Lost in the flurry of PGA Show releases, and perhaps even FootJoy’s own classically stylish throwback 1857 Collection was the release of the Tour S Golf shoe.
You may recall that a couple of years ago FootJoy tried to make a run at shoe fitting based on the idea that, in addition to finding the right size (and width), it was also important to fit for how your feet move in the swing. FJ FreeStyle (my favorite), for example, is a prime example of a mobility shoe. It’s for those of us with what I’d suppose you might call busy feet in our golf swings.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are stable shoes. In a less than literal sense, they’re designed for golfers who benefit from being anchored to the ground. Think of these shoes as offering a firm, stable base, and not a ton of wiggle room. It’s a platform, or at least a notion, that many golfers love and so I suspect many golfers will love FootJoy’s new Tour S.
I’ll touch on the tech in just a bit, but the big takeaway here is that the Tour S is the most stable shoe in the FootJoy lineup, in fact, it’s the most stable FootJoy shoe ever. Basically, it’s the polar opposite of FreeStyle. How I feel about that is very much TBD.
The stability comes from what FootJoy calls POWERPLATE technology. In simple terms, it’s an outsole design consisting of two key design elements.
The outsole is made from Pebax, an elastomer that’s stiffer but more responsive than TPU. One of the things you’ll likely notice with the Tour S is that it’s not particularly pliable – and that’s exactly what FootJoy wants in the Tour S. What you lose in flexibility, you get back to an extent in responsiveness. Pebax springs back faster than TPU, and ultimately that means less fatigue over the course of a round.
The second stability element is the addition of what FootJoy calls Launch Pods. The pods are what house the spikes, and while it’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics, their purpose is actually to widen the cleatbed so golfers can better leverage ground forces to create more power in the golf swing. It’s also worth mentioning that that Launch Pods in the toe area are comparatively narrow to allow the golfer to rotate through the swing without interference.
As a weight saving measure, FootJoy has replaced the metal shank traditionally hidden in the middle of its soles with lighter visible carbon weave fiberglass. The same material is also visible in the heel cup where it again saves weight without compromising stability.
A golf shoe, no matter how stable, is pretty much worthless if it isn’t comfortable. With that in mind, FootJoy has bundled plenty of comfort features into the Tour S.
- The TPU Power Strap harness system increases stability in the upper while allowing for a comfortable yet snug fit.
- An EVA midsole provides cushioning throughout the footbed.
- The new ComforTongue ensures the tongue doesn’t cause any discomfort.
That last one is particularly interesting to me. My one and only knock with the Pro SL was that I felt the tongue was a bit longer (and firmer) than it needed to be. With the Tour S, the foam-based tongue is much softer on the foot. It’s a simple, yet positively brilliant innovation.
FootJoy has already seen some of its Pro SL players switch to Tour S, and the expectation, or at least the hope, is that staffers who are still in the XPS-1 (the previous most stable shoe in the FootJoy lineup) will make the jump to the newer model, specifically for its increased stability, lighter weight, and improved comfort.
The New Flagship
Tour S is a new flagship in the FootJoy line and with that, you can expect a couple of things.
Firstly, it’s going to be available in a tremendous number of size and width combinations. I’d wager it will be the most complete offering in the golf shoe industry this year. As I’ve said before, if you can’t find a FootJoy that fits, you might want to think about getting new feet.
Secondly, as you’d begrudgingly expect, it’s priced like a flagship shoe. FootJoy is doing a bit of consolidation and SKU reduction, so initially, the laced version ($249.95) will be available in 3 colorways (white, white/blue, and black) and the BOA version ($279.95) will be available in a single white/gray colorway.
Given recent trends, I’d expect FootJoy to add additional colorways at a later date.
Retail availability begins 2/5/2018.
To see more photos of the FootJoy Tour S golf shoes, visit the Gratuitous Picture Thread in the MyGolfSpy Forum.