In 1857, a young man named Fredrick Packard broke away from his father’s boot workshop and opened his own shoemaking factory in Brockton, Mass. With a commitment to crafting the finest golf footwear, FootJoy was born.
More than 160 years later, FootJoy is celebrating those roots.
The FJ 1857 Collection includes ultra-premium footwear inspired by the handmade shoemaking process practiced by Packard. The shoes are even built on the same Aintree last that was first used in the Brockton factory.
“We brought the last into the new facility to replicate that fit and evoke that emotion,” said Keith Duffy, senior product manager of golf footwear at FootJoy. “If you’re a guy like me who grew up wearing FootJoy Classics, when you see a beautiful shoe like this it brings you back.”
When FootJoy’s team embarked on the 1857 project, it searched the globe for the right partners and the finest luxury and performance materials. FootJoy ended up teaming with a third-generation Italian designer and a family-owned factory in Portugal to create world-class Goodyear welted footwear made with hand-selected premium Italian calfskin leather. The shoes also feature leather outsoles, full-leather linings, suede heel products and cork-layered fit-beds.
“The cork makes the shoe feel so special,” Duffy said. “Everyone remembers that fit where the shoe molds to the foot. Once it takes the shape of your foot, you never want to wear everything else.”
The old-school construction of the 1857 footwear includes about 150 steps, all done by hand. Duffy said it takes more than two days to create one pair.
“The attention to detail is amazing,” he said.
The 1857 footwear line, available at select golf shops and online in July (pricing is not yet available), features eight golf styles, including saddle and
wing-tip patterns, eight dress styles and three “statement products” – all-genuine suede wingtips in red, blue and gray.
“FootJoy has a storied history of excellence in product design and innovation, from the Classics line that was, at one point, virtually the only shoe worn on the PGA Tour and at the top clubs around the world, to the iconic DryJoys franchise that revolutionized all-weather footwear to the Pro/SL category that is currently the hottest shoe on Tour,” said Chris Lindner, FootJoy’s president. “1857 celebrates FJ’s deep-rooted history in the game with a timeless collection of luxury footwear and apparel for today’s most discerning golfers. Gwk
(Note: This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Golfweek.)