September 23, 2009

Upholding Golf's Sartorial Style: the FootJoy Icon

Golf, as everyone knows, is a game of tradition. So when the Acushnet Co. announced last winter that it was closing its FootJoy Classics factory in Brockton, Mass.--which for decades had produced leather-soled, welted golf shoes that set a standard for refinement--purists were despondent.

The Classics line had gone the way of persimmon woods and balata balls. Now, amid the endless store racks of unstylish, if functional, shoes, golf's traditionalists again have a place to turn: the company has introduced a new line of finely detailed brogues called the FootJoy Icon.

The Icon comes in five patterns--including wing-tips and plain-toe saddle, both adapted from the old Classics--and a total of 19 styles. In addition, all but one of the patterns are part of FootJoy's MyJoys program, in which customers can choose from thousands of color and other personalized options, such as collegiate, NFL and MLB logos.

Sartorialists will appreciate the Icon's traditional touches: full-grain leather uppers, calf-skin detailing, a leather-covered "fit-bed" designed to mimic the natural shape of the foot. These are combined with 21st-century technological innovations including a tri-density outsole for a stable hitting platform and two-part forefoot channels for comfort and flexibility.

FootJoy Icons can be found on the feet of such PGA Tour pros as Hunter Mahan, a fan of the two-tone wing tip (see photo gallery,) and Ian Poulter, whose wildly colorful trousers often require a solid white shoe. For those of us golfers who have to pay for our footwear, the Icon's suggested retail price is $250 for stock styles, $270 for original MyJoys and $290 for MyJoys bearing licensed logos.

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