you can wear the shoes around just like normal street shoes. That says a lot about the comfort and quality of ECCO golf shoes.
Casey / Q:
Tell us something about ECCO leather and the process you guys use to make your golf shoes.
Ed / A:
We make our own leather at ECCO. We are one of the largest producers of leather on the world. BMW and Coach buy their leather from ECCO to make their products. Wilson makes their baseball gloves with our leather. We treat all of our leathers with a vegetable oil tanning process which makes it water resistant and hydro-phobic. Additionally, we are the only company in the world that uses a direct injection process to adhere our outsoles to our uppers which forms a water tight bond between the two. The uppers get placed in to a mold and then the urethane is direct injected under low pressure for about 40 seconds and in that time a chemical reaction takes place fusing the outsole to the upper. As a result there is never any separation or cracking and there is a complete water tight bond. In addition to the leather being treated some of the models have a Gortex liner as well. So, its all the highest quality leather and the most sophisticated manufacturing techniques in the business. That all goes in to the making of ECCO golf shoes.
Casey / Q:
Thanks for taking the time to show me the ECCO line, Ed, and for telling me about ECCO golf shoes.
Ed / A:
Thank you, Casey.
Email your thoughts to Casey Bierer
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Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

Koepka is expected to miss the next eight to 12 weeks.

“I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

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Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.

Made Cut

Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

“If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

“The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

September can’t get here quick enough.

Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.

Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

“I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

“My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.

Missed Cut

Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

Tweet of the week:

It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”