When you think of Oxford, you might picture well-mannered sophistication – and perhaps soggy feet from the persistent moisture. If so, then you will agree that the TRUE oxford spikeless golf shoes are properly named indeed (if not properly capitalized). We loved the stylish suede uppers (they are also offered in canvas) and the easy cleaning and maintenance. We didn’t like the water that crept in to dampen our socks, feet, and mood. The box indicates a 1-year waterproof warranty, which inspired our purchase. Further review of the TRUE website, however, revealed contradictory information (more on that below). The TRUE oxfords are comfortable, well-priced, and look sharp. But keeping your little piggies warm and dry when it’s wet out will require a different solution.
Retail price: $99.99
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The TRUE oxfords are fashionable enough to be worn as everyday casual shoes. There is an elegance to the simplicity of the design, and they are equally appropriate on the golf course or in the country club dining room. Mrs. Critical Golf was a big fan. The TRUE oxfords are available in either suede (offered in Light Tan/Salmon, Chocolate/Orange, or Charcoal/Highlighter) or canvas (offered in Olive/Charcoal or Navy/New White). Don’t be scared into thinking that the bright colors of the soles will be too garish – they complement the staid uppers with just a mild dash of pizzazz.
We bought the TRUE oxfords because we were heading somewhere with potentially wet weather and the box stated that the shoes came with a 1-year waterproof warranty. It poured rain during the initial testing round and we soon had feet that were completely drenched. We thought, however, that we’d give the shoes a second chance, since we were wearing no-show socks that tend to let water in when your ankles brush against grass that is wet. The follow-up test round a few weeks later was conducted in the absence of any precipitation on a course that had been watered that morning. Sadly, the dew seeped its way into the shoes – they weren’t thoroughly soaked, but our socks were definitely wet.
Scratching our heads, we went to the TRUE web site, and found this in the TRUE oxford product description: “These shoes have been treated by a protectant spray that will do its best to protect your shoes from exterior water and dirt. However, due to the absorbent nature of these materials, water and dirt will still work its way into the exterior surface of the material with persistent contact. Please buy according to your intended usage: i.e. if you live in a wetter, muddier climate and intend to wear our shoes to play golf in those conditions, we recommend our leather upper shoes as an alternative. We recommend following traditional suede and canvas cleaning and treatment procedures to keep them looking their best. We also recommend treating with any addition waterproofing sprays that will help them hold up against the elements. ”
We’re not sure how to reconcile that cautionary text with the 1-year waterproof warranty, so we can only go with our practical experience, which tells us that you probably shouldn’t expect the TRUE oxfords to keep you dry.
As we’ve described in earlier TRUE reviews, the company touts its “natural motion golf shoe” design, which seems to be part of the broader minimalist shoe movement (i.e. Vibram Five Finger running shoes). You may not feel as if you’re completely barefoot, but you will definitely feel closer to the ground. The toe box is also noticeably wider, which gives your feet more room to spread out. It’s easy to amble along comfortably in the TRUE oxfords – you won’t feel inspired to run any 100-yard dashes, but they make for a pleasant stroll.
Our rounds in the wet of Erin Hills sloshed a fair amount of mud on the TRUE oxfords, which led to some consternation about whether the suede would ever look the same. To our surprise, they wiped clean in a jiffy and looked as good as new.
In our testing, the TRUE oxfords tipped the scales at 1.58 pounds for the pair, which placed them right at the median among the shoes we have reviewed. The outsoles are made of rubber, which means they’re extremely flexible. The suede uppers don’t breathe that much and thus your feet will be warmer (for good and for bad) – we haven’t tested a pair with canvas uppers, but would presume that they would be cooler. There was no need to break in the TRUE oxfords – they were extremely easygoing from the moment they were first laced up.
A number of strategically placed rubber stubs on the outsole provide traction. The stubs don’t look particularly grippy, but we were pleasantly surprised at the stability provided by the shoes even during an extremely rainy round. TRUE would tell you that the minimalist soles enable a lower center of gravity that helps keep you in place – sounds reasonable to us.
At $99.99 for a pair in suede, the TRUE oxfords just nudged under the adidas Crossflex by a penny to win the title of “least expensive spikeless golf shoes we’ve tested.” If you’re willing to go with the TRUE oxfords in canvas, you can save another ten dollars.