Golf. Such a relaxing sport (if you manage to avoid the obstacles that is!) Yet, walking around the course can be a pain in the…foot if you aren’t wearing the correct footwear. The wrong shoes can lead to an injury if you don’t get the support you need as you twist your foot and manoeuvre into the shot. But are golf course shoes actually necessary?
You will find shoes available for specific sports. Basketball shoes, soccer boots, powerlifting shoes, hockey shoes, the list goes on. They are designed with the particular sport in mind and allow athletes to have the comfort and support their feet need and golf is no exception. When you are on the course you want to know that your footwear is going to help you in delivering that perfect shot.
But what makes gold shoes so special and which pair should I get? It’s time to dive into the world of golf shoes and by the end of this round, you will have clarity on why and which shoes to get.
Golf Shoes vs Normal Shoes
You are in the sports shop looking at a golf shoe and think “These don’t look that much different than my sneakers.” Ah, but you are mistaken. Golf shoes are made different than a standard shoe. They are wider, cut lower and there are the obvious spikes at the base.
The wider base provides better stability for your feet while you swing, whilst the lower cut allows your ankle to have more freedom in movement and the spikes help you stay put. All that equates to better form and a better swing.
Spikes or no spikes?
You love golf so much that it doesn’t matter if it’s raining, you’ll still go out on the course. However, the wet terrain makes getting a good foothold and proper stance a struggle. Spiked shoes will give you the grip and balance you are wanting to make that killer shot. The cleats on the outsole help to anchor you against the challenging ground.
Fans of spikeless shoes love the fact that you can wear your golf shoes anywhere, which saves you from having to carry around an additional pair of shoes to slip into once you have sunk the last ball on the 18th hole. The spikes have been replaced with small studs or dimples to give you traction on the course. However, the main concern with this style of golf shoe is that they don’t give you the same amount of balance and anchoring as spike shoes do when playing on soggy ground or hilly terrain.
Justin Rose won the BMW Championship in the spikeless shoes. Adam Scott and Lee Westwood are also in the spikeless golf shoe crowd. Metal spiked shoes are controversy on the PGA tour, professional players such as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in the metal spike camp, yet a majority of professionals are in favour of plastic cleats.
At the end of the day, whether you decide to go spiked or spikeless is all a matter of personal preference.
Do golf shoes really improve your game?
In a test to see if gold shoes help you in driving the ball further, Chris Ryan and Ed Simon Dallow did an experiment where they measure the distance of the ball when they took a shot in bare feet, socks, spiked shoes, spikeless shoes.
In bare feet, the ball travelled 253 yards on average with at an average speed of 151mph. The ball reached distances of 257 yards and 259 yards when wearing spikeless and spiked shoes respectively.
The result? Shoes do make a difference!
Why proper footwear is important
You visualise the shot, step into it, swing and then…the pain in your foot as it moves within your shoe. Not the best day you’ve had on the course and your buddies check to make sure you are okay. With a limp towards your cart, you nod and curse the loose fit of your shoes. Accidents happen on the course and poorly fitting shoes can contribute to the chance of you suffering some of these common ailments amongst golfers:
Plantar fascitis a pain under your foot around the heel and arch. It can be caused by footwear that is too narrow.
If you feel pain in the ball of your foot, it could be Metatarsalgia. There are a variety of causes, such as running or jumping as well as poor-fitting shoes.
Just like Metatarsalgia, Morton’s Neuroma also feels like a pain towards the ball of your foot and sometimes it can feel like you have a stone in your shoe. Pain can also be felt in your toes as they are compressed together by footwear that is too narrow.
Foot injuries can be avoided by ensuring you have the right orthopaedics in your shoes such as insoles. Insoles support your feet by allowing you to make better contact with the ground while preventing the ailments that would make your round a nightmare.
Another important aspect in preventing problems with your feet when on the course is to wear shoes that fit firmly yet aren’t too tight or too loose and allow you the freedom of movement you need to make a great shot.
What are the best golf shoes
When it comes to choosing the ideal golf shoes, the best pair are those that suit your individual foot needs. You know your feet better than anyone else and you want to play in comfort while having your balance and power enhanced by the footwear.
