What to Consider When Purchasing Golf Shoes.
Updated: Aug 18, 2021
Let’s face it, when it comes to buying golf equipment, clubs, balls, and gloves usually get the love… but in the last few years golfers have stepped up their apparel game. I remember back in the day when I started golfing, I wore sneakers. Then I graduated into a horrible pair of golf shoes that looked like something from the 1920’s; on top of that, they weren’t even comfortable, but that’s all that was offered for golf shoes, so no one really thought much about it. Not today! Gone are the days of Grandpa’s gold shoes. Today’s kicks are not only fashionable, but extremely comfortable. Which led me to this blog post. There’s a lot to consider when purchasing a new pair of golf shoes, so let me run through them with you!
The outsole and the upper portion of most golf shoes are made from artificial fabrics and materials. This gives the golfer more stability, comfort, and if you’re like me tromping through the water, waterproofing.
Leather is the most popular materials used in the making of golf shoes. Golf shoes made of leather have a snug fit because the processed leather is placed on the sneakers exterior. The saddle style used in the making of these types of shoes provides more stability and breathability, especially when it’s really hot. Some of the best leather shoes are on the higher priced end of the spectrum because they incorporate certain features such as waterproofing.
Since the price for leather shoes with waterproofing can be expensive, most manufactures have come up with alternate, less expensive waterproof material options. The most common is Gore-Tex, which is thick but breathable. This material works for cooling in the hot summer months, but also makes them warmer when the weather gets a bit cooler.
Another option to leather is synthetic fabric. Synthetic fabric is made from polyester, which is thinner and lighter, but you really sacrifice breathability in order to get a more affordable shoe.
We all love playing golf when the weather is perfect. Picture the sun is out, the ground is dry, and all you hear are birds chirping as you rip a 360-yard drive! Ok, maybe not, but all shoes are good in ideal weather. You need to consider where you live, what time you usually play, and how much you will be chasing your ball into the stream. If you play in the Northeast, or if you golf early in the morning, chances are there will be many times that you are playing in damp, or even wet conditions, and there is nothing worse than playing a round of golf with wet socks.
Most brands now offer waterproofed materials for their shoes, but if you don’t need a true waterproofed shoe, then consider spending a little less and buying a water-resistant shoe. This will work fine for those mornings you play on damp grass.
Flexibility & Support
Everyone has a different style of play, and different feet. Some golfers like walking the entire course, and others would rather drive the cart right up to the green on every hole.
Walkers should consider a shoe that has a flexible outsole. You’ll be putting in a lot of steps in between your swings, so you want to make sure the shoe is flexing with you.
Cart Riders should look for something with a bit more stability. You won’t need as much flex, but make sure that whatever shoe you select it lines up with your swing. I t ahs been proven that if you are fitted with the correct shoe for your game, your swing can improve by 3-4 mph.
It’s important to anchor your base when you are swinging the club. That’s why sneakers are not recommended at any time on the golf course. Your swing path is determined on a solid consistent base, so slipping or unwanted movement will result in a poor round of golf. Spikes help to provide that anchoring. There are a few types of spikes, metal and plastic, but I would only recommