Cable tightening systems have been featured in various types of athletic footwear for decades. My first pair of ski boots had just such a system when I first got into that sport back in the’80s. And frankly, it was that first pair of ski boots that, up until now, made me shy away from trying golf shoes that you snugged up to your foot by turning a knob rather than tugging on traditional shoe laces.
But now, Puma has introduced its DISC system in two new models of golf shoes, and admittedly, I’ve completely changed my way of thinking about cable tightening systems.
Why the sudden epiphany? A couple of things, really. But first, let’s go back to the old ski boots and why I didn’t think knobs and cables had any place in footwear.
In a ski boot, the cable tightened the softer, inner boot snugly around your foot just fine, but in so doing, it created space between the inner boot and the plastic, hard-shell outer boot – a VERY bad thing when it comes to skiing performance. To initiate a turn by shifting weight from one ski edge to another, you first had to make up for the space in your boot before you could properly apply any pressure to your skis, making for less-than-precise turns.
In golf shoes, you don’t have any hard outer shell, so I knew that would not be a problem. But still, the “cable” golf shoes I had seen had the tightening knob located behind the heel, just as my old ski boots. When you are tightening a shoe across the upper forefoot, does it make sense to place the cable tightening device behind your heel? Personally, the answer to that question was “No.”
But Puma’s TitanTour Ignite DISC and TitanTour Ignite Premium DISC golf shoes are different. Puma thought it made sense to put the tightening knob or DISC in front of your ankle. You know, where the bow would be if you were tying lace-up shoes. I don’t know about you, but that makes sense to me, so I decided to give the Puma DISCs a try.
Right out of the box, the TitanTour Premium DISC was amazingly comfortable, so comfortable, in fact, that an “emergency nine” elapsed without the first thought that I was wearing new shoes ever entering my mind. Certainly, much of the ‘comfort factor’ can and should be attributed to the premium, full-grain leather uppers that rival your golf glove when it comes to soft, supple feel, as well as the Ignite Foam insole that combines the perfect combination of cushioning and support. But then, I expected that, having worn the TitanTour Ignite shoes – the ones with laces – for some time with 100 percent satisfaction.
What I didn’t expect was the fit I got with the DISC tightening system. Having a narrow foot – my dress shoes are A width – I didn’t expect the TitanTour Premium DISC would work for me. And in that preconception, I was 100 percent wrong.
Not only does the DISC system provide a snug, comfortable fit, but it does so in literally a second or two with a twist of the knob, which, on the Premium model, is located on the tongue of the shoe. (On the TitanTour Ignite DISC, the knob is located just outside the tongue, but still atop the forefoot.) If at any time during your round, you feel you need to tighten your fit just a bit, as happens as you foot settles into any shoes, there’s no need to stop, untie your shoes and retie. You simply reach down and give the knob a little clockwise twist until you heel the next click.
That said, don’t expect to have to adjust the fit often because unlike cloth or cord laces, the thin cable in the DISC system doesn’t stretch as you walk.
And when you’re ready to take them off, give the DISC the slightest turn in the other direction and the cable is released entirely.
But all the convenience in the world isn’t worth much if the shoes don’t deliver the performance necessary to play your best. And in that category, again Puma excels over many of its competitors. Both DISC models are built on the same PWRFRAME – no, that’s not a typo – as the TitanTour Ignite. The PWRFRAME is a lightweight, yet supportive thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) frame that provides strength and durability, yet is amazingly flexible, thanks to Duoflex zones positioned to match the anatomical mechanics of the human foot. Similarly, the nine replaceable cleats are positioned to work with the natural flex pattern of the foot.
Finally – and this is important – the PWRFRAME outsole construction features a wide heel that provides a stable platform from which you can make a full and confident swing, regardless of your stance. Some cable-system golf shoes on the market today, like Foot-Joy’s D.N.A. Boa and Freestyle Boa, for examples, feature rounded heels wrapped tightly around the upper in almost moccasin-style fashion. Making a full swing from an uneven lie in shoes with similar sole design can be akin to trying to hit a golf ball while standing up in a canoe.
When you consider comfort, convenience, performance and price, Puma’s TitanTour DISC gets it right, regardless of which model you pick. Maybe that’s why a British website, GolfMagic.com, gave the shoes a perfect 100 score in all four of its review categories – Performance, Quality, Value and Overall.
At retail, the Puma TitanTour Ignite Premium DISC is $180 in any one of three color combinations. The TitanTour Ignite DISC, available in five color options, is $160. Both feature full-grain leather uppers and a two-year waterproof warranty.
When you’re ready to ditch the laces in favor of cable convenience, consider Puma’s DISC system. After all, you don’t wrap your laces around your ankles; why would you want a cable system that does?