When FootJoy brings out a new golf shoe that players like Justin Thomas, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Kevin Kisner have already made the switch into for the 2020 season, the chances are, it's going to be pretty damn good.
The makers of the #1 shoe in golf is also labelling the Tour X as their latest best-in-class shoe. What that means basically is that FootJoy are saying if you're looking for a high performing, premium golf shoe in 2020 - look no further than the Tour X. Time to see whether this shoe really does have the talent to live up to it's X factor billing.
What's It All About?
What FootJoy has done to produce the Tour X is simple and something you will see a lot of golf manufacturers doing whilst searching for product perfection over a long period of time. They have taken the best bits of three different FJ products and rolled them into one all swinging, all dancing super-shoe.
The three previous models in question that FootJoy have taken from to produce the Tour X are the Fury, the Tour-S and the DNA Helix. All brilliant golf shoes in their own right, all with some great bits of tech in.
From the aforementioned models, the following bits of tech have been taken and combined to create the Tour X. From the DNA, the ChromoSkin soft leather upper and 3D foam collar and tongue comes in, from the Tour-S the powerplate outsole and integrated powerstrap offer what FootJoy call motion control around the foot, and from last year's Fury the ortholite impressions fit bed sits underneath the foot to offer unparalleled comfort.
All in all, the Tour X is designed to suit the golfer who seeks maximum stability during the golf swing; avid golfers with fast swing speeds who really like to load up and give the ball a crack. Let's find out whether the Tour X provides this.
“Feedback from tour and consumers told us that they loved the unmatched stability from the PowerPlate outsole and Powerstrap of Tour-S but craved soft supple leather they experienced in DNA and the underfoot comfort in Fury. So, we combined all three and turbo-charged it with the latest technology to create the ultimate hybrid performance shoe. And Tour X was born.”
Richard Fryer, Director of Footwear Product Management.
Given the time of year, testing these golf shoes in the UK in December meant that they were going to be put through their paces, properly.
I played the usual 18 holes of golf on the wettest of winter days. I played the front nine in the rain and the back nine in fog. The course was wet, conditions were tough and temperatures were low. Basically, the kind of day where if you don't have the right golf shoes - you're in for a shocker. I bet FootJoy didn't have Justin Thomas test these shoes in these kind of conditions...
FootJoy Tour X Golf Shoe Review
Given the claims from FootJoy, the first thing to look at here is the stability of the Tour X, which I have to say was brilliant. The new powerplate outsole gave me an extremely solid base on which to make every golf swing. Whether this was on a tee, a wet fairway or in a bunker, the Tour X shoes performed. I didn't slip once during my testing, which seems like a given but trust me, it's not.
FootJoy have achieved this kind of outstanding stability through 9 launch pods on the outsole - four on the heel and five on the main part of the foot. These launch pods provide a serious amount of surface coverage for both shoes - especially in the heel where the launch pods protrude out from the shoe to provide that extra width.
Aesthetically I think the outsole of the Tour X shoe is very striking too. With a contrast between neon green SoftSpikes and translucent white SoftSpikes, a bold Tour X graphic between also gives the shoes some serious on-course appeal.
The main design feature of the Tour X is the FJ powerstrap. First seen in 2018's Tour-S, FJ has updated it slightly for 2020.
In the Tour X, the TPU powerstrap now features a strip of carbon fibre down it's centre. Said to give more stability and control in the midfoot than ever before, the powerstrap was and is still a great innovation to golf footwear. Whether the new carbon fibre strip and slight redesign makes too much of a difference is very hard to say. If anything, at least it makes you look the part.
As to be expected from a waterproof golf shoe priced at £179.99, the upper of the Tour X is made from premium chromoskin leather by Pittards (a premium, performance leather maker based in Somerset, UK). This makes the upper of the shoe three things: super-soft to touch, supple in the swing, and waterproof thanks to the chromoskin.
During my test, my feet remained comfortable and dry from start to finish. There is no doubting that these shoes are 100% waterproof. Even when searching for the odd ball in thick wet heather, my feet remained dry.
Reviewing the Fury shoes this time last year, I was amazed at the comfort FJ's new ortholite impressions fit bed provided. They were some of the comfiest shoes I had ever worn. The only reason I didn't give them 5 stars overall is because I couldn't quite get on with them aesthetically.
With the Tour X, FJ have ticked both boxes in my opinion. Comfort-wise you get everything you'd want. Out of the box, I played in the shoes and didn't think once about any blistering or niggles. They were extremely comfy. I think the 3D molded collar in the heel of the shoe has a lot to do with this - it feels great on your feet.
One of my favourite features was the Tour-Spec stretch tongue. This in English means that the tongue of the Tour X is split into two parts, joined by some elastic in the centre. This gives you the ability to manipulate the tongue exactly where you want it underneath the laces for maximum comfort on the bridge of your foot.
Looks-wise FJ seem to have taken things a little back to basics with the Tour-X having a clean, uncluttered modern design. From above the toe of the shoe reminds me of the classic FootJoy Pro/SL's sleek, yet substantial shape. They are similar to the Tour-S shoes, with some subtle yet effective changes that make all the difference.
FootJoy Tour X Golf Shoe Verdict
When receiving these shoes, I was told by FootJoy that 2020 will see them unveil their best ever shoe lineup. After testing the first model in that shoe lineup, I have to say they've started very well.
Another thing to mention also is the drop in price of the Tour X. Although £179.99 is a lot of money for a pair of golf shoes, the Tour-S shoes came in an eye-watering £240 RRP. In doing this, unfortunately FootJoy priced out many golfers who would simply not pay that much. Now however, you can get a shoe that is £60 cheaper, performs just as well, and looks even better. Bargain.
Would I Use It?
Yes, if I were to play golf tomorrow, the FootJoy Tour X would be my shoe of choice and I don't expect that to change too much throughout the course of 2020. Great golf shoe.
Great modern looks
Wide footbed and launch pods provide unbelievable traction
Tour-spec stretch tongue is brilliant
Powerstrap genuinely makes foot feel solid in the swing
Colourways are simple and won't put anyone off
- Hard to find one to be honest. If you do, let me know.