FootJoy Golf Shoes Reviews
Mild makeover for Freestyle 2.0 won’t change its comfort or performance
FootJoy Freestyle 2.0 Golf Shoes
The original Freestyle golf shoe from FootJoy proved to be extremely popular with players because of the comfort, traction, and mobility that it provided.
In fact, Freestyle was so widely lauded by golfers that FootJoy’s designers were wary of making too many changes when they set out to create Freestyle 2.0.
“What our thoughts were with this update was just to keep it fresh, provide a couple of different new looks, maybe a sleeker upper design overall, and really just follow up a widely successful launch we had in year one,” acknowledged Keith Duffy, FootJoy Senior Product Manager for Footwear.
In addition to new color schemes and the sleeker design of the upper that Duffy mentioned, the other major change that designers implemented with Freestyle 2.0 was an adjustment to bring the shoe more in line from a fit standpoint with the rest of the FootJoy footwear lineup, as some players felt the original Freestyle fit larger than other FootJoy shoes.
“It’s got (a) low-profile construction, so the fit-bed on the inside of the shoe is very thick,” said Duffy of Freestyle 2.0. “To address the fit and make it more consistent across all of our footwear categories we added two millimeters of foam in the forefoot. That just fills that space in the forefoot a little bit better and really makes the fit a lot more consistent.”
Players won’t, however, see any changes in terms of mobility and comfort, which should come as welcome news.
Freestyle 2.0 offers significant, shock-absorbing cushioning to provide maximum comfort, while its InnerSok system utilizes an achilles pad to deliver more comfort and support in the heel area.
Meanwhile, the traction and mobility that golfers want and need are made possible by an outsole that is constructed using FootJoy’s revolutionary SoftMax material, which is a molded translucent rubber.
Also of note, the Pulsar cleats utilized in the design aid in the cushioning provided by Freestyle 2.0, while also being extremely green friendly.
Add it all up and Freestyle 2.0 will provide all of the performance and comfort that should once again make it a big seller for Footjoy.
“It’s our most mobile or unstructured shoe,” Duffy added. “It really flexes and moves with your foot very easily. We utilize our softest, fine-tuned foam compound on the midsole combined with a performance rubber outsole, so it’s going to be a very flexible product. It’s a mesh-based upper so it’s going to fit a little bit more like an athletic shoe versus a traditional leather golf shoe. It’s going to be super comfortable.”
Additionally, even though Freestyle 2.0 features a mesh upper, it’s still a waterproof shoe.
“It’s a two-year waterproof guarantee,” Duffy said. “We get there through the use of a waterproof membrane, waterproof tapes, and cements that we utilize inside while we’re building the shoe."
“We’re pretty vigilant in terms of water. Water’s our enemy as a golfer. We want to make sure that our feet are nice and dry at the end of the round. That’s our job.”
Freestyle 2.0 golf shoes are available in three color schemes: black/orange, blue/yellow, and charcoal/white. There’s also a Freestyle 2.0 model that’s available with a BOA closure system to further help players dial in their ideal fit. The BOA version is available in the charcoal/white color scheme.
In terms of sizing, Freestyle 2.0 golf shoes are offered in sizes ranging from 7 through 15, as well as four different width options: narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide.
D.N.A. Helix offering improved stability without sacrificing comfort, support
FootJoy DNA Helix Golf Shoes with FootJoy
As is the case with the vast majority of its products, FootJoy enjoyed tremendous commercial success with both the D.N.A. and D.N.A. 2.0 golf shoes.
“D.N.A. has been one of our most successful products over the past two years,” ,said FootJoy Senior Product Manager for Footwear Keith Duffy. “In fact, if we narrow it down above $150, where all of our high-end performance products are, it’s been our most successful product over the past two years.”
That said, there was one specific thing about the D.N.A. franchise that left designers feeling that some fairly significant changes needed to be made, which was the driving force behind the new D.N.A. Helix.
“One of the areas where we thought we could have done better with D.N.A. was to get more placement with that category with the game’s best players,” Duffy said. “Over the past couple years we’ve done a lot of research in talking to those players that might have tried D.N.A. but then moved on to another product. We wanted to figure out how we can get them back in D.N.A.”
What kind of feedback did FootJoy get from touring professionals around the globe?
“In talking to a lot of the game’s best players, they said that the original D.N.A. and D.N.A. 2.0 didn’t quite have the stability that they were looking for,” Duffy said. “When they were following through and driving through a shot, they felt like they were rolling out of a shot a little bit too early.”
