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FootJoy ReelFit Shoes Review

Mar. 30, 2007     By     Comments (30)

The Reelfit FootJoys are not only an evolution in technology, but an evolution in comfort as well. FootJoy has not only kept their lead in the golf shoe category, they have cemented it - with a twist.

ReelFit HeroNormally, a new version of FootJoy shoes would not be met with such a buzz. The latest versions would be upgraded with a slight modification of the lines and possibly the spikes might be updated for better traction. This wouldn't draw much attention in and of itself.

This time around FootJoy has added something new and exciting. The BOA Lacing System adds a new twist and level of technology never seen in golf shoes before. Gone are the days of loose fitting shoes and laces the come undone or wear out. Now comes a new generation of golf shoes that not only need no breaking in, but fit perfectly right out of the box.

Too good to be true? Not really.

Design and Look
I'll try not to bore you too much with the small details of how the shoe looks. I'd rather focus on the few design changes that make the ReelFits special.

I'll begin with the only negative I could find with these shoes: the heel. Sure, there is a little knob sticking out - I've gotten more than a few remarks that my shoes appear to be plugged in to "The Matrix" - but it's fairly small and inconspicuous. My issue is with the heel itself. It's blue, and I'm not sure why FootJoy chose to color it blue. I feel it stands out a bit too much.

Beyond the heel, the ReelFit is a classic looking shoe that comes in brown saddle, black saddle, or solid black. The lines on the shoe are very nice as well. The ReelFits even look better than the more expensive Classic Tours - except for that blue insert in the heel.

Titleist ReelFit Heel
The blue stands out, which isn't really a good thing. The BOA control is in clear view (seen here "unlocked").

That being said, the only other big difference is the laces. And of course when I say laces, I mean "there are no laces." In their place you'll find a high-strength plastic-coated wire. Twist the knob to "tighten" the shoe, unlock to loosen. You've seen the ads, haven't you?

The ads are right: No more lacing your golf shoes or double knotting them to get them to stay tied. No more loose heels and painful calluses. No more laces to collect dirt and debris from your trips into the more wooded or "adventurous" areas of the course. The ReelFits are easy to get on and easy to get off with a twist and a pop.

The BOA Lacing system takes the place of the traditional laces. The high-strength wire overlaps the tongue several times and wraps around both sides of the ankle area, terminating in the back at the "Matrix Knob" as I've taken to calling it.

Titleist ReelFit Front
First wooden heads and steel shafts bit the dust. Now laces have taken ill! Technology has come to your feet.

To use FootJoy's ReelFit shoes, all you have to do is slip them on and twist the knob clockwise to ratchet up the tension You will feel not only the front of the shoe start to pull down on your foot but the back of the heel and the GelCollar start tightening around your ankle. It is a bit strange, but reminds me of tightening drawstrings. Unlike drawstrings, the ReelFit/BOA system applies tension rather evenly across the length of the laces and around your ankle, providing support and comfort.

To release the tension, all you have to do is pull the knob out. The wire is released along with your foot, making the process of removing your shoes easier and faster than it's ever been. The design not only makes the ReelFit the best fitting shoe I've ever used, but the most convenient to use as well.

There are a myriad of other technologies found in the ReelFit and other FootJoy shoes such as the aforementioned GelCollar, the Tri-Density TOP Outsoles, OptiFlex sole, and more. You can read more about these on FootJoy's ReelFit page as well as in our initial coverage of the FootJoy ReelFit.

Titleist ReelFit Styles
The ReelFits come in three different styles. I prefer the solid black shoes, but you may want to get one in each style.

Feel and Performance
I've owned Nike, Adidas, and FootJoy golf shoes. In my experience, Nike shoes take forever to break in (if ever) and leave nasty sores all over my feet. Adidas shoes take a handful of rounds, but were admirable performers after break-in, and required a round or two to re-stretch them at the beginning of a new golf season.

FootJoys are in another league.

