Saturday, August 8, 2009

The New FootJoy Icon: KC's review





(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.  

Thanks to Chris Garrett at FootJoy for making this happen on short notice!

-KC

9 comments:

Hack said...

They do look sharp...but boy I dunno...two-fiddy?

Lessee...new 3 wood/hybrid/high-end putter orrrrr a pair of shoes that I will wear out in 1-2 years.

Still. Pretty.

The Khaki Crusader said...

Hack,

Sure. If it's an equipment vs. accessory/apparel thing, - its where your priorities lie.

Some have the fetish for the newest driver or putter, while some crazy bastards like us play the same equipment for 5 years, choosing instead to stuff the ol' closets and drawers.

I think there's a balance somewhere and it probably doesn't include 250 dollar shoes, but if you're already looking in that range - you can't make a better selection.

KC

Anonymous said...

More important... how did you play?

Anonymous said...

Clearly a shoe for the high end customer looking for the best, regardless of price. They look great and are something more that I would ask for as a gift instead of buy for myself. Where's the link to add to my Wish List?

golfislife63 said...

$250 is steep, certainly given the current economy. However, if these last as long as my Dry Joys and are as comfortable, I'd have no problem paying that much.

Mark said...

Nice, Rory McIlroy style right there!

Eric Kelly said...

In comparison to the Classics, how does the tip bend feel? When I wear similar priced shoes from other companies, it seems like the "toe bend" when I walk is stiff for a bit before it loosens up. The bend causes uncomfortable pressure on my toes. Does this shoe have that "natural" worn in feel or do you think it will take a bit before you have that soft, ultra comfortable feel?

P.S. I am a Classics fan to the core and own many pairs. Hard to say I can for myself to make a replacement! :)

Chris said...

Great review, thanks again KC. One point I would like to clarify quickly is you mention FJ ICON as an "outsourced replacement" to Classics. While the shoes are manufactured offshore, that is much different than outsourced. FootJoy owns all of it's factories in China and, therefore, FootJoy makes FootJoy golf shoes. We do not outsource production to anyone. It may seem like a minor point to some, but it's a significant point of differentiation between FJ and it's competitors.

Thanks,
Chris

Ottawa Golf Blog said...

Nice but I still like my Pumas (Tipper/ Swing Crown GTX).