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Review: FootJoy DNA Shoes

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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

Overview

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.footjoy.com/Catalog/Category/416″ oemtext=”Learn more from FootJoy” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IK9PD9Q/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00IK9PD9Q&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=OHF2CVE6GN6OCMMP”]

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Tim grew up outside of Hartford, Conn., playing most of his formative golf at Hop Meadow Country Club in the town of Simsbury. He played golf for four years at Washington & Lee University (Division-III) and now lives in Pawleys Island, S.C., and works in nearby Myrtle Beach in advertising. He's not too bad on Bermuda greens, for a Yankee. A lifelong golf addict, he cares about all facets of the game of golf, from equipment to course architecture to PGA Tour news to his own streaky short game.

49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. matt whiteford

    Mar 16, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    My new Footjoy shoes have PINS stud insert system.
    In 3 rounds of golf I have lost 5 studs?
    Will never buy Footjoy again, very poor design, will also tell my pals to avoid them.

  2. steve

    Jan 9, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    purchased DNAs this past August, played two rounds in them in club tourney in Sept and lost 3 spikes. worst quality golf shoe ever made. retailer would not take back, so I call Footjoy and am told that since they are over 30 days old, 32 days to be exact, that they would have to review them and determine what issue was….told that it could take 4-6 weeks…purchased shoes for $199. I’ve played in Footjoys since I was in high school, some 25 years ago, and will never purchase another pair. I understand shoes can have problems but the reply from Footjoy has turned me into a dedicated non-customer. I hope you have better luck with yours.

  3. Ernie Epitropoulos

    Jun 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I bought these shoe anticipating a great comfort feel and was not disappointed. However after just one round in an outing(rode in a cart) I was missing a spike on the right shoe! After reading more reviews this looks like a chronic defect in these shoes! Seems FJ is using a new spike that is causing this problem. Took them back to the retailer for a return and refund.

  4. liz

    May 23, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    my husband says these are the absolute most comfortable shoes he has ever worn. The comfort is matched by the frustration of replacing the spikes every round he plays. Today he told me that he had to replace two of the spikes three times during his 18 holes of play….he rode in a cart too.

    • terry

      May 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      agree, day one and I have replaced the same spike 3X, very frustrating and that was when I rode in a cart, what happens when I walk which I do a lot….not a good early trend, comfort yes, but stability is important

  5. Hamjack

    May 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Great shoes, except I lost two spikes the first time I wore them, and none of the shops around me carry replacements yet.

    • Herb

      Aug 7, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Spike pin system sucks. Loved the comfort and look of these shoes, but lost three spikes today, the first time I wore them. Totally unacceptable. Do not buy these shoes.

  6. Bobby Bottleservice

    Apr 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    overpriced and ugly.

  7. CT

    Apr 20, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Most comfortable shoe FJ has ever made. Worth every penny. I have never felt like my normal shoes are less comfortable after a round until I got these! They are like walking on air.

  8. Scott

    Apr 3, 2014 at 12:08 am

    I was so excited for these to come out. Then I saw them in person. They look so long. “Clown shoes” came to mind. I ended up getting a pair of Nike Lunars instead.

  9. Rich

    Mar 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    These shoes are the most comfortable ones i’ve had yet. On the sad side i’ve somehow managed to take out 4 spikes off them within owning them for 3 weeks. Really disappointed about it!

  10. pat du golf

    Mar 23, 2014 at 1:51 am

    Nobody can beat ECCO shoes on quality and comfort, albeit pricing…Ecco for life

  11. austin t,

    Mar 16, 2014 at 8:36 am

    First thing I did was change out the white spikes for black spikes and you couldn’t even notice them anymore. Now that they use the PINS cleat you buy the Stealth black cleat by softspikes, it’s made for this shoe. Put them in and you’ll swear you don’t even notice the spikes

    • Ryan

      Nov 25, 2014 at 3:00 am

      Did you have any problems with the softspikes falling out like the standard FJ ones?

  12. Chandler

    Feb 18, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I got a pair and they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever had. After two rounds of walking though the left toe spike fell off. I contacted FJ’s service department and they sent me a whole pack of replacement spikes. Foot joy for life.

  13. Tony

    Feb 17, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Footjoy Classics for me. I have 13 pair.
    Timeless designs and they have and will outlast anything from any current offerings.

