There is a lot of cool gear in the golf equipment world that doesn’t always fit neatly into Most Wanted Tests or Buyer’s Guides. You still want to know how it performs. In our We Tried It series, we put gear to the test and let you know if it works as advertised.
What We Tried
FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA — the single-BOA version of FootJoy’s 2022 Most Wanted-winning flagship golf shoe. I say “single” because there’s also a dual-BOA (double “not for suckers”) version that I’ll be trying when (and if) FJ can wrangle some inventory.
Your Tour360 22 BOA Tester
Tony Covey. Self-described BOA-enthusiast with slightly wide feet. While not a fanboy by any means, I appreciate that when FootJoy makes a shoe, it makes it in wide (and often extra-wide). That’s called serving the golfer. Others should take note.
About the FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA
Unlike my previous We Tried It Shoe review, there’s no confusion here. The FootJoy Tour Alpha is an unapologetically spiked shoe. We’re not trying to go from the office to the course or any of that stuff. We’re just looking to maximize performance on the golf course. Crazy, right? Ideally, that means all-terrain stability, traction and comfort.
As noted, the Foot Joy Tour Alpha was this year’s Most Wanted winner in the spiked category. That’s significant because FootJoy hasn’t typically finished near the top of the rankings but, with the Tour Alpha, FootJoy managed to unseat perennial winner adidas. As I said, I tend to gravitate to FootJoy because of the availability of wide sizes anyway but a Most Wanted win … yeah, color me extra super curious.
The Tour Alpha BOA is available in two colorways (white/grey and charcoal/grey). The charcoal grey is unique to the BOA offering while all white and all black are available in the laced offering only. That part is kinda lame but the upside is that FootJoy offers a full complement of sizes in the BOA option.
As is the FootJoy way, there is a $30 upcharge for the BOA version of the Tour Alpha ($219.99, up from $189.99 in the laced version). Either way you still get the 2-year waterproof guarantee, but for some, the upcharge will be reason enough to stick with laces.
BOA Fit System
As I mentioned when I tried the adidas Tour360 22 BOA, there are a few different versions of the BOA fit system on the market. Some manufacturers have negotiated exclusive rights to one system or another and even the placement of the BOA dial can be proprietary.
The FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA leverages a micro-adjustable performance fit system. However, unlike the Li2 dial found on the adidas Tour360 22 BOA, it only micro-adjusts tighter. If you inadvertently crank your way past comfortable, you can’t click your way back. It’s a full release, re-click kind of situation. That’s still about 50 times faster than tying laces.
FootJoy enjoys exclusive rights to the heel-mounted position for the BOA dial so, as with other not-for-suckers versions of FootJoy shoes, that’s where you’ll find it on the Tour Alpha.
FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA Tech
The FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA tech story is pretty straightforward. In addition to the BOA fitting system, you’ve got Pulsar LP spikes, a proprietary OPS (optimized performance stabilizer) stability system and some other stuff designed to provide a proper fit and, ultimately, comfort. While mesh and pleather are all the rage in shoe design right now, the Tour Alpha BOA features a waterproof ChromoSkin leather upper from Pittards.
A Quick Note About Style
From a style perspective, the FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA isn’t entirely dissimilar from the adidas Tour360 22 BOA. Specifically, I’m talking about the flap that covers where the tongue and laces would otherwise be. I suppose I understand why some think it looks goofy but evolution has a cost. One day, this will be what the majority of golf shoes look like and, frankly, it’s a small price to pay for not having to make bunny ears out of strings like a sucker.
The revolution is coming. Best to get on board now.
Slipping them on
While there’s inarguably a modern slant to the styling of the FootJoy Tour Alpha (the BOA fit system all but mandates that), kudos to FootJoy for recognizing that getting your foot into a shoe shouldn’t be that difficult. None of that sockliner shoehorn and Vaseline (OK, maybe not Vaseline) nonsense here. You know how easy it feels to slide your shoes on after three games in rented bowling shoes? It’s that easy. Regular shoe easy.
FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA Comfort and Fit
If you missed my theories on golf shoe fit and comfort, I’ll refer you to my adidas Tour360 22 BOA review. As it relates to the FootJoy Tour Alpha, comfort was great out of the box—so much so that I disregarded my rule about new shoes and decided to walk 18 without a backup pair in the bag. I ain’t scared.
Walking up my first hill, I was left with no reservations about the five-mile hike ahead.
That’s big picture stuff but there is some nuance here. As mentioned, I’m just barely a wide-foot guy so I can sometimes get away with standard-width shoes, particularly when they’re built on a slightly wide last. My initial impression is that, by wide shoe standards, the FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA runs a little wider still. I own five other pairs of wide-sized FootJoy shoes and the Tour Alpha is the widest of the lot.
I’ve come to realize that my left foot is slightly chubbier than my right. With the Tour Alpha BOA, I felt like the fit on my left foot was perfect while the right was a little too wide. Unfortunately, shoes are sold in pairs without any sort of a la carte selection available. Stomping around in the FootJoy Tour Alpha left me wondering if, in this particular model, my ideal fit might be standard width on the right and wide on the left.
