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The Demise of Footjoy

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

 When I started playing, my parents were not about to buy me a pair of Footjoy golf shoes to go out there and shoot a hundred. Even when I got a lot better, they still only sprung for a pair a Bass, which required weeks of blood-soaked breaking in. Footjoy advertised something like, "Never a blister." They were made in Phoenix, or Delaware or somewhere stateside, back when American products were the class of the world. We made great socks and shirt and gloves and golf shoes. Really nice, ya know? Footjoy golf shoes were especially "nice". I think making golf shoes may be a forgotten art, now, and somebody like Bill Gates would have to hire an 80 year old shoemaker now out of work to make him a pair of Footjoys. And if there isn't one, Footjoy is no longer, like an extinct language.

It was not until I was a lieutenant in USAF did I have the coin to spring for a pair of Footjoys, and they were all they were cracked up to be. No blisters. Fit like a glove. Great stability. Perfect. I played a lot back then and practiced a lot, too, so I wore them out pretty fast -- there WERE no carts! I went through quite a few pair. Always perfect, no blisters. You really felt like you were going first class with a pair of Footjoys, and you were. I never wore anything else.

Things started heading south about 20 years ago. They continued to make the good ones, at hefty prices, somewhere here in the states, and farmed out the rest to Indonesia or the Philippines or someplace "else". They began to make them from synthetic materials, with ever-cheaper construction, and the quality deteriorated year after year. My previous pair of Footjoys caught me unawares, and I instinctively ordered a "Wide", since I wear a 7.5 D in the old Footjoys. For as long as I can remember, a "Medium" shoe does not normally fit me, but a wide does. They were too wide, since the "Medium" now encompasses everything from C through E, but I wore them out out anyhow. And I know why: They are constructed on an assembly line with interchangeable parts. Cheap. No cutting the sole to fit the uppers, just a flat deck that will accommodate being attached to any upper, from size 7-10, no wasted time trimming the sole to fit. I think they quit making regular Footjoys here maybe 15 years ago, pricing me out of the "real" ones still made here. Now they don't make the top line at all any more. Gone.  The problem with the new shoes is that the base is too large, so that one cannot roll smoothly onto the outside of the left foot through the hitting area, forcing you to either finish flatfooted or lurch on the side of your foot as you flip over the edge of the too-wide sole.  Horrible.  I thought the "Medium" would fix that, but it's really the same problem I had with the wide.  Horrible.  The old Footjoys rolled smoothly over and allowed a graceful finish.  Not these, and they are ICONs!  

I wore a Stafford last, as I recall. Maybe Stanford? Whatever, it fit my foot. They do not make that last anymore, instead giving choices of algorithmically derived, computer generated lasts from scans of thousands of feet. Gotta fit! They do not fit. The lasts are all wrong for me, possibly because the old Footjoys were made for rich white guys, but the new compound fitting database includes Asian, African, and Native Americans in the mix. And that they don't fit (I stained the heel with blood walking only 9 holes in their most expensive shoe), isn't my biggest complaint. Even my previous pair was not what I would call a comfortable walking shoe; in days of yore, they were great shoes to walk in, but everybody rides around in a cart these days, so who cares?

Pity. Footjoy's gone the way of Sedgefield jeans.  All that's left is the name.

post #2 of 43

I've always used FootJoys, and never had a bad pair. I currently wear Contours or Dry Joys, and never have complained about the quality, or customer service. I do agree that their top of the line shoe is not as good since they stopped making them in Brockton, Mass. Off the top of my head, I can't remember the name,either FootJoy Tour or FootJoy Pro, but I think they were a far superior shoe than the Icon. I've used FootJoy for 40 years, and can't imagine changing.

post #3 of 43

I have about 12 pairs of Adidas shoes, all top end and they are the most comfortable golf shoe I have ever worn.

 

The top end Footjoys are the Dry Joys.

post #4 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikefishes View Post

I have about 12 pairs of Adidas shoes, all top end and they are the most comfortable golf shoe I have ever worn.

 

The top end Footjoys are the Dry Joys.

 



The MSRP for the Dryjoy is $180, for the ICON, $289.  One would expect a better shoe than the Dryjoy, but it's likely worse.  In any case, the Dryjoy is not the top end according to Footjoy's pricing.  Dryjoy might be their best, but not their most expensive at least.

post #5 of 43

My first few pairs of golf shoes were FootJoy Dry Joys and they were fantastic. Only got rid of them because they began to stink up my apartment after wearing them so much. I even took the spikes out of my first shoes and just wore them for work because I liked them so much. I then bought a pair of Eccos which didn't disappoint me, but I wasn't impressed either. I now have a pair of FootJoy Sports and absolutely love them. Extremely comfortable with the more athletic construction. But as for your comparison to how good they used to be, I can't comment as I wasn't born until about the time you claim they went south. 

post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBrew View Post

But as for your comparison to how good they used to be, I can't comment as I wasn't born until about the time you claim they went south. 


Lol that's a kick in the nuts right there...
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post


Lol that's a kick in the nuts right there...

