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.