In a market where there is a lot of sameness among golf footwear, upstart SQAIRZ aims to address proper golf swings from the ground up
There are few sports like golf where equipment is constantly evolving. Think about that statement for a second. In baseball, has the ball and bat changed that dramatically over the past 50 or so years? In basketball, there’s really just the basketball. Football? OK, the pads and helmets have improved.
In golf, though, each year brings new innovation. Everything from ever-changing clubhead designs to golf tees shaped optimally to add a few precious yards to our distance off the tee.
Square-toed shoes — and golf shoes — might not be a brand new idea, SQAIRZ, which debuted in January at the PGA Merchandise Show, is out to change the way golf shoes are viewed.
At the PGA Merchandise Show’s Demo Day, where mostly clubs are being hit and tested, Sqairz had a table lined with its line of shoes. And while at first we might think, “Another golf shoe?,” it’s beneficial to note the credibility behind the design, purpose, function, years of research and people behind the Sqairz concept.
“One of our main goals has been to provide a new narrative for golf footwear, one that states the fundamentally sound golf swing begins with the feet,” founder Bob Winskowicz said. “Proper setup, balance, stability and connection to the ground all translate to torque, swing, speed and distance. Sqairz has solved these issues during a time where innovation in golf footwear has not kept pace with other equipment. We believe golf footwear should be viewed as equipment rather than as an accessory, and we’ve developed a performance-based shoe for the modern-day swing. One that can actually help golfers play better golf.”
Here are the main performance features in a nutshell:
— The patented Sqairz toe provides balance and stability, which aids setup on every shot.
— The interior design allows toes to sit naturally and comfortably in the shoe.
— A wider base and a heel-stabilizer enhances balance.
— A full range of motion for today’s power swing. Materials provide support, comfort, breathability and are 100 percent waterproof.
— Sta-Put laces that remain tied all round long.
Winskowicz is an accomplished business executive both inside and outside of golf. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 patents, in addition to serving as senior vice president for Arnold Palmer Golf Co., Winskowicz also worked at MacGregor Golf.
Jon Bacon, Sqairz’ director of footwear design, spent 12 years at FootJoy where he led the direction of several leading golf shoes such as Contour, D.N.A., Tour S, and FJ Sport. He has also worked for New Balance, Puma and Reebok.
So how did Bacon arrive at Winskowicz’s startup?
“I was introduced to Jon through a mutual friend,” Winskowicz said. “Given his portfolio, including his work at FootJoy, we knew that he was the right guy to offer his professional opinion on our design. At initial glance, he was very impressed, especially when it came to the game improvement features Sqairz had.
“Since Jon has been with us, he has been able to make several design changes, adding additional comfort, reducing the weight of the shoe, and creating the next generation designs and color options.”