Over a month, piece by piece, the new FootJoy D.N.A. shoe wandered into my office. A concerted media campaign by the company to highlight individual technologies saw a collar, a tongue, an outsole, and an insole arrive independently. Fortunately the final phase did not require me to flex my far too inadequate D.I.Y. skills. Last week a pair arrived with the full complement of features for my assessment.
The DryJoys franchise has long been a staple for the iconic shoe brand. Over the years there has been the occasional mis-step with the DryJoys design from a fashion standpoint but my early take is that this is not one of those times.
That is likely due, in part, is due to the extreme amount of attention to details that the company has used this time around.
“To create the most feature-laden golf shoe in our storied history, we needed to explore the anatomy, or D.N.A., of our premium footwear products and then scrutinize every aspect throughout the design and development progress,” noted FootJoy Vice President of Design and Development Worldwide, Doug Robinson, in a company release. “Every material and every component was carefully considered in order to deliver a shoe with lightweight stability, a precise fit, superior feel and ultimate performance,” he added.
Already validating the shoe has been the use by two of the company’s top endorsers, major championship winners Adam Scott and Webb Simpson. Scott has been wearing the model exclusively since September while Webb first slipped them on in competition at the Presidents Cup.
Canadian winter has prevented me from playing a round in the D.N.A. (which also stands for DRYJOYS NEXT ADVANCEMENT) so far but I did get in a full slate of practice swings during several hours on an indoor golf simulator. We’ll have to save the lengthy walking evaluation for a future date.
I was keen right from the start on the looks of the FJ D.N.A., the clean slate of the textured upper is simple yet stylish, but I was interested to see how they compared in functionality to other FootJoy models. Last year’s FJ M-Project shoe has become their standard for comfort in my mind while the XPS-1 (by my assessment) is their ultimate for stability and performance.
I’m happy say the DNA fits right into a sweetspot between the two models. A perfect blend with some extra features, if you will.
In the past I have had occasional difficulties with my narrow foot in some FootJoy models. It mostly occurs in the tongue area where I end up with unwanted gaps, often resulting in irritated skin and even shoelaces that come undone unexpectedly. It appears the 3D FoamCollar and the SnugFit Tongue lived up to their promise and negated this issue. I’m especially a fan of the collar which made the shoe seem like an integral part of my foot.
From the stability side of things, the platform of the D.N.A model seems more than adequate. It is not as wide and aggressive as the XPS-1 but even swings at high speeds felt solid with no chance of slipping on artificial turf. I look forward to seeing how they measure up outdoors and in wet turf conditions but suspect they’ll be no issues.
As mentioned the uppers on the DNA have a very barren look with subtle accents. Although not currently part of the company’s MyJoys customization program, they would be an ideal canvas for it at some point. FJ shares that the upper is constructed using an all-new ChromoSkin Leather System created by long-time vendor, Pittards of England. The result is a supple, lightweight and thin full-grain leather that is completely waterproof.
The FootJoy D.N.A. becomes available at retail on February 15th, 2014 and comes in five colours in traditional lacing and two with the BOA Lacing system.