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Shoe Polish

Golf shoe market leaders FootJoy have released details of upgrades to some of their key lines for 2016. The brand’s sales and marketing director Richard Fryer details the changes and explains how athletic models like DNA and HyperFlex are settling into a traditionally classic fleet of footwear


wo decades ago, when Corey Pavin and John Daly were winning majors, you’d have had a

hard time convincing the world that tour pros were athletes. Today, you’d struggle to argue that they weren’t. The athleticising of golf – yes, there is

no such word – that’s taken place over the past 20 years has been reflected in our sport’s soſt goods. Clingy quad-and- bicep-hugging performance fabrics have replaced the casual and the classic – and below the ankle, tech-laden sports shoes have similarly muscled in on the gentleman’s brogue. For a company like FootJoy, with a

strong heritage in the traditional and classic golf shoe, such a development could have been seen as a threat. Thankfully – though for some a little belatedly – they have chosen to view it as an opportunity. 2014’s DNA – a shoe that shattered the myth that footwear could look athletic or classy, but not both – was the first sign of the brand’s appetite to cater to a sportier marketplace. A year later, buoyed


by the exceptional reception to DNA, the brand released the exoskeletal and still more progressive HyperFlex. Both shoes confirmed that while the golf market understood FootJoy’s positioning in golf’s firmament, it was more than ready for the brand to let its hair down a bit. “Our commitment to quality, comfort and support has always been there, but we perhaps hadn’t pushed the envelope enough with our upper designs,” admits FootJoy sales and marketing director Richard Fryer. “We stayed quite traditional, but the market had moved to a more sporty, athletic look. Arguably we didn’t react quickly enough with the right product.” Indeed, the success of DNA suggests

the shoe has been filed in FootJoy’s Wish-We’d-Done-It-Sooner section. Fryer

RICHARD FRYER: FootJoy’s sales and marketing director

confirms the shoe sold two-and-a-half times better than initial forecasts, a state of affairs that put a huge strain on early supply. He also reveals that in terms of market share value, DNA is ranked joint top from January to July this year and that the shoe is actually forecast to do better in year two than in year one. “In any industry, to have a second-year product outperform the first year is pretty special,” he asserts.

We stayed quite

traditional, but the market had moved to a more sporty, athletic look. Arguably we didn’t react quickly enough with the right product

Despite such strong performance,

FootJoy have decided to refresh the shoe for 2016. “It’s mostly a cosmetic update to keep the shoe fresh and modern, with some new colours,” Fryer confirms. “White/Black, Black, White/Platinum, White/Red and White/Blue (Boa) will all available for 2016. We are also making DNA available for customising through the MyJoy’s programme.” Elsewhere the shoe retains key factors like ChromoSkin leather, one of the

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