Review: FootJoy DNA Helix golf shoes

Golf Equipment

Equipment editor James Savage is among the first people to try out the latest golf shoes from FootJoy. Find out how they perform…

Our FootJoy DNA Helix review took place on the course at Moor Allerton in Leeds and Castleknock in Dublin where the shoes were launched to the UK media.

There have already been two generations of the FootJoy DNA – the original model and then the 2.0. So what’s the deal with Helix? And, most importantly, where have FootJoy looked to improve the previous models?

FootJoy DNA Helix review – The technology

FootJoy DNA Helix review

You may remember tour players such as Adam Scott were quick to adopt the original DNA. But Scott and others soon found their way into other models.

Now Scott, and dozens, hundreds maybe of Tour players are wearing the spikeless Pro SL model.

FootJoy insist there is still a huge appetite for spiked shoes so we may see some Pro SL players switching back to spiked with the launch of DNA Helix.

One thing FootJoy have done – in direct response to tour feedback – with DNA Helix is make them more stable around the heel area. But they’ve also kept the shoe light and flexible.

FootJoy DNA Helix review

There’s actually wider cleats on the sole which is good news for those people who maybe felt like they were falling off the heels in the original DNA models.

FootJoy say the DNA Helix will give players a more stable base to ‘go after’ the ball from.

The original DNA was classed as more of a ‘mobile’ shoe but the Helix sits more in the ‘structured’ category now – just behind the super solid Icon Blacks and DryJoys Tour.

One of the biggest issues I had with the original DNA was that they were too big. I’m always a 9 medium in FootJoy shoes but this size in DNA was too big for me.

FootJoy DNA Helix review

The brand say they have rectified this issue to make the DNA Helix sizes more uniform with their other models.

DNA Helix is lighter than previous DNA models and has a new softer and more durable leather which should make them more comfortable.

FootJoy DNA Helix review – First impressions

When I first saw these shoes they struck me as looking somewhere between the old DNA and the Pro SL.

The leather is noticeably softer and feels premium. I love the subtle branding and colouring here as well.

FootJoy DNA Helix review

The hero model (white, red, blue) is the one I have been testing and I really don’t think it’s going to put anyone off.

Previous launches such as the Hyperflex and Freestyle have probably been a bit too ‘out there’ – so much so that many people will discount them before putting them on their feet.

There’s some classy yet subtle branding at the top of the tongue and I am a fan of this thin yet robust type of lace and I feel it’s not going to fray – or get as dirty.

FootJoy DNA Helix review

To me the DNA Helix looks like shoe that will suit someone who wants the stability and performance of a spiked shoe but with the comfort of a spikeless.

FootJoy DNA Helix review – The performance

I knew they had sorted the sizing issue out as soon as I put these on. When I took off my FJ Versaluxe and slipped these on there was no difference in the fit whatsoever.

Now I’m a fan of the Pro SL but don’t find them to be overly comfortable. For me a spikeless shoe needs to be comfortable enough to wear off the course. That’s why I’ll often opt for the Versaluxe in the office.

FootJoy DNA Helix review

If you can’t wear them off the course then I don’t see the point of going for a spikeless model.

The DNA Helix are soft and comfortable – more comfortable than the Pro SL – and also make me feel like I’m more rooted to the ground.

I’m not knocking the Pro SL here but for me, I just feel aware of them at all times when wearing them on the course.

With the DNA Helix I literally didn’t think about them in either of the two rounds I played in them.

I felt stable and like I had plenty of traction. I also looked really smart – even if I do say so myself.

FootJoy DNA Helix review – NCG verdict

FootJoy DNA Helix review

This is a super-stylish spiked golf shoe that has all the performance benefits of spikes but remains extremely comfortable.

The Pro SL have been hugely popular on tour but that’s maybe because they always seem to be playing in firm and dry conditions.

Wait until we get some rain at the Irish, Scottish and Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and I think we will see plenty of Helix on show.

Unfortunately, these shoes are quite expensive – very expensive in fact.

But if you’re a serious golfer and want a pair of shoes that has excellent comfort, performance and style in equal measure – you won’t go too far wrong with a pair of these.

SRP: £175/£195 BOA

Available: October 2017

More information can be found on the FootJoy website.

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