Review: FootJoy DNA Shoes

by   |   January 15, 2014
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Review: FootJoy DNA Shoes Tim Gavrich
Performance
Looks
Fit and Feel

Summary: FootJoy's DNA golf shoes are comfortable out of the box, and offer a nice blend of performance good looks.

4.5

Classy, yet modern


See It FootJoy DNA (Amazon)

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.

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.

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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.

About

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.


47 Comments

  1. Ernie Epitropoulos

    June 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

      August 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.

  4. Bobby Bottleservice

    April 20, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    overpriced and ugly.

  5. CT

    April 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.

  6. Scott

    April 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.

  7. Rich

    March 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!

  8. pat du golf

    March 23, 2014 at 1:51 am

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

  9. austin t,

    March 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

      November 25, 2014 at 3:00 am

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

  10. Chandler

    February 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.

  11. Tony

    February 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

      April 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.

  12. Tony Lynam

    February 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm

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

  13. chad ryan

    February 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!

  14. betterfredthandead

    January 25, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Cornhole!

  15. Chad L

    January 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.

  16. Mike M

    January 19, 2014 at 1:28 am

    look forward to testing these shoes out!

  17. away

    January 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

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

  18. Dahktazayus

    January 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

      January 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

  19. larrybud

    January 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.

  20. MV

    January 15, 2014 at 5:47 am

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

    • Retlod

      January 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

        March 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

      January 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

        April 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

      January 16, 2014 at 2:20 am

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

      • Nick

        January 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

          January 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm

          And 209.99 for the DNA’s with the boa.

          • Joe

            February 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.

  21. Billy

    January 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

      April 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.

  22. High priced!

    January 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

    200.00+ for non-leather shoes….

    Yup.

    • Rich

      January 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

        January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

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

        • Rich

          January 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

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

      • Tim Gavrich

        January 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

          January 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

      January 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.

  23. Chris

    January 15, 2014 at 12:16 am

    My first question would be; do you have to have your club shafts lengthened? :-)

    • David W

      January 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

      January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

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

    • brad

      April 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm

      lengthened? Why?

      • Jeff C

        June 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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