At many golf courses, wearing golf shoes is an option, not a requirement, for players. But if you take a look at the feet of the golfers around you, chances are the majority will be in spikes. This isn’t a coincidence or a stylish trend—golf shoes actually help people play better golf. So whether or not your favorite course requires you to wear golf shoes, if you plan on improving your game, you’re going to want to invest in a good pair of spikes.
The Benefits of Golf Shoes
Golf shoes help people play better golf—but how? The main benefit of wearing spiked golf shoes is a significant increase in balance. Every good golfer swings in balance throughout the backswing, the downswing, and the follow-through. If you watch the pros on TV, you’ll rarely see them wobbling around during or after a shot. Golf shoes help anchor you into the ground, providing the ability to stay balanced even on the least stable of lies (like wet grass or sand traps).
Where to Shop
When looking for a pair of golf shoes, avoid online stores or catalogs. It’s important to shop in person so that you can try on the shoes that you like for comfort, size, and style.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of options for where to buy your shoes, and many assumptions about these places may be wrong. For instance, you might assume that golf pro shops will sell shoes for a higher price than a generic sports equipment store. Although that may be generally true, pro shops often have closeout sales on products, including shoes. Keep an open mind when thinking about where to shop, and you’ll find the best shoes for the best price.
What to Look For
Shopping for the right pair of golf shoes is similar to shopping for the right pair of regular shoes, only there are a few additional features to look out for.
As superficial as it may be, the first thing you’ll notice when shopping for golf shoes is the way they look. When you’re out shopping, you’ll notice that golf shoes come in all sorts of varieties. Some are more conventional, saddle-styled shoes, and some are more modern so that you may not even be able to tell that it was a golf shoe at first glance. This is a personal preference issue, so take your time and check out which styles suit you.
Hot Tip: Color Choice
Although those green and orange shoes may impress you at first glance, think about how the colors of your shoes will work with your golf wardrobe at home. The safe bet is to buy golf shoes in white, black, or gray—colors that look pretty good no matter what you’re combining them with. But if your personality insists that your feet should stand out, feel free to be bold with your color choices!
Type of Spikes
Generally, you’ve got two options when it comes to the type of spikes you can get: Soft spikes (plastic) or hard spikes (metal).
Most golf shoes are being made with soft spikes nowadays as more and more golf courses are banning metal spikes due to the damage they cause to the greens. Chances are that the shoes you’re deciding on will have soft spikes. But if you really want to buy a pair with metal spikes, call the golf courses you play to see if they’ll let you on the course with them on your feet.
Also, make sure that you choose a pair of shoes with removable spikes. The spikes on any shoe will eventually wear down so much that their usefulness is lost. So, having a pair of shoes whose spikes can be replaced is a must if you want to save money in the long-term.
Just like when you’re buying a regular pair of sneakers, finding the right sized shoe is essential for comfort and performance. Here are some things to consider when trying on a pair of golf shoes:
- If you don’t know your shoe size, ask a sales attendant to measure your feet.
- Not every pair of golf shoes will run in the same size as your regular shoes. That is, just because you’re a size seven in tennis shoes doesn’t mean you should buy a size seven golf shoe without first trying it on.
- You want your shoes to be snug, but not uncomfortably so.
- Check the arch of the shoe to make sure you’ll be getting the support you need, especially if you plan on walking the course.
As with all things, make sure you don’t spend more money than you have on golf shoes. You may like the styles of the pricier shoes more than those of the less expensive ones, but if you have to go into debt for them, maybe you should settle with a more affordable shoe.
Some golf shoes are priced higher because they are better quality—in material, comfort, style, and durability. But, some shoes are priced higher only because of the name brand they’re carrying. If you are going to pony up some extra cash on your golf shoes, make sure that you’re doing it for a high-quality shoe, not just a name.
Golf Shoe Maintenance
If you take the advice of this guide and buy shoes with replaceable spikes, you’ll have a much longer-lasting pair of golf shoes, as you can always put new spikes on your shoe once your old ones wear down.
But aside from the spikes, taking regular care of your golf shoes is important if you want to reap all of the benefits of your purchase. Clean them, top and bottom, regularly. Just as you do with all of the equipment used to improve your golf game, take pride in your shoes and you’ll get the most value out of your purchase.