TRUE lyt dry
The TRUE lyt line is the 2014 update of the original TRUE tour, and takes its place as the highest performance shoe in the TRUE linkswear line. The “lyt” shoes are better looking than the original Tour, and continue to feature the company’s primary design differentiator – an extremely thin platform that is in TRUE’s word, lyt. We found the shoe to be extremely comfortable, with our only quibble being the height of the backstay/heel tab, which pokes at your achilles.
We chose the TRUE lyt dry as our test shoe, which features a waterproof leather upper that is useful for the morning moisture on Northern California courses. For those looking for something more breathable and perhaps more appropriate to some southern heat, consider the TRUE lyt breathe, which replaces the leather upper with a breathable mesh, and also features a sock fit opening.
At a hair under 1.4 pounds (as tested), the TRUE lyt dry is one of the lightest shoes we have tested to date, second only to the Oakley Ciper 2 (the TRUE lyt breathe, TRUE’s lightest shoe to date, is even lighter, marketed at an amazing 1.1 pounds). It seemed slightly less flexible than the Tour, though perhaps it was just a result of the initial impression of the Tour, by far the lightest shoe we had tested at the time of our review. In any event, we would never say that the TRUE lyt dry was “stiff”, since these outsoles are among the thinnest and most flexible on the market.
The TRUE lyt line maintains a wide toe box, though it doesn’t appear to be quite as wide as the Tour, perhaps due to being slightly narrower at the balls of the feet. Though it lacks the thicker platform of most shoes, our reasonably finicky feet didn’t have any qualms with the combination EVA/rubber midsole, which extends from the toe mounds through the arch to the heel. We found the lyt dry to be among our favorite shoes and they have entered the rotation for regular use. At the very margins, we felt we could feel the ground a bit more in the TRUE Tour, and the back of the lyt dry at the achilles to be a bit less comfortable, though we will continue to evaluate this as our test shoes break in a bit more.
While we went with the grey/lime color option, you can select from black/dark grey, white/salmon, and black/royal. The design of the options features a spotted upper, which at a glance will look more like a perforated material, though it is all leather. From a style standpoint, the lyt dry is more appropriate for general usage (like slipping into your local watering hole on the way home from a round) than the clown-like Tours, and sports a more muted range of color options. While the lyt dry doesn’t have the look of a traditional shoe, the design and comfort will make you wonder why you spent so long enduring the aching feet imposed by old-school saddle shoes. But if the design still scares you away, you can always check out the TRUE gent wingtip, which features a more classic design, or the TRUE oxford, which if not for some of the secondary colors would look right at home in an informal office or bar (or both).
The construction of the lyt dry was much improved over our pair of TRUE Tours, which didn’t meet Critical Golf QA standards. The Tour felt as if it actually had a bit more flexibility in the sole, though as mentioned, the lyt drys are a lighter shoe by a reasonable margin. The sole of the lyt dry, not surprisingly (new year…new design), features a pattern of alternating round and diamond shaped spikes, in comparison to the rectangular bars and squares found on the sole of the original Tour. The morning dew didn’t pose an issue for the waterproof lyt dry leather uppers or the sole design, though we did find that playing in a downpour (and we do mean downpour) left the tongue of lyt dry extremely worn from rubbing against the laces. This wear was only cosmetic and didn’t impact the performance of the shoe, but we were surprised how quickly the lyt dry aged in these conditions.
We are increasingly gravitating toward these lighter more flexible shoes, and our initial hesitation about playing with spikeless shoes has long since passed. No, we can’t change the spikes and get more life out of our shoes, but by the time we did that we were due for a new pair anyway (and Mrs. Critical Golf had probably already banished the shoes and their distinctive “scent” to the corner of the garage). The TRUE lyt dry shoes are very comfortable, and as long as we are a bit more attentive about keeping the soles clear of clumps of accumulated dirt and grass, possess all the traction we require in a spikeless shoe.
At roughly $150 retail, the lyt dry comes at a more attractive retail price than the TRUE tour did at launch, and have the added benefit of waterproof leather, which generally drive the price of a given pair of shoes up. While this price is the highest in the TRUE family, it puts the lyt dry at about average within our spikeless golf shoe test group. It comes with a warranty to replace the shoes in the first year due if the waterproofing fails, and in the second year of the warranty will credit the customer 50% toward a new pair of shoes (they call this a two-year warranty, but we look at this as a year-plus).
We have become fans of the TRUE line, and recommend the lyt dry. Those who are put-off by the design or concerned about a thin-soled shoe should still give them a try – we think you will like what you feel.