Here are some of the best golf shoes on the market broken down into men’s, women’s and children’s footwear.
Best golf shoes for men
Adidas Golf Adicross Classic
Tired of your feet screaming at you as you approach the back 9? The Adicross shoes will give your feet the comfort and love you need and your feet will thank you. The lugs are strategically placed to give you the best grip on the fairways and greens. The breathable upper will keep your feet cool on those hot days, but the material isn’t waterproof. When it’s time to take off the shoes, cleaning is as simple as giving the top wipe over and brushing out the dirt from the bottom sole. The wide fit and cushioned inner sole will make your feet nice and comfy while supporting you in your swing.
Nike Golf Roshe G
The plush cushioning of the midsole, as well as the breathable synthetic fabric, will make your tootsies feel like they are in foot heaven. When it comes to making sure that you have the traction you need for that brilliant shot, the outsole won’t let you down, providing you with support in all weather.
ECCO Men’s Street Retro Hydromax Golf Shoe
After shoes that look good both on and off the course? These shoes from ECCO will be right up your alley. The uppers are made from yak leather that will flex with your foot giving you the best support as you move into and out of your swing. The grip on the course is granted through the carefully designed outsole inspired through ECCO’s Dynamic Traction system providing 800 angles of traction. The shoes are waterproof, so no need to worry when an unexpected downpour decides to visit the course in the middle of your round.
FootJoy Men’s Fj Originals Golf Shoes
Based on FootJoy’s Austin Last design gives these shoes a wider fit as well as comfort at the forefront of the shoe. The EVA cushioning provides support and comfort underfoot while the proprietary Duramax rubber sole gives you a low profile grip and maximum flexibility. Footjoy has been providing golf shoes to the professional circuit since 1927, so they know what golfers’ feet need. Great quality. Great comfort. Great shoes!
Puma Golf Ignite Power Sport
Wanting a pair of shoes that add power and support into your swing? Then get some of these puppies! The inner of the shoe contains a TPU frame while the outer mesh works in conjunction with the inner and outer support to give you the power, bracing and grip you need on the course. Once you’ve finished for the day, you can clean the shoes with a damp cloth. Easy and so comfortable it will feel like you are walking on clouds
Adidas adiCross Bounce
With a TPU heel cap, your foot is restrained in movement adding to that perfect hit. The bounce in your stride is provided by the cloudfoam cushioning which also means no sore feet after a full round on the course. The spikes on the outsole are durable, giving you the reassurance that they are going to last no matter the surface you walk on while offering you the traction you need.
Best Golf Shoes for Women
Throughout golf’s history, there have been female figures that have left an indelible mark on a sport that had a reputation as a male-dominated sport. Mary, Queen of Scots, was an avid fan of the game. Then there was a 300-year lull in the influence of women in the sport, until the creation of The Women’s Club in 1867, followed by Issette Miller coming up with the handicap system in 1893. Shoes have also evolved with the game. Gone are the days when you had to insert nails into the sole to ensure you got the grip you needed (a trend that lasted up until the 1990s). Golf footwear is becoming increasingly scientifically designed to provide you with the best fit and power on the course. Here are some of the top shoes available for women golfers.
Adidas Women’s Adizero Sport II Golf Shoe
Adidas designed this shoe from the sole up to offer you the ultimate in performance. Being based on the Supernova runners last in addition to the cloudfoam midsole makes these shoes a dream to wear. The outer lugs are abrasion-resistant ensuring that they will last you for many rounds to come. Available in five different colours allows you to make your own personal fashion statement in the course.
Callaway Women’s Pacifica Golf Shoe
Waterproof leather and microfiber upper allow you to make a dash under the nearest shelter to seek relief from the rain without fear that your gorgeous shoes are going to be ruined. You can be assured that you are getting the best grip to help your shot through the multi-directional durable lugs. The midsole emulates the feeling of walking on the ground to give your feet greater support with the liner offering heat-management keeping your feet nice and cool.
