FLEX Review: A New Golf Shoe from FootJoy

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The FootJoy FLEX is a new release aimed at the casual golfer.

The FLEX may be a new shoe that is initiating some buzz, but because it’s FootJoy, they didn’t need to do much other than release it.

They have been around since, well practically forever. And the name FootJoy is one of the more dominant names on the PGA Tour. Or any other Tour for that matter. The reason behind their dominance isn’t a mystery. The company is worth a TON of money, and they happen to make some of the best golf shoes on the planet. I’m confident that 99% of you reading this are aware of FootJoy and their firm stance within the industry. This article isn’t going to be a place to look for historical background and how they came to be the powerhouse. We’re going to talk about golf shoes!

There are many varieties of shoes when it comes to FootJoy, but for this article, we’re going to focus on one of their latest releases. The FLEX.

FootJoy FLEX
Clicking on the image will take you directly to the FootJoy Flex webpage.

More and more manufacturers are releasing a casual golf shoe. With the FLEX FootJoy is welcomes addition.

I’m not saying that FootJoy has never released a casual golf shoe. They have, and the SL/PRO could even be considered a casual shoe. I use the word casual because I feel this particular release FootJoy has aimed for a different type of customer. One that FootJoy has not been selling to over the last five years give or take.

I’m talking about the golfer who may like to get in nine holes after running some errands. Or someone who’s looking to head out after playing and meet up with some friends.

When you first look at the FLEX, it doesn’t scream GOLF SHOE. And that is what I feel FootJoy was aiming for with this shoe. Once you dive in and look at what the shoe features, it becomes apparent, this is a golf shoe through and through. It just happens to have a look that will appeal to more people “off” the course than “on.”

I was looking for an excellent walking shoe to compliment my other brands and was happy when the FLEX arrived.

If I’m candid, I’ve been scared of FootJoy shoes for a while. I had a terrible experience with a pair a few years back when I traveled to Canada. 72 holes around Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs and my feet had had enough. As much as I wanted to blame the shoes for my misfortunes, it was utterly my fault. Lack of experience for walking that much in a short time was the real culprit.

So when we received notice that a few pairs from the new lines were headed our way, I was eager to get the FLEX shoe on to my feet and see if I could change my opinion.

FootJot FLEX

Here’s some information in regards to the FLEX shoe from the FootJoy website:

EXCEPTIONAL ON/OFF COURSE VERSATILITY & PERFORMANCE

Experience incredible traction and performance on course with the off-course versatility of a sneaker.

 

FEATURES & BENEFITS

VERSATILE TRACTION
The Versa-Trax outsole is engineered with traction elements to create an outsole that is perfect for on course performance with wear-to-the-course versatility. Each traction zone maximizes traction during your swing and provides exceptional grip when walking the course.

PERFORMANCE MESH
Lightweight performance mesh delivers incredible comfort, breathability, and all-day comfort.

LASER SPORT FIT
Offers a full rounded toe character with a standard fit across the forefoot and instep. A toe spring and a slightly narrow heel completes the athletic profile.

COMPLETE SUPPORT
A soft EVA midsole provides increased underfoot cushioning, enhanced comfort, and exceptional stability.

FLEX

The overall look and construction of the shoe are excellent.

I’m a massive fanboy of knit shoes. While this FLEX version may not fit the mold as compared to other knits in the space, I love what FootJoy did.

The lacing system is one of the best I’ve seen for getting the top half of the shoe to lock down your foot. It’s not overly obtrusive, and it works. The padding in the heel of the shoe where your ankle rests has been done very well. There hasn’t been any slipping or sliding for me while I’ve been wearing them.

The traction of the FLEX has been a surprise, in my opinion. When you look at the sole of the shoe, it’s easy to see there’s a lot there to grab on to the turf, but I didn’t think it was going to be enough.

With a much larger R&D program, this is where science and technology for the more prominent brands have a clear advantage. Much like my feelings when I first played in the PUMA Solelace shoes earlier this year, I was dead wrong about the grip. The FLEX shoes have an uncanny way of connecting with the ground. I can tell you I’ve never stood over a shot and had concerns whether or not I was going to my footing. Bunkers, uphill, downhill, damp, you name it, the shoes are just excellent at maintaining a base with your shot.

It wouldn’t be honest without a few gripes.

Two things about the FLEX had me wanting a change from FootJoy. The first is the laces. While there is nothing wrong with how the laces function, they tie perfectly and do not come loose at all. But, they are a little long. I’m not sure why this is happing in golf shoes lately. My TOMO shoes had the same issue for me. Obsessively long laces. It’s nothing that would prevent me from wearing them; I love the feel and function. I don’t get why the laces need to be so long.

