Walk a mile in these shoes and you’ll hardly know you have them on, according to our equipment guru Jimmy Emanuel.
TESTED BY: Jimmy Emanuel, Golf Australia Deputy Editor (GA Handicap 9.4).
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I was struck, upon opening the box of the new Stratos shoes, that there is something quite un-FootJoy about the appearance of the company’s latest model. However, once the shoes were on, the comfort, support and all-round performance indicated they were certainly a product of the famed company.
Wearing the shoes for the first time straight to the course for a walking round, comfort was the first feature to standout to me. Initially thinking the feeling could be described as walking on a cloud, I quickly changed my tune, as I don’t believe a cloud would be as supportive as I found the FootJoy Stratos.
HOW THEY PERFORMED: With a design focused on comfort, it was no surprise that the Stratos was a pleasure to wear straight out of the box, although the benefits of a shoe fitting and having the exact right size certainly also played its part.
There was not one area that could be faulted in relation to this, with the heel area never slipping, the toe section a very good fit, the sock-liner fitting perfectly to my foot and the sole brilliantly soft, yet supportive.
In some models where comfort is the focus, looks and quality uppers often need to be sacrificed, however, this certainly isn’t the case with the Stratos that blends classic golf shoe styling with modern appearance and what is easy to tell is a quality leather.
As I walked a fairly hilly golf course, the support of the shoe continued to catch my attention, with absolutely zero pain after the round and no uncomfortable moments on the course or rolling of my foot as can occasionally happen.
The traction of the sole is also a new direction for FootJoy and again the Stratos performed as advertised.
Time spent in both heavy and light rain, as well as very dry ground without significant grass coverage saw the sole perform very well, with no slipping and a strong feeling of connection with the ground regardless of the turf conditions.
One would expect a well-made and solid performing shoe from FootJoy given the company’s history, but the Stratos exceeded my expectations, while I believe perhaps expanding the brand’s appeal with a slightly varied look from many of the other models in the line-up.
It was comfort that stood out from the start, and having spent a significant amount of time wearing the Stratos, I would safely say it is easily the most comfortable FootJoy shoe I have worn, and yet doesn’t let down in any other key areas of performance for a golf shoe.
FACTS AND FIGURES
FOOTJOY SAYS: FootJoy, the No.1 Shoe in Golf, invites you to experience the ultimate in on and off-course comfort with the all-new FJ Stratos. Featuring an unparalleled, ultra-cushioned underfoot ride, game-changing traction and super-soft leather uppers, FJ Stratos is innovative footwear that is specifically tuned for golf.
FJ Stratos features an all-new cushioning compound called ‘StratoFoam’, a proprietary foam blend that provides optimal support and comfort for conditions specific to golf, including swinging, walking and everything in between. StratoFoam is the perfect blend of cushioning, made up of a proprietary EVA/Polyolefin mix, which helps absorb shock for maximum comfort and energy return.
The all-new ‘VersaTrax+’ outsole is designed to provide max traction for every lie and every condition, featuring a revolutionary anti-channelling tread pattern engineered to provide total traction coverage, reducing slippage from any angle. The new outsole configuration utilises multiple TPU compounds to grip any surface – a harder TPU for on-course grip and a softer TPU for traction on harder surfaces.
The FJ Stratos innovation package results in Tour-level on-course performance and was named a top-rated, best-in-class shoe in Cornell University’s recent turf grass/green friendliness testing.
FJ Stratos uses a beautiful, soft, premium leather upper from Pittards of England, utilising a proprietary tanning process to achieve an ultra-luxurious, supple feel. It features an athletic-fit construction with an integrated tongue for all-around comfort and a reinforced heel for greater rear foot stability.
Visit www.footjoy.com.au to find out more.