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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?
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.
Naturally anyone would rue the demise of the Classics, but of course Footjoy can't keep making them at a loss, so that is that.
I think the Icon is actually very good. One disadvantage of the Classics is that they really weren't good in the wet. The traction was limited, and leather soles and water do not go together. The heels wear quickly, too. The Icon seems to have the style of the Classics, and an all-conditions high tech sole. That strikes me as ideal; and the fact that they will be fully customisable.
It is sad they are not of welted construction, but I reckon they'll be available at around $200, which is a fair price. For those who want expensive, handmade leather-soled golf shoes, I would suggest Church's of England (but hard to get, and around $500+, so very much for red letter days).
Finally, could FJ please explain why Reelfits (the technology of which I like), only come in those bizarre styles? Are you going to make the mainstream saddle-style shoes as Reelfits, or will they only ever come in that, in my view, dreadful modern styling with the silly "tramlines" etc.? Apart from that, keep up the good work.
The ICON line looks great!
Count me in to check them out.
Let\'s give them a try before passing judgement and take it from there.
I think it's important the Footjoy is still an American company and I'm glad the remaining American employees have their jobs unlike millions of other Americans right now. In any event, I'm looking forward to the latest innovation! Are these going to be "myjoyable?"
Thanks for responding to all the comments Mr. Connor...it shows you really do care about the company.