    • Jordan J. Caron

      Apr 16, 2014 at 2:02 am

      Classics are indeed timeless in their style. But the 3 pairs I’ve owned are heavy and not the most comfortable. I’m looking at getting a pair of these as my club has a deal on them right now.

  14. Tony Lynam

    Feb 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Great looking shoe, but not the most comfortable FJ out there.

  15. chad ryan

    Feb 8, 2014 at 1:32 am

    They look comfy and sporty….a good replacement for the FJ sports i think. However….I will wait till they closeout and buy them on ebay for $80 after they release the 2015 versions next year. Until then it’s closeout icons!

  16. betterfredthandead

    Jan 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Cornhole!

  17. Chad L

    Jan 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I know it’s the trend, but just not a fan of looking more and more like we’ve all got alien feet. Hope FJ continues to bring new styles to the Icon lineup. Classic looks.

  18. Mike M

    Jan 19, 2014 at 1:28 am

    look forward to testing these shoes out!

  19. away

    Jan 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Just curious, if these are too much $, what is the $ figure you would pay for a quality shoe?

  20. Dahktazayus

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Wonder how these compare to the TWs. I know they aren’t that similar but I am deciding between the two

    • Rich

      Jan 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      As Tim said below, these are leather. I believe the TW’s are synthetic. You can’t beat a leather upper in a shoe. Go with the FJ

  21. larrybud

    Jan 15, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I would NEVER pay > $120 for shoes. Too many deals out there. especially since all of mine wear the liner out at the heel, no matter the price.

  22. MV

    Jan 15, 2014 at 5:47 am

    They look very similar to Adidas Adizero. Price are not so similar though.

    • Retlod

      Jan 15, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Agreed about the spooky similarities to the adiZero line. No experience with these FJs, but the Zeros are great…as long as you don’t mind leaving temporary cleat marks on greens.

      • Ciarán Hegarty

        Mar 5, 2014 at 5:40 pm

        The Main difference is the fact FJ are leather and the zeros are synthetic. so that were FJ win!!

    • Nick

      Jan 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      They will retail at 189.99. So 10$ more than the adizero. Not a huge difference for a shoe that will probably be more stable and comfortable in my opinion.

      • brad

        Apr 3, 2014 at 12:35 pm

        Having both I can attest, they are a much better shoe than the Adizero Tour. I like both and can’t yet comment on the breath-ability in hot weather, but from a comfort and stability standpoint they’re not even in the same league.

    • MV

      Jan 16, 2014 at 2:20 am

      MSRP $220 for standard laces, $240 for FootJoy’s BOA lace style

      • Nick

        Jan 16, 2014 at 5:08 pm

        MRSP does not mean what it will sell for. I work at a golf store. I have seen nike bags that have a msrp for 200 and sell for like 130. The MSRP does not mean everything for the actual price.

        FootJoy D.N.A. – White/Navy
        Price: $189.99
        worldwidegolfshops.com

        • Nick

          Jan 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

          And 209.99 for the DNA’s with the boa.

          • Joe

            Feb 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm

            Nike is hilarious with their MSRP (as are almost all companies). Look at some of their SQ drivers from back in the day. The MSRP was always at least $100-$150 more than the MAP price.

  23. Billy

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:54 am

    These look nice. Probably will get a pair. Pricey though.

    And some people were complaining about $180 for TW 13, 14 shoes.

    • brad

      Apr 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Seriously, these are 10X the shoe the TW is. The TW13 is without a doubt the worst golf shoe I’ve ever put on. I bought them on a whim, and got burned…which surprised me given the quality of the rest of the TW line. The DNA’s make the TW shoes look like flip-flops.

  24. High priced!

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

    200.00+ for non-leather shoes….

    Yup.

    • Rich

      Jan 15, 2014 at 6:35 am

      Did the story mention what the shoe’s upper was made of? I must have missed it…….also, what is split toe construction? That was never elaborated on in the story but mentioned in the cons.

      • David W

        Jan 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

        They are just talking about the seams down the middle of the front of the shoe.

        • Rich

          Jan 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

          Thought that might have been it but wasn’t sure. Thanks Dave

      • Tim Gavrich

        Jan 15, 2014 at 10:40 am

        High priced! and Rich–

        My bad omitting mention of the material of the shoe’s “upper.” Quoth the FootJoy website:
        ~ ~ ~
        Performance Leather
        ChromoSkin™ leather, developed by Pittards® of England, is a supple, lightweight and durable leather, offering two year waterproof protection.
        ~ ~ ~
        So it is leather.

