(Click on Photos for Full Size)
FootJoy recently approached us here at the KC with the idea to review their new flagship shoe, the Icon - which is slated for formal public release on August 15th - and naturally we jumped at the chance.
Acushnet/FootJoy is based in Fairhaven, MA and, it just so happens, one of our recent destinations was the nearby Kittansett Club in Marion, MA for 36 holes on Friday and Saturday - the perfect opportunity to test a classically inspired shoe on a timeless seaside links.
We've been fans of FJ Classics for years here at the KC and before our pockets were deep enough for FJ's flagship, we often sported other FJ models.
The Icon is the latest installment in the FJ catalog, can be seen on many of the best and most stylish players in the world and the high hopes we had coming in were going to be tough to measure up to. It is with great pleasure that we report that the Icon scaled our seemingly insurmountable pile of expectations and then base-jumped into a pool of "Hell yeah!"
First of all, on a stylistic level, the Icon is the best looking FootJoy to date. We did not expect to prefer the Icon over the Classic, in fact you'll find that reading through the KC in the past few months, we were hesitant that FJ could follow up the success of the handmade shoes with an outsourced replacement. However, the early photos looked great and when some of our favorite Tour guys started sporting them, the anticipation quickly built.
When I lifted these shoes out of the box, I quickly discovered a "best of both worlds" scenario: the classic styling on the uppers similar to that of the Classics Dry Premiere, with a new, evolved outsole - offering both enhanced stability and decreased weight. The Icon is light and sporty, yet elegant. It is the V10 coupe of the FJ stable.
On a comfort level - where FootJoy is known as the world's best - the Icon is a pure pleasure to wear. I took them out of the box, laced them up and walked 18 with no issues. I have always found FJs quite comfortable, but had gotten blisters in the past from Classics DP's on the first go-round. Not here. Footjoy's new Tri-density TPU outsole with Duel Optiflex Zones provides exemplary walking comfort, flexibility and stability. The Memory Foam in the tongue and collar can't hurt either.
Back to style - I, on the first day, paired these shield-tip/wingtip all-whites with tan trousers, a white polo and a brown/tan braided belt. I wanted the shoes to shine and they did - garnering me several compliments. On day 2, I went for the 'Full Cleveland' with a white JL leather belt, turquoise Peter Millar shirt and a Hugo Boss trouser. Both looks were very appropriate for summer and, in both cases, the white gator and intricate detail on the Icons really carried the entire getup.
We'd love to say something bad about the Icon as this review comes to a close (Just to mess with FootJoy) but we honestly can't. This shoe is worth the wait and is really a better alternative to the Classic models, which were meticulously handmade, but - after experiencing the alternative - seemingly clunky; not to mention quite expensive. ($349 MSRP) At $250, the Icon competes with top level shoes from Puma, Ecco and others and, quite frankly, blows them out of the water.
Iconic? Probably someday. For now, the Icon will have to settle for being the next big thing in golf footwear.