PRODUCT REVIEWS

Etonic Making
Great Strides
in Golf Market

By Shane Sharp, Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, NC -- All signs point to Etonic no longer being content to play second fiddle to Foot Joy in the golf shoe and glove business. Evidenced by the release of the AC (Air-Cooling) Golf Glove line and the Dry-Lite AC 500 golf shoe line, this Spalding owned golf division appears ready stake its claim to a competitive market share and assert itself as an industry leader in nuts and bolts golf accessories.

Just three years ago, Etonic was 13th in the golf glove market and barely a blip on the hand-wear radar. Enter the Etonic Difference Glove line, and the division vaulted up to an impressive third. At the 2002 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Spalding announced that Etonic would introduce the AC Golf Glove in Februrary, including the AC Tour, AC Grip and AC Feel models.

 

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With the sultry dog days of summer just around the corner, Spalding’s timing couldn’t have been better. The AC Tour and AC Feel models feature Dupont Cool Max inserts and Etonic’s Air Tech 1000 material, both which keep the hand dry and cool. The AC Grip glove sports Etonic’s new “Ever Grip” technology, which looks something like a gardening glove on the palm side but provides a hold that Spiderman would be proud of.

The AC Tour retails for $16, and is currently the glove of choice for Spalding PGA Tour endorsees Hal Sutton and Jim Furyk. The AC Grip will retail at $14 and the AC Feel, one of the best gloves on the market for the money, retails at $10.

Etonic hasn’t poured all of its research and development into golf gloves, however. The division spent the past 18 months designing the Dri-Lite AC 500 shoe line, which is designed to mirror the AC Golf Glove’s goal of providing golfers with a cooler, more comfortable apparel option.

“When we did our research, we found consumers were not only looking for a shoe which is dry and lightweight, but also cool and comfortable,” says Paul Sullivan, Etonic’s category manager. “Our engineers spend months testing different materials and innovative cooling designs and found that the Event fabric is superior in delivering maximum comfort and dryness in the shoe.”

Etonic’s expanded Dri-Lite shoe line also includes the 400, 300, 200, 100, and Ladies Expression models. Suggested retail for the shoes ranges from $150 for the AC 500 to $75 for the affordable, sporty Expression and Men’s 200. All models are available as of February 1, 2002. The 500 and 400 models come with two-year warranties, and are available in all black and white/black and white/brown saddle styles. The 300 and Expression models are running shoe replicas, and are specifically geared towards hoofers.

Our Take: For our money, the Etonic AC Golf Glove is the best mitt on the market. This opinion could be qualified with an “if you live in a hot, humid climate,” yet the glove retains its sticky feel even in the single digit humidity air of Scottsdale, Arizona (where we tested the glove, along with Charlotte, NC). The AC’s durability matched that of comparable Foot Joy models, as the glove was still in tact, presentable and quite functional after 20, 18-hole rounds.

Etonic’s greatest strides (no pun intended) have been in the golf shoe arena. Just five years ago, the division’s kicks couldn’t hold a soft spike to Foot Joy in terms of comfort and durability. The Dry-Lite AC 500 golf shoe is easily Etonic’s most comfortable offering, and held up like a champ after five, 18-hole walking rounds. For more information, visit www.etonic.com.

 

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