Golf shoes come in all shapes in sizes these days, however every avid golfer needs that pair of shoes. The pair that you rely upon most when the going gets tough. Whether it's tricky conditions, a comp that you really care about, a match with some cash on the line - you need the best performance possible from your kicks. The FootJoy Tour Alpha promises to be just that shoe for 2022.
I tested this new performance offering from FootJoy in wet, wintery conditions over two rounds of golf. I played at both Stockport Golf Club and the Marriot Worsley in Manchester.
The rain was well an truly pouring during testing on both occasions, not great for my golf game but great for testing golf shoes that promised in a lot in different departments.
The main 'buzz term' that FootJoy are using with the Tour Alpha shoes is 'Power Reimagined'. In a golf-tech-jargon kind of way, this means that the Tour Alpha is engineered from the ground up to deliver stability and outstanding performance. From the outset it's clear that these elements were the number one priority for FJ's R&D team when creating this shoe.
They are claiming to have achieved this through innovations in a number of different areas.
The ultimate in traction is said to be achieved through molded traction elements and Pulsar LP cleats by Softspikes that will FootJoy claim offers "unparalleled traction and stability in every playing condition and on every playing surface."
A new OPS system (which stands for Optimised Performance Stabiliser), made up of the external 3D molded heel counter, A-Frame and the lateral clip are there to lock the golfer in allowing you to swing hard and fast without any worries.
The Tour Alpha is also said to offer a balance of cushioning and stability in the right areas through a TruFit System and Dual-Durometer FTF+ Foam midsole.
As you'd expect from a premium FootJoy shoe, the upper feature ChromoSkinTM leather which is a supple, lightweight, durable and (thankfully during my testing) 100% waterproof.
Last but certainly not least in the footwear department, comfort is said to be delivered through a Golfalot favourite - the OrthoLite ImpressionsTM FitBed which provides immediate step-in comfort and cleverly molds to the shape of your foot over time for truly custom comfort.
If you're really into your tech and you're a fan of BOA also, then you're in luck with the Tour Alpha it also comes available in both BOA and Double BOA.
I think that's enough footwear technology for one review, let's get into what I really thought.
FootJoy Tour Alpha Golf Shoe Review
The Tour Alpha looks as exactly as you'd expect it to. It's standard, modern-day FJ - it's inoffensive and looks like a golf shoe should in 2022. It's modern, sporty, techy, contemporary, sleek but in my opinion a little safe in it's overall design. Like I said it's very FootJoy.
To me it just screams Kevin Kisner, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Webb Simpson, that type of golfer...
In comparison to other FootJoy shoes in this 'performance' department in recent years: it looks much better than the FootJoy Fury,, it's similar to the FootJoy Tour-S but in my opinion not quite as smart as FootJoy Tour-X from 2021.
There’s lots going on visually in the heel of the shoe but when you’re wearing them, from above - the toe area looked clean and sleek. This was despite the slight annoyance of pods that hold the softspikes sticking out on the sides. Don't be put off here however - if anything it's good piece of mind that your getting that extra stability.
The Tour Alpha it will hit the mark with plenty of golfers, but I wouldn't say people are going to love it aesthetically, they're not the shoe to either make or break an outfit in my opinion.
Throughout both of my tests of the Tour Alpha - comfort was never an issue for me. The leather upper was supple and hugged the top of my foot without every being an issue.
As I first discovered in my review of the FootJoy Fury golf shoes (which I thought looked terrible but were some of the comfiest shoes I've ever worn), the OrthoLite Impressions FitBed is really something to behold in a golf shoe. Similar to Boost foam in the Adidas Tour 360 22 golf shoes the OrthoLite Insole is just super-comfy over 18 holes underneath the foot.
If I was to give the FJ Tour Alpha one criticism in the comfort department, it would be that the traction plate on the bottom of the shoe is very hard. When combined with the many cleats and lugs, I felt that when walking on harder surfaces ate times, was almost wearing a pair of football boots. This may just be because at Marriot Worsley a lot of the course paths there are tarmacked, so this was exaggerated during my testing. If your course is similar, it's certainly something to look out for.
As usual with FootJoy shoes of this kind, anything that you could find to dislike visually, the chances are it will be outweighed by the performance.
This is a shoe that really scores high in the performance department. Every aspect of the shoe has been built for stability, traction, security and comfort in all the right areas. The build quality is extremely high and you can see that when first pulling the shoes out of the box - they feel solid and trustworthy. The exact opposite of my golf game.
During the golf swing, you really have nothing to fear on multiple types of terrain - and trust me I found them. I had a great connection with the turf thanks to the Tour Alpha therefore I had confidence that swinging hard would not leave me losing my footing.
On the downswing in particular, the OPS heel design no doubt kept me locked in. I couldn't help think that Bryson DeChambeau and his heel-swivelling-antics could benefit from a pair of Tour Alpha's. If you're looking for more support in this area, look no further - you'll find it here.
The Tour Alpha's outsole design is one of the best I have tested in my time at Golfalot. FootJoy haven't left a stone unturned and your golf game will benefit from that.
FootJoy Tour Alpha Golf Shoe Verdict
At first glance, I feared this was just another highly priced, tech-packed FootJoy shoe to add to the list. After testing, particularly in the tough conditions that I was doing so in, I was very impressed.
Yes visually they're not going to change the world, and you may not look like the coolest kid on the course, but you'll give yourself every chance of playing like him. On top of that, your feet will be comfy and in the rain - dry too.
The Tour Alpha is without doubt another great golf shoe from market leaders FootJoy.
Who Are They Aimed At?
The avid-golfer. The trooper - the one who's playing in all conditions. The hard and fast swinger - the one who's knocking it out there over 290 yards. The substance over style golfer. If Scottie Scheffler wore FJ, I reckon his funky footwork could do with a pair of FootJoy Tour Alpha kicks.
Would I Use Them?
Yes, I'd play golf in the FootJoy Tour Alpha again, without a doubt. I think if I had the choice of colourway again though I'd go for black as these are the short or performance shoe I would wear in the winter months.
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