Golf Monthly was given exclusive access to FootJoy's main US headquarters to discover how it creates its performance shoes, gloves, socks and apparel
Not many people get the chance to wander the corridors and explore the warehouse that produced FJ’s Icon and Classic shoes for decades. Here are some unseen photos of GM’s exclusive trip to Brockton and Fairhaven, the sites of FJ’s main offices.
The dark corridors have an eery, unused feel to them, like very people have set foot in them in the last few years since the factory closed in 2008.
The Brockton factory is now predominantly used to store apparel stock but walk around for long enough on the many floors and you can find plenty of remnants of shoe production, like stitching equipment and tools for cutting leather.
Across the old factory floor are barrels and barrels of shoe lasts, some dating back to the 1950s, used to shape the leather onto the upper.
This sign on the wall of the factory corridor, with the hyphenated gold FJ logo, shows how long shoe production was carried out here. This logo changed in the 1990s.
We were lucky enough to talk one-on-one with FJ President Jim Connor who had some fascinating stories about the history of the brand and told us about some of the critical decisions he has made over the years.
From sketch to finished product: This image shows a comparison between a rendering and finished product – the similarity is uncanny.
The shoe testing facility was an amazing place, with machines in every corner bending and rubbing shoes in different directions to test out their durability.
Socks is a key category for FJ and talking to Jessica Hakeem, it’s clear so much thought and investment goes into creating a product that genuinely enhances your comfort and performance.
While FJ are known for their shoe fitting initiative, glove fitting is just as important to the brand. We underwent an in-depth glove-fitting process and the results were genuinely surprising. We also learnt about the types of leather found in the different models and how the performance changes as a result.
FJ apparel designer Nancy Harding demonstrates a new quick-drying fabric they’re experimenting with for a new line of polo shirts. It was incredible to feel how the fabric underneath where the water had been was bone dry!
Finally the Shoebox, an more golf-like testing facility where FJ and competitor product is analysed during the swing and golfers can come and find out whether a structured or mobile type of shoes is going to help their game more.