Footjoy Flex Golf Shoes Review
These spikeless golf shoes came out of nowhere and took 2019 storm. The Footjoy Flex Golf Shoes are lightweight, and designed for casual summer golf and driving range practice. If you’re looking for a casual pair of golf shoes, the FJ Flex are definitely worth a look.
Style and Looks
The Footjoy Flex have been designed as a casual pair of golf shoes. The idea is you can use the shoes on and off the course. To give Footjoy credit, the shoes do look like a normal pair of trainers, and would look fine combined with a pair of jeans or shorts. With that said, they’re not the most stylish looking trainers so they’re not really going to stand out from a fashion sense. On the course, I think they look fine with a pair of tailored shorts, but I’m not sure they’d go when wearing them with trousers – but that’s personal preference I suppose – you do you!
With no waterproofing (a waterproof version has been teased for initial release in the USA), and little focus on stability, Footjoy have been able to shed a lot of weight for the Flex, making it a lightweight shoe, no heavier than an average pair of trainers. The ‘performance mesh’ upper feels comfortable on the top of your feet, and when combined with the perforated tongue, ensure the shoes are nice and breathable. The heel and ankle areas are nicely padded, and my feet felt sufficiently locked down in the shoe so they weren’t slipping.
The EVA midsole provides a decent level of comfort, but i was hoping for a softer, bouncier feeling when I walked. Let’s be clear, these provide adequate comfort and I could happily wear them for 18 holes, but they’re not comparable to the levels of softness provided by Adidas Boost, Nike React or Puma Ignite midsole foam, which is a little disappointing.
Footjoy use what they call their ‘Versa-Trax’ outsole. The sole has been designed to provide grip while walking on the course as well as during the swing. The EVA sole provided a decent level of grip and I’d have no problem using the shoes on a dry day or at the driving range. However, I wouldn’t use these shoes in damp or wet conditions, the sole simply doesn’t have enough traction. To be fair, these shoes haven’t been designed with these conditions in mind, after all they’re not waterproof! There are some spikeless golf shoes on the market which can handle a wet golf course (the Footjoy Pro SL immediately springs to mind), but these all tend to have more traditional golf shoe looks, which you don’t really want to be wearing away from the golf course.
To be fair to Footjoy, it’s damn near impossible to create a pair of golf shoes that look like trainers, but still perform like golf shoes…sacrifices will have to be made. The FJ Flex have similar levels of support as a normal pair of trainers, and while this is fine for driving range sessions, or even social knocks on a nice summers day, I don’t think you’ll be seeing any professionals using these on the PGA tour any time soon – they just don’t have the support you get in a regular pair of golf shoes. You might be alright if you’re a slow swinger of the ball, but if you’re putting a lot of force through your feet during the swing when on the course, you might be better off something more substantial in the support department.
The Footjoy Flex have carved out their very own niche in a very crowded market, which is no small feat. They are versatile footwear, in so much as you can wear them both on and off the course, but they’ve had to sacrifice some of the golf functionality to meet their need for a casual styling (not waterproof and not enough grip to be used in all golf course conditions). For some, these shoes are just what they’ve always needed, a comfortable lightweight pair of shoes that can be used on and off the course, and who don’t need the stability and grip of a more traditional style. I’m sure in nice Sunny parts of the world these are almost perfect, especially for someone who’s playing more recreational golf. Clearly there’s a market for these shoes, as they’ve been a runaway success in 2019. As a first iteration, it’s a great place to start. I look forward to seeing future iterations of these shoes.