Glove tested: FootJoy SofJoy (men’s) Retail price: $16 Material(s): Cabretta and synthetic leather, mesh Colors: Pearl with black Hand: Left, right Sizes: S, M, ML, L, XL, XXL
Available in cadet* fit: Yes (left hand only) Weather: All
About this glove: Do you really need a glove made entirely of cabretta leather? Or will the synthetic stuff suffice on the less important parts of the hand?
The difference is, oh, about eight bucks in FootJoy’s world. That’s the price gap between the SofJoy glove, which combines cabretta and faux leather, and the StaSof glove, a $24 all-cabretta model.
SofJoy features cabretta in the crucial spots, the palm and index finger, where sensitivity is paramount. The other digits and the backhand are synthetic leather, with a breathable, elasticized mesh across the knuckles.
The idea, it seems, is to offer a glove with cabretta’s famous comfort and feel, with a minor compromise in performance – but a big break on price – due to the synthetic sections. Makes sense to us, in theory. Let’s find out how SofJoy does in practice… And on the golf course.
Appearance: You have to look really closely to tell the difference between the SofJoy and StaSof gloves. They share nearly identical designs, after all. Inspect SofJoy and you’ll see that the palm and index finger are stitched separately from the synthetic portions, but it doesn’t detract from the glove’s sharp, classic look. The black mesh strip across the backhand adds a stylish, modern touch.
Comfort: We worried that the cabretta and synthetic pieces might clash, but we barely noticed. The good news is, SofJoy is a comfortable glove all the way around. It’s soft, it breathes well and it flexes without stretching and wrinkling.
Feel: Personally, we wish FootJoy had stuck with cabretta for the thumb, too (and added a buck or two to the price). It may be the least sensitive digit, but the whole thumb contacts the club, after all. Still, the synthetic parts deliver adequate feel while the cabretta is excellent – thin and highly conductive of vibration and feedback.
Unless you’re a pro or a pretty good amateur, the disparity in feel between cabretta and synthetic should be a non-issue.
Tackiness: We’ve never had a problem with any FootJoy glove’s gripping power, and we didn’t have any with the SofJoy. Tackiness is sure and sound in the palm, where it matters most, while the fingers hold up their end of the bargain, too.
Durability: The thinner the leather, the quicker it wears out. SofJoy’s cabretta seems a tad thicker than its high-end siblings’, so it should resist bruising and ripping a little longer. Synthetics are sometimes more durable, sometimes not. SofJoy typically earns solid marks in this department.
Bottom line: FootJoy’s SofJoy golf glove finds a happy medium between luxurious, nothing-but-cabretta gloves and cheaper, less comfortable synthetic versions. It should appeal to golfers who require a high level of feel and feedback, but can’t quite bring themselves to spend $20 or more on a glove that may not last very long.
*Cadet gloves have shorter fingers than regular gloves of the same size; e.g., a cadet medium glove has the same palm fit with shorter fingers than a standard medium.