This may surprise you, but one of the most important pieces of equipment for anyone interested in getting serious about golf is their shoes. A good pair of golf shoes provides golfers with some incredible immediate benefits. Imagine walking to the tee-box on your next golf outing with the benefit of adding power and stability to your swing. There are a variety of options and variables to consider when picking out the right pair of golf shoes. Check out these quick tips below to make sure you get the right shoe for you!
Point One: Affordability
While even the most basic set of beginner clubs can easily set you back a few hundred dollars, golf shoes can be surprisingly affordable. A basic pair of golf shoes can set you back as little as $30, while a top pair can retail for $100 or more. When it comes to price, you should really consider how much you intend on playing before dropping hundreds of dollars on a pair of shoes.
Point Two: Material
Golf shoes are made from a wide variety of materials. Three of the most common options are leather and Gore-Tex.
Leather is the quintessential golf shoe material and what nearly all classic golf shoes were made of. While it may start out stiff, the more a pair of leather shoes breaks in, the more they contour to the wearer’s feet. This gives you a very comfortable fitting shoe that is nearly customized to your own feet. Leather golf shoes are oftentimes waterproof while also being breathable. This gives you an advantage when playing in dew covered grass or on hot summer days.
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Gore-Tex is another popular material for many commercial golf shoes. It is completely waterproof and highly durable. Gore-Tex is also a bit less expensive than leather alternatives. One of the unique qualities of Gore-Tex golf shoes is its ability to withstand colder temperatures. This is great for keeping your feet warm without having to wear bulky socks that may change the feel of the shoe.
Point Three: Comfort/Fit
Remember that when it comes to golf shoes, you need a pair that not only fits well, but is also comfortable enough to walk in. When trying on your shoes, remember to wear the same style of socks that you will also be wearing on the course. This small variable can mean a lot when it comes to the comfort you feel after playing 18 holes. Shoes that are too tight or too loose may become uncomfortable before long and will have a tremendous impact on your performance.
You should also consider how much the shoes weigh. While it may not seem like a real worry, playing a round of golf will get to be tiresome if the shoes you are wearing are too heavy and difficult to walk in.
Point Four: Traction
You are generally going to hear about two options in regards to traction and golf shoes: spikes and spikeless. Each variety has its own benefits as well as drawbacks and no single option is perfect. It is best to consider what each option offers by way of benefits and pick the one that will most suite your needs.
Spiked shoes offer greater traction and stability which can equate to more power and greater control of your swing. With spiked shoes you can be sure your feet will not slide and will only move when you wish to. Spiked shoes are an excellent option for courses that are overly hilly or have a tendency to be wet and muddy.
There are two main complaints when it comes to wearing spiked shoes. Often golfers may feel that they are standing slightly more elevated than what feels comfortable or usual. This is due to the protruding design of the spikes. The other common issue with this style is the necessity to change out of them immediately after finishing a round. Since the spikes are often made of metal or hard plastic, they can easily damage flooring or carpeting as you walk.
Spikeless shoes can be worn straight from your house to the course and into the clubhouse after. They offer greater versatility in where you can travel. They come in a far wider array of styles as well and may appeal to those who are only moderately serious about golf. Another benefit to spikeless golf shoes are their often lightweight, flexible design. This certainly gives players a more balanced feel.
Not surprisingly, one of the major drawbacks to spikeless shoes is they just don’t offer the same stability that their spiked counterparts do.
Point Five: Appearance
Golf shoes generally come in two styles when it comes to appearance. You have the classic style, often modelled to look more like a pair of dress shoes, and the athletic style, designed to resemble a pair of cross trainers.
Given the wide variety of design options and styles, the main consideration you should make when it comes to the appearance of your golf shoes is what benefits you most. Traditional shoes will take time to break in, but will offer more stability and will likely last longer. Athletic golf shoes are often lighter weight and more comfortable from the start, though they lack the classic appeal that some attribute to the sport of golf.
Several links that may be of help are 2017’s Best Golf Shoes and Golf Basics: How to Buy Golf Shoes. Each video offers a detailed look at some excellent options when it comes to golf shoes with continued explanations for many of the points raised above. To save a bit of time, I have embedded the videos below;