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  • How the FJ ICON Came About: Interview with FJ's Jack Erickson

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    This summer, FootJoy will set a new standard for luxurious golf footwear with the introduction of FJ ICON. Created with design inspiration from FootJoy's deep heritage in the game while integrating proven technological advancements such as memory foam and a perforated alloy stability bridge, FJ ICON delivers beautiful, traditional style, a comfortable fit and tremendous stability. We recently spoke with FootJoy's Vice President of Golf Footwear, Jack Erickson, about the research and development of FJ ICON. Jack is responsible for FootJoy’s global footwear development process- from initial concept through final production. Click here to see all the styles. Click here to see players who wore FJ ICON at THE PLAYERS and click here to see all the styles on FootJoy.com.

    What was your role in the development of FJ ICON? My role was to ensure that our team stayed focused on developing FJ's new ultra-premium golf shoe. I work closely with the Design/Development, Product Management Teams and Tour Department from start to finish. What was the inspiration behind the FJ ICON? To be honest, we draw inspiration from every shoe we've developed over the last 100+ years and we believe FJ ICON embodies the best of FJ - finely tailored upper designs, premium materials, performance-infused outsoles and seemingly endless customization options. Like those that came before it, the FJ ICON shoes have been in development for literally years now so it is impossible to pick out a specific time or specific inspiration that triggered the concept. In truth, this project has been a collaboration of the ideas, suggestions, lengthy discussions and debates from our entire product development team, as well as ongoing feedback from Tour players. To simplify, we strive to make great products that will exceed the expectations of those who are most in tune with their feet and require elite performance products: Tour players. The ultimate goal was to produce elite-level shoes for elite players, period. One of the benefits of having an extensive line of shoes that covers all major pricepoints and satisfies golfers of all abilities, is that when working on a project such as this, we don't have to start from scratch. In fact, we have incorporated several proven features from other categories into the process of creating the FJ ICON line. For example, we have utilized the proprietary waterproof technology from DryJoys as well as comfort and stability features from the tour-proven SYNR-G category. As for the upper patterns, it was a natural progression to draw inspiration from our strong Classics heritage yet have the vision to also create looks that have a contemporary flair. As a result, we accomplished the goal of developing a new premium, high-performance category of golf shoes that exemplifies tradition and performance. Do you see FJ ICON as a replacement for Classics or the evolution of Classics? How and why? No. FJ ICON shoes were never meant to replace Classics. They are also not the evolution of our Classics franchise. They are an entirely new category of performance golf footwear with styling that will appeal to a golfer seeking a golf shoe with traditional design. Explain some of the key features in the FJ ICON shoes?

    • Number one is stability. The Design/Development Team created an outsole with a traditional profile that incorporates tri-density TPU and a perforated alloy stability bridge to anchor the foot firmly to the ground during the golf swing. Stinger 3 cleats from Champ will also provide exceptional traction and we also built in our Dual OptiFlex zone technology for additional flexibility while walking. Finally, we have integrated memory foam in the collar and under the tongue, which has been a huge success in the SYNR-G shoe. This will deliver even more stability during the swing, but also unmatched comfort and a more precise fit.
    • Number two is waterproofing. We've incorporated over twenty years of breathable waterproof technology into the FJ ICON’s construction to provide golfers with the added benefit of dry, comfortable feet in any condition.
    • Number three is styling. The goal was to create a technically advanced golf shoe featuring a blend of traditional and contemporary styling. This has been accomplished through a combination of upper designs and the latest calfskin looks from our European tanners. The result is one of the most beautifully refined golf shoes we have ever produced.
    • Number four is comfort. In addition to offering four different width options, memory foam is strategically placed around the collar and in the tongue to optimize fit. A properly fit shoe is the first and most important step in finding a comfortable shoe. The comfort of FJ ICON is further enhanced with full leather linings and PU-cushioned footbeds. PGA Tour players walk over 5 miles every day in our shoes and demand comfort.

     

    What is the significance behind the name FJ ICON? The FJ ICON moniker suits this category perfectly. This collection is our new flagship product– the styles will represent our rich heritage as THE iconic footwear brand in golf. In addition, we already have many of the best players in the world wearing these shoes- several of whom are considered to be today’s icons of the game. What type of golfer is the FJ ICON targeted towards? Golfers who demand superior stability, comfort and traditional/contemporary styling. What's been some of the feedback from the Tour players? We have been developing FJ ICON shoes for a select group of Tour players for some time now and the response continues to be phenomenal. In fact, the first prototypes we tested with Tour players featured the new FJ ICON outsole with a stock upper pattern and no discernible FootJoy branding. These were made 'under the radar' just to get initial feedback on the performance aspect of the shoes. We were pleasantly surprised to see several of the players, including Camilo Villegas, Ian Poulter, Davis Love, Hunter Mahan and David Toms immediately put these prototypes into play during tournament rounds! It spoke volumes about the confidence players had in the shoes' performance. Overall, the feedback from the tour players has been tremendous - they have expressed excitement about the performance, fit and comfort, upper designs and virtually limitless customization capabilities.

    Listen, you don't have to take my word for it, click here to check out some images from THE PLAYERS Championship. This was the first week production-spec FJ ICON shoes were made available to our players and several put them into play right away, including runner-up and fashion icon, Ian Poulter.

  • First Look at FJ ICON MyJoys

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    [Gallery: firstlook_fjicon_myjoys]

    For months, you've heard us talking about the millions of ways you'll be able to customize FJ ICON once they're available in MyJoys (September). Well, we recently ordered some samples we'll be taking to the Deutsche Bank Championship next week to show the players as they begin to customize their own, and thought we would share them with you as well. These are some of the first samples off the line and they look incredible!

    Click on Comments and let us know what you think. Which is your favorite?