That input left FootJoy with some unique challenges when it came to the D.N.A. Helix, as it wanted to address the concerns that were expressed by Tour pros while at the same time not making any changes that would alienate the large number of players who loved the first two D.N.A. iterations.
“(D.N.A.) has been very popular with a lot of competitive playing amateurs, collegiate players,” Duffy said. “It’s been their go-to product, so we wanted to make sure that in the redevelopment of D.N.A. with D.N.A. Helix that we stayed loyal to that player as well.”
In terms of the specific changes made to improve stability on the downswing, most of that work revolved around modifications to the heel and outsole.
“The specific area where we focused the redevelopment in this category was in the heel portion. We’re actually 12.7 percent wider,” Duffy said. “And we reengineered the outsole. The outsole is 18 percent lighter. That takes out a lot of the weight and is also a lot more green-friendly.”
What players will find with Helix when compared to its predecessors is the same high level of comfort and support, performance attributes that are provided in a variety of ways.
Lightweight Fine Tuned Foam in the fit-bed provides incredible cushioning and heel support, while the high-end ChromoSkin leather used in the design of the upper is light, soft, and supple, a combination that enhances comfort as well.
Additionally, a new Stretch Tongue feature helps lock in the foot better during the swing, and a 3D Foam Collar molds to the ankle to provide further comfort and support.
From a fit standpoint, D.N.A. Helix was constructed using FootJoy’s LoPro 2 last, which will provide players with a more narrow fit in the heel, a shallow forefoot, and a roomier toe box.
That said, designers did take some measures to improve the consistency of fit for Helix as it relates to other FootJoy shoes.
“D.N.A. for us is what we call internally our LoPro construction, so our footbeds are going to be a lot thicker than some of our other models,” Duffy said. “What we did to make our fit more consistent overall is that we added two millimeters of foam in the forefoot of the fit-bed to fill up some of that volume.”
New D.N.A. Helix golf shoes are offered in black, white/red, and white/silver color patterns, and there’s also a BOA version that’s available in white/black.
The standard Helix is available in sizes ranging from 6 to 15 and width options of narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide, while the BOA model is available in sizes ranging from 7 to 15 and each of the aforementioned widths with the exception of narrow.
Also of note, all D.N.A. Helix models come with a two-year waterproof guarantee.
FootJoy Contour Fit
FootJoy Mens Contour Fit Golf Shoes: The latest innovation from FootJoy, the #1 Shoe in Golf, has arrived at TGW. This is the Contour Fit golf shoe. The Contour Fit is based on the legendary Contour Series from FootJoy, known as the best selling golf shoes of all time. This new shoe reimagines that series with a blank slate from the ground up in a package that FootJoy says provides comfort that never quits.
FootJoy Director of Footwear Marketing Mike Foley said about the Contour Series: “It was time to really overhaul it. We needed to add comfort, we needed to take weight out of it, we needed to make it more flexible.”
There are a lot of new innovations packed in the Contour Fit golf shoes aimed at letting you play in complete comfort. At TGW, we wanted to see how these features worked together. So we tried them on to get a hands-on feel for how this new innovation in comfort will perform for you on the golf course.
First, let’s take a look at what’s new in these golf shoes. Starting from the ground up, the Contour Fit features a totally new outsole that FootJoy calls their DynaFlex outsole. Right away you’ll notice new flex grooves engineered with TPU in strategic locations to allow greater flex as your foot moves during the golf swing or when walking. “We wanted to really start from the bottom up, really start with the outsole,” said Jonathan Bacon, Principal Designer.
Inside the shoe is a soft and thicker fit bed designed to cradle your foot. The back of each shoe has a new Achilles pad to softly cushion the foot and provide a locked-in fit. There is a combination of materials used to make the uppers of the Contour Fit. The vamp is made with soft, full grain leather to offer waterproof protection while synthetic material in the saddle and quarter provide durability. Contour Fit golf shoes come with a two year waterproof warranty. On top of these shoes is a U-Throat design that’s meant to provide a more generous fit and forgiving feel. Contour Fit was built on the Contour Plus Last which FootJoy describes as having a full rounded toe, full fit across the forefoot and standard fit in the instep and heel.
