Jack Grace Innovator 1.0 Golf Shoe Review

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Jack Grace is bringing the classic look to the forefront in golf.

The first time I stumbled upon the Jack Grace Instagram page I was instantly hooked on their concept. An interchangeable “Saddle” on their Innovator 1.0 shoe that can instantly change the look of your shoe. What a genius idea!

Just when I thought my days of “Why didn’t I think of that?” were shrinking, Jack Grace comes out with something fresh and unique in the golfing world.

Jack Grace

 

A classic look with a modern convenience

There are still a ton of traditionalists out there who only wear the traditional style golf shoe. The Pumas of the world have no place in their closet and don’t even get a look when those types of golfers are in the market for some new kicks.

Jack Grace is hoping to appeal to these, traditionalists, with a modern take on a classic shoe.

The first impression when you see a Jack Grace golf shoe is exactly what you’re thinking. That’s an old school shoe. But that’s why first impressions can be deceiving. While the Jack Grace shoes may have that classic look, they are far from the era of golf seasons long ago. In fact, these new shoes offer something I’ve never seen in a golf shoe, and it’s what drew me in to find out more about the product.

Where style is more of a deciding factor nowadays vs. function, at least in the amateur golf, you can’t help to be excited about what the Jack Grace “Saddle” can do to enhance your footwear. With a massive variety and color combinations that would thrill even the John Daly’s of the world, Jack Grace has opened up a fantastic opportunity for the golfer who likes to express themselves.

The Innovator 1.0 Golf Shoe

The Innovator shoes are available in three colorways. White, Grey and Black and come with a Black Saddle.

You can see from the photos the shoe does have that classic Oxford look. The sole of the shoe, however, is where the modern aspects start to take shape.

Staying away from the traditional heel you find the similarly styled shoes allows Jack Grace to incorporate a spikeless design that is seen across the entire sole. You can tell traction was taken seriously and I can vouch for how well the shoe grabbed the ground. The design of the sole is simple yet effective, and the added touch of their name and logo is a nice feature.

More about the Innovator from the Jack Grace Website:

The Innovator 1.0 is the first shoe ever to possess our patent-pending (HCT) Hidden Channel Technology. This breakthrough allows the modular saddles to be swapped in and out with ease. Not only are the saddles interchangeable, they’re also functional. The laces tighten the shoe just as a conventional shoe with laces does.

 

 

The leather uppers make the Innovator a durable shoe. Everyone knows leather is going to outlast most other materials in the shoe game, but that comes at a price. For me, as I look back over the time I’ve spent with the Jack Grace shoes, my only gripe has been the break-in period. I have a few leather shoes in my stable of golf footwear, and all of them have required an extended time to get to that uber level of comfort we all aspire to enjoy.

I’m one of those golfers who like to grab a pair of shoes at the golf store, put them on and instantly enjoy the perks of my purchase. Yeah, I know, it’s a bit impatient on my part. I do need to take into consideration not every shoe is going to be a perfect fit from day one. But, in defense of the Jack Grace Innovators, that’s my only concern. Each time I have worn them, they have increased in comfort. I do believe over time they will get to the comfort level that I’ll enjoy.

The quality of the shoes is unquestionable.

From the first time I opened up the magnetic enclosure (more about that later), I was impressed with what I saw. The quality is top notch.

You can tell as you look over the shoe they are killing it in manufacturing. The seams are flawless, the design elements inside the shoe are spot on, and when you’re holding the Innovator, it’s easy to see these are made to get you through more than just one season of golf.

I had a discussion with a good friend about Jack Grace shoes to get his input. One thing that was brought up was the soft spike sole. Because of the features of the shoe, ideally, you can have one pair of the Innovators that take the place of three others. That means they are going to get a lot more usage and the soft spike sole is going to wear down sooner. A spiked version might be a nice option in the future and is something we would totally back. As with most soft spike shoes, the biggest issue is losing the traction of the sole over time. Having a spiked version would eliminate that problem and add some longevity.

Let’s get to what makes the Jack Grace shoes so unique. The Saddles!

Even without the ability to #swapyoursaddles the Jack Grace shoes would be an excellent option for any golfer. They’re lightweight, have water-resistant elements and bring an iconic look to the course. But let’s say you want to change up that look. With any other brand (that I am aware of) the only way to accomplish this is with another purchase. Two hundred dollars later and more closet space is taken up, and if you’re anything like me that area is already limited, was the only real option. Not anymore.

With the interchangeable saddles from Jack Grace, you can go from the traditional Oxford look and in minutes (sometimes seconds the more you practice) switch it up to something very different.

You can see how much it changes the look of the shoe from the above photos.

The Saddles come in a large variety of colorways.

There are WAY too many to list here. There is a real good chance there is one that is perfect for you. It literally took me a good half hour to decide which ones I wanted to go with; there are that many options. And, I was just dealing with the White Innovators. When you add in the choice of black and grey to choose your base shoe from, the possibilities are endless.

For this review, I chose to go with the White Innovators with the Black Saddle. To add a little flare I went with the Alabama State Flag, and the Dallas Cowboys Camo themed colorways.

 

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It is such an awesome feature to be able to set up your shoes the way you want. Then have the ability to change it up for your next round. Or, you could even bring your extra Saddles with you and change it up mid-round to get into your opponents head.

Swapping out the saddles is simple too. Here’s a video from the Jack Grace YouTube Channel that shows just how easy it is to #swapyhoursaddles

Swapping your saddles is a sinch

Easy right. I was utterly overcomplicating the process when I first got the shoes. I meticulously went over every inch of the shoe trying to ensure a perfect connection from side to side. That was so unnecessary though. Just like how it was shown in the video, the saddles slip and lock into place very quickly. Then you just flip the saddle over to the opposite side and repeat. It is that easy.

