Stepping out

Billed as their most stable and balanced shoe yet, we put the FootJoy XPS-1 through its paces

By Mark Kendall - Twitter: @SkySportsMK.   Last Updated: 21/12/11 12:16pm

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While perhaps not conducive to helping you play your very best golf, adverse weather conditions do at least help when attempting to put a new golf shoe through its paces out on the course.

That said, I probably wouldn't have signed up in advance had I known this round at Rudding Park Golf Club in Harrogate was going to take in not only sporadic sun, frost and biting cold, but also driving rain, sleet, hail and full-on snow.

With the weather Gods enjoying themselves, the new Footjoy XPS-1 got a comprehensive test drive as conditions underfoot ranged from icy and hard to boggy and soft.

The leading claim of the shoe's manufacturer is that this model lends the golfer unrivalled stability and improved balance due to 'lateral side outriggers' that provide an extra-wide underfoot platform.

Whether a subscriber to the science or not, most golfers will agree that stability and comfort are the holy grail for golf shoes and the XPS-1 certainly delivers both in abundance.

Despite the testing conditions, the shoe felt secure and stable both on hard ground and also in the more squelchy muddy spots I managed to locate, while this confidence also extended to the one dreaded winter tee-box we encountered.

Warm and durable, there were certainly no issues with dampness - and that despite the unforeseen barrage of rain, sleet and snow that sent us cowering for shelter behind the halfway house.

The comfort levels were excellent and there was no soreness to report despite it being my first outing in them. They were cushioned, supportive and snug, without ever feeling too tight.

In addition to that, they look good with the quality white leather and sleek shaping contributing to a stylish, yet classic looking shoe.

To my mind good golf shoes are a bit like the old adage about Premier League referees, the best tend to be the ones you don't notice until you actually take time to analyse their performance... and once sat in the comfort of the clubhouse the worth of the XPS-1 was apparent.

I swung with real confidence, posted a best of the year 83 in tough conditions and, whilst playing, had barely given a thought to the underfoot conditions.

What FootJoy say:

Utilising striking patterns with accents of colour, XPS-1 fuses proven performance attributes with premium materials such as the finest full-grain leather uppers.

While the XtremeOutsole design in XPS-1 may be new to FootJoy, the technology, materials and Tour-proven features come from a long heritage of producing the #1 shoe in golf.

FootJoy will release one colourway for December 2011, with a further two colour options available January 2012, with an SRP of £195.

Whether it is the all-round excellence of the all new FJ ICON, the unmatched stability of XPS-1, the sport aesthetics of the FJ Sport, or the reliable and consistent performance of DryJoys Tour, FootJoy remains the overwhelming favourite shoe for golfers of all abilities around the world.

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