The Tour Alpha from FootJoy is billed as their premium performance shoe. We got our hands on a pair to see whether they live up to the claim.
The FootJoy Tour Alpha is the successor to the highly regarded Tour X. According to FootJoy the Tour Alpha features the latest footwear technology to deliver ultimate stability and supreme comfort.
Tour players using this model include Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Harris English and Kevin Kisner. Here we test the laced version. It is available with laces, Boa and dual Boa.
FootJoy Tour Alpha golf shoes review: NCG Summary
A smart-looking golf shoe, packed with technology. This is a shoe that would suit an aggressive hard-hitting player because of the exceptional grip.
- First class grip and stability
- Loads of ‘tech’
- Premium leather upper
- May need to go down a size
- Quite a heavy shoe
FootJoy Tour Alpha golf shoes review: First Impressions
This shoe looked smart, technical and perhaps a little aggressive, out of the box, particularly in the black version we tested. If Batman played golf, he would most certainly choose these shoes. They certainly look like they could handle any terrain in any weather. If I were invited to a cross-country golf event in the Himalayas, these would be my shoe choice.
The rear half of the shoe looks particularly interesting, with a 3D moulded heel, providing a stiffer and lighter rear structure to lock the heel in place. There is also a so-called A-frame support system which is an external TPU structure that fuses the heel and midsole together to deliver ultimate stability.
What is hidden from sight is the Dual-Durometer midsole, which provides a firm perimeter heel piece with a softer midfoot piece to offer comfort. All this is billed as an OPS system which stands for ‘Optimized Performance Stabilizer’.
There appeared to be reasonable padding around the heel and collar, although perhaps not as generous as some shoes in the FootJoy range. A loop at the back of the heel, possibly to assist with carrying, looks a bit fussy to me. The Pittards leather upper offers a premium appearance and feel, and, of course, is waterproof.
However, this size 7.5 shoe weighed in at a hefty 475 grams which is over 30% more than the Pro SL. I think this is probably due to the extra ‘tech’ of the Tour Alpha and also due to the cleated sole configuration, the Pro SL being spikeless.
This laced model comes in three colour options – black, white and white/grey/blue. The black and white colours are available in medium and wide fittings, whereas the white/grey/blue is just available in medium. Boa and double Boa shoes are only available in medium.
A FootJoy measuring had confirmed my size UK 7.5 (Euro 41) in a wide fitting. It had also found that my right foot was slightly smaller than my left.
Unfortunately, the size 7.5 shoes provided felt a whole size too large which is difficult to understand. I would definitely recommend sizing down if you were to purchase these as they are definitely rather roomy.
For on-course testing, I put an extra insole in the shoes and wore extra-thick socks. This did, however, rather detract from the on-course experience.
FootJoy Tour Alpha golf shoes review: On The Course
Testing was carried out in damp conditions over one round on my home heathland course. The shoe certainly felt incredibly stable and supportive.
This has the same Ortholite footbed that is in the Pro SL Carbon and that felt very comfortable. Despite my workarounds, I did experience some rubbing in the heel region of one foot but I’m confident that wouldn’t be an issue with the correct size shoe.
There are nine cleats which are situated right at the edge of the shoe such that the pods containing the cleats are visible when looking down on the shoe from above.
I did find the visibility of the sole pods a little disconcerting at first, but, if anything, after getting used to the appearance, it gave even more reassurance of stability.
In the damp conditions and sloping lies the grip remained secure – my feet felt really planted to the ground and I cannot think of a shoe that has offered more grip. These are definitely one of the most stable shoes on the market.
My feet remained dry despite an occasional detour into wet heather and rough. As one would expect from the premium leather upper, the breathability was excellent.
FootJoy Tour Alpha golf shoes review: The 19th hole
This review is tinged with disappointment due to the sizing issues experienced. I really liked the look of the shoe with the powerful appearance, bristling with technology. I also think the price is reasonable considering all the features. It is also a shoe that is straightforward to keep clean.
It’s perhaps a little unfair to compare it to another shoe that fitted nicely but I’m going to, anyhow. I recently tested the FootJoy Pro SL Carbon, which is extremely comfortable, quite a bit lighter and offers excellent grip and stability. So that would be my preference in most conditions.
However if that invitation for cross-country golf in the Himalayas ever landed on my desk, I’d be packing the Tour Alpha every time!
If you want something with unparalleled traction and stability, FootJoy have really hit the mark here.
Fit: True to Size/Small/Large/Wide/Narrow
Style: Athletic/Traditional/Off Course Friendly/All Weather/Casual
Out-of-Box Comfort: 7.5/10
Value for Money: 8/10
FootJoy Tour Alpha golf shoes review: The Details
RRP: £169.99 (Laced) £194.99 (BOA), £209.99 (Double BOA)
Sizes: UK 6 -12 (Half sizes up to 11)
Colours: White, Black, White/Grey/Blue.
More info: FootJoy website
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NCG Review Team
Specialism: Golf shoes and apparel
Jonathan also known as JT, is one of the biggest golf nuts on the NCG team.
He has quickly become a go-to for expertise on golf shoes and technical apparel. In fact he may have a different pair of shoes and a new waterproof jacket for every club medal he plays in.
He previously worked as a GP, which means he likes to get into the details of things, such as weighing golf shoes with his kitchen scales.
Jonathan is a member at Alwoodley Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to maintain his handicap of five.
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