Roll up your sleeves and exchange those pants for shorts. If you aren’t basking in the warmth and sunshine, don’t worry, summer is just around the corner. By now, you’ve likely dialed in your apparel game to beat the heat and humidity with lightweight polos and shorts (keep those shorts between 7″ and 9″ inches this year). But what about your shoes?
As we enter the hottest months of the year, you need a shoe that is lightweight, breathable, looks great with shorts, waterproof to take on those summer showers, and comfortable enough to go from sun up to sun down. Oh, and it can’t sacrifice on performance.
Enter the FootJoy HyperFlex Carbon.
If it was possible for the #1 shoe in golf to take its game to another stratosphere, FootJoy has certainly done that the last few years with its Premiere Series and sick limited edition drops. The brand’s Packard, Tarlow, Field, and new Wilcox have been my go-tos as I’ve strolled to the first tee recently. It takes a lot to leave them on the shoe rack, but FootJoy’s new HyperFlex Carbon is certainly nudging its way into the rotation, especially for late spring and summer.
My relationship with the HyperFlex franchise is similar to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The original HyperFlex provided a stable platform but felt too rigid to me. Then, in 2021, FootJoy released a new HyperFlex with a super comfy knit upper and a soft, flexible outsole. This was a great practice shoe for me, but on the course it was too squishy and lacked the lateral stability I needed. Flip the calendar to 2023 and the new, redesigned HyperFlex Carbon is juuuust riiiiight. In fact, it is the best athletic-style shoe FootJoy has ever created.
In designing the latest iteration, FootJoy wanted to create an athletic-style shoe that Tour players and elite amateurs would wear on the course. This meant creating a shoe for golf athletes that delivered power, control, and fit.
Power is the name of the modern game and much of that comes from the ground up. The OptiFlex outsole on the HyperFlex Carbon really delivers the best of both worlds that I’ve been looking for–lateral stability to send it and the comfort to walk 18, 36, 54, etc. Much of this stability comes from the molded carbon fiber power plate that wraps around the mid-foot area of the outsole.
Power is nothing without control, though, so FootJoy addressed this in two ways with the HyperFlex Carbon. The Power Stabilizer outsole creates a strong foundation and platform. Up top, a ThermoPlastic Saddle Strap cradles the foot for additional lateral and medial support. It also adds to the sporty aesthetic. Honestly, the saddle strap reminds me of a distinguishing feature of one of my favorite sneakers of all time–the Jordan IV.
Adding to that stability is the sock-like fit on an engineered knit that hugs the foot and extra padding around the ankle enhances the locked in feel. This knit material also provides the breathability you want to prevent swamp foot as the mercury rises.
Those of you who have worn athletic shoes with knit uppers are likely giving an eye roll right now. You know that most provide little protection against the elements and are nearly impossible to keep clean. This is not the case with the HyperFlex Carbon, though. The upper is coated with a layer that is not only stain-resistant and waterproof, but also provides extra stability. A brush and a little soap and water go a long way in keeping these kicks looking fresh all summer.
The long summer days give us the opportunity to squeeze in as much time on the course as we can, and the HyperFlex Carbon shares that same ambition with the comfort provided by an ol’ friend–StratoFoam. If you have laced up FootJoy’s Pro|SL or Stratos, you know all about the blend of cushioning and energy return that StratoFoam offers. That energy return is on another level in the HyperFlex Carbon. With your first few steps, you’ll definitely feel an extra spring and a bounce in your step.
You can’t talk about the fit, comfort, and performance of the HyperFlex Carbon without digging into the the BOA Fit System models. For years, FootJoy and BOA have teamed up to find innovative solutions to improve the performance of golf footwear. In its Performance Fit Lab, BOA evaluated the biomechanics of the golf swing and the result of those key findings led to the development of the WRAPID Fit System used in the HyperFlex Carbon BOA. This performance fit solution improves heel hold, which translates to increased power and accuracy by creating a better connection and a more secure fit.
The WRAPID Fit System is comprised of the L6 Dial, TX6 Lace, and FormTX2 Guides. With a few turns, you can dial in a precise fit thanks to the micro adjustments allowed by the L6 Dial. On closer inspection, you’ll see that the dial is surrounded by a bayonet. This not only creates a sleeker look in the heel, but also shields it from grass, sand, and other hazards you’ll encounter on the course.
The dial is then connected to BOA’s TX6 Lace, which effortlessly slides between the low-friction textile guides. The strength and flexibility of this lace makes it ideal for an athletic-style golf shoe that is focused on power, control, and fit.
If you have never used the BOA Fit System to dial in the fit of your FJs, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. Being able to nail a precise fit and maintain that fit without having to retie traditional shoelaces during the round really helps me to feel more locked in and connected. At a time when power in the golf swing is generated from the ground up, this connection is integral in finding those few extra yards in the driver. (If you track strokes gained, you know that every extra yard counts.) Not to mention, shoes with the BOA Fit System just fit better and feel more comfortable.
The HyperFlex Carbon is available in three laced colorways and a pair of BOA colorways. Pro tip: for summer, stick with the whites.