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.