C’mon, FootJoy, can we make this kind of fitting option happen?
When it comes to sizing, for me, anyway, the Tour Alpha BOA is a sizing tweener. It is worth noting that there’s a surprising amount of crank in the BOA dial, so while the right shoe, in particular, definitely felt big, I was able to click my way to a stable fit.
Walking 18 with the FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA
When it comes to golf shoe comfort, I’m primarily concerned about blisters on the heel. For sure, there are a lot of areas where ill-fitting or poorly designed shoes can pinch, rub and, ultimately maim but I feel like the heel is the most vulnerable.
Generally speaking, I found the Tour Alpha comfortable in the heel … mostly. My one minor gripe is that the heel cup perhaps sits slightly high. I found that I needed to yank my low-cut socks up a bit to provide coverage and protection. No big deal as any issues can be mitigated by marginally higher socks.
As my round progressed, I did note some soreness on the outside of the ball of my right foot only. While it was far from debilitating, it did linger and progress throughout the round. I probably could have walked another 18 and been none the worse for it but it’s not ideal. I suspect it may be a sizing issue as there were no issues at all with my left foot.
As far as performance goes, the Tour Alpha is a stable shoe and, while that often means a thick rigid sole, I never felt like I was wearing lifts or walking in clogs. Traction and stability were generally excellent.
Performance is excellent as advertised. That’s probably the most important thing.
FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA – Takeaway
So where does that leave us?
I like the FootJoy Tour Alpha BOA but I’m not sure I love it. Well, I love it on my left foot. The right? The jury is still out.
Next time out, I’ll wear thicker wool socks instead of light to midweight cotton (I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy better socks, anyway) and see how it goes. I’ll let you know.
The upside here is that I don’t need to worry about breaking them in. It’s all about seeing if there’s a simple fix for my right foot.
Once again, fingers crossed.
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12 CommentsJoin The Discussion!
C8 months ago
Maybe someday Footjoy will make some non-pointy-toed shoes. Feet are meant to be pointy.
Alan8 months ago
Own a pair
After 5 rounds ripped out insoles and put in orthotics insoles
Otherwise an outstanding shoe
Tony P8 months ago
I’ll never wear another golf shoe again. I walk 4 to 5 times a week and at a “lite” 215lbs I need comfort. I am wearing On Trail shoes and could not be happier with the comfort, stability, and traction….
Mike8 months ago
I just stocked up on several pairs of an Adidas model. Lightweight, comfortable. Now they’re not waterproof, but I’m fine with that because I don’t play in the morning dew, and, I have other waterproof shoes. Under $50 each. Which means I bought 4 of them for the price of this shoe. For me, it’s hard to beat those economics.
P.J.8 months ago
Read the article, but no mention of how much it weighs. I was a solid Footjoy/BOA guy for over a decade, but they seem to have gotten heavier over the years. I was hooked on the Footjoy BOA DNA shoes. But, they moved on to newer styles and the shoes have gotten less comfortable and heavier. That led me to try Skechers Torque Twist/BOA and I’ve never looked back. Sorry FJ, but you did it to yourselves.
Tony Covey8 months ago
On my scale, a size 9.5 wide weighs just under 1..15 lbs.
DaVe P8 months ago
I agree this shoe does run a little wider than other FJ products. I found the shoe to be extremely stable as expected but did note that the feeling of walking is completely different to both my Pro Sl carbons and Premieres. Great shoe in the wet but think I will tend more to the others when the ground firms up here in Australia
Rick P8 months ago
I’ve been a Footjoy wearer for 20 years. Never even looked at another brand, because there was no need, but the season I’ve bought 2 pairs and the comfort levels have been horrid. They’ve been more worried about the ‘rebound sole’ gimmick rather then comfort in the light weight models.
Both pairs are now in the garage – I’ve bought a different brand that are more like a ‘old’ Footjoy.
Sorry Footjoy – I don’t need distance out of the sole of my shoe. No more.
David V8 months ago
I’m a wide-foot guy, presently rocking the Adidas Tour360 BOA. I checked out the FootJoy Tour Alphas the last time I was at Golf Galaxy and wasn’t impressed. The shoe looked really long and narrow. Maybe just long… like there would be too much shoe sticking out past where my toes ended. They didn’t have my size so I didn’t get a chance try them on and see if they felt like they looked.
Big Mike8 months ago
I own a pair and find them ok for riding but they don’t work for me when I walk 18. I much prefer the Pro Premire lace up as it is more stable and comfortable for my 6’4″ large body.
Whiskey2 months ago
I have been FJ BOA user for 20 years. Yes, i think they have gotten heavier. I have tried other brands. The newest Footjoy BOA are too wide for me. And i have learned moving down from 8.5 to 8 size., along with top quality insole has tightened them up.
Too, i have removed some of the screw-in spikes.on sole . Travels smoother and lost no stability.
Particularly i love the wrap-over top design that is very comfortable, tightens evenly, and easier to keep clean. I play over 100 rounds a year, mix of walking and cart. My garmin watch tells ne I do 4-5 miles walking either way, depending upon the course . My home course is very hilly and uneven. mountains of Pennsylvania
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