Thought I'd share my review of the SYNR-G shoe. I entered a contest in late December last year and have about 7 months now with the shoe.
These are without a doubt the most comfortable golf shoes I have ever worn. The first round was a little rough, the break in period was annoying. The tongue/collar was digging into the bottom of my left ankle. The part above your toes wasn't creased so the leather would bend and dig into the top of your foot. Once there were 2 or 3 creases formed, it wasn't noticable at all. The tongue/collar thing worked itself out. Typical for a pair of new shoes, so I can't really hold much back. The Adidas Euro Torsian shoes I had fit so snug to my foot, that's why I got them. Problem is their sole is narrow and the lateral stability was poor.
I absolutely love the memory foam, the way it wraps around your ankle. This is definetly an area where these shoes really shine. The tongue has memory foam also. I wouldn't say I have hair feet, but I have a few hairs on the top of my foot. Sometimes if I wear a certain type of socks, the area with hair will feel raw or sensitive to touch. The memory foam forms to the contour of your feet and gives just enough to stop that effect.
I'm not sure what to call the gray interior material. It felt like a micro-suede meets your favorite pair of eqyption cotton socks. Anyways, it is comfy.
The SYNR-G's were extremely comfortable with respect to impact walking on concrete or the cart path. I usually take a few pain killers before a round, but I decided to hold off with these, just to see if there was a noticable difference. There was.
More to come later on this, but these shoes are extremely comfortable to walk in once they are broken in. The heel has an angled rear that sort of rocks when you step. Kind of like ski boots have so you can walk in them. This is a problem later on, but made it comfortable to walk in.
The FootJoy SYNR-G's deserve a caveat for this rating. The shoes on a flat course, wet or dry, would receive a solid 10!!! The spike and sole design can be compared to wild-beast-like teeth that dig into the soil and privde excellence traction. I did not twist out of a single shot with these shoes and I played in the rain during my first round. My main compaint, which is a common theme, one that will be spelled out in detail in the stability section below, is that these shoes are horrible for a side hill lie where the ball is above your feet.
Lets face it, muni tracks (especially those in the L.A. area,) have unlevel tee boxes. I can't stand that, it's a pet peev of mine. How hard is it to grate a tee box, slap down some sod, roll the turf, fill in dips, whatever. Flat grass hitting area's are not rocket science. Too often do I find myself teeing off with the ball above my feet because some golf course superintendent is either an idiot or doesn't actually play golf and has no clue that an unlevel tee box is annoying. So how does this effect the SYNR-G's performance??? The shoes have almost no rear lateral stability. By making the shoe very comfortable to walk in, FootJoy put an angle on the sole from the back pair of spikes to the heel. That angle makes it very easy to fall back on your swing and put a monstrous HOOK on the ball. It happend also a few times on the course when I had a side hill like...ball above my feet. It was so apparent, I actually over-compensated on a few shots and leaned foward too far, causing my hands to swing low and inside, which made for an even nastier toe'd-hook.
So far I have found no reason to believe these won't last 10 years. The shoe is built amazingly well. I have heard of people wearing the same FJ's for 10+ years. My best friend has a pair of classics he got his Junior year of High School, he's 27 now. The spikes lock in place very well. I have always had spikes twist out. The Adidas shoes I have had lost spikes and then the ports got bent because they were cheap plastic and then the shoe was -1 spike from then on. Or the spike I replaced it with kept falling out. Now, I only have 3 rounds on these, but the seem between the sole and the leather upper is perfect. The memory foam seems to fit snug on my ankle and heel, and the shoe doesn't rub inside. That's the first reason I get rid of a golf shoe, if the plastic sole shaper peice is exposed and the leather has ripped. The SYNR-G's don't seem to have that problem yet, not saying it won't, but has impressed me in this area so far.
Sort of a subset to performance and maybe stability. FootJoy SYNR-G's are the best traction I have ever had with a soft spike shoe, if metal spikes are 10, these are a close 9.5+ I love the Stinger spikes by Champ. I prefer those 100% over pulsar or any other soft spike. Not much to say here except GREAT!!!
For the type of shoe the SYNR-G's are, they felt very comfortable in the cooling department. I played with them in 50° weather and 80° weather. They kept my foot warm in the cold weather, which is nice. I didn't notice heat as a factor when it was 80 out, so I can't say they don't cool. I guess I just didn't really notice it that much. My feet did not cold-sweat which is good. On the 80° day, my feet were dry and not sweaty. I guess if a golf sandal are a 10, a golf tennis shoe with perforated upper is a 9, the SYNR-G is an 8.
