ECCO's World Class Limited Edition shoe
ECCO
By Woody Hochswender
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pro golfer Adam Scott is about to switch apparel sponsors. The tall, debonair Australian, the first and only professional to be signed by Burberry, the English clothier, in 2001, will move on to Ashworth Golf, which has a larger, more diverse selection of golf apparel, according to executives familiar with the negotiations. No official announcement has been made.

The Ashworth company, which was acquired last year by TaylorMade-adidas Golf, has sponsored a number of tour pros, including Rich Beem and Fred Couples, but may be looking toward a younger golfer.

At 6'1" 170 lbs., Scott, who is 28, looks good in clothes and adds a touch of glamour to an endorsement deal.

Well Shod
Notwithstanding the economic doom scenarios, ECCO, the Danish shoemaker, has just introduced a luxury golf shoe, the World Class Limited Edition, featuring special colors, patterns, and performance features — for $430.

The limited edition shoes are made of water-repellent leather, with available reptile prints on the uppers, and have 100 percent waterproof Gore-Tex membranes inside. All the limited edition styles have a classic saddle shoe design, with perforated saddle detailing. But don't let the old-style look fool you, ECCO golf shoes feature the latest performance and stability technologies, including a durable TPU (which means, believe it or not, thermoplastic polyurethane plastic resin) heel, a cushioning midsole, and an internal stabilizer for support during the swing.

Beginning this month, discerning players can purchase the World Class shoes, which are said to be touched by the "more than 225 sets of highly skilled hands during production," according to the company, at pro shops and various off-course retailers.

If selling such a high-end product in today's market seems crazy, bear in the mind that the Danish company, with U.S. offices in Londonderry, NH, sold about 17 million pairs of shoes last year. If you are looking for a shoe with traditional style that still incorporates advanced technology, this may be it (but it will cost you).

"We have a vision of becoming more and more premium," said Stefan Guest, the designer for ECCO.

Have a question, suggestion or news item for Woody? Send an e-mail to woody@golf.com.

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