DAWGS Women’s Golf Spirit Walking Shoe
These don’t look more like Crocs than the standard golf shoe but don’t let that deceive you. They’re so cute and best of all, these DAWGS are designed specifically for the golf course. The inner sole supports the arch of your foot, while the bed massages your feet. How’s that for taking care of your tootsies? But there’s more. The holes allow airflow to prevent your feet from overheating. Concerned that your DAWGS are looking dirty? Relax. Just give them a rinse under a tap and you’re good to go. Available in 12 different colours, you are bound to find a pair that matches your personality.
FootJoy Women’s Emerge
For those of you who are fans of Footjoy’s discontinued Contour shoe, the Emerge is a great replacement. The last that the Emerge is created from follows the natural contour of your foot, offering you a nice fit with the comfort provided within the shoe by soft pillows of foam. Traction is provided through Footjoy’s proprietary material to aid you in getting the best stability and support as you make your swing.
Nike Air Zoom 90 IT Golf Shoes
Nike. You can’t go wrong with such a well-respected name in the world of sports. The Air Zoom’s one-piece design ensures that the shoe will slip on as easy as your socks. With traction merged seamlessly into the base and raised nodes gives you the balance and effortless move into the swing. The awesome purples colour is also a winner. Gotta love the Air Zoom.
ECCO Women’s Cage Pro Gore-Tex Golf Shoe
Have friends that will play golf even if it’s raining? You don’t have to fret about your shoes if you grab a pair of these. The Gore-Tex technology will keep your feet dry while allowing them to breath. Your backswing is supported through the naturally placed pivot points that will help you maintain balance on your follow-through. Feel like the shoe is too narrow? Simply remove the inlay sole and your shoes become instantly wider.
Best Golf Shoes for Children
Your kid is tugging frantically at your trouser leg as you are getting ready to head out for a round with your buddies. The eyes of your child have that look that you know so well. The one that is begging for you to take them along. So you tell the wife that you are taking junior with you. You are surprised at how naturally your child adapts to the game and you begin to wonder if you have a Tiger Woods or Michelle Wie in the making at your side. You think about the clothes you need to get and then what shoes would suit your golf prodigy. Here are some footwear options for you to consider for your kid.
PUMA Kids’ Ignite Pwradapt Golf Shoe
Children sometimes have a habit of dragging their feet along the ground and it has you concerned about the cleats on the shoes quickly wearing down. Your worries are laid to rest with these shoes from PUMA with the cleats manufactured from abrasion-resistant material. Well-thought out lug placement guarantees balance and support on even the trickiest terrain while the inner of the shoe provides comfort that will keep your little one’s feet happy as they trek around the course.
FootJoy Kids’ Girls Sport Sl Junior Golf Shoes
For the girls out there, Footjoy provides a beautiful looking shoe that is bound to make a fashion statement on the green. Comfort is married with grip through the soft cushioning that braces you underfoot and molded traction on the base of the shoe. The mesh is specifically created with luxury and durability in mind. Looks and comfort. What more could a girl want in a shoe?
Skechers Kids’ Max Mojo Spikeless Golf Shoe
The lightweight midsole of this shoe provides the support and comfort your child is needing as they make their swing. Traction is provided through the TPU outsole to enhance the stability of your kid as he or she goes from backswing to follow through. The toe and instep panels consist of breathable mesh to allow your feet to stay cool. Gorgeous shoes all round.
adidas Kids’ Jr Adipower Boa
After a shoe for your child that feels secure yet not tight? The Adipower Boa could be the ones for you. The BOA Closure system is designed to ensure that your foot feels well supported as you play with a low profile that gives your child greater balance and power transference. The cleats provide superior grip and stability as your child takes that swing. A brilliant golf shoe from a company synonymous with sport. Thanks, Adidias.
Enjoy your next round
Golf is a game of strategy and forethought as you plan your next shot while taking account of the obstacles before you. Yet, walking around all 18 holes can be a nightmare if you have the wrong shoes. Pain, injury and discomfort are all real threats when you are making your way around the course. Great golf shoes are those that are comfortable while giving your foot the support it needs so that you can make that next shot without fear of sustaining an injury or losing your footing against the wet grass and tricky terrain while providing extra power into your swing.
Have fun out there and enjoy your new shoes.