Four years ago, when Royal Albartross was new to the golf shoe industry, their philosophy was simple: create the world’s finest golf shoe. And, now that the collection has launched, it appears that they are doing just that. In fact, in 2014, Royal Albartross garnered two highly coveted awards in the US. MyGolfSpy.com named them ‘best overall’ shoe in both the spikeless and traditional categories. They beat out 28 other shoe models including the best from Adidas, Puma, Nike, FootJoy and ECCO.
It all began when the founders at Royal Albartross discovered an artisan shoemaker in the heart of the Italian shoe-making district; a family run business where the workers truly love what they do. Three generations of passion, experience and creativity have culminated in the Royal Albartross manufacturing experience being what it is today.
Each of their golf shoes is crafted using traditional hand tools and carefully preserved techniques. It takes more eight weeks and over 70 hours of precise craftsmanship before a Royal Albartross golf shoe is ready to be worn. More than 250 tasks including stitching the leather, molding and compressing the upper onto the last and attaching the cleated sole are performed on each shoe. The result is an ideal match of craftsmanship & design revealing strong structure, elegant lines and exquisite finishing.
The secret behind the appearance and comfort of Royal Albartross golf shoes lies in the choice of superior materials and secret combinations. Each shoe is truly an international affair: fine Italian leather is combines with European design and the most technically-advanced American cleat technology. The sourcing team at Royal Albartross travels the world for only the highest quality leathers from the most reputable tanneries while the craftsmen at the manufacturing facility have mastered the combination of high-tech insoles, breathable materials & varying cleat placements to cushion and balance your every step on the course.
I was fortunate enough to be sent a pair of Royal Albartross shoes from the 2015 Club Collection. This is the company’s first spikeless option and they have truly outdone themselves. The collection includes two models: the Club Brogue and the Club Crew. Both models share several similar features including full grain premium Italian calf leather uppers and a waterproof rubber outsole by VIBRAM. The Club Brogue is a wingtip design with brogue detailing and is available in several colors including black red and grey. The Club Crew is a wingtip design with tape detailing and is available in white, navy and brown. Other than the trim detailing, these shoes are identical.
The linings are made of soft and breathable leather with extra padding on the color and are free of any stitching that may cause discomfort. The insole is built for comfort with a ventilated forefoot and gel heel insert and arch support. In case this causes discomfort in any way, the insole is fully removable. The fabric trim on each pair of Royal Albartross golf shoe is designed for high traffic wear. A moisture barrier and anti-microbial treatment give you added protection against dampness and foot odor.
The Club Collection shoes provide great comfort and support and are generous in width, but true to UK and US sizes; they are not a European fit. Nor do they require the typical break-n period that is normally associated with fine leather footwear. In short, this is a classy looking golf shoe that pairs well with either shorts or long pants, both on and off the course.
Since these shoes are made from the finest leather. They do require some special care. With each pair, you receive and after care guide that provides tips to care for and treat your Albartross shoes. With proper care your Albartross shoes will look and feel great round after round and will outlast any other pair of golf shoes in your closet.
Currently, the best way to purchase Royal Albartross shoes in the US is either through their website, www.albartross.com or through one of the many upscale online golf shops. Retail price on the Club Collection shoes is about $295 and is probably the best golf shoe investment you can make.