There's a reason we don't play in loafers. Golf requires a stable platform not only for the swing, but also for all the walking we do uphill and down. Short of wearing high tops, most golfers rely on shoes that lace up over the instep to get a firm fit.
It's a high-tech solution that lets you dial in the support you're looking for. What's more, the laces will never break. Here's the scoop…
The Boa Lacing System
The laces on the ReelFit shoes are a thin, multi-strand stainless steel cable that's coated with a polymer to make it slippery.
The cable crosses the instep in three places, much like conventional laces, but then wraps around the ankle inside the shoe's collar to finish up at a reel on the back of the heel that's controlled with a dial. Turning the dial clockwise tightens the laces.
According to FootJoy, the system presents advantages over conventional laces in that they don't stretch or loosen while you're playing. Because the cable guides over the instep are made of a smooth polymer material, the cables can move slightly as your foot flexes so the fit remains constant. This results in fewer pressure points and, overall, a better fitting shoe.
The Boa lacing system has been used primarily in sports boots (skiing, hockey, wakeboard, equestrian), and FootJoy's ReelFit marks the first time the company has licensed their technology for use in a golf shoe.
The shoes are fashioned from Pittards waterproof full grain leather. The midsole is made of a highly cushioned EVA material for comfort.
The gel collar is made from what FootJoy calls "Dryz IntelliTemp" gel. As the lacing system pulls your foot into the heel of the shoe, the gel collar is meant to mold to the shape of your ankle to give both support and comfort. The material also is supposed to pull heat away from your foot and keep your feet cooler.
The outsole, or bottom of the shoe, is chock full of trademarked design features. Three different "TPU" materials of varying density are positioned to ensure durability, stability, and flexibility.
FootJoy's "OptiFlex" technology shows up again in this new model. That's the yellow thermoplastic flex channel under the ball of the foot to deliver more flexibility and walking comfort.
The spikes are Softspikes' Pulsar cleats using the "FastTwist" system FootJoy favors.
For all the technology and innovation in this shoe, I'm a little surprised FootJoy chose a traditional saddle style. Whether golfers will go along with the "high tech/traditional" blend remains to be seen. The shoes, like most FootJoy shoes, use a waterproof Pittards full grain leather. The midsole features a dash of blue. A large FootJoy "gear" logo is stuck on the side of the shoe.
As introduced, the shoe will come in three flavors… brown and white, black and white, and all black.
The only clue to the suggested retail price for these shoes comes in the fine print of a contest FootJoy is running now through October 12. It's a weekly drawing that will give away two pairs a week. You have to enter every week for each weekly drawing.
In the terms and conditions it states the shoes have an "approximate" retail value of $225 (likely $199 in stores). If so, that puts these shoes in line with FootJoy's GF:II and other high-end shoes from Adidas, Callaway, Ecco, and others. The contest rules also reveal FootJoy expects these to start shipping around October 15.
In the End…
FootJoy has long been the acknowledged leader in golf shoes. It's good to see they are working hard to maintain that position as they come up with new innovations like this.
For me, while comfort is foremost in a golf shoe, I do need some styling to make me happy. I'm not sure this look, at this price, will do it for me. But hey, the latest and greatest for you may not be the look, but the fit.