Next, we tried them on to get a feel for all these new features. Right out of the box, these shoes fit perfectly to size. The leather in the upper is soft and supple; not at all stiff. These shoes are ready to play right away. There is no break in time required with the Contour Fit. The U-Throat design offers plenty of room around the fit and total movement. The extra padding in the Achilles heel is perfect for golfers who love to walk the course. There’s added protection with super soft comfort to keep you going all round long. The extra thick fit bed is obvious as soon as you slip these shoes on. It’s incredibly soft and thick, providing a cushioned feel with every step. The biggest innovation is on the bottom of the shoe. The DynaFlex outsole with FootJoy’s new flex grooves let your feet flex freely with every move. Whether walking or swinging a golf club, the Contour Fit remains flexible for greater performance. These are a spiked golf shoe so you get all the grip you’re used to from a traditional golf shoe.
The FootJoy Contour Fit golf shoes are an impressive new take on the best-selling Contour Series. The cushioning is top-notch. The added fit and comfort features are perfect for all golfers, but golfers who prefer to walk will love the added touches such as the Achilles pad. Where the real break-through happens is in the outsole of the shoe. The flexibility you get from the engineered grooves is perfect for every move you make on the golf course. These shoes are built to last with a combination of leather and synthetic materials in the upper with a two year waterproof warranty. If you loved the Contour Series, you’ll want to give these a try. If you never wore the Contour Series or FootJoy golf shoes before, the Contour Fit is a great place to start.
Hyperflex II: More Stability, Support, and Comfort
FootJoy Mens Hyperflex II Golf Shoes: FootJoy’s original HYPERFLEX golf shoe was an incredible success for a company that’s no stranger to being lauded for its golf footwear. After all, when it comes to golf shoes, FootJoy has long been recognized as a true giant in the marketplace.
A combination of stability, support, comfort, and performance made HYPERFLEX the shoe of choice for numerous touring professionals, and average golfers followed suit in droves.
While FootJoy engineers were pleased with what they had accomplished with the original design, they also believed there was room for improvement.
That belief and subsequent research and development has led to HYPERFLEX II, which FootJoy believes most notably will offer golfers even more in the way of stability and support during the golf swing, as well as enhanced comfort.
To find out more about HYPERFLEX II, TGW sat down with Mike Foley, FootJoy’s Director of Footwear Product Management to get the inside scoop on the latest addition to the FootJoy product line:
TGW: HYPERFLEX II features FlexGrid 3.0 Technology. How has that evolved from the 2.0 version?
MIKE FOLEY, FootJoy’s Director of Footwear Product Management: While our designer of the original HYPERFLEX used inspiration from the Zakim Bridge in Boston (trusses and cables coming together to offer stability yet with a light/airy appearance), he dived a bit deeper for FlexGrid 3.0. For this project, the designer looked at the anatomy of the human foot and really studied how the ligaments and tendons worked to provide stability and flexibility in the foot. This inspired a new pattern for FlexGrid 3.0, which utilizes bio-morphing to closely mimic the layer of tendons and ligaments under the skin. We are thrilled with how it came out and believe the design not only looks tremendous but offers serious functional support benefits as well.
TGW: When it comes to comfort, staying dry is important. How does this shoe remain waterproof with the inclusion of athletic mesh?
FOLEY: Mesh athletic shoes are typically non-waterproof. But in order to perform to our standards on a golf course where there is morning dew and the possibility of brief showers and even torrential rain, we need to build our shoes with legitimate waterproof protection. Our product engineers utilize specific construction methods and material usage, like a thin membrane layer inside the upper of the shoe, in order to provide a comfortable, dry in-shoe environment for our wearers.
TGW: Describe the Fine Tuned Foam for us and how important that cushioning is to a golf shoe like this.
FOLEY: Our product engineers and developers worked for over a year to develop our proprietary Fine Tuned Foam. They worked through several iterations in the lab and through extensive wear-testing before we landed on a midsole component that provided just the right combination of lightweight cushioning and heel-to-toe motion control. We believe it is important to have a comfortable shoe underfoot, but we also understand that if it is too cushiony it will feel sloppy and not provide the stability needed to anchor the golf swing.
TGW: How does the Heel Optimized Performance Stabilize work with this shoe design?
FOLEY: For HYPERFLEX II, we were able to redesign the OPS and create a version that is layered versus the one-piece OPS in the original HYPERFLEX. In HYPERFLEX II, we utilized the FlexGrid 3.0 material on the external heel area and combined it with a thin, internal molded heel counter to deliver a multilayered Optimized Performance Stabilizer in the heel area.
TGW: Can you describe the Next Evolutionary Outsole for us?
