New for 2017 from ECCO is the Cool 18 GTX golf shoe, which has been designed to deliver golfers all of the comfort that ECCO is known for, as well as an amazing technology story.
The Cool 18 GTX features a sleek red, white, and blue color pattern and has the look of an athletic shoe. It was created to offer all of the comfort and support that an athletic shoe would with the added stability needed to accommodate the golf swing. Where this shoe differentiates itself, however, is in terms of what ECCO is calling GORE-TEX SURROUND, as the Cool 18 GTX is not only waterproof but also essentially provides golfers with a climate control system. The shoe’s construction has been designed to keep moisture out, and ECCO offers an industry-leading three-year waterproof guarantee with Cool 18 GTX. But a vented mid-sole also allows moisture to escape during play to ensure that a golfer’s feet stay both cool and dry in all conditions. That’s important because what many players might not realize is that one third of their sweat glands are on the bottom of their feet and that during a round of golf each foot might create as much as the equivalent of a bottle of water in terms of moisture. Additionally, ECCO designed the spiked sole of the Cool 18 GTX to provide increased grip and stability during the swing, and its soft Dritton leather upper only adds to the shoe’s overall comfort.
Of course, while GORE-TEX SURROUND sounds great in theory, whether or not the technology works is what’s most important. And does the technology perform as designed while still providing the comfort, support, and stability that golfers need to play their best?
That being the case, TGW wanted to put Cool 18 GTX to the test, and we did so by providing a pair of the new ECCO shoes to a couple of our customers, Micah and Matt.
For background, Micah, a physician in the Wichita, Kansas area, and Matt, an attorney in Wichita, were chosen as testers for this particular shoe because they are serious players who will tee it up in any conditions. Both are low single-digit handicappers in their early 30s and they often walk when they play.
Additionally, they’ve been known to partner up when the opportunity presents itself to compete in local and state four-ball events.
After several weeks of wearing Cool 18 GTX golf shoes in a variety of conditions, we reached out to both Micah and Matt with some questions.
Their answers can be found below and might help you make a decision about whether or not this is a golf shoe that you would trust for your game:
TGW: Did you find that your ECCO Cool 18 GTX shoes fit as you expected or did they run large or small to size?
MICAH: The shoes seemed to fit as expected, not too large or small. They are also plenty wide, as I do have somewhat wide feet.
MATT: The only drawback that I found with these shoes is the sizing. The 11 to 11 1/2 size (European 45) seems to fit a bit large, even for an 11 1/2. That is even the case when I have the removeable insert in the shoe.
TGW: Did you find that there was a break-in period of any sort with Cool 18 GTX or did it deliver right out of the box in terms of comfort?
MICAH: There was no significant break-in period, super comfortable the first time I wore them. As comfortable as most tennis shoes I have worn. They are also flexible right out of the gate.
MATT: I didn’t have any issues with the shoes out of the box. They were comfortable from the first time I wore them.
TGW: How would you rate Cool 18 GTX in terms of its overall comfort level and the support it provides?
MICAH: Excellent overall comfort and support. It has a little higher back ankle support than what is typical for other golf shoes, but I liked that.
MATT: These shoes are very comfortable. From a golf performance standpoint, they perform as I would expect. They provide great stability and traction.
TGW: With Cool 18 GTX being a highly breathable GORE-TEX shoe, did you have any trouble with keeping your feet dry when course conditions were wet or in warmer weather?
MICAH: Not at all. I wore them twice in wet conditions and my feet stayed dry both rounds. My feet also did not seem to get as sweaty when it was hot out as they do with some other golf shoes.
MATT: I played a couple of days when the conditions were pretty wet. My feet stayed completely dry. Additionally, I played on one relatively warm day and the shoes breathed very well.
TGW: Having had the chance to wear Cool 18 GTX for a while now, what stands out to you most about this golf shoe?
MICAH: The overall comfort and style. They have a sporty look but yet they’re classy enough to wear with long pants. The only minor downside to the shoe in my opinion is the back arch support. Because it is so flexible, the shoe will sometime try to slip off the back heel, particularly when walking fast or uphill.
MATT: Overall, these are the most comfortable golf shoes I have ever worn. I have worn them multiple times to walk 18 holes and my feet have felt great from the beginning of the round until the end. With my other golf shoes, I usually have some foot and ankle soreness after about 14 holes but not with the these. I have also worn them on back to back days of walking 18 holes without any discomfort or soreness. With other golf shoes, I will rotate a different pair each day.
TGW: Would you recommend the ECCO Cool 18 GTX to friends or playing companions based on your experience, and if yes, why, and if no, why not?
MICAH: I would definitely recommend this shoe to friends because of the overall comfort and style. I have no major complaints about this shoe. It’s as comfortable as any other golf shoe I have had, and it performed well under all conditions.
MATT: I would certainly recommend these to any golfer, especially those that like to walk. To reiterate, great shoe. Very comfortable and playable.
Editor’s Note: While the purpose of this review was to focus on the Cool 18 GTX golf shoes, ECCO also offers the Cool GTX , which features identical technology in three different styles.