By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images Courtesy of Footjoy
FAIRHAVEN, MA – ‘A lot is riding on your tires.’
We’re all familiar with the famous Michelin Tires’ advertising slogan, and we’ve seen the cute commercials with babies sitting in the big rubber tubes – it just helps to emphasize the point… buy these tires, or the consequences could be catastrophic.
Not a bad ad concept, whether it stretches the truth or not. In this year’s campaign season (2004), we’ve seen an awful lot of truth bending, so it’s nice when there’s a product that’s beyond a stretch, something that’s battle tried and tested -- something that’s indisputable and verifiable. You might say, even beyond the question of slogan versus fact.
|Footjoy Classics Tour|
That’s the Footjoy brand.
We’ve written about Footjoy a couple times in the past, from its top-of-the-line shoes, to gloves, to socks, to outerwear. The verdict’s always been the same – excellent quality, good value. We’ve also noted that Footjoy is not the least expensive alternative, so bargain hunters probably need to look elsewhere to save a few bucks.
The reason why Footjoy excels, similar to Michelin’s tires, is there’s a lot ‘walking’ on your shoes, and we’re not just talking about the extra holiday pounds we seem to pick up every year. For those who play a lot of golf, you see many diverse ‘surface’ situations at your local club -- flat ground, slopes, tall grass, cart paths, muddy pond edges, clubhouse carpet, heck, even the ceramic tile on the floor of the restroom.
That’s not to mention the hours spent standing, crouching, stooping, bending, jogging to your ball, stretching, and the cumulative minutes swinging the golf club.
Golf’s hard on the feet, especially to white-collar types conditioned to wearing comfortable loafers around the office. It’s not a sport for tenderfoot sensibilities, and that’s exactly why it’s worth it to put out some extra pennies for the best footwear. You want shoes that look the part, but also react to the conditions you’ll find. And there shouldn’t be any worry involved – one trip to the locker room should take care of everything for your entire visit.
|Footjoy makes several different styles of golf shoe. Here, the Impulse.|
Enter the Footjoy Classics Tour golf shoe. The first thing you’ll probably notice about this shoe is the suggested retail price, $300. It’s true, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but at that price, you should be getting a lotta extra grub for the outlay.
Fortunately, there’s Footjoy helping you with your walking journey. Rob Kelley, Director of Footwear Marketing, supplies the reasons why: “All Classics Golf Shoes (which includes the original Classics, the Classics Dry Premiere and the Classics Tour) are welt constructed, which results in more precise sizing (alpha widths), more stability and more comfort.”
For those unfamiliar with shoe manufacturing, welt construction is the process of stitching the upper sole to the outsole – in contrast to cementing or gluing it. I’ve encountered the differences in the past, when my ‘Father’s Day Sale’ golf shoes lost their adhesive quality, and the sole began separating from the upper part of the shoe (the brand shall go un-named, but it wasn’t Footjoy).
It’s not necessarily a matter of comfort when that happens, yet it does signal the need for a new pair of shoes. I’ve never seen a welt constructed pair of shoes experience the same problems, so there’s a benefit right off from purchasing the higher-end product.
|There are many different looks to choose from in the Classics Tour, as well.|
There’s more: “The new Classics Tour shoes are 15% lighter than our older Classics models – and that’s a result of feedback from consumers who indicated a desire for lighter weighted shoes. This reduced weight is attributed to the advanced tri-density TPU outsole in the Classics Tour,” Kelley said.
That’s a bit more than we probably needed to know, but rest assured, whatever the TPU outsole is, it’s lighter than before. There’s also more cushioning and flexibility in the new Classics Tour shoe – there’s cork cushioning found in all Classics shoes, but the Tour model has an EVA midsole for additional shock resistance.
More terminology… but again, it basically means these shoes are more comfortable than the previous selections. Based on personal experience I’d say that’s true, though the Classics Dry Premiere, which I first tried three years ago, is still plenty comfortable even today.
The main difference between the Tour and Dry Premiere shoes is the outsole. The Dry Premiere model is actually a bit more stable, but slightly heavier and not quite as cushioned. Kelley says the choice boils down to consumer preference, and he analogized it to choosing between forged muscle back irons and forged cavity back irons.
Professional players certainly make those types of personal selections everyday, and they’ve chosen Footjoy in large numbers. By recent counts, 65% of PGA Tour players wear Footjoy, and of that group, 80% wear Classics shoes – the Dry Premiere or Tour models. It only makes sense that the best players in the game would choose shoes to fit their games and lifestyles, and statistics don’t lie (at least in a non-political usage, that is).
|The Footjoy DryJoy with P.R.O. Technology|
You’ll enjoy the same benefits the pros do with the Classics shoes – an advanced, stable and flexible golf shoe (particularly for those with higher swing speeds). A great fitting shoe, due to the alpha widths – more precise sizing for your feet, and no two individuals’ feet are the same. Finally, durability – these shoes last a long time (with proper care, of course).
How about looks? I’ll be the first to admit that most golf shoes appear alike, yet there’s something about the high-end Footjoys that seems to stand out. Kelley explains why: “Our Classics shoes all feature Italian Calfskin leather (the finest available), which not only looks great, it performs well over time. The fiber structure of the Calf is very tight, thus reducing the tendency to stretch with prolonged use. Therefore, the shoes’ surfaces are very durable, and you’ll find them lasting longer.”
My Classics Tour shoes are only a few months old, but I can already tell they’ll be around for a long time. I’m fortunate to be able to compare them to the older Classics Dry Premiere shoes, and my personal preference is the Tour model. The Classics Tour shoes had a better initial fit, and they’re a bit more ‘hip’ in styling than their predecessors. I’d recommend looking at and trying both before making your selection.
As indicated above, both are expensive, but with quality of workmanship (hand constructed in the USA with a 160-step process), materials and manufacturing, they’ll certainly give you more wear than the lower-priced competition. Some people look to replace shoes after every season, and with the Classics shoes, you definitely won’t need to.
|One more look at the Footjoy Classics Tour.|
You’ll get what you pay for, should you decide to make the initial investment.
That’s truth-in-advertising at its best, because there’s certainly a lot walking on your golf shoes.
Note: Check the links below for more product reviews.
FootJoy – The #1 Shoe and Glove in Golf
Along with Titleist and Cobra, comprise the Acushnet Company
Available at fine Pro Shops and Golf Retail Stores
Note: We’d recommend calling ahead to your shop/store to make sure they carry the Classics lines – or consult the website for retailers that offer them.
Check out all of FootJoy’s outstanding products at http://www.FootJoy.com
|Related Links||Comments on this article?|
Maryland National Golf Club
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PB Dye Golf Club in Ijamsville
Whiskey Creek Golf Club
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