Has Athalonz creator, Tim Markison, found an answer to stability?
It’s a crazy world out there when it comes to golf shoes. It seems like every few years there’s a new brand touting how their product is ideal for golfers. And, while some have made their ways to the big box retailers, the fact of the matter is most of them disappear after a few years.
The concepts are great. But what pushes the envelope in the golf industry is when the players are gaming the product.
For Athalonz and their founder, Tim Markison, their insanely quick rise to a significant name in the business came to fruition differently than even he had ever intended. It was a chance encounter with Mitch McDowell while playing in a golf tournament that changed his company and the stability golf shoe forever.
Golfers can make and break a brand so fast it’s insane
Markison found out that when golfers see another player performing at a higher level, they’re quick to find out why and even faster at adding it to their own game.
It took just one player to overachieve at a long drive event to get the snowball started. In a matter of just a few short months, a majority of players competing in World Long Drive were wearing Markisons new shoes. The Long drivers fell in love with the concept, and we’re all in after trying the Athalonz shoes. It may not have been the start Markison was planning, but when every telecast of the WLD on Golf Channel had a pairing wearing his shoes, he knew they were onto something.
Athalonz on the Chasing Daylight Podcast
Back in January, I had Tim and Jerimiah Johnston (Operations, Research Development, and Design) on the Chasing Daylight Podcast. We discussed how the brand got started, and they shared some stories on how the shoe came to life. I encourage you to click on the provided link and listen to that episode after finishing this article.
We visited the Athaonz shoe booth at the Vegas PGA Show.
I was rather eager to see what all the hype was about in regards to athalonz. Even before meeting Jerimiah at the Vegas PGA Show last year, I was curious. I, too, was one of the guys sitting at home wondering why was ever Long Drive participant wearing those shoes. OK, not everyone, but damn close.
Jerimiah had a booth at the Demo NIght during the Vegas PGA Show and was very welcoming to the people in attendance. With limited space and a shoe, I wasn’t sure if the format for the event was the right place for Athalonz. Even though a TopGolf bay may not have been the best place to showcase your product Jerimiah did a fantastic job going over the product and showing how their design is vastly different than some of the top brands in the field.
Inside the bay at TopGolf, Jerimiah had several of their shoes on display for people to pick up and have a look over. It was the Non-Athalonz shoe that caught my eye, though. Athalonz had taken a premium shoe from a competitor and cut it half. They had one of their shoes done the same way, and you could very quickly see, with the insides exposed, why the Athalonz stability is superior.
Does a focus on stability take away from other aspects of the golf shoe?
Would making the focus stability hurt the other areas of a shoe that is a must for golfers?
No matter what the shoe looks like or promises if it’s not comfortable, golfers will not buy. Think about bowling shoes. Yes, those ugly rental shoes that everyone loves so very much. They serve a purpose, and beyond the bowling alley, do they even apply to your everyday life. Absolutely not. My fears for Athalonz was similar. Is this a shoe you’re eager to wear to see the benefits of stability? But also one you can’t wait to get it off your foot once your round is over.
Did focusing mainly on stability, hurt comfort, and design?
I’m happy to say I think Athalonz has found a fantastic combination.
Stability is the central concept with the Athalonz shoe, but it’s not the only reason to wear them.
In my opinion, it all comes down to comfort. Of course, style plays a pivotal role, but without comfort, nobody is going to wear them to play golf.
I can almost guarantee that everyone one of you reading this article has put on a new pair of golf shoes, played a round, and was ready to toss them after just one outing. I’d also be willing to assume that the reason was discomfort. It’s not easy to get multiple benefits in a golf shoe. There’s a lot that goes into making sure the shoes perform and feel great on your feet.
The challenge Athalonz faced was creating an incredibly stable shoe that felt great on your feet.
As with most new shoes, there is a break-in period that is needed to loosen up the leather. It was no different for me when it came to the pair of Atahlonz. I trekked around the house for a few days and did my typical daily routine. I’ve always believed if you can do your everyday schedule in a new pair of shoes, there is potential for greatness, haha.