        –Tim

        • Rich

          Jan 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm

          Thanks Tim. Thank goodness. I was hoping footjoy wasn’t going to synthetic uppers like some others in their premium shoe. Can’t buy any decent golf clothing that’s not synthetic these days unless you pay a fortune for it so was crossing my fingers that shoes weren’t all going to be going the same way. Cheers

    • Paul

      Jan 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Just to clarify, they are a leather upper unlike the Adizero. They are a pittards leather which is one of the highest quality leathers there is.

  25. Chris

    Jan 15, 2014 at 12:16 am

    My first question would be; do you have to have your club shafts lengthened? 🙂

    • David W

      Jan 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Honestly, one of the first standard style (not street or anything like that) golf shoes I’ve seen from FJ in a while that I like. I would never pay anywhere close to that for golf shoes though.

    • David W

      Jan 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Not sure why my comment went under you as a reply, wasn’t meant to be.

    • brad

      Apr 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      lengthened? Why?

      • Jeff C

        Jun 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        Some golf shoes seem to have such a thick sole (see Adidas tour 360s) that you could be an inch or two taller (slight exaggeration!) meaning longer clubs 🙂
        I like these and may replace my ageing dryjoys.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Linksoul golf apparel

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Product: Linksoul golf apparel

Pitch: From Linksoul “Linksoul is more a philosophy than a brand. More of an experience than a clothing company. Linksoul is the collective life’s work of people who care about each other and enjoy collaborating. We believe in creating products we value, with the people we love, for the good of our families and our community. Our roots are in golf. We descend from a long line of golfers, craftsmen and artists. But now we fill our time with many interests, including surfing, skiing, hiking, yoga, travel, cooking, parenting, dog walking…We believe that these everyday practices teach us the most about ourselves.”

Our Take on Linksoul’s golf apparel

Linksoul, whose mantra is “Tempus Fugit” (Time Flies), primarily provides golf clothing made to be just as appropriate and comfortable to wear on the course as off of it. The company has a range of different types of polos, tee-shirts, shorts, and pants available, but it was a button-down shirt from the company which I was most intrigued to check out.

Right off the bat, the brand’s Anza Heathered Button-Down shirt impressed with its ultra-soft fabric. To complement that softness, the shirt is wonderfully light and boasts an excellent fit. The length of the shirt sleeves is ideal, so you won’t need to keep fidgeting before and after each shot, and the comfort and fit combined gives you that added flexibility in your swing. The collar fits naturally the moment you put the shirt on and marks the clear quality that went into its creation.

It seems many are on the fence about whether button-down shirts on the course are for them (I was one of those!), but my take now is that they are the ideal summer shirt on the course. In the heat, comfort has to be the number one priority, and the button-down structure gives you so much more air. With Linksoul’s Anza button-down you’ll experience maximum breathability.

Linksoul offers the shirt in six color codes (White, Black Heather, Tidepool Heather, Ink Heather, Dark Gray Heather, and Dawn Heather). For $80, considering the caliber of the shirt, the only gripe I could make is that there aren’t more exotic colors available!

The brand’s Boardwalker Shorts are another piece of apparel that I found to contain the perfect blend of comfort and quality, as well as looking great. The shorts contain a four-way stretch fabric which gives you a plethora of flexibility during your swing, while the weight of the shorts I also found to be on point. The shorts are lightweight but not so much as to take away from the durability and quality of the shorts.

 

There is plenty of mobility on offer with the Boardwalker Shorts, while I also enjoyed that the shorts are a classic style length and sit right at the knee.

You can choose from eight different color codes (Black, Chalk, Khaki, Dark Gray, True Black, Bronze, Navy, Army, and River), and the shorts retail at $76. With their no-fuss look, high quality, and a clear focus on comfort, Linksoul’s Boardwalker shorts offer everything you’d want in a pair of golf shorts.

For those that prefer to play solely in trousers, you’ll be glad to hear that the company provide the same product in a pant style—the BoardWalker Pant.

There’s a huge amount to like about the apparel Linksoul is offering up, and at prices which are extremely reasonable considering the quality provided. Their site Linksoul.com offers a multitude of polos, button-downs (in both short and long sleeve), shorts, pants, and tee-shirts. If high-quality adaptable golf apparel is your thing, then it’s a company well worth checking out.