They feel great right out of the box and you barely need to wear them around the house for an hour to break them in. I wore the ReelFits a few times at the practice range before taking them on the course. You might think walking a 7000-yard golf course that has some decent elevation and terrain changes would be a bit rough on my feet. Not so with the ReelFit. From the balls of my feet through my calves, I didn't feel any pain or discomfort. They feel like slippers on the course, and they're so comfortable you might be tempted to put them on at night! Just remember to take them off before you climb into bed. Wives don't like being kicked in the shins with golf shoes. <grin>

Aside from how your feet feel after a round, the other area I judge a shoe and how it performs is how it handles on the ground. Like other FootJoys, the ReelFits do a great job.

Titleist ReelFit Sole
Like other FootJoys, the ReelFits provide stability and comfort for your feet. The OptiFlex sole bends in just the right places while providing stability in the others.

With the ReelFit, I never had to worry about slipping or maintaining control during my swing. WIth other shoes, my right foot will slip on a little dew once in awhile, but I didn't experience that during a wet, early morning round with the ReelFits. The Pulsar cleats by Softspikes do a great job. I've seen these spikes wear out a bit faster than others, but they are still some of the best plastic spikes out there.

Between swings the ReelFits also did a great job. Winter golf in North Carolina usually includes frequent trips into the dormant, brown, thin Bermuda grass through which trekking and maintaining balance can be difficult. I intentionally walked a few hills in the ReelFits to see if I would have any problems, and I'm happy to report that not once did I lose my footing.

Not once did I lose the impression that the ReelFits were the best golf shoes I've ever worn.

Conclusion
Coming from another FootJoy model - the GF:IIs - I knew what I would likely get from the FootJoy ReelFits: a solid golf shoe that is comfortable the moment you slide them on. What I didn't expect was that they would be so much better. Don't get me wrong - I love my GF:IIs. They are great golf shoes. With the added BOA Technology in the ReelFits, I will probably let the GF:IIs sit idle for a while.

For $199 at Edwin Watts, the ReelFits carry a hefty price tag. They are about $30 more than the GF:IIs and quite a bit more than I'm usually willing to dole out for a pair of golf shoes. Even so, you owe it to your feet to at least try them on and see for yourself just how comfortable they are and how easy the ReelFits are to use and adjust. Now golf shoes can be put on and adjusted as quickly and accurately as a golf glove.

Titleist ReelFit Stacked
The FootJoy ReelFits, in my opinion, are the best golf shoes on the market today.

I've gone through the full circle of golf shoes only to come back to FootJoys. The ReelFit is a leap in the technology and development of the golf shoe that will keep me hooked for a while. Pros including Davis Love III, David Toms, J.B. Holmes, Adam Scott, and many others are also hooked and using the ReelFits. You may be turned off by the knob in the back of the shoe, but if you give it a turn I'm sure your initial opinion may take a turn as well.

Discussion

  1. Alexis G says:

    I own a pair of footjoys, and yes they are comfortable. I use them when it rains. I put on my comfortable AND good looking adidas when the sun shines. I agree with you Dave, adidas take a couple of rounds to break them in. No experience with Nike.

  2. ovidiov says:

    I have used adidas and footjoy, but since i put on my ecco golf shoes i will not use anohter one but, ecco, they feet you since the first second. My feet loves them so do I

  3. Shortgame85 says:

    I guess the only thing to add is this, which I hope no one finds intemperate: " Feets, don't fail me now!"

  4. noel228 says:

    I tried on these BOA system shoes and they do feel great out of the box. With just a few clicks (providing you try on the correct size shoe), you get a nice, snug and comfy fit. I just wish they (footjoy) would add this BOA system to their more sneaker type golf shoe (if that's possible). I tend to wear sneaker type golf shoes like Nike's Shox golf shoes..very comfy out of the box...and golf shoes with toe boxes that are more squared off. Ecco golf shoes, as stated by "ovidiov" above, are also VERY comfortable..but pricey.

  5. Dave: Great review. I suggest getting a nice fat Sharpie and blacking out the blue area on the heel. It couldn't look worse, right? :smile: I agree that these shoes stand out enough on their own without needing the extra color.

    $199 is a high price, but if you walk a lot, it's a great investment. Blisters and sore feet are no way to end a day of golf. If you keep the shoes in good shape and wear them a fair amount for a couple years, it's money well-spent!

  6. Brad Ford says:

    I like the idea; however, I could never get the lace system to feel tight enough.

  7. Chewey15 says:

    I picked up a pair a few months ago. Best fitting shoes I've ever worn!