I'm not sure if this makes sense or not, but for the breathibility (is that even a word...) front, I didn't have prune-y or wrinkled feet. Sometimes if you play in a cold/hot day your feet will sweat and when I take my shoes off, I have pruney toe prints or a wrinkly sole in the arch of my foot. These shoes seemed to vent the moisture well enough to; A. not smell and B. not make my feet feel wet.
I also never got that feeling like my feet were on fire. I don't really thing it is athlete's foot, but I think you all know what I mean when you've been in your shoes for a while on a really hot day and your feet feel really hot, yeah, didn't feel that.
Ok, first of all, I am a harsh grader. I set my bar high. The shoes were great for lateral stability. (swaying back in backswing, leaning forward on downswing.) The "perforated alloy stability bridge" is similar to my old Adidas Tour Metals. The shoes resisting twisting. I belive that helps you from torquing yourself out of a shot. I didn't twist out of a single swing.
I added a point and a half to the stability score after I rememberd the silicon logo "Heeloc Zone" on the bottom of the insole. This helps loc your heel and the ball of your foot in place and helps stop the internal twisting. This will help reduce shoe wear from friction and also helps give you that little boost in your pivot turn because your heel doesn't slide into the side of your shoe. I believe this helps you keep level for a longer period of time during your down swing, so you aren't leaning over one foot before impact. I see lots of peoples golf shoes where the upper is rolling over the side of the shoe because the shoe is probably a little big and the foot slides inside, pushing against the upper and stretching it over the sole.
Where the SYNR-G let me down was forward/backward stability. As stated above, the SYNR-G has an angled heel section on the sole of the shoe. I believe this helps with the comfort for walking long distances in the shoes. The downfall is they offer little rear stability during a swing. On a level surface, if you tend to pull off a shot, they will even rock back on you. On a surface where the ball was above my feet....I had problems. Now, this might be my error and I pull off my shots worst than some, if so, sorry to FootJoy for the bad rep, but this is my honest post.
In the picture in my first post you can kind of see the angle on the sole. Basically if your weight is on the back part of your heel and that is centered behind the last set of spikes, you will easily rock back to front. I tried to snap another pic to show the angle. I'll post it below. I guess FootJoy designed these "Tri-lateral Stability Frames," to try to distribute weight over the spikes. I think they would have done better to have two rows of spikes under the heel section though.
I did a little research of my own and noticed some things. Other shoes have solutions to this problem. The new Tour360 3.0's have 2 sets of rear spikes, the center of balance for the heal is rigth between those two sets of spikes. Also, there is an extra peice on the heel of the sole, seperate from the spike. The peice is softer for lower impact when you are walking, but firm enough to offer the stability if you have an odd stance. I'll try to include a pic and circle this peice.
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I terms of ingredient quality, I absolutely love these shoes. I think they are made by excellent craftsman. The shoes are visually put together very well. I carefully inspected the sole. I noticed no extra glue or bonding agents. Whatever they use for the water proofing. Most shoes you can see a little extra near a stitch or something, non here. I am not sure if the lizard black print is supposed to be wrinkly or not, I don't care, looks fine to me. You can just feel the high quality leather, comfortable feel in the rubber/composities. The shoe laces will last longer than the shoes will. The leather does not scuff easily. The spike ports are engineered to lock those puppies in place. I am impressed here.
Again, see stability. I think FootJoy has some great things in this shoe. I like the Heloc system, the alloy stability plate in the sole, LOVE the memory foam!!! I think they need to add another row of spikes below the heel. I love the looks of the shoe. I think they really did a good job making the shoe comfortable for walking in, the most comfortable I have ever worn. But, they might have done a little too much. The " Dual Optiflex" helps with the toe and ball section of your foot when you walk. The sole gives so your foot can contour during your step. I think they need to put a little strip of that stuff behind the rear spikes and add a soft foam/rubber composite peice like the tour 360 3.0's have. Maybe make it even softer and put less of an angle on so it offers stability during side hill lies and when you stand on it.
Playing Partner Appeal
Everyone loved the shoes. If I was still in Ohio I'd probably put a 10, but in California, people don't seem to be as impressed with things. Everyone was interested in the memory foam. A lot of people liked the dsesign of the black lizard on white. A few playing partners said they'd go to stores and check them out, if nothing else, just to feel the memory foam. My last two pair of shoes were all black and then all white, so now I have lots of black or white ankle socks. (The reason I chose white/black, so I could wear either.)
Overall I like the shoe. I love every aspect of the shoe except for the rocking back stability issue. I am going to continue to play with them. I shot 73 the last 2 times I played. (Currently at a lazy 4.5 handicap.) So they aren't really throwing a major wrench in my game. I just want confidence in a shot. If your shoes make you think about falling backwards, you aren't going to be as focused. So I'm going to play more, see if it's just an excuse I'm holding on to. Maybe some other testers can chime in and tell me how much they can rock in their shoes.