Golf

FootJoy Premiere golf shoes: Classic styles merge with comfort, performance


Throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, FootJoy’s Premiere line of shoes was among the most popular golf footwear on the PGA Tour. It was also a favorite of golfers around the world who appreciated hand-made, high-quality, traditional shoes.

As recently as 1985, FootJoy’s factory in Brockton, Massachusetts, was turning out nearly 400,000 pairs of leather-soled shoes a year. But as time passed, automated manufacturing techniques improved, other materials and waterproof mechanisms were developed and interest in the top-of-the-line Premiere faded. While FootJoy remained the dominant force in the golf footwear category, it was forced to close the Premiere factory in 2009.

Billy Horschel in FootJoy Premiere Tarlow shoes at Winged Foot Golf Club in September 2020 (David Dusek/Golfweek)

Then, last fall, a few players were spotted at PGA Tour events wearing a new shoe that had the distinctive look of those old Premieres. Billy Horschel and Ian Poulter took to social media and showed pictures of them, then each player was spotted at Winged Foot wearing them during the U.S. Open. Justin Thomas wore them, as did Adam Scott. The Premiere shoes were back, and at the 2020 Masters, the new Premiere was the most-worn shoe by the field.

FootJoy Premiere

FootJoy Premiere Tarlow golf shoes (FootJoy)

There is no denying the trend in golf footwear toward running-shoe style options with sporty colors and aggressive graphics, but the Premiere style is timeless. While each of the three styles – the Tarlow, Pickard and Flint – calls back to the original Premiere classic look, today’s versions have modern features and technologies to enhance comfort and performance.

For example, the leather outsole (and its weight) have been replaced by a new, lighter outsole made from different types of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). FootJoy refers to it as VersaTrax+, and along with a series of replaceable spikes, it is designed to keep a golfer firmly in place during the swing and while walking the course. The traction elements on the bottom of the shoe vary in degree of stiffness, so the firm pieces grab sand and soft turf effectively while the softer TPU parts areas grab cart paths, hardpan and firm terrain.

The Ortholite EcoPlush FitBed inside the shoe is designed to enhance comfort and cushioning, while the upper, which is made from waterproof Pittard’s leather, provides lateral support. It does such a good job keeping feet dry that FootJoy gives the new Premiere shoes a two-year waterproof warranty.

FootJoy Women's Premiere

FootJoy Women’s Premiere Flint (FootJoy)

The men’s version comes in three styles, with multiple color options available in both the laced version ($220) and a version that offers a BOA ratcheting system for a more-customized closure and fit ($250). There is also a women’s version of the laced Premiere ($190) and a BOA version ($220).



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