FootJoy: How Golf’s Biggest Footwear Brand Made Old Shoes Cool Again

Professional golf just isn’t precisely a classy enterprise. Whereas NBA athletes put on hot-off-the-runway seems within the pregame tunnel, traits in golf gear transfer slower than a 10am spherical on a Sunday at your native muni. It took 20 years for Tiger Woods’s actually-fitting shirts to lastly go mainstream, and today, the sport’s greatest are basically sporting gymnasium garments with collars and sneaker-like golf sneakers that now not click-clack via nation membership locker rooms.

However amongst a sure subset of trend-setting amateurs, the putter head is swinging the opposite route: their most popular look is now extra conventional, impressed by nostalgia for the times of cigarette-smoking professionals like Arnold Palmer, but in addition the heavily-pleated vibes of 90s-era Tiger and Freddie {Couples}. Manufacturers like Metalwood, Bogey Boys, Whim, Malbon, and extra are presently struggling to maintain their retro-inspired polos, pleated pants, and bucket hats in inventory—however none of those upstarts have the size to make one thing as technical as golf sneakers. As an alternative, for footwear, style-minded golfers are turning more and more to your dad’s favourite model, FootJoy, so as to add the ending touches to their old style suits. For its half, FootJoy has seized the second by appearing like a sneaker firm, turning out a wave of killer collabs.

To see what sort of 12 months FootJoy’s been having, all it’s a must to do is take a look at the playoff finale of final month’s PGA Championship. It was a win-win for the shoemaker, as the 2 males competing for the title had been a pair of its greatest younger stars: the extra established (and eventual event winner) Justin Thomas and the upstart Will Zalatoris (ranked #7 and #14 on the planet, respectively), who battled it out whereas carrying the model’s best-selling Premiere Collection sneakers, a premium line of pebble grain leather-based $200 sneakers that first debuted in 2021. “While you consider Jordan, you consider basketball sneakers. It’s the identical factor [with FootJoy] on the subject of golf sneakers,” says Zalatoris, who wears the FootJoy Area. The remainder of the model’s Premiere Collection sneakers are variations on the identical concept: sneakers with iconic beauty blended with the tech developments introduced on by the sneaker shoe wave.

Killer sneakers—and a probably extra killer cardigan—from Todd Snyder’s FootJoy capsule.

Courtesy of Todd Snyder

Many manufacturers in FootJoy’s place would chase relevance by collaborating with no matter labels are getting probably the most clout on Instagram and TikTok, however FootJoy—an organization that’s been doing this for over 100 years—is aware of its viewers isn’t essentially attempting to show the again 9 right into a match pic picture shoot. As an alternative, they’ve partnered most just lately with two manufacturers—Garrett Leight and Todd Snyder—that function squarely within the long-lasting, high-quality, trendless nook of the menswear world.

These partnerships aren’t precisely going to interrupt the web, however they’re cool sufficient to encourage intrigue the place a golf model must: clubhouses and foursomes. The opposite good thing about being the large canine is that when FootJoy decides to make a change, it’s felt virtually instantly. “After we enter a specific house, now we have the size to really transfer the market, and we noticed that. We noticed market share truly transfer from athletics into classics, which was actually pushed by among the investments we made within the traditional house,” says Ken LaRose, FootJoy’s SVP of Model Technique and Client Expertise.

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