 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

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Product: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes (available at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy). 

Pitch: Via Jordan: “Jump up the leaderboard in the Nike Men’s Air Jordan ADG Golf Shoes. Famed for its incredible comfort and lightweight feel, the ADG features a Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning and an integrated lacing system for a secure, supportive fit. The Integrated Traction pattern offers you enhanced grip on every terrain and the signature Jumpman logos give you extra style on the course.”

Our take on Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

Confined to the feet of Keegan Bradley for years, the iconic sneaker brand seems to have proof of concept in the golf space, as evidenced by the growing roster of tour players (Pat Perez, Harold Varner III), and numerous retail offerings.

We got to test one of said retail offerings: the just-released spikeless Air Jordan ADG. Now, the Jordan style may not be for every golfer (can’t imagine them catching on in Tuesday morning senior leagues across the nation), but if you like the look of Js on the court or street, you’ll love the look of these. Indeed, you’ll probably love the look of all Jordan offerings for the fairway, as the company has done an excellent job of bringing its aesthetic to golf, rather than the opposite (if that makes sense…tacking the Jumpman logo on a pair of saddle shoes was never going to work).

So, appearance wise, the elephant print leather upper and other signature brand elements look great (and the translucent sole is an awesome touch). However, when it comes to golf shoes, particularly of the spikeless variety, we’re always concerned about stability during the swing (both in terms of contact with the ground and within the shoe internally) and appropriate support/comfort for the five-plus mile trek that is a round of golf.

On both of the aforementioned fronts, these shoes are superb. You can feel the comfort and support the instant your heel hits the Jumpan Golf logo on the insole, and the shoes do everything you’d ask a spikeless shoe to do on course. Highly recommended; we look forward to seeing what his Airness’ cordwainers come up with next.

A look at the white colorway, via Jordan, below. 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Callaway Golf Apparel

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Callaway apparel?

Yes, apparel, seriously.

Go ahead you can admit it, as will I. When you think of Callaway what generally comes to mind is hard goods golf gear, things like Epic Flash drivers and Chrome Soft balls. Personally I never really thought too hard about their apparel before, BUT one encounter with the lineup and I can assure you that when you think of Callaway you will think of shirts and apparel being as high on your must-try list as Apex Irons.

In the golf apparel game, there are a lot of players. From boutique brands geared towards the extreme high end to more “value” offerings that hit the mark on price but have almost no chance of holding up over a full season of use. To gain traction and find your “zone” as an apparel company you have to separate yourself, whether it be through distinctive cuts, patterns & designs, fabrics, quality, or finding the right ways & places to distribute. For Callaway Golf Apparel whatever combination of these they are doing, they are doing it very right! From quality to distribution, they are crushing it. Seriously!

How much are they “crushing it” you might ask… How about to the tune of over 690 percent year over year. Yes, that’s NOT a TYPO – 690 percent! Thanks to a glowing Q1 report (something you can easily access since they are a publicly traded company) Callaway’s apparel is leaps and bounds ahead of where they used to be for a number of reasons:

  • High-quality fabrics
  • Great cuts
  • Attention to detail

Since this is a spotlight on the apparel, I’m going to focus on my favorite pieces in the line – the polos. As I have said before there are a few things I look for in a nice golf shirt; overall fit (this dad bod has still gotta look good on the course), style choices, and quality fabric — I’d rather spend a bit more money for a classically tailored well-made shirt than something that is inexpensive but won’t last five cycles through the wash.

The highlights for these shirts are in the variety of options, the quality fit, and little extra details that allow these to be placed alongside some of the most recognized brands in off-course retail and pro shops around the country. Sleeve length is perfect and comfortable — no need for the old shoulder hike before every shot. The fabrics have stretch but not too much that the shirt feels flimsy, which a big no-no for me. Flimsy fabrics and poor seems are the typical issue with very value friendly brands but there’s none of that here! The collars don’t have stays but the way they are designed, cut, and reinforced keeps them looking firm and right where they should be.

Last but not least, Callaway’s full lineup of apparel has a huge selection of sizes for both men and women to make sure no matter your measurements you can find the outfits that fit your shape so you can feel comfortable on and off the course. If you don’t have access to a retailer you can shop their website.

 

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