As the evolution to more lightweight athletic style golf shoes continue, more brands are entering the market. This doesn’t mean that the traditional market leaders in this segment are getting overtaken, quite the contrary.
FootJoy, the clear market leader in golf, has probably never had such a broad range and variation within their quality shoes, yet at the same time running shoe companies such as Nike, and now Asics are aiming fair and square at the golf market.
We have a done a road test on the massively popular FootJoy Pro SL and also the new comer on the block, the Asics Gel-Ace Pro FG.
From the ground up the FootJoy is a spikeless golf shoe and the Asics is a soft spike. No options here on either. This in itself may be the deciding factor for some golfers. In recent years there has been movement towards golf shoes without spikes. Just look at The Open Championship this week and you will see plenty of players in spikeless, something rarely seen only a few years ago.
Both shoes are slightly pitched at 10mm offering the best in class structural assistance for standing and walking for long periods of time. This ‘Heel Pitch’ is a key feature in assisting normal foot function in walking, something sometimes forgotten in golf shoe design, especially as Australians generally walk the course. Both have structured mid sole, yet the FootJoy has a much wider lateral flare along the outside of the shoe. This feature offers an increased level of lateral for support during the swing, and would be the number one selling point for people with high arched feet or those who regularly blow out the outsides of their shoes. It supports the foot laterally when the weight moves this way towards the top of the back swing on the back foot, and in a similar fashion to the front foot on the follow through – great design feature.
The FootJoy comes in two width fittings a normal and wide fit, while the Asics is a 2E standard fit. Interestingly the difference in fit is in the shape of the toe box. While the width and volume of the FootJoy across the forefoot is is excellent and has the two width options, the toebox shape is less rounded then the Asics and offers a little less room around the toes for players with toe deformities or really square shaped feet.
Both the uppers are premium leather and offer a comfortable worn in feel straight out of the box. The Asics appears to have a firmer heel counter so if you have rubbing issues on the back of your heels the FootJoy may work better, however the structure of the heel counter in the Asics shoe, born out of their running shoe experience, gives surety and feel to the shot and is more then likely going to wear exceedingly well.
Both shoes are clearly made for players and I recommend trying both when purchasing your next shoe. Neither will disappoint and both are waterproof guaranteed which is excellent for winter golf.
These shoes are priced at the premium end of the market and aimed at the regular player. FootJoy Pro SL $249.95, FootJoy PRO SL BOA $279, Asics Gel-Ace Pro FG $260.
Good hitting out there.