Taking on the giants, SQAIRZ is off to a great start.
There’s been a ton of shoe companies over the years. And most of them have laid claims that what they bring to the table will revolutionize the game. But, as we all know, the truth is there are several real players in the golf shoe game, and dethroning one of them is, in reality, impossible.
To compete with the industry leaders, you have to have a plan.
When Robert from Sqairz reached out to me, I wasn’t expecting much, if I am honest. But it wasn’t but five minutes into our phone call where I found myself beyond excited to check out the shoes. Passion is a huge factor when an entrepreneur takes the gamble to start a brand, and Robert clearly has passion. So much, in fact, it bled into my brain and had me more pumped to check out the shoes than any review I’ve taken on in the last few years.
Forty-five minutes later, I had been given a ton of information about the team Robert has assembled and what they are doing, as a brand, to get their shoes onto the feet of golfers. It was impressive, and I was convinced, early on in our relationship, that Sqairz would make a name for themselves in the upcoming years.
Golfers are finicky, and we like what we know.
The mentality of the majority of golfers is a huge hurdle for new companies. Especially if the brand is trying to change what we’re used to experiencing with a golf shoe. So what is the difference with Sqairz and what they are trying to do? Let’s look at some of the critical elements that make the Sqairz shoe unique to the industry.
You can see from the image above what Sqairz is up to is certainly interesting.
Let’s get right into what I liked about the SQAIRZ.
If you’re a fan of stability and structure, you’re going to love this shoe. Almost instantly, I felt more grounded and stable after putting on the SQAIRZ.
When I first started looking at the shoes online, I was certain I wasn’t going to be a fan of the squared toe box. But after putting them on and doing some chipping in the backyard, I quickly found out it didn’t bother me at all. That was a surprise. I’m crazy anal when it comes to my golf shoes. If there’s one thing I’m not comfortable with, they get boxed and stored in the closet. Based on my initial assessment, I was positive the toe box would be why I never saw the SQAIZS again. Boy, was I wrong?
The “alignment” feature of the SQAIRZ is actually impressive.
I never realized how much the leading edge of the toe box of a shoe could assist with alignment. Robert told me the idea came to him after a quick practice session after work. He arrived at the range in his square toe work shoes and was planning on getting in some simple swings. However, he noticed he was hitting his targets on the range with much more accuracy. The only difference was the shoes he was wearing.
Implementing this aspect into a golf shoe was a challenge. Not only from the viewpoint of the USGA but also convincing golfers that a square toe box is beneficial. Getting the conforming OK from the USGA was a hurdle, and because of Robert’s extensive history within the shoe industry, SQAIRZ cleared the obstacle. The next challenge was going to be to convince golfers like me that the shoe deserves a look.
The Stability of the SQAIRZ shoe is impressive.
The majority of the time, when you go for style over function, the first thing to hit the cutting room floor in the design lab is stability. It’s not easy to incorporate a very stable shoe and have it look “fresh.” While SQAIRZ is giving it their best to change style and function, they went with stability over appearance. Make no bones about it; this shoe is meant to be worn on the course. It’s not a Sunday afternoon stroll around the hood kind of footwear. You’ll read my comments about the weight coming up shortly. However, this shoe’s function as a “GOLF ONLY SHOE” (that’s my opinion) is spot on.
If you’re looking for an on-the-course shoe that will perform as intended and give you excellent stability throughout the swing, SQAIRZ could be the shoe for you.
The spikes could be a tad bit more aggressive, considering this is an on-course shoe.
A hybrid golf shoe that can be worn off the course I can understand have a less aggressive tread or spikes. I think the SQAIRZ could go a lot more grip and not hinder any aspects of the design. I’m just a casual golfer, though, and by no means a shoe designer. I’m sure the SQAIRZ team looked at this aspect and went with the tread pattern they did for a good reason.
Unfortunately, here’s what I didn’t like about the SQAIRZ
I’m spoiled about playing golf in the desert. We have excellent conditions to play in, and I don’t often wear a full spiked, traditional golf shoe. I’d say that 90% of the rounds I play, I wear a VERY lightweight shoe such as the TRUE Knits or the FootJoy FLEX. So, when I compare the SQAIRZ to my typical gamers, they are EXTREMELY HEAVY.
The weight is something that will keep me from wearing them during the hot summer months.
But, once the fall and winter season gets here, I can see selecting the SQAIRZ more often. I didn’t want to ding the shoes too much for the weight, but it’s so dramatic in my opinion I think it has to be mentioned. As always, I wear new shoes around the house for several days. I do this to break them in and get a feel for what is going on.
I could tell almost instantly that the SQAIRS had some significant weight to them. And, once I got out on the course, I could tell the same thing. I’m sure if I were to wear them for consecutive outings, I would get used to the weight, though. They have an excellent fit; I’d have to get acclimated to the difference.
The lacing system, while innovative, bothers me.
I’m not one who has an issue with laces coming untiled during a round of golf. I can honestly say, aside from a mishap, I’ve never had my shoelaces come untied during play. I appreciate the design, and maybe there is a bigger problem out there than I’m aware of. But, I have found more of the little silicone tabs on the floor where I tie the shoes, and after several months, quite a few of them have fallen off.
Again, this isn’t something that is going to have me shelving the shoes. It’s just an aesthetic thing that has zero to do with performance. While the weight, if you are not comfortable with, may hinder you in some aspects of the game. The laces have zero effect, in my opinion. Some standard golf shoelaces that have the ability to stay tied would do just fine, and I think it would look a little better as well.
As far as dislikes go, that’s it. Which isn’t bad for a new shoe, let alone an entirely new brand. Robert is by far more of an expert in the golf shoe field than I am, so I’m certain there is a need for the features he’s implemented in the SQAIRZ shoes.
Overall, I think the SQAIRZ brand is on to something.
I’ll be interested in seeing if they’ll implement a light, more versatile version of this shoe. With stability and performance being the design’s key factors, I’m not sure if they’ll consider it going forward. However, a lightweight, flexible, squared toe box option would have me eager to get them on my feet.
If you’d like to find out more about the SQAIRZ shoes, I encourage you to visit their WEBSITE. You’ll see upon arrival; they have some big names attached to the brand. Six-Time Major Champion Sir Nick Faldo has signed on as a brand ambassador, and I Sepp Straka has inked a two-year deal as well.