02 Apr 2024

Footjoy Pro/SLX Carbon

Swings are faster and more athletic, which makes stability one of the most important features in golf footwear development.

There appears to be a wide variety of golf footwear manufacturers these days. A growing number have added a golf line using technology from their sports range but only a select number have designed shoes to enhance a golfer’s performance. Until now, style and comfort have been the key selling points, but FootJoy has moved the goal posts in terms of R&D with their latest Pro/SLX line.

As the market leader in golf footwear, the brand has always been one step ahead of the competition, as they are soley a golf brand, and therefore have decades of experience of understanding the requirements of the golfer.

The modern game has become a lot more athletic and teaching practices by the likes of Master PGA Professional, Pete Cowen, have golfers of all levels learning how to use the ground to build more stable and powerful swings.

At the elite level of the professional game, the slightest advantage can make all the difference, which is why Footjoy has invested so much in developing the Pro/SLX. 

This spikeless shoe is all about stability and energy transfer, the two elements that are key to building a more efficient swing and score card.

 

The Technology

FootJoy has introduced a game-changing new traction design called the ‘PWR TRAX System’ in the Pro/SLX.

It features a moulded 3D ‘X-Wing’ that redistributes energy generated in the swing to the perimeter of the golf shoe. This was inspired by race cars chassis to maximise perimeter stability and traction. The ‘Race Trak Outsole’ with radial disc traction harnesses and extends into the ground to increase the overall traction footprint. The 3D X-Wing also provides increased stability as you swing and engage with the ground.

FJ’s own ‘StratoFoam’ remains in the midsole, offering exceptional comfort and is designed to absorb and return energy with every step. Around the ankle is a 3D ‘Moulded Collar’ that locks the foot in place for supreme comfort and a reliable, consistent fit.

An FTF+ foam surrounds the StratoFoam midsole for a stable platform when swinging. An exposed heel stabiliser and side wall TPU wrap help to control lateral and upper movement.

Other features and benefits include a premium ‘ChromoSkin’ leather as well as a ‘Laser Plus Last’ including a full rounded toe, standard fit across the forefoot and instep, and a slightly narrower heel.

 

Verdict

If you want to critique this shoe based on looks, you are missing the point. It goes without saying they are comfortable, but the whole point of this shoe is performance. Recently I’ve enjoyed my golf, swinging at 75% of my max swing speed, finding fairways and greens more often, but I’m down on distance as a result. The moment I try to up the speed, I get too much lateral sway in the transition with the driver, and I move the low point in the swing towards the ball. This results in a steeper angle of attack and the spin rate climbs. The swing speed might have increased but the distance is shorter due to the elevated spin and my dispersion is not as tight. 

The Pro/SLX is not a wonder shoe that can increase your swing speed, but what I found with the more stable platform was the ability to swing at 85% before the lateral transitional sway became noticeable.

I’ve practiced in the shoe for a week and played a couple of rounds and the shoe remains as supportive. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before the Pro/SLX wears and its stability benefits fade. I’m quite hard on shoes and ordered a second pair to rotate, as these will be the shoe I’d certainly wear in competitive rounds this year.

by Alex Gallemore

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