For a while now FootJoy has released a number of high tech performance shoes, but with the ARC SL, the focus is on comfort in a spikeless shoe for an affordable price that can be worn to and from the course as well as on it.
The looks are fairly conservative with the options of either an all black, all white or white with navy that you see here.
The TPU base features the ARC or Active Responsive Cushioned midsole that gives the comfort and creates a reasonably rigid sole unit that gives a decent amount of stability.
The Duratrax outsole features plenty of moulded grips that not only help with comfort, but also provide the grip.
They are similar to the nodules on the Pro S/L shoe and FootJoy say that the experience that they have had in this area has been brought over to the ARC SL. On the Pro S/L the grips would last most of a golf season before some of them got worn down, so it will be interesting to see if the ARC SL grips are the same over a long period of time.
On the course they were very comfortable to walk on and the grip was good for this type of sole and it hardly picked up any grass, even on a damp, soft parkland course.
The upper is made from a leather that has been treated to give it a one year waterproof guarantee and it kept the elements out pretty well.
The leather is soft enough to break in quickly, even though the whole upper is quite robust and maybe does not have the premium feel of the leather used in FootJoy’s premium shoes like the DNA Helix.
This firmer feel is because to provide the waterproofness there is a membrane lining inside the leather, rather than the leather itself being treated to be waterproof like FootJoy’s more premium shoes.
However the ARC SL is comfy to wear and this is enhanced by the mid-depth, fixed insole and the SofCollar around the top of the shoe.
This padding combined with the high heel really holds your foot well and enhances the comfort in a similar way to the DNA Helix collar.
Rather than throwing the technical kitchen sink at the ARC SL, FootJoy has aimed this at a specific sub-£100 price point and then maximised the comfort in a waterproof golf shoe.
The looks are deliberately middle of the road but I quite like them and the shoe definitely delivers on the comfort side.
FootJoy has managed to strike the right balance of comfort and materials at a lower price point without making too many sacrifices. If you like the flexibility of a spikeless shoe then the ARC SL is probably one of the better value golf first/street second style of shoes that you can wear to and from the course or at the driving range.
The Pro S/L shoe is probably a better shoe and feels more luxurious and a touch more comfortable thanks to different materials in the sole. However it is around £40 more, so if you are looking for a cheaper comfortable, waterproof, leather, spikeless shoe then the FootJoy ARC SL is a worthy alternative.