by Scott MacLeod, Associate Publisher
Freestyle: (adjective) denoting a contest or version of a sport in which there are few restrictions on the moves or techniques that competitors employ. Source: Google
“…few restrictions on the moves…” – I don’t know many people who like to feel restricted doing anything, let alone golf. They might be wanting to have a look at the new FreeStyle family shoes from FootJoy, for that freedom of motion and a few other nice features.
Only earlier this week we posted a story about how mobility is an essential component for golf footwear.
I guess it was timely as FootJoy has introduced the FreeStyle, a shoe that leans on the recipe of solid traction combined with movement to help the golfer achieve more power.
Much like the exoskeleton of the FootJoy HyperFlex shoe was inspired the cable-stayed Leonard R. Zakim bridge in Boston, FootJoy designers found their muse for FreeStyle outside their office walls. In this case, a Tree Frog. In particular, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog and it’s prodigious ability to grip surfaces of all kinds.
Thus was born what FootJoy is calling the “F.R.O.G.S” outsole, designed to increase the number of contact points with the ground in all manners of conditions.
To do this the FreeStyle has a very flexible outsole and soft midsole, matched with Pulsar cleats.
Now with the grip taken care of, let’s focus on the mobility story.
FootJoy has a strong technical department, who complete a lot of testing as part of the shoe creation process.
In their work they found that although some players require a more structured shoe like their ICON Black and DryJoys Tour, other players need less restrictions on their foot movement to help them work the ground and create more forces that can lead to greater club head speeds.
FreeStyle shoes help generate maximum power by providing greater freedom of movement throughout the golf swing. This is where the FreeStyle is meant to shine.
“FreeStyle is arguably FootJoy’s most imaginative and distinctive shoe ever and will particularly help golfers who would benefit from increased freedom of movement when swinging the golf club,” said Doug Robinson, FJ Vice President of Design and Development Worldwide. “By drawing inspiration from a tree frog and emulating their incredible grip and flexibility properties in the texture and functional elements of an outsole, our design and development team has created something truly unique in the golf shoe market.”
Offered in four colour-ways in a lace-up model (including a very tree frog-like version) and two colours, with the L4 BOA lacing system, the FreeStyle shoes also feature a lightweight upper constructed of a performance mesh. The breathability of that should make them a great summer shoe.
They are backed by a two-year waterproof warranty and will be available at retail in Canada on March 15.
We expect to have our hands on a pair of these shortly for a more personal assessment. We’ll follow up with some more insight.