How to Choose Golf Shoes – Buying Guide

Choosing a great pair of golf shoes is never as easy as it looks on the surface. Great pairs of golf shoes have all the support, flexibility, stability, and versatility to suit many a golfer’s needs.

These needs have to intergrated into a golfer’s personal tastes and preferences. So a superb golf shoe should cater for style, be made of excellent material while also maintaining comfort and value.  

Other factors include the weather resistance, outsole type, the place where you play, playing style, and the conditions you play. Having all this at the back of your mind will help you select suitably efficient golf shoes. 

How to Choose Golf Shoes Buying Guide

  • Learn the difference between spiked and spikeless shoes
  • Understand the difference between shoe materials 
  • Find the right shoe fit
  • Consider the target shoe’s lacing system
  • Consider your target shoes’ comfort level
  • Consider the type of shoes you prefer
  • What are the signs of a perfect golf shoe fit? 
  • Learn key differences between spiked and spikeless shoes

Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoe Decision

Whether to acquire a shoe that has spikes or is spikeless is one of the most important considerations. The options out there are too innumerable, and this decision saves you the burden of having to sort through them.

Once you trim off the list to a more manageable pool, finding the right fit will be much easier. Both spikeless and spiked shoes come with unique merits and demerits, yet the two beat previous golf shoe versions. 

Spiked shoes are known to provide more traction than their spikeless counterparts in both wet and dry conditions. Spiked shoes also offer more stability on rainy days and hilly terrain. 

Where the spikeless shoes lack in traction, they make up for it with comfort since they are more flexible and lightweight. Newer versions tend to resemble ordinary running shoes or any of the several associated athletic activities. 

Although they have been around for a relatively short time, numerous golfers have lauded their performance. Spikeless shoes are therefore an excellent option for a golfer to have.

The bottom line comes down to an individual, though the decision should be influenced by the conditions you play in. Let’s look more into the benefits that each golf shoe offers. 

Spiked Shoes

There was a time when metal spikes ruled the golf course, but that dominance was short-lived. Although they offered ample traction, they generally proved to be a nuisance. 

Golfers soon abandoned them after multiple manufactures started producing the soft-plastic golf cleat in the mid-90s. The metal spiked golf shoes gathered enough dislike that most golf courses banned them altogether. 

The similarity between the new plastic and the older metallic versions is that both spikes screw into the threaded holes. The plastic spiked golf shoes stand out as they play better on greens and their delicate surfaces. 

Their design allows them to dig into the twists of grass and clutch onto them firmly yet letting go quickly. As energy buildup is critical during the backswing, the plastic spiked shoes step in to aid in that buildup. 

The tremendous grip that they provide, in addition, thwarts the effect of the occasionally violent change as you begin down-swinging. The bonus is that the spiked shoes also help the golfer clench his finish.  

Anyone who sets out to buy spiked shoes must also be aware of their downsides, aside from their advantages. Given time, the thin plastic that grants spiked shoes their outstanding traction begins to weaken. 

This weakening is due to the general fragility of the golf cleat. When all this strength is lost, the spikes snap off gradually, rendering the shoe ineffective due to its uneven platform. 

The good news is that you can install new spikes and keep your shoe reliable, especially during high-pressure moments. This replacement needs to be prompt, so your shoe does not fail you when you need it to be on point. Clean the spikes regularly, too, to prevent clogging. 

Spikeless shoes

Spikeless shoes are a revelation that has not been around that long. Their design uses tiny bulging lugs, and these lugs conceal the exterior of the outsole, replacing the plastic cleat on their spiked counterparts. 

The shoe is technically still spiked as the design is just a one-piece outsole with non-replaceable fixed spikes. The main difference here is that you cannot replace the spikes.

Older designs looked more like tennis shoes, but later, the shoes saw multiple design upgrades. Some of the outlooks still resemble tennis shoes, but many also resemble running shoes and their spiked counterparts.  

Their only downside is that you cant replace the spikes when they wear out and their original traction disappears. The shoes, though, remain very functional if you intend to wear them to and from the course.  Your choice should eventually be the spiked shoes if your course is very unevenly elevated or sees considerable rain. 

Understand the difference between shoe materials 

It is best to consider a golf shoe’s material since it directly affects comfort, performance, and longevity. Natural leather, as you expected, has a reputation for being extra comfy and durable. You can’t question its performance as well. 

Add the consideration that they are waterproof, offer breathing room and mold to feet once broken in, and you are in business. All these factors make leather a predominant go-to choice. 

Keep the fact that the quality of leather, as they are varying, determines its price and subsequent care with use. On the other hand, synthetic leather is not as costly but falls short of the factors that make natural leather appealing. 

Breathable fabrics are another option to consider. They are great if you primarily play during warmer days or dry conditions. Their breathability makes them a top choice for the dictates of play in such settings; your feet will love them! 

Find the right shoe fit

Finding the precise shoe fit is easy if you stick within the limits of a few principles. Wearing shocks while trying out your target shoes before buying them gives a generally better fit.  