    Love em!

  8. MPatten says:

    I've been playing golf for over 20 years and have worn a lot of golf shoes from a number of different companies. However, since college I've been exclusively in FJ's, and have worn everything from the Softjoys right up through the Classics models.

    I'm also a cyclist, and have a pair of cycling shoes with the boa technology in them. Knowing how much more comfortable those shoes are with the tension evenly dispersed along the foot I was very eager to give the Reelfits a try. Let me tell you that they did not disappoint.

    My Reelfits have become my 'everyday' golf shoe and the classics now only come out for rounds where I have to 'dress-up' a bit. The shoe is very comfortable and the stability is superb, which is exactly what I've come to expect from FJ. I do agree that they could probably do without the blue heel, but I get a lot of comments on them and have seen them popping up more and more at the Saturday morning game since I started wearing them.

    Hopefully FJ will continue to push the envelope with shoe technology and we'll see some more cool features down the road.

  9. A.J L says:

    I own a pair of nike sp-8's very comfortable and I get complements on their appearance.

  10. JP Bouffard says:

    I have to admit I'm downright womanly when it comes to shoes. I'm like your wife or sister or wife's girlfriend who has a closet full of shoes. I love shoes, including golf shoes of course, and, as much as my budget will allow, collect them.

    I have never felt more comfortable shoes than my Foot Joy E-contour/E-comfort ones. I have a pair of Footjoy black/brown saddles (can't remember the model) that are heavier and more traditional, but they also felt fantastic right out of the box.

    This review has me jonesing for new shoes...I must admit that I'm past the point of buying based on need and comfort, and now buy for style. My biggest rap on all of these shoes is finding stylish ones. There are certainly many, many more options today than even 5-6 years ago when it comes to style, but this brand new Footjoy seems rather sparse in its choices of colors and styles. Why not an all brown option? Or a center seam front?

    My favorite part of these is the lacing system. It borders a bit on the childish--like my kids zip up Skechers--but the fact that they keep the shoe cleaner, avoiding the grungy buildup on the tongue is priceless.

    Great review and great shoe. Now if I can find a way to hide the credit card receipt from my wife...

  11. Supertrotter says:

    I have just ordered a pair of FJ Reelfit size UK10, however have ordered the new all white shoe (With a silver, instead of blue heel insert! :lol: )

    I bought a pair of size UK10 Stuburt Helium Pro on the internet (As a Brit living in Cyprus, ALL golf gear is limited AND very expensive!) and they are ridiculously rubbish! They are labelled as a UK10 however are actually the equivalent of a UK size 12!!!!!!! :shock:

    I have heel blisters to prove it. :mad:

    Having read so much, and having spoken to my excellent golf supplier in the UK (Gregnicholsongolf.co.uk) these Reelfits come highly recommended so it is now 1 week and counting!

  12. Carole B says:

    How about some selection for the ladies--please--not just Footjoy--but every manufactuer--anything wrong with just a nice pair of black shoes for women--they match everything--and I hate white--and all those pink-purple and whatever other girlie colors out there-- I'm a golfer--not a kid.
    And another thing--went to Golfsmith and PGA Golf store--(Phoenix area)either no selection--Golfsmith--or sizes start at 7-10 ?? at PGA golf store--there are some regular and small size women out there.
    Just frustrated finding and trying on shoes at this point.

    cb

  13. Eliza says:

    @ Carole B. I feel for you. I hate the kiddie crap brands thrown at us. Golfsmith is probably the worst offender. I have just as much money as the boys and I enjoy quality and new technologies. Why do I only have Snakeyes and one type of Footjoy golf glove product that I can buy from them at the store. I've had to resort to the internet basically for some variety. That said, I just bought a pair of the Reelfit for women. I love them. They are so comfortable. And I was able to buy them at a local shop in NYC.

  14. QWKDTSN says:

    I played ONE round with my Nike golf shoes after a day of rain on wet grass. That was enough to get me to pony up the money for a pair of FootJoys with their 2-year waterproof warranty. Hey, I play golf in Washington state - I need waterproofness. My feet were very unhappy and my Nikes were essentially ruined - I could no longer keep my golf shoes in my car due to the stink of the mildewed leather.

