If you've already got the number one shoe in golf, how do you go about improving it every couple of years?
That's the challenge that faces FootJoy when they look to ensure that their Pro|SL maintains it's position as the go-to spikeless shoe for golfers all over the globe.
A couple of years ago the introduction of a Carbon model took performance and stability to the next level, and for 2022 the latest iteration of the Pro|SL has made improvements to the midsole and upper.
The Pro|SL has taken inspiration from the Stratos and HyperFlex in adding a StratoFoam midsole, which comes as a result of feedback from Tour players and is designed to provide new levels of comfort thanks to more heel-toe cushioning and better energy return.
The Infinity Outsole is still there from previous Pro|SL shoes and this provides excellent traction in all weather conditions, whilst an extra depth last makes space for a thicker FitBed, which enhances cushioning.
The Pro|SL Carbon is said to be FootJoy's most technologically advanced performance spikeless golf shoe and is characterised by a new clean upper, available in White/Black, Black and White/Silver with BOA.
It also comes with a proprietary FTF outsole complete with the lightweight Carbon insert, which works to enhance stability and provide 'motion control' during the movement of the golf swing.
FootJoy Pro|SL 2022 Golf Shoe Review
As you had probably imagined prior to reading this review, the new shoe design is very similar to previous generation Pro|SL models and probably will continue to do for the foreseeable future. The shoe is in an enviable position as it seems to attract pretty much every type of golfer - young, old, beginner, avid player - so the design was never going to change much.
If anything, FootJoy have cleaned things up a little on the upper for 2022 and it looks just as smart as ever, with subtle detailing on the heel and below the laces on the tongue.
The standard Pro|SL is also available in White/Grey BOA, White/Navy /Red, Grey/Charcoal and Black/Charcoal, with a host of other options available for the Women's model too.
Overall it's classy, understated and uncomplicated. If you've owned or liked the look of previous Pro|SL shoes, you'll no doubt like these too.
These shoes are known for being pretty comfortable as they are just the right mix of sturdy stability, without being too heavy or cumbersome. FootJoy have taken feedback from their Tour players for this latest model and worked to improve the comfort levels again, meaning that you still feel fresh after 4+ hours on your feet.
From my testing I was more than satisfied with the comfort levels and the addition of the new StratoFoam midsole did a good job of providing plenty of underfoot cushioning.
My feet felt nicely locked-in and whilst they don't quite have the same 'out of the box' comfort as a trainer-style shoe like the FootJoy Flex, any initial stiffness in the upper wore off quickly once I started to walk around.
The footprint is quite large, particularly with the addition of the Infinity Sole, so although the shoe isn't heavy it does still feel quite big on your foot.
All in all, the Pro|SL has always been a pretty comfortable shoe and this is no different this year.
I tested these golf shoes on a wet, wintery day at Prestbury GC whilst just managing to avoid the storms, giving them the perfect opportunity to prove that they can withstand testing elements.
As mentioned above, the shoe has a relatively wide look from above, which is enhanced by the rounded toe shape, and whilst this may not be to everyone's taste it does give you the feeling of a nice, solid base when you stand over the golf ball, filling you with plenty of confidence.
The traction was excellent for a spikeless shoe on a wet day of testing. Prestbury is also well-known for being a slopey golf course so there were plenty of occasions where I was hitting shots with the ball above or below my feet, but I had more than enough grip on every shot during my testing.
If you're still worried about a little more stability, you can always opt for the Pro|SL Carbon which is a little more expensive, but makes up for that by even more impressive performance.
It also gives you slightly more padding around the heel area for extra comfort and this should also help to ensure that the foot does not slip or move around whilst walking or swinging.
As you'd expect from a golf shoe that is priced at just under £160 the Pro|SL is fully waterproof, something which I can definitely attest to after doing my testing in the rain with very damp underfoot conditions.
FootJoy Pro|SL 2022 Golf Shoe Verdict
In all honesty if you've had a pair of Pro|SLs over the last few years then this new pair is not really going to represent a huge change but then it's hard to blame FJ for that. Why would they stray too far when the shoe is so successful?
After two years the brand were obviously keen to update things a little and subtle changes to the design of the upper, combined with the new StratoFoam insole, means that the Pro|SL once again sits at the very top of the spikeless shoe market.
If you're relatively new to golf and you're looking for a first pair of proper golf shoes that are going to last you, or if you're an avid golfer who plays a few times a week and wants something that is reliable and high-quality, the Pro|SL should be a go-to.
Would I Wear Them?
Absolutely. They're an ideal all-round shoe which is exactly why you're just as likely to see a PGA Tour player wearing them as you are an amateur golfer on a winter morning in Manchester.
In the height of the summer when it gets really warm and dry then I may opt for something a little more lightweight, but for 95% of rounds during the year they are ideal.
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