Hahaha, I realized that shortly after I submitted it. No ageism here, I promise. 

post #8 of 43

Currently wearing FJ Streets. Extremely comfortable, only had them since this spring, so I can't comment on durability quite yet. I'm just your average casual golfer, so I wasn't looking for anything performance...just something comfortable that I could walk 18 holes in.

post #9 of 43

I have been wearing FJ for the last 25 years. I only wear the Dry Joys or better. I usually buy the last year's models and have found them for $90. No issues for me. 

post #10 of 43

I wore the same pair of footjoys for 5 years, the only reason I replaced them was because I got another pair as a gift (and still didnt open the new ones until about a year after getting them)

post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBrew View Post

My first few pairs of golf shoes were FootJoy Dry Joys and they were fantastic. Only got rid of them because they began to stink up my apartment after wearing them so much. I even took the spikes out of my first shoes and just wore them for work because I liked them so much. I then bought a pair of Eccos which didn't disappoint me, but I wasn't impressed either. I now have a pair of FootJoy Sports and absolutely love them. Extremely comfortable with the more athletic construction. But as for your comparison to how good they used to be, I can't comment as I wasn't born until about the time you claim they went south. 

 

I was thinking about going with Puma this time, since somebody said they were really comfortable, but haven't been able to find a size 7.5 -- apparently they start at 8..  No doubt the more athletic Footjoy styles would suit me fine, but I'm done with Footjoy after this disaster.  After wearing them for nine holes, I had a bad blister, first blister ever in maybe 25 pair of Footjoys over the years.  (I did wear Dexter for a few years and they were nice too, but I wasn't fond of the one pair of Etonic I had.)  

 

But like I said, that isn't what bothers me.  If that was it, if it was merely a matter of breaking in the shoes around the yard for a while, carrying some bandaids, I've lived through that before.  It was the "non golfer" aspect of these shoes.  The non walker, swing-encumbering aspect.  "We don't know anything about golf shoes, but here ya go!  We bought the Footjoy logo and you'll love 'em just because they have a good rep."  They've missed the point, and it's almost insulting.  These ICONs are made for somebody who really doesn't play golf and won't notice that the shoes are not designed to assist in making a good swing.  When they made parkas in the US, they were suitable for winter weather here in upstate New York.  Pretty much impossible to find a real parka for under $1000 now, because I don't think people from Malaysia fully grok what cold weather is all about, and the designs are sent in by people from Florida and California or something.  These golf shoes are like that.  The sole is simply too wide to allow good footwork -- it's like wearing snowshoes.  I think Footjoy depends on only 10% of dissatisfied customers returning the product and only 10% of the customers knowing enough about golf to realize that these are not really golf shoes at all, they're just stiff, Payless quality shoes with golf spikes in them.  In my opinion, the Footjoy ICON only LOOKS like a golf shoe, but was meant for people who ride carts and wouldn't know that the shoes actually interfere with their swing.   I also doubt seriously that the pros wearing ICONs have to suffer with this sole, in other words, the pros are not wearing the same shoe that they sell to the masses, sort of like golf clubs.  I'll bet Steve Stricker's (I think he might wear ICON, not sure) sole doesn't stick out from the sides like he's wearing ping pong paddles strapped to his feet.

post #12 of 43
Have you considered any of the shoes that are designed to help the foot work like it's naturally supposed to? People around here swear by the True golf shoes, I happen to love Tiger Woods signature shoe, it's really phenomenal, allows the foot to roll naturally through the downswing.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

Have you considered any of the shoes that are designed to help the foot work like it's naturally supposed to? People around here swear by the True golf shoes, I happen to love Tiger Woods signature shoe, it's really phenomenal, allows the foot to roll naturally through the downswing.

This. TRUE Linkswear makes great quality shoes that are designed to let the foot work naturally. And they are great for walking. Many different styles available.

 

http://www.truelinkswear.com

post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the TRUE suggestions!  I'll check them out.  The Puma does come in 7.5, but there is no indication of width choices.  Puzzling.  A little jazzy for me, too.  "Roll" is exactly what these ICONs do not allow -- at all.  Was looking through ebay at the old used shoes like I had in the 70s and 80s, just to make sure I wasn't imagining things through a nostalgic lens, and the sole is cut close to the sides of the uppers, every time.  The "roll" is what is missing and confirms my opinion that they are made merely for style points, not to play real golf in.

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangeclub View Post

Thanks for the TRUE suggestions!  I'll check them out.  The Puma does come in 7.5, but there is no indication of width choices.  Puzzling.  A little jazzy for me, too.  "Roll" is exactly what these ICONs do not allow -- at all.  Was looking through ebay at the old used shoes like I had in the 70s and 80s, just to make sure I wasn't imagining things through a nostalgic lens, and the sole is cut close to the sides of the uppers, every time.  The "roll" is what is missing and confirms my opinion that they are made merely for style points, not to play real golf in.

The one thing with the width of the TRUES is that they are quite a bit wider in the toe box. This is to allow your toes to spread out and function as they would if you were barefoot. 

post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post

The one thing with the width of the TRUES is that they are quite a bit wider in the toe box. This is to allow your toes to spread out and function as they would if you were barefoot. 

 

What's with the spikes, though?  Doesn't look like they'd work too well around here, where it's pretty wet a lot of the time.  And are they replaceable or do you just wear them for a while and buy another pair? 

post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Strangeclub View Post

What's with the spikes, though?  Doesn't look like they'd work too well around here, where it's pretty wet a lot of the time.  And are they replaceable or do you just wear them for a while and buy another pair? 

 

They work quite well in all kinds of conditions. And they last a LONG time. I've yet to buy a new pair because they're worn out.

post #18 of 43

another option that I saw a friend wearing from the "natural motion" category are adicross pure motion

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