Having a comfortable and well fitting pair of shoes is absolutely essential if you want to enjoy a round of golf. Although buggies enable you to cruise round the course in style, most players prefer to walk and the average golfer takes 12,000 steps while making his or her way round 18 holes.
But in addition to comfort, golf shoes need to help with performance as well. Slipping on the fairway while taking your swing and getting wet feet when hitting out of the rough are things every golfer will want to avoid, so traction and durability are other factors to take into account.
So, with these fundamental attributes in mind, here is what to consider when buying golf shoes.
Types of shoe
Even though you can get golf boots and sandals nowadays, there are generally two types of shoe to choose from.
- Spiked or Cleated – This is very much a traditional style of golf shoe but still offers a great deal of comfort, breathability and water resistance. But the main benefit of choosing a spiked or cleated shoe is stability throughout your swing.
- Spikeless – Very much a modern take on the traditional design, spikeless golf shoes exude style but are also very functional too. Typically lightweight and flat soled, this type of footwear can be worn on and off the course.
There are plus points to both of these options, but major manufacturers seem to be concentrating on spikeless shoes, as modern golfers want versatility from their choice of footwear. For example, Nike golf shoes look good enough to wear on the street, but provide superb traction and high performance when it matters most.
- Leather – The most popular choice and it is easy to see why. Manufactured to be stretch-free and tight fitting, leather shoes tend to be waterproof but are very breathable too, making them suitable for all seasons.
- Synthetic – Some golf shoes will feature a man-made upper, which is spread over the outside for greater protection. This is lighter and thinner than leather, but not as breathable.
- Waterproof linings – For the ultimate in durability, golf shoes with waterproof linings are available. In addition to dealing with adverse weather conditions, this option provides superb warmth too.
Owing to the fact that most manufacturers offer one or two-year waterproof guarantees on leather shoes, these are usually the best option. You may have to pay a premium for Adidas or Nike golf shoes made of leather, but they’ll no doubt stand the test of time. Synthetic shoes will be cheaper, but could hinder or hurt performance.
How to decide
To help you decide what shoe is right for you, think about the following:
- Price – It is far to say the more expensive the shoe, the better quality it will be.
- Frequency of play – Casual weekend players might not need the best shoes available, but if you’re serious about golf, spend your money wisely.
- Fitting – It is crucial that your choice of golf shoe fits properly. Ask for help and advice from a reputable golf-clothing retailer.