I do want to mention, like the video states, the laces on the Jack Grace shoes are functional. They are not just for looks. They tighten down just like a regular shoe. Because of how the base of the saddle slides and locks into place the drawstring action will tighten down. It can be misleading because of how the saddle comes completely free of the shoe. But they are a working feature of the Innovator shoes.

There are also magnets in the saddles, on each side, near the top lace hole. These correspond with magnets on the shoes to help with alignment and securing the saddle to the shoe. There is a strong velcro that holds the majority of the saddle in place, but the magnets are also there as well.

Go check out these pages on the Jack Grace website. They cover all the different options as far as the Saddles go.

The Saddles range in price from $30-$40. The Custom ones go for $110 plus the Saddle you want to be customized. You can do things like a company logo, a special occasion, your kids’ names, etc. It’s a fantastic way to add some extra personalization to an already unique shoe.

Oh my, the packaging was INSANE

As a person who receives a lot of products in the mail, it’s a rare occasion I get blown away with packaging.

Most of the time shoes arrive a box within a box. Nothing crazy, some extra padding maybe but for the most part the shoe box fits perfectly in the shipping box, and that’s that.

Check this out though:

I now it looks basic from the picture but it’s far from it. The shipping box (which I now regret I didn’t photograph) was so well done. I did manage to get some stories of it on our Instagram page, go check out this link so you can see what I’m talking about.

It couldn’t be done any better. There is not Tab and Slot for their boxes, it’s all magnetic, same with the separate Saddle packaging. Now some of you might question Jack Grace’s choice to go all out on the packaging. Why not save some money and put it back into the shoes and lower cost or make more options. But, I love the fact they are willing to go above and beyond in this area. It showed me from the first interaction with their company that they are passionate about their product. I mean Rolex watches don’t come in brown paper bags right? Going to this level of quality may be considered foolish, but I think it’s terrific. And while I’ll never use the shoe box or the shipping container it came in for anything other than storage, it still set the bar very high in just a few minutes.

Fit, feel and on the course activity

I’ve gotten used to a wider shoe. The TRUE Linkswear shoes, which I wear most of the time when I play, have the freedom for your little piggies. Going from that variant to a more traditional shoe I had a feeling there was going to be some adjustment period. Like I mentioned earlier, I feel there is a definite break-in time needed to get the leather to relax and learn your foot movements. Aside from being a nice snug fit out the gate the overall fit is good. I didn’t experience any slipping while walking, nor did I find the shoes lacking any stability or traction.

In some of the more heavily leathered shoes I own, the bend in the top of the shoe can be a bother. Stiff, tight materials can pinch down on your foot and be rather painful. Not the case with the Jack Grace Innovators. At no time while I was wearing them and playing did I feel like I wasn’t in control of my swing, as far as the shoes went. Let’s just say I was impressed that Jack Grace was able to create a stylish shoe that performed as good as it looks.

What you’ll be looking to pay for a pair of Jack Grace Shoes.

As of today, the Innovators, in either White, Grey or Black with a classic Black Saddle sell for $160.00. Some options bring the price up to $170, but that is the most you’ll spend to get a pair in your hands.

The Saddles, as I mentioned earlier, retail for $30-$40. So if you’re looking to add some spice, flare, drama or just a different color configuration, then figure to spend around $250. Still not bad when you consider the similar style shoes from those other shoe guys sell for $299 and with that purchase you’re getting just one look for the shoe.

For less than $275 you can have up to 3 variations. If you’re someone who likes to change up the look of your outfit on a regular basis, then you may want to look into a pair of Innovators.

As a stylish and functional golf shoe, Jack Grace has you covered.

I had a feeling I was going to be a fan of the Jack Grace shoes when I saw them for the first time on Instagram. Now that I’ve gotten to know them a bit more and see the quality of the product they’re putting out I’d have to say I was dead on with my gut feeling about the company. They’re putting out a great product that offers versatility unlike anything else I’ve seen in the golf industry, as far as shoes go.

I’m certainly going to be adding the Old Glory Saddles to go along with my Loudmouth Woodworth Shorts!

Jack Grace

Stay up to date with Jack Grace

It’s been an absolute blast getting to know more about the Jack Grace shoe with this review. I wish nothing but success for them. I think they are on the right path. Innovation, style, function, and affordability are all in place. As more people find out about the shoes, I’m sure they’re going to be gaining some popularity. Not being aimed for just a particular segment of the golf buyers out there helps and they also have women’s shoes as well.

Right now, Jack Grace is running a special on the women’s shoes. $149 for any color shoe plus Pink and Grey Croc Saddles. That’s a SMOKING HOT HOLIDAY DEAL. There’s one similar for the fellas.

You can always check out what’s new by hitting up the Jack Grace WEBSITE. And of course you should, as always, give their social media accounts a follow: Instagram, Twitter & Facebook.

I know we here at The Breakfast Ball are looking forward to seeing what Jack Grace has in store for 2019. I know I’ll be swapping my saddles quite often next year and can’t wait to add some more saddles to my collection.

Head to the next page to see all the photos from this post and many more in a clickable gallery (they expand and you can see the details much better!)

Follow Mathew Wangrycht:

Writer and founder of the golf blog The Breakfast Ball. My wife will tell you I'm obsessed with the game, she's right! It's that obsession which drives me to become a better player and make this site enjoyable for everyone.

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