After I broke them in, I found the Athalonz to be very comfortable. The leather in the shoe isn’t so sturdy that it won’t break-in, and the best news came at the end of the day when I found them still on my feet. I like to kick off my shoes and prop up my legs with the recliner, but I didn’t even consider doing so. So when it came to comfort, I was pleased. It’s a shoe I can wear all day long and not have the aches and pains you can get from a golf-specific shoe in real-world situations.
Athalonz is a golf shoe though, let’s not forget.
One thing I was eager to find out was if a stability based golf shoe was suitable for golfers who don’t swing 150mph.
It turns out it is. As I was sitting down thinking about how to approach this review, I started going over the pros and cons. What I liked and what I didn’t. The only gripe I have would be the height of the shoe. I’ve been wearing Zero-Drop shoes for severe years now, and the Athalonz is far from that.
It took me a little bit to get used to how much higher I was off the ground compared to my TRUE’s that I wear religiously. I’m not talking inches here, it’s mm, but it certainly is noticeable.
That aside, I feel the Athaloz shoe will be valuable to a golfer who is looking for some lower body stability. As much as they seem to be, it is NOT just a golf shoe for the Long Drive community. But, I totally get why they have quickly fled to put them on their feet. The claims Markison has made about the shoe are spot on, and it works.
I saw an increase in distance off the tee on Trackman and also so a few mph added to my clubhead speed.
In a simulator session at our local Club Champion, I went head to head with my FootJoy FURY shoes (I wanted something that had some grip for better comparison and similar drop) and checked the data on Trackman.
While the numbers were not OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING. I did see a difference in clubhead speed and carry while wearing the Athalonz. Was it enough to have me ditching all my other shoes in the closet? Not really. While I did find the data intriguing and the technology fascinating, the high rise of the shoe had me enjoying the swing in my other pair a little bit more.
That’s just me being stubborn. I’m sure I could knock out 5-6 rounds in the Athalonz and handle the adjustment. But I like my shoe collection. It would be a challenge for me to go back and forth between a shoe like the Athalonz and what I’m used to wearing.
They’re not banned to the garage closet, though. I have started wearing the Atahlonz for my speed training with the Swing Speed system. Having extra stability while swinging my ass off has been a tremendous asset, and I’ve seen positive results. Going forward, I plan to continue wearing the Athalonz for my at-home training sessions, and I hope one day they may be able to incorporate the technology into a shoe that is more suitable to my preferred fit.
I think Athalonz is off to a great start. They have a great leader in place and have a full head of steam going into 2020. Also, they signed legendary golfer Bernhard Langer earlier this year and recently added Fred Funk to their Champions Tour team. They are doing things right, and I cannot wait to see what comes from them in the future.
The Athalonz EnVe Shoes sell for $159.95 and can be purchased directly from their WEBSITE
They come in two colorways and are available in sizes from 5-14 (men’s)
More info via the Atahlozn website:
No Gimmicks, All Physics
- Our Patented Midsole Keeps Your Weight Centered To Reduce Sway And Enhance Stability
- Intelligent Grip & Glide Outsole Provides Excellent Traction
- The EnVe’s Midsole Increases Power By Increasing Your Ground Reaction Force
- Over Engineered For Comfort And Performance
- Water Resistant Toe Box
- The EnVe Golf Shoe Works For Both Left & Right Handed Golfers
- Lightweight performance at 11.oz
- Approved For USGA Sanctioned events
Fit: The EnVe golf shoe runs .5 small, Please order a half size up.
Athalonz offers free exchanges to make sure that you get the right fit.
Be sure to give Athalonz a follow on their social channels
I enjoyed very much getting to know Tim and Jerimiah. They have a ton of passion for the game and are killing it so far in the short time they have been running the company. I wish them nothing but the best in 2020 and beyond.
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