February 04, 2016
By Greg Monteforte, Style Insider, PGATOUR.COM
- FootJoy's FreeStyle shoe, which offers superior traction through a new outsole insipired by the sticky feet of a tree frog, will be available later this month. (Photos courtesy of FootJoy)
In designing its latest TOUR-level shoe, FootJoy turned to an unlikely source for inspiration – the red-eyed tree frog. Yes, that colorful, googly-eyed amphibian with sticky feet served as the muse for FootJoy’s new FreeStyle shoe.
One look at these kicks and it is clear that they are not your father’s FootJoys. The FreeStyle features a high performance silhouette that feeds into the athletic shoe trend that is dominating the fairways. Everything about this shoe is bold and daring, right down to the eye-catching navy/orange/lime ‘tree-frog’ colorway and the large ‘FJ’ logo at the mid-foot area of the upper.
While the radical design of the FreeStyle will certainly grab players’ attention, the technology that delivers top-shelf traction, mobility and comfort will be the most beneficial to their games. In fact, FootJoy claims that the Freestyle helps players to maximize their power by providing greater freedom of movement throughout the swing.
Through its internal testing process, the brand discovered that different players benefit from different shoes. For example, players with overactive lower bodies can benefit from highly structured and stable shoes, like FootJoy’s ICON Black™ and DryJoys Tour™. On the flip side, other players can find increased power from the mobility that the FreeStyle offers.
“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, FootJoy 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.”
The flexibility and comfort features of the FreeStyle make it a true walker’s shoe. The lack of an internal shank means freedom of movement is maximized, and strategically placed flex zones allow the shoe to naturally move with the foot. From a cushioning standpoint, the extra thick FTFTM 3.0 midsole is said to be FootJoy’s softest and most comfortable to date.
Speaking of comfort, the mesh upper is incredibly lightweight and breathable. Don’t worry – it is also durable and comes with a 2-year waterproof warranty. Tacky textured materials under the tongue and on the sockliner, along with an achilles pad, help to support the foot and lock it into place during the swing.
Power and flexibility are nothing, though, without traction, and this is where the tree frog comes into play. Its incredible gripping power is the inspiration behind the FreeStyle’s new F.R.O.G.S. (FJ's Revolutionary Outsole Grip System) technology. This new outsole features traction elements to increase the number of contact points in a variety of conditions, and it incorporates SoftSpikes’ flexible SoftMax™ molded rubber outsole. SoftSpikes’ green-friendly translucent Pulsar cleats not only look cool, but they also offer top-notch traction, too.
The FootJoy FreeStyle will be available later this month in a laced version for $190 MSRP and a Boa closure model for $210 MSRP. In addition to the navy/orange/lime ‘tree-frog’ colorway, expect the laced version to be available in more subdued white/grey/charcoal, black/white/grey, and grey/green/navy options. Look for the Boa models in energetic grey/navy/berry and black/lime/grey colorways with translucent heel dials.
Pre-order the new FootJoy FreeStyle now through the PGA TOUR SuperStore