MANY golf shoes ask the player to choose between comfort and performance – often sacrificing some of one for the other, as the likelihood of finding the two traits working in unison can be low. And ‘comfort’ means different things to different golfers. For some it means no aches or pains after traversing 10 kilometres or so while playing 18 holes. For others, it might be the freedom to swing as hard as they can by driving the legs as actively as possible and not feeling like your footwear will fail you.
One shoe delivers on all fronts.
FootJoy has launched the all-new Tour-S, a model inspired by the best players in the world and created to deliver superior stability and tour-calibre performance.
What’s not to like in this department? The Tour-S features a new PowerPlate outsole to provide a lightweight yet stable platform from which to efficiently transfer power throughout the swing. It’s quite ingenious, really: built upon a foundation of a proprietary Pebax polymer, that is typically 20 percent lighter than other polymers, this means improved stability but it also reduces weight so more cushioning can be added to the shoes. The PowerPlate also features an integrated carbon-weave fibreglass mid-foot plate and nine LaunchPods to create additional structure, surface area and ground coverage for maximum stability. You’ll probably feel locked onto the ground.
Tour players inspired the Tour-S. Why? To achieve a best-in-class stability, support and lightweight comfort for elite and avid golfers. Nearly two-thirds of all professional players wear FootJoy shoes each week, and it was this network of top players who helped establish a clear picture of what top golfers need from their shoes to perform at their best: power through stability, precision through support and maximum comfort.
In trialling the Tour-S, I was immediately struck by the comfort factor. In my younger days, I remember incurring some horrific blisters from wearing rock-hard, inflexible golf shoes that needed a lengthy ‘breaking-in’ period. Fortunately in golf-shoe circles, those days are long gone. Yet, ironically, I was nursing the remnants of a bad blister on my right foot the first day I wore the Tour-S and was concerned these new shoes – any new shoes, really – might aggravate it. I needn’t have worried. Even after a hole or two, there was no sign of any rubbing or discomfort. Instead, these shoes felt instantly as comfortable as your favourite pair of casual shoes, just with more performance benefits designed for golf.
This is arguably the most underrated aspect of a good golf shoe – especially if you’re a player with ‘active’ feet during the swing. The tech in this area of the Tour-S is endless. For just a taste: the Tour-S features FootJoy’s proprietary PowerStrap, a moulded component integrated into the shoe’s upper to provide lock-down medial and lateral support. The wide platform created by the LaunchPods gives golfers exceptional lateral stability and, in turn, balance throughout the swing.
Players such as Rafa Cabrera Bello [left], Kevin Kisner and our own Andrew Dodt and Brett Rumford have already put the Tour-S in play at tournaments around the world. “From the moment I tested this shoe, I knew it provided the perfect blend of comfort and stability for me, especially on my left side as I move through the ball,” Cabrera Bello said.
Tour-S offers superior durability for leather-based shoes due to the exclusive leather that is designed to hold its shape better over the life of the shoe. Pure Performance Luxury leather is sourced by Pittards of England (and for peace of mind comes with a two-year waterproof warranty).
This is the stuff that’s easily overlooked – and the kind of things that without them might prove irritating – such as a silicone treatment on the fit bed to reduce sock slippage and the sole’s translucent LaunchPods that blend into the grass to improve the visual appeal of the shoes when worn.
Shoes are part of fashion, right? Of course they are. So an incomplete range of colour options would be short-changing the Tour-S range. A variety of striking yet contemporary colour combinations are available to fit the season, your personal taste or just to differentiate when you’re wearing shorts versus pants.
Options include: white/lime Boa; white/blue/lime; black/red/white.
Sizes and fit
FootJoy’s research reveals 70 percent of golfers wear ill-fitting shoes. A primary culprit is incorrect shoe width, which is why Tour-S is available in medium and wide width options from sizes 7 to 13.
There’s a lot of R&D behind these shoes – innovations that help golfers for comfort and performance. But brushing aside the tech-speak for a moment, know that these features provide the appeal for golfers. Granted, this is a high-end footwear choice (with a premium price tag to match) that won’t be for every golfer. Still, there’s every chance these will be the best golf shoes you ever wear.
– Steve Keipert
SRP: $389.95 with Boa system; $349.95 laced. Visit footjoy.com.au