FootJoy are golf's biggest footwear brand and they have forged this reputation through not only quality but through the depth of their range too, with a wide variety of models released each year in an attempt to cater to every single golfer.
The new Stratos is looking to add to that by providing for the growing market of golfers who are looking for a 'hybrid' golf shoe, which is suitable for use both on and off the golf course.
What's It All About?
The FootJoy Stratos is said to give golfers 'out of this world comfort' thanks mainly to the StratoFoam cushioning, a proprietary blend that combines both support and comfort to ensure that you're perfectly equipped for walking and swinging during a round of golf.
FootJoy's new VersaTrax+ outsole is designed to give you great levels of grip from any lie in all conditions out on the golf course. The tread pattern has been designed to provide an 'anti-channeling' traction by reducing the chances of dirt or debris getting caught in the sole to maintain better ground contact.
The traction points are also deliberately positioned at different angles so that the shoe can always find a little bit of extra grip and prevent slippage.
On the top of the shoe, the upper is made with an ultra-soft NappaLuxe leather for an 'ultra luxurious, supple feel'. It has an athletic feel construction and an integrated tongue for added comfort, whilst a reinforced heel provides greater stability in the rear of the foot.
The Stratos comes with a year's waterproof warranty, and also features a PU FitBed complete with cork lining to provided added underfoot cushioning - yet more evidence of FootJoy's commitment to making sure that you are comfortable whilst playing golf in these shoes.
A golf shoe needs to connect your foot to the surface that you're playing on, but the loud and clear feedback from our target consumer is that it also needs to provide exceptional comfort.
Our game changing StratoFoam midsole was designed and developed specifically for golf, providing cloud-like comfort while absorbing and returning the most energy, which results in less foot fatigue after a round of golf.
Combined with the revolutionary VersaTrax+ outsole, the FJ Stratos delivers the best combination of uncompromising on-course traction with genuine off-course versatility and ultimate comfort.
Richard Fryer, Director of Product Management, FootJoy Footwear
FootJoy Stratos Golf Shoe Review
The Stratos essentially combines the upper of a casual street style shoe with the sole of a golf shoe in one package, which means that it is stylish enough to wear in the bar following your round but with an understated, classical design which still looks at home on a golf course too.
The navy blue and grey colourway I received was smart and I can imagine it being popular among golfers, but there are also three other colourways available for men - Brown, Grey and White - depending on preference.
I recently reviewed the Ecco Biom H4 shoes and there were a number of similarities in the style and design of the two shoes, including the outsole technology and the brown tag on the tongue.
Considering Ecco are one of the major players when it comes to producing shoes in this target market, I suppose this shouldn't be too surprising.
FootJoy are saying that this shoe is all about comfort - and I can safely say that they delivered. When I first put on the shoe I could instantly feel the sturdy, secure fit and my foot felt nicely locked into the foot, particularly thanks to the softer material around the heel.
The addition of the StratoFoam felt like there was a clear layer of cushioning between you and the ground, akin to a plush trainer, without feeling like you were too disconnected. StratoFoam is very similar to Adidas' boost technology, which is a great piece of shoe technology also.
Quite simply they were a joy to walk in and after 18 holes in pretty soft, damp conditions I still felt fresh. I'm sure we've all had those rounds where the golf shoes you've chosen are so uncomfortable that you're counting down the steps until you can take them off and put your trainers back on? No such issues here.
The cork-lined insole, as part of the PU FitBed was comfortable, although from previous experience these have tended to wear quite quickly after a year or so of use so it's something to keep an eye on.
Throughout my round the VersaTrax outsole did a great job of providing lots of traction, even in some pretty adverse Wintery weather conditions.
Of course you'd probably get even more security if you went for a soft spiked shoe like a FootJoy Tour X or the new Premiere Series, but as far as spikeless shoes go the Stratos is among the best I have tested.
I did seem to get a little bit of debris caught in the sole despite FootJoy saying that it had an anti-channeling design, but at least this proves that there's plenty of grip there as those lugs on the sole are really pretty heavy-duty. Nothing a tee peg every 9 holes can't sort!
The overall quality of the product was good as you'd expect from FootJoy, but particularly when you consider that the price tag of £160 is at the top-end for spikeless shoes. The laces were excellent as they felt secure and sturdy and added nice touches such as the small FootJoy badge on the shoe's upper served as a reminder of the quality you're getting.
FootJoy Stratos Golf Shoe Verdict
Overall, the FootJoy Stratos Shoes provide the excellent comfort and flexibility that golfers want from a spikeless shoe, along with plenty of traction, without removing themselves too far from the looks of a traditional golf shoe.
Because of this, I could see the Stratos being popular with the older generation of traditional golfers who may have typically used a spiked shoe 'back in the day' but who are not really in the target market for the likes of FootJoy's HyperFlex or Flex models.
Back in 2019 my colleague George tested the Golf Casual shoe and these reminded me of those, albeit more suitable to year-round use thanks to better traction and waterproof protection.
If you're looking for a middle of the road shoe which is suitable for almost every round of golf you'll play, particularly those when walking or carrying your bag, without breaking the bank, then the FJ Stratos should certainly be on your shortlist.
- Excellent comfort levels
- Traction was impressive for a spikeless shoe
- Classical styling will suit older golfers
- Sturdy, solid feel
- Waterproof protection
- Not as lightweight as some of FJ's other spikeless options
- £160 is expensive for a spikeless shoe
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