I'll never forget seeing the FootJoy M:Project shoe for the first time. I was in Paris for the launch of their 2013 FootJoy apparel range and atop the display was one of the first pairs of M:Projects. After a presentation on the apparel, the floor was open to questions. I put my hand up first, pointed and asked "What are those?"
Truth is that the design and look of the M:Project shoe are very modern and different to the traditional, classic look that most golfers associate with FootJoy. But to understand the shoe, you need to understand who/what they are designed for.
The shoes are very, very light and feel almost like hybrid socks on your feet. Your feet have room to move and essentially grip the ground below you. The shoes are designed for players who have good stability and balance in their swing and are looking for a lightweight option that brings them closer to the ground.
If you are the type of player that swings hard and often finishes their swing off-balance, the M:Project's may not be for you. Whilst they will help improve your feel and appreciate the importance of balance, you may be more suited to a more stable shoe such as the XPS-1.
Some may be put off by the look, specifically the prominent cross-stitching. However, the shoe does feel and perform surprisingly well. I was impressed with the traction in the spiked model we tested (also available in a spikeless version).
Of all the low-profile, lightweight shoes I have tried, the M:Projects feel like they bring you closest to the ground. That profile allows you to interact with the ground more and 'feel' the balance in your swing, especially for pitch shots or side/up-hill lies.
The extra room in the forefoot is evident and effective. They feel very comfortable and give your feet and toes room to move, stretch and grip. It is a feeling that is different to traditional golf shoes, yet feels very natural. Rather than the shoe controlling your feet, it feels like your feet are taking back control.
If you have good balance in your swing, or are looking to improve it and want more feedback, the M:Projects are a great options, if you like the modern styling.