Since metal woods, game-improvement irons, and space-age materials have become the norm, it’s difficult to find a golf company that can trace its roots back 50 years let alone three times that. But FootJoy can draw a timeline back to 1857, when one Frederick Packard left his father’s boot-making business to start crafting shoes of his own in Brockton, Mass.
Packard’s Field and Flint Company was ready when golf came to America in the late 1800s: He took up the game and his firm introduced a line of golf shoes called FootJoy. In 1927, it was the official footwear for the American team in the first Ryder Cup, and by 1945 it was the most popular shoe on the fledgling pro tour. The company didn’t actually take the name FootJoy until 1970, and in time was also manufacturing golf gloves, then socks, outerwear, and apparel.
Honoring this rich history, FootJoy has created the 1857 Collection, an exclusive new line that features traditional manufacturing methods and classic styling. The shoes—both on- and off-course models—will be made much as they were 160 years ago (and still in Brockton), featuring a 150-step process that brings together premium Italian calfskin leathers, leather outsoles and linings, suede heel pockets, and cork-layered fit-beds for comfort. Saddle and wingtip designs will be available for golf, with numerous styles of dress shoes including wingtips of red, blue, and gray suede.
Among the 1857 apparel items will be 100 percent cashmere sweaters, long-sleeve woven shirts, and wool-blend trousers designed to complement the footwear. The glove will feature genuine Pittards ultra-soft, Tour-grade vanilla leather, and come packaged in a collector’s-edition case with an FJ 1857 coin ball marker.
The 1857 Collection goes on sale in July, available only at a select group of golf shops and at footjoy.com. Prices will be similarly exclusive, with some shoes reportedly going for $750 and other items priced accordingly.