    As soon as I saw the BOA system on a pair of shoes (I am familiar with the system from snowboard boots) and saw them on sale for $99 online, I placed an order without even trying them on. I have worn them once and so far they are great. They don't quite have the sneaker feel of my Nikes but they look much classier and are SO much easier to adjust on the fly - I was so tired of adjusting the standard lacing to keep them tight enough. One twist and you're set - one pull and they slide off like butter. Perfect for me!

  15. JR says:

    Bought the Reelfit yesterday $129 Can. All white light grey knob.
    Was initially concerned with the lacing system - took them out for the first time today and shot 1 under par and I play to a 6 hcp.
    UN-Believable shoe. Like slippers with performance stability in mind - and - I do NOT work for Footjoy.
    Buy them - they'll be the last golf shoes you buy.

  16. domingo says:

    I recently retired from my job and recieved a nice gift card for the local golf shop from my fellow employees. I picked up a pair of Reelfits and I like them so much that I bought another pair, different color from TGW for 89.99 closeout. What a deal. The best shoe I have worn. I have a nice pair of dressy Eccos but they are a tad tight on me so I dont like to wear them every day. The Reelfits fit me perfectly right outta the box.

  17. Paul says:

    I bought my first pair of reelfits 3 years ago (just after they first came out). By far the most comfortable out of the box golf shoe I have ever owned. Although, I did have to return them when the cable system jammed and would not release. This was after I played about 4 to 5 rounds.

    Footjoy fixed (did not send a new pair). I was skeptical at first, but am happy to say that the shoes are still in use (100+ rounds). More than half the rounds were walking. I can honestly say the shoes still have several rounds left in them.

    When I saw footjoy was tagging these as closeouts, I decided to buy another pair (this time in white). I will keep my black pair as emergency just in case the cable system freezes again. But, I am not antiicipating any problems.

  18. Chan says:

    I have sworn by Footjoy shoes for years, but the reelfit is the best shoe ever in my opinion. I just hope that Footjoy doesn't decide to quit offering the reelfit. When my current reelfits need replacing, I want to replace them with another pair of reelfits. When you think about it, that is the ultimate praise that you can give a product.

  19. Mike L says:

    I bought a pair of FJ BOA's about 6 weeks ago. Out of the box they do feel great, BUT, mine squeak to no end when I walk. I have played about 10 rounds in them now. One of my golf buddies made me stop walking on the green while he was putting. The squeak is not good!. It comes from the tongue of the shoe rubbing against the leather inside the shoe. I tried some leather lotion today from an Internet tip on squeaky shoes. It has improved, but I am not sold that the squeak will go away. I do not want to dump these shoes, because they are awesome in fit and convenience, but I may end up playing golf alone because my buddies are real tired of the squeaking!

    Anyone got any ideas or have similar problems? Thanks

  20. John L says:

    These shoes have been a disappointment for me. They flex too much (if that's possible) causing foot and toe pain. I have a high arch, so that may be part of the problem. Prefer a non-gussied up shoe anyway without knobs and buttons all over.

  21. Andrew says:

    I just ordered a pair on ebay the other day. They look awesome. The only thing that I question is that little knob in the back. How much wear and tear will it take before it either fills with sand from the bunkers or breaks off entirely?

  22. Dave says:

    I bought a pair of Reelfit's last September on holiday in the States. Fantastic! The most comfortable & convenient shoes I have ever owned .....until...... yesterday when the quick release mechanism failed. It has jammed and the shoes do not release the cable. I have to prise the shoe apart.
    Has anyone else had this problem and what can be done about it ?
    Seeing as I am in the UK i cannot take them back to the shop in the USA!!

  23. Jim says:

    I agree with the person who talked about the squeak. I've wore these shoes for about 10 rounds now and the squeak will not go away. It's getting very frustrating. Also, they are definitely taking longer to break in than most reviews here lead you to believe. I still have to change into my old shoes before the end of 18 holes. At first 9 holes was the limit before the tops of my toes started hurting. I'm now up to about 12-13 holes. If anybody knows how to get rid of the squeak, please let me know!

