Review: FootJoy DNA Shoes
Summary: FootJoy's DNA golf shoes are comfortable out of the box, and offer a nice blend of performance good looks.
Classy, yet modern
Pros: The FootJoy DNAs are an excellent all-around shoe, comfortable enough that you won’t be disappointed if you find yourself lingering in the pub post-round without street shoes, and functional enough to wear in a casual round with your buddies or a business round with your boss or client.
Cons: The edges of the spikes near the toe might be undesirably eye-catching in your periphery, and not everyone is a fan of the split-toe construction.
Bottom Line: These are serious shoes with a modern sensibility, both in their heft and waterproof nature and the obviously high amount of technology that went into their production
As befits a Tour-level shoe, the FootJoy DNA (MSRP $220 for standard laces, $240 for FootJoy’s BOA lace style, which tightens from the back of the shoe) delivers very nicely in all aspects, from its modernly sensible aesthetics and the amount of technology that has been devoted to the shoe. Style, comfort, functionality: yes, yes, yes.
My “day job” is in the advertising and PR business, so I would be remiss not to introduce the FootJoy DNA (which stands for “DryJoys Next Advancement”) in the inventive way in which FootJoy introduced them to me: piece by piece. Don’t worry, though; this review will take well under five weeks to process.
No. 1: First came “Comfort” in the form of the DNA’s 3D FoamCollar. Splayed out and separated from the whole shoe, it looks like a large, spongy gray mustache. But as part of the DNA, it helps mold the upper part of the shoe to the ankle, which is important because excess movement of one’s foot in one’s shoe during the golf swing can sap away power and compromise balance and comfort.
No. 2: Next came “Fit” in the form of the DNA’s SnugFit Tongue. It is made of similarly squishy material to the 3D FoamCollar, which is meant to aid similarly in comfort. It helps hold the laces region of the shoe to the top of the foot without putting too much pressure there. Once again, the name of the game is both comfort and stability. The Tongue also aids with breathability, which is an underrated feature that becomes very important as the temperature rises.
No. 3: Next in the Deconstructed Golf Shoe meal came the “Stability” course: FootJoy’s NitroThin TPU Outsole. TPU stands for “thermoplastic urethane.” This feature is the most obvious piece of technology on the shoe, which makes sense because it is kinetic base of the DNA’s total functionality. It houses nine softspikes pushed farther out to the edge of the shoe than I have ever seen—in fact, the edges of the under-the-big-toe spikes on each shoe are visible when one looks down at one’s DNA-shod feet. This might irk some very persnickety people; it does not bother me. There are also all manner of ridges and pips in between the spikes that provide further traction
No. 4: The final individual shoe part to arrive is “Cushioning”: the Xtra-Thick FTF FitBed. In layman’s terms, it is the sole of the shoe. It is very substantial, especially in the heel, and pretty thin in the toe, which is by design. The instep portion of the sole is molded slightly upward, which further ensures the snug-yet-comfortable fit that is a hallmark of the shoe.
After this four-week primer, the entire shoe arrived and was, in short, worth the wait. My pair is mostly white with a handsome navy blue-and-back portion, which bleeds into the color of the outsole. The laces are navy blue as well, but FootJoy sent me a pair of white laces, too.
Many people’s first couple days with golf shoes are the least comfortable, owing to the traditional “wearing-in” period. Such is not at all the case with the FootJoy DNAs, which left my feet not at all sore after my first round in them. I cannot help but think that features like the relatively mundane-seeming FoamCollar and SnugFit Tongue have a role in this, since my ankles tend to take the brunt of new golf shoes’ punishment.
For a shoe with a substantial amount of technology—not to mention a softspike-laden outsole, the DNAs are quite lightweight. Certainly they’re not the flyweight M Project shoe from FootJoy, but they are far less heavy than the chunky behemoths of yore. It is little surprise that they have popped up on Tour already.
One expects that as of Jan. 15, they will pop up in the retail golfer’s online shopping cart and that on and just after February 15, they will be on retail golfers’ feet. That day is a Saturday, which is good news for those retail golfers’ employers: a minimum of sick-faking will be needed in order for the public to don their new FootJoy DNAs ASAP.