 

The other mishap, in my opinion, is the insert. Along with this pair of shoes, we also received the new FURY’s. After trying on both, I was blown away with the insert in the FURY. I go into more detail on the upcoming FURY review. The insert on that shoe is fantastic. So after walking around in the FLEX with its insert, I swapped them out to see if there was a noticeable difference.

WOW! The FURY insert made the FLEX shoe one of the most comfortable “golf” shoes I’ve ever put on my feet. There is already a ton of cushioning in the FLEX, and maybe that’s why they chose a standard shoe insert, but after walking around in the FLEX with the FURY insert, I knew this was the right way to wear the shoe.

That’s it as far as my gripes go.

On the course, I’ve been nothing but impressed and happy, well, kind of.

I don’t get to do a lot of “walking” here in Vegas, the courses just are not set up to be walked. 110° summer days and large separations between tee boxes make it nearly impossible to walk a course out here. But, on my recent trip to Oregon, we partook in many holes where we walked, and I thought it was going to be an excellent test for the FLEX.

My ignorance of walking a golf course was on full display for this first round. Let’s say one of the major applications to being comfortable while you walk is the proper socks. When I’m walking around the house or running errands, I wear a very light, comfortable sock that goes nicely with my running shoes. Not having the experience of walking courses very often this came back to bit me in the ass, or feet, after the first round of walking.

The socks I had chosen were not the right option, and because of that, I had some early stages of blisters forming on my feet. That’s the golf shoe “F” word nobody ever wants to hear. I was pretty depressed after the round and decided it would be best to shelve the FLEX shoes for the rest of the trip. What I found out was it had nothing to do with the shoes, and everything to do with the socks I had brought.

After talking with my buddy Andrew, he was my partner for the Oregon trip, he informed me of the socks he wears and how he’s never had any blisters ever. So, I looked into them and ended getting a few pairs to see if I could notice a difference with how my feet interacted with the shoes.

The right sock and shoe combination is CRUCIAL!

I was clueless about how much the proper sock matters when you walk. I went to a store here in town that specializes in walking/running and picked up a few pairs of some moisture wicking socks. Man, what a  difference. I had no idea how much they would enhance the shoe wearing experience.

During the last round of golf I played I put the new socks to the test in the FLEX, and wow, it was like night and day. Kudos to Andrew for the education on wearing the proper socks when walking. Had it not been for him, this review may have taken a turn for the worse. But, because he was kind enough to let me know how oblivious I was about wearing a proper sock, I’m pleased to say the FootJoy FLEX is a damn good golf shoe. It’s crazy comfortable, and now, after enjoying some golf with the right combination of socks, I’m eager to get back out on the course and play some more golf! Maybe I’ll even start walking some more courses here in town that won’t kill you for doing so!

Congrats to FootJoy for bringing the FLEX to the shelves.

The FLEX sells for $89.99, which is very competitive for what the shoe brings to the course. With the majority of golf shoes ranging from $125-$200, it’s nice to see a shoe that performs that won’t break the bank.

The FLEX comes in the color variants.

There was also a special edition for the US Open that was just SICK:

 

 

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And the Bethpage version for the PGA Championship.

 

 

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I’m so glad to see FootJoy doing these special releases. It added some flair to the brand, and it got me excited to see what they have in store for us next! The Open is coming!!

The style is there. Functionality and performance are there. And, the price is ideal for golfers not wanting to drop a ton of money on a golf shoe. Be sure to keep an eye out for what FootJoy has next as far as the FLEX line goes and be sure to give them a follow on their social channels.

Follow along on the FootJoy social networks

The FootJoy social pages are excellent and a great way to stay up to date with product releases and special editions like the ones above. Give them a follow if you haven’t already!

Up next, we have a FootJoy Ladies apparel piece that Laura will be reviewing. Then, I have the FURY shoes that I’ve been putting to the test and can’t wait to share with you all. Nate Lashley just recorded the first win for FootJoy in the FURY’s with a dominant performance up in Detroit.

Look for those reviews over the next few weeks.

As always please leave us a comment below if you like what you read here or you have a pair of the FLEX shoes and want to voice your opinion.


Follow Mathew Wangrycht:

Writer and founder of the golf blog The Breakfast Ball. My wife will tell you I'm obsessed with the game, she's right! It's that obsession which drives me to become a better player and make this site enjoyable for everyone.

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