  24. manny says:

    Once you start wearing these, there's no going back to "traditional" shoes. As someone mentioned, the only time I still wear classics is to dress up. For me, the traditional shoes tend to loosen during the course of a round. With the Reelfits, I find that I crank them tighter about 3 times during a round. So simple , I don't even think about it. With lace shoes, seems like i jsut get lazy and don't remember to adjust them, unless they feel like they're falling off.
    Regarding the jammed mechanism, this happened to me. The pro shop returned it to Footjoy for me and they repaired them in about a week.

  25. Phil says:

    My Reelfits also began to stick after a few uses and had to be pried off my feet. Until now, I could pull them apart by hand once they were off. Today, I could not get them to open up no matter how hard I pulled. I tried pliers on the wire -- not a good idea. It broke. Great shoes except for that fatal weakness.

  26. Mark says:

    I've had my FJ Reelfits for two seasons now. After playing over 150 rounds of golf they're still the most comfortable and dry golf shoe I've ever owned.

    However, the BOA lacing system jammed up on the left shoe a few weeks ago. I took them home and sprayed a liberal amount of WD40 lubricant into the holes the wire laces run through -- problem solved. A can of WD40 usually comes with that little red squirt tube, which is perfect for squirting lubricant into the small lace holes. . .

  27. Ray Birnbaum says:

    I tried a pair and love them. I play 4 days/week. I don't know why they are discontinued. This month, 10/10, I searched the web and bought 3 more pairs.

    I bought them at nygolfcenter.com. Excellent service. Price down to $100.

  28. pod says:

    I have had trouble with stiff new golf shoes that chaffed my toes or posterior heel, etc. I took to wearing regular shoes. Now that winter is approaching I would like to have a bit more grip (icy patches) so I did some research and experimented. My walter hagen (dicks sporting goods) were a high end shoe but felt like they were cast in metal. Shows are no good if they hurt. Here are some ways to stretch the toe box and spare the toes:
    (1) put the wooden shoe shapers in real tight. I used shims to be sure the the wooden foot was jammed deep into the toe box. The I suspended them so that the toe box was under water and left them for 2 days. Slightly better. Then I microwaved the shoes right out of the water. I was concerned that the metal like parts would spark but they didn't so I guess they were fake metal. I did three one minute cylces and they are soft as a babies behind. This may have interrupted the waterproofness; that is to be determined later but it softened them enormously.

    A second way I read on the net. put some water in a zip lock bag and stuff it into the toe box and tighten the laces as much as possible. Then....drum roll....put them in the freezer. When the water freezes it expands and gives you vertical and lateral expansion of 1/2 to one size--just in the toe box. Shoes are in the freezer now.

    A third method is to feather the toe box with an acetylene torch. back and forth quickly across the problem areas. Nice quick softening. No smoke or burning becasue of the random sweeping action of the torch.

    I assume that the heat methods do denature the protein in the leather and allow irreversible expansion.

    There is nothing as disappointing as a new pair of gofl shoes that have you hobbling the first few time you wear them.

    None of these methods changed the appearance of the leather except to slightly remove the gloss. There is no discoloration.

    I suck at golf but I love to experiment. I wish I coudl trial a new pair of Ecco's which gain nearly universal praise as the most comfortable shoe in golf but they are too pricey. Of course if they were my first set I would have come out ahead despite the price since I have bought 4-5 pair and found them too stiff.

    Once stretched they can be post facto waterproofed. The rest of the shoe looks normal and is not particularly softer.I'll be comfortable this winter (except for the cold) but the traction should be good.

  29. pod says:

    Stop. If you read my hints above about how to break in or soften golf shoes. I meant to say use a propane torch, NOT ACETYLENE. My bad.

    One further method using the wooden shoe stretchers: they usually come in a one size fits all. But. the toe piece has a split down the middle and is actually two separate pieces that press together when forces into the shoe. Well, is you put a shim between these two toe pieces (3/8" or whatever will tolerate the next step) and unlace the shoes and hammer the wooden toe pieces as deep into the toe box as you can this will exert great pressure on the leather laterally and stretch the shoes a good deal. No other part of the shoe is affected except the toe box and there is no issue of harming the waterproofing or external appearance.

    Those are my thoughts for the night.

  1. [... Normally, a new version of FootJoy shoes would not be met with such a buzz. The latest versions would be upgraded with a slight modification of the lines and possibly ...]

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