In the nearly 50 years since Ecco shoes were introduced in Denmark by founder Karl Toosbuy, shoe and leather manufacturing have evolved tremendously. Many of these innovations were first introduced and developed by Ecco.
“Shoes must follow the foot…”
Because Eccos are designed with this overriding concept, they are incredibly comfortable right out of the box.
“Breaking in shoes” is a thing of the past.
Keep in mind - Ecco is an innovative walking shoe company first and foremost, and has only made golf shoes since 1996. In spite of this or perhaps because of it, it took only six years (2002) for Ecco golf shoes to outperform competitors in an independent Rankmark test of golf shoes.
All Ecco footwear, including Ecco golf shoes, are designed with the Ecco “Freedom Fit”. This concept, which fits more narrow in the heel/instep area and wider in the forefoot, allows the foot freedom to function as nature intended.
The “Freedom Fit” is the main reason Ecco does not feel the need to make different widths. Adjustments to width are easily achieved by choosing a different shaped last (the mold around which shoes are made) and insole volume corrections.
How Ecco shoes are made…
John, a leading golf expert and avid golf blogger who runs a leading Golf Reviews website; A key Ecco innovation is a manufacturing technique called direct injection.
He adds that the process whereby the leather upper is joined to the sole components (the chemical bonding is know as vulcanization) by robotically injecting a molten material (usually Polyurethane, or PU) into the mid-sole is completely different from what other companies do.
Depending on the shoes function, a direct injected mid-sole can have varying densities adding to the comfort, flexibility and life of the shoes. The bond created when vulcanized is so strong that if separation were attempted, the leather upper would rip apart first. Since no glue or stitching is used, this watertight seal will not separate over time (a fault of many golf shoes), because of the integrity of the seal, the Gore company that licenses Goretex, allows Ecco, and only Ecco, to remove the bottom of the Goretex bootie sewn into shoes in the production of their goretex-lined, waterproof shoes.
Less materials used means lighter overall weight. Much of the direct injection process was developed and patented by Ecco years ago. Now, since costs have risen, other golf shoe companies that can see the many benefits of direct injection, simply can’t afford it.
Ecco is virtually unchallenged in this important area. Another production process used in Ecco shoes is steam-fitting. Once the upper is fitted to the last, it is pressure-streamed and allowed to dry. This produces an exact uniformity between pairs. It also ensures that for the life of the shoe, regardless of perspiration, weather or abuse, it will hold its shape. Yes, Ecco shoes are more a bit more expensive. How shoes are made determines quality and to a large extent, price. In shoes, as in cars, you get what you pay for.
Ecco - From Cow to Consumer
Ecco is currently the 3rd largest shoe company in the world. It is also the only major shoe company world-wide to fully integrate the entire production cycle.
This means they own and/or manage:
- the farms that raise cows, ox, goats, sheep, yaks, camels and even alligators
- tanneries in Netherlands, Thailand, Indonesia and China that produce their world-renowned leathers
- shoe design facilities in Denmark
- production facilites in Portugal, Slovakia, Thailand, Indonesia and China
- retail stores world-wide
So how does this help you, the consumer?
Because of Ecco’s strength and position world-wide, they are able to offer design and product innovations that other shoe companies can’t match.
For example, when FootJoys’ century-old factory in Brockton, MA closed in 2009, the U.S. lost its last and only producer of leather-soled golf shoes. No doubt costs of producing this labor-intensive shoe led to the factory’s closing.
Fortunately, for Golf enthusiasts, Touring Pros and those of us who like a more traditional, leather-soled golf shoe, Ecco was in a position to fill this void left by FootJoy.
Ecco now owns this niche with the Ecco World Class golf shoe. This is the Rolls-Royce of the golf shoe world. They wear forever and at $450.00, it may be the last pair you’ll ever need.
Other great design and product firsts for Ecco shoes include: the development of hydromax waterproof leather, yak leather, receptor technology and the Biom project.