Like a lot of golfers my age and older, my first few pair of golf shoes had metal spikes. I still remember my first pair; all white Etonics that had a wingtip design. The click-clack of metal spikes on pavement or a cart path is such a distinct sound. At the time, spikeless shoes were starting to be made, but most of them resembled gridiron astro-turf shoes and had little if any grip (which was fine if you’re playing a flat course with no wet spots, but otherwise not so good).
The last pair of spiked shoes I owned were a pair of Nike (pre-Tiger Woods) I purchased in the mid 1990’s. After that, it’s been soft-spikes on anything I’ve played in for the better part of 20 years until a few months ago.
My interest in spikeless shoes started when I saw Fred Couples wearing them at The Masters (2010 or 2012 if I recall correctly), which I found curious. If someone like Couples (with his history of back trouble) would wear something like that on a course that has a ton of elevation change, then he must be getting plenty of grip and traction. Admittedly I’ve always liked Freddie’s swing and how smooth and effective it is (maybe some envy as well).
Seeing companies make an effort at putting together good spikeless shoes furthered my interest so I began doing research. I heard great things about Ecco but they don’t make their shoes in widths (which is mind-boggling). I also looked at New Balance but if I’m being honest I wasn’t impressed at their golf shoes, so it was down to Foot Joy (one of the few companies that make golf shoes in an extra-wide width).
Buying: Excellent. Their site is pretty easy to navigate and get information about their different models. Their color selection wasn’t the greatest (they don’t seem to make a lot of their bolder options in the XW width), but found a pair in my size. Shipping was a breeze and they showed up 1-2 days earlier than expected. If I have one complaint, it’s the lack of color options with the XW sizes.
**Note: FootJoy did not provide me with any free product, upgraded shipping or any consideration. The review is my opinion solely; they were not consulted or advised I would be writing a review.
Comfort: Good. I also have a pair of Hyperflex II shoes which I like. The outsole doesn’t sit up as high and I feared wouldn’t have the same cushion. It’s a firmer feel, but still very cushioned. Size-wise they run true to other FootJoy models; for me this means sizing down since I’m 1/2 size smaller in Footjoy than I am in other shoes.
Waterproofing: Excellent. I haven’t had the chance to wear them in rain yet, but several mornings of being a dew-sweeper gave them a pretty solid test. No issues. They breathe okay and held up to several rounds in the desert in hot conditions.
Grip: Outstanding; far better than I was expecting. This was the single biggest surprise with these shoes. From shots off the tee to shots in the fairway, rough, bunkers, and sidehill/uphill/downhill lies, my feet felt very anchored in. At no point did I fear my foot slipping. From the first shot, when it almost felt like I could feel my feet ‘locking in’ to the turf to putting out on my most recent round, grip has been outstanding. Better than most shoes that have softspikes, and I’m not kidding at all. Easily my favorite thing about them. Still blown away at how good they grip.
Stability: Outstanding. I like a wide outsole, and these have it. At no point did I fear rolling over. Very functional; does what you expect. They’re a bit heavier than my Hyperflex II shoes as a comparison.
Look: Average/Below Average. When they first came out, my thought was that they looked like bowling shoes and I didn’t really like how they looked (the first color pattern of black and white still have that bowling shoe look, in my opinion). Probably my least favorite part of the shoe. I thought about buying all white instead of the white/tan I bought; I think I’d probably go for the all white if I had to do it over again. Still think they look a bit like bowling shoes.
Overall: Outstanding. Looks aside, FootJoy hit a home run. Fit, function, comfort, stability and grip are outstanding. Okay, so these aren’t sexy. They’re damn good golf shoes. If you’re thinking about a new pair, or adding a pair of spikeless shoes to your collection, I strongly recommend taking at look at the ProSL.
SONG OF THE DAY