It’s great to try out several pairs of the same size to feel which one fits best. An age-old trick is to buy shoes in the evening as feet tend to swell up during the course of the day. 

Walking around after wearing the shoes also shows you how things will turn out once you acquire them. It is also prudent to try the golf swing to ensure you are not surprised once the real action begins.

Newer shoes tend to start off relatively stiff before breaking-in given time so keep that in mind. The last in the shoes should also align with the shape of your foot, so you get the choice right. In case you need extra comfort and support, you can always add insoles. 

Consider the target shoe’s lacing system

The lacing system on a particular shoe is an essential factor. The traditional laces still dominate the golf shoe market, but there are a few other options. The street and spikeless shoes have versions with casual fastening styles. 

These styles ease the removal and fastening of the said shoes. There are also proprietary lacing system options that provide stability as they don’t loosen throughout the game. 

They are mechanical and unquestionably reliable, despite being more costly than their counterparts with laces within the same model. They will not disappoint, and doing up your shoe will never be as easy; that’s convenient! 

Consider your target shoes’ comfort level

Many golfers are greatly concerned about the comfort offered by their designated on-course shoes and for the right reasons. Not only does a good shoe fit securely, but it also does not shift on your heel unnecessarily. 

An appropriate fit takes the toe box into account to prevent toe cramping, a significant issue when on the course. Fortunately, many manufacturers have branded themselves as either a maker of narrow golf shoes or wide ones.  

You can hardly speak for comfort; the feet will have a better feel for it once you try them on. Some factors influence comfort: the shoe material, golf shoe uppers, and an advanced outsole. 

Manufacturers make some shoes to ensure your feet remain dry during a game, so they are waterproof. This consideration is for people who hate the feeling that results from water infiltrating their shoes. 

Be it a rainy day or a winter season game; these shoes will have your back. Since a typical round of golf takes roughly 3 to 5 hrs to complete, prioritize the shoe’s comfort. Why? Since you will spend a large part of that time walking around the course.  

Consider the type of shoes you prefer

Your style may be the last thing you think about when choosing shoes, but you should still think about it. Ideally, your golf shoe of choice should resonate with your style as an individual. 

There will be two categories for you to choose from, typically, that is, traditional dress style and sneaker-like modern shoes. The conventional type is mainly composed of leather shoes that resonate with fashionistas as their look great with golf pants.

A constant feature that they have almost all the time is spikes. They will also require a bit more taking care of. Their outlook is a contrast from the modern golf shoes, which look more casual. 

Their spiked versions resemble running shoes, while the spikeless ones are like casual streetwear. Their lightweight and flexibility make them a top choice with many groups of golfers. 

Other options that you could consider are golf sandals. They are ideal for warmer weather and casual games as they will not give you the performance of their counterparts. 

Light and breathable, they grant a golfer the freedom to be themselves. The only disadvantage that they have is that they don’t deal with bad weather and rough terrain. 

Golf Boots

If the terrain and weather prove to be too much of an issue, you can always consider the golf boot. It is not standard on courses but does a darn good job resisting what mother nature throws at you. 

Mud and water will stay out if you have this one. Golf boots resemble hiking or wellington boots and are pretty waterproof. You should know that they are heavier than other options so they will reduce your ankle freedom during the swing. 

These boots make up for that with more traction and warmth, especially when you need it most. You will surely be glad you acquired a pair come the winter months of golfing. 

You can even go as far as choosing the ones with gaiters that guarantee more protection against water. Golf boots are generally well worth their higher cost. 

What are the signs of a perfect golf shoe fit? 

A shoe that fits well usually has just enough forefoot room to give you comfort. On average, you will find this room to be anywhere from ¼ to ½”. There are also no pressure points as you tread about the course or anywhere for that matter. 

The shoes’ top eyelets should also have enough space between them (5/8″) when laced to provide adequate width. Another thing you should look out for is if your fit does not slide around, which is a good sign. 

Ask yourself if the shoe aligns with the flex of your foot where it bends in the forefoot. The last thing is whether the shoe has a snug-fitting heel and midfoot. If you answered yes to both these questions and noded to all the rest, do buy away! 

Conclusion

Nothing is as nagging as being on course and having your focus taken away from the game due to discomfort. That scenario may be familiar when there is discomfort from your feet due to a small stone in your shoe. 

It can be enough to cause you to stop walking such that you rid your shoe of the stone first. Now imagine if the shoe is the problem! It gets worse on course as your game is affected due to shifting focus. 

It is, therefore, fundamental to choose a shoe that offers coziness, steadiness, and flexibility during a game. After all, all golfers know that a solid foundation is necessary for the success of their swing. 

The last thing you need is a shoe that interferes in your game, so you need an invisibly effective one. Essentials like water resistance and waterproof, support and steadiness, versatility and flexibility, and their market value will all play in. Remember, the decision starts with assessing all the shoe has to offer, coupled with your playing conditions.  

Golf Practice Plans with Step by Step Schedules to Follow

Or hop onto our email newsletter and get the free weekly golf tips we send out to our community plus updates and other announcements you don’t want to miss!