Keen eyed golf fans will have spotted over the turn of the year snippets of information emerging from FootJoy headquarters about their new shoe for 2015.
Having told you about the innovation and inspiration of the new shoe we can now give the full low down. Meet the FootJoy HyperFlex.
The HyperFlex combines lightweight support and cushioning with the levels of performance required for golfers to play at the very highest level.
The most striking feature of the new shoe is the upper that draws from athletics, constructed from soft materials that provide flexibility and comfort. Running however, doesn't require much lateral support from the shoe, whereas stability in this area is key to a high performance golf shoe.
This was the challenge facing FJ's research and development team who, inspired in part by the cables of the Leonard P. Zahim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston, created the distinctive FlexGrid.
Doug Robinson, FootJoy Vice President of Design and Development Worldwide, explains the design process:
Our designers have carried out research in civil engineering and construction to create the distinguishing aesthetics of HyperFlex which are also fundamental to its performance.
Every area of this shoe has been carefully considered, incorporating exceptional craftsmanship and innovative componentry to create an incredibly flexible and lightweight, yet stable, platform from which to swing.
The FlexGrid 2.0 exoskeleton upper is strong enough to prevent the foot from rolling laterally during the golf swing whilst conforming to the shape of the foot and allowing it to flex. The material is soft and comfortable and incorporates a breathable membrane that is guaranteed to be waterproof for two years.
The midsole fo the HyperFlex provides the cushioning to golfers feet and also plays a key role in supporting lateral movement and stability. FootJoy has constructed this using the next generation of their FineTunedFoam, FTF 2.0, that is made using a softer and light EVA blend.
The FTF 2.0 layer features a distinctive look that was inspired by suspension forks from the world of mountain biking. Distinctive cells support the foot giving a comfortable "ride" to the player as they react to the movement and pressure shifts from the foot during the round.
Stability is enhanced by the Optimised Performance Stabiliser, or O.P.S, that is visible at the back of the shoe and gives support and controls the motion of the heel.
The HyperFlex package is completed by the distinctive looking Next Evolutionary Outsole that incorporates 'Tornado' SoftSpike cleats. Made from a thin TPU, the outsole is flexible and durable and provides all the traction required to anchor you during the golf swing.
The HyperFlex was seeded amongst FJ Tour players and Hunter Mahan had no qualms about putting it into play:
I’ve been a big fan of the HyperFlex ever since I put them on before the Ryder Cup. The comfort I get when I’m on the golf course all day combined with the stability as I swing the club is fantastic. I really enjoy wearing this shoe and also really like the progressive, edgy styling of it.
The FootJoy HyperFlex is available in Navy/Lime, Charcoal/Orange, White/Light Grey/Royal Blue and Black/Silver/Yellow with two additional colours, White/Light Grey/Royal Blue and Charcoal/Orange, available with the BOA Lacing system.