FOLEY: After discussing at length with several Tour players who were wearing the original HYPERFLEX, we were convinced that the midsole and NEO outsole needed to remain unchanged for HYPERFLEX II. This outsole features a super thin TPU layer with multiple molded traction elements to provide tour-proven traction and underfoot stability.
HYPERFLEX was an incredible success for FootJoy, as it became the golf shoe of choice for countless touring professionals and recreational players.
Designers, however, believed that innovations could be made to enhance the comfort and support that HYPERFLEX provided golfers, as well the overall stability of the shoe during the swing.
That belief, along with significant research and development, led to the release of HYPERFLEX II, a product that FootJoy firmly believes is superior to the original.
Given how successful HYPERFLEX was and how excited FootJoy is about HYPERFLEX II, we wanted to get some firsthand reviews of the new shoe, so we enlisted three of our customers to get their thoughts.
Jordan (7-handicap), Miles (8-handicap), and Chris (3-handicap) have each been wearing HYPERFLEX II exclusively for the last several weeks when they play, and based on what they had to report it appears that each has come away impressed with FootJoy’s latest offering.
Here are their more detailed answers to questions we had about HYPERFLEX II:
TGW: Having had the chance to wear HYPERFLEX II for a while now, what stands out to you most about this golf shoe?
JORDAN: This golf shoe is incredibly comfortable, has great traction in wet conditions, and looks just great on the foot. One thing I love about the HYPERFLEX II is that it fits my foot better. I have a narrow foot and the II seems to be slightly narrower than the HYPERFLEX and it fits me perfect now.
MILES: The thing that stood out to me the most about the HYPERFLEX II is the new design on the outside of the shoe. I personally wasn't a huge fan of the original HYPERFLEX design, but I really like the look of the second generation. Another thing that came to my attention was that when squatting down to line up your ball on the green there are virtually no footprints when you stand back up, which is great.
TGW: FootJoy incorporated significant innovation into the design of HYPERFLEX II to improve stability during the swing. Have you found that those efforts have been successful?
CHRIS: I’ve been impressed with the stability that these shoes give me during the swing. At my home course, we have a lot of uneven lies and I’ve experienced no issues with footing. I’d also add that the stability I get in this shoe doesn’t seem to have come at the expense of comfort. I’ve tried other golf shoes that were known for stability and found many of those to be rigid feeling, but that’s not the case with HYPERFLEX II.
MILES: Yes, I could almost immediately tell that I had more grip with the HYPERFLEX II compared to my FootJoy DNAs. Even during a round that I played on a day after the course had received three inches of rain, I didn't slip a single time during the round.
TGW: How would you rate HYPERFLEX II in terms of its overall comfort level and the support it provides?
JORDAN: These shoes are very comfortable. I use them every time I walk during my round, and I never get blisters or sore spots.
CHRIS: The comfort and support that these shoes provide are what stand out most to me. I’m someone who has had foot problems in the past and usually after a round of golf my feet are always a little bit sore. But with HYPERFLEX II, I’ve experienced almost no soreness after I play, which has come as a bit of a surprise given how light this shoe is. I had concerns about whether or not at such a light weight HYPERFLEX II would give me the support I needed, but they definitely have.
TGW: Did you find that there was a break-in period of any sort with HYPERFLEX II or did it deliver right out of the box?
MILES: I felt that they did deliver right out of the box, performance wise. But just like every other shoe, there is a break-in period so that they can form to your feet. Each round that I have worn them they have become progressively more comfortable. I was also shocked that the mesh-like material that makes up a majority of the shoe is completely waterproof.
JORDAN: The HYPERFLEX II was very comfortable right out of the box. I don't want to say there is a break-in period because that implies they aren't comfortable from the beginning. They are very comfortable from the start. However, they get even better the more you wear them.
TGW: Would you recommend HYPERFLEX II to friends or playing companions based on your experience? If yes, why, and if no, why not?
CHRIS: This is a shoe that I would definitely recommend to others. As I said earlier, from a comfort and support standpoint, the HYPERFLEX II has really delivered and in all honesty exceeded my expectations. I also like that these shoes don’t mark up the greens, even when they’re wet, which is a deal-breaker for me when it comes to golf shoes. And finally, while I’m not someone who’s overly concerned about my golf shoes from a fashion standpoint, I have gotten quite a few compliments about the look of the HYPERFLEX II.
JORDAN: Absolutely, I would recommend this shoe, I'm a huge advocate for them and have told several people that they need to get a pair. They are incredibly comfortable, stable, and just look awesome. If you liked the original HYPERFLEX, then you have to try these shoes. I'm a big fan.