Review: FootJoy Tour-S golf shoesJanuary 23, 2018 Golf Equipment
The market-leader’s most stable shoe yet is light, comfortable and keeps you rooted to the ground writes equipment editor James Savage....
Our FootJoy Tour-S review has taken place over four different countries and three continents.
We’ve tested them in Yorkshire, California, Portugal and Abu Dhabi.
FootJoy Tour-S review: First impressions
The launch of FootJoy’s Pro SL shoes last year was one of the brand’s most successful ever.
Tour players and club golfers literally couldn’t get enough of them.
If Pro SL was a brand in itself, it would be one of the clear market leaders.
But as the No 1 shoe brand in golf, FootJoy were still keen to hear from tour players on how they could improve.
And the overwhelming area identified was stability. That has led to the creation of the Tour-S.
You may remember we got our first look at this shoe during FootJoy’s tour seeding process at the British Masters.
That was back in September but we’ve had to remain fairly tight-lipped about the Tour-S until now.
A raft of tour players put the shoe into play immediately and most recently we have seen Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello wearing the latest model.
The looks do seem to have taken inspiration from the Pro SL. You could even think of them as a spiked version of Pro SL with a few more bells and whistles.
They are an ultra stable shoe but for those who prefer a more sporty trainer-like look and feel.
FootJoy Tour-S review – The technology
So how have FootJoy gone about creating a shoe that takes stability to a new level?
Much of the technology is in the outsole – where the golfer and the ground really interact to gain power.
Lightweight and durable materials, including carbon fibre through the middle of the shoe all help to add stability.
The spikes themselves are housed in separate pods and are further apart in the sole to get a wider and more stable base.
And stability is not just coming from the sole as there are straps which help keep the foot locked in during the swing.
FootJoy Tour-S review: Q&A with Jeremy Baldwin, director of product management
What were tour players looking for in a new shoe?
“There were three things the tour player was asking for. The major thing was to have a very stable shoe. Secondly, they wanted something that they could wear all day so something very comfortable. Thirdly was something that was fairly lightweight.”
How do you make it stable and comfortable?
“The stability really comes from the outsole of the shoe. It has a power plate, made from a material called Pebax which is really lightweight and durable, as well as a carbon fibre section in the middle of the shoe to increase stability in that area. In addition, we have Power Pods where the spikes are located; these help the player to better utilise the ground throughout the swing.
“Inside the shoe we’ve created a fit-bed with dual- density polyurethane so the sides have a firmer material to provide more stability. Then the underfoot section is quite soft so that provides cushioning.
“Overall it’s a much lighter construction to what we have used previously.
“On the upper we have something called a ‘power strap’ which moves as you tighten the shoe and it helps to harness and regulate the foot as you swing. The bigger hitters want to make sure their feet are harnessed and secure on the ground to provide that power.”
Will we see tour players switching from Pro SL?
“We don’t ask players to wear a particular shoe – we give them the choice. Pro SL has been so popular on tour but players who are looking for more stability can move to Tour-S.”
FootJoy Tour-S review: The results
I have been wearing this shoe for much of my early 2018 product testing in Leeds and Abu Dhabi.
I have to say the performance has been superb.
Performance is the number one thing for me when it comes to a golf shoe and if there’s anything which can give me a bit more stability, I’m all in.
The Tour-S really keeps my feet locked down and helps be gain a bit more speed and power.
I don’t feel like my foot can move laterally during the swing and this gives me a feeling of more stability.
I’d say they are more comfortable than the Pro SL as the leather seems softer and there is a bit more padding around the heel and ankles.
FootJoy Tour-S review: Results from digital journalist Craig Middleton
I’ve tested the new Tour-S shoe in Vilamoura and in California and both times the shoe felt extremely comfortable.
That’s the main thing for me in a golf shoe, comfort, and the Tour-S has that in abundance.
Each time, I wore the shoes for 18 holes and practised beforehand and at no point did I feel I needed to take them off.
Another great aspect of the shoe is its stability which obviously comes from the new power pods.
I often lose my balance when swinging hard and fast but off the tee I always felt really well balanced and like I could really push through the ground to get more power. The shoe has heaps of shelf appeal with its stylish, clean look but, overall, the comfort is what gave me the most satisfaction. Top marks.
FootJoy Tour-S review: NCG verdict
I’m all about performance when it comes to golf shoes and I feel like the Tour-S can help me play better golf.
Seriously, this isn’t me falling for the marketing, this is from my own experiences of testing the shoe and I have seen some of my best-ever driver numbers and swing speeds.
Are these the most comfortable golf shoes I have ever worn? No. But they could be the most comfortable top-performing shoes I have ever worn.
For someone like Craig who puts comfort as his number one – he’d wear slippers to play golf in if he could – it was interesting to hear his feedback.
If they are ticking Craig’s box for comfort and mine for performance – that’s a pretty decent combination.
Now for the slightly awkward bit. These shoes are coming in at a punchy price point of £220.
However, FootJoy are confident there is enough technology in Tour-S to offer value for money.
I’ll put it this way. Would you pay £220 for the best driver on the market? I’m pretty sure lots of people would.
In fact they will probably pay double that.
I hope that PGA pros and retailers give golfers the chance to properly test the Tour-S out before buying – maybe using a launch monitor and comparing the data with a less-stable shoe.
We’re confident that those golfers who are serious about their games will be willing to invest.
FootJoy Tour-S details
SRP: £220/£240 (BOA)
-White/Dark grey/orange BOA
On sale: February 15, 2018