December 17, 2014
By Greg Monteforte, Style Insider, PGATOUR.COM
- Matt Kuchar's new signature Skechers GO GOLF Pro shoe is hitting store shelves just in time for the holiday season. (Photo courtesy of Skechers)
In June, Matt Kuchar signed a multi-year deal with Skechers Performance Division, making the seven-time PGA TOUR winner the first brand ambassador of the Skechers GO GOLF line. Kuchar’s new signature shoe from Skechers, the GO GOLF Pro, has just been released and is hitting store shelves. Our Style Insider spoke with Rick Higgins, vice president of Merchandising/Marketing with Skechers Performance Division, to get the scoop on how Kuchar’s feedback influenced the design of these new kicks.
Style Insider: Matt Kuchar experimented with shoes from several brands in the first half of 2014 before selecting Skechers. Why did he eventually decide to wear your GO GOLF Pro shoe?
Rick Higgins: Our design team worked with Matt for quite some time in developing a shoe that was to his specific needs. During the process Matt saw that his feedback was crucial in the development of his shoe and that’s been our design mantra from the start. Our athletes know that they get what they want. I think that comfort and performance is what convinced Matt to come on board.
SI: Skechers Performance Division may be best known for its success with running and walking shoes. What technology have you borrowed from these lines in creating the GO GOLF Pro shoe?
RH: We leverage our technologies and innovations across all of our performance platforms; in our golf category, we take our proprietary Resalyte cushioning that runners and walkers have loved and create a very comfortable golf property. We’ve been able to take what we learned in running and it has aided in making our golf shoes lighter and more flexible, and our consumers are loving the comfort aspect from GO GOLF.
SI: How did Matt Kuchar’s personal style and performance requirements influence the design of the GO GOLF Pro? What tweaks did you make to the design based on his feedback?
RH: The GO GOLF Pro was developed between Matt and our design team and his feedback all played a significant role, including Matt’s personal style. Matt’s level of respect for the game comes across in all areas including how he wanted his shoes to look. In regards to fit, we focused 100% on his feedback and made adjustments during the process so Matt could perform at his best.
SI: The GO GOLF Pro features a cleated outsole. Why did you decide on cleats rather than a molded street-style outsole?
RH: The Pro model is based on Matt Kuchar’s requirements, and cleated footwear is still an important part of the game. However, we are releasing a GO GOLF Pro with a molded bottom soon.
SI: There was time when golf shoes were mainly available in black, brown and white. Recently, non-traditional colors have been trending. The GO GOLF Pro is available in a variety of classic and non-traditional colorways. How important is it to offer golfers a spectrum of color options?
RH: Golf is benefitting from color just like many other sports - from apparel choices to footwear. We’ve approached it with balance. Some of the more athletic versions in our line lend themselves to more color, so we’ve been able to play that area up and color still finds its way into some of our more traditional looks - whether it is in the stitching or the bottom plate - color is important in the details.
SI: Skechers provided Kuchar with limited edition designs for the Ryder Cup. Can we expect additional limited edition colorways for majors in 2015?
RH: We work with Matt very closely and enjoy creating projects based on his needs. The Ryder Cup shoe was a great way for him to be head-to-toe USA! It’s safe to say that in 2015, Matt will have a few new colorways on his feet.
Matt Kuchar sported these limited-edition design Skechers during the 2014 Ryder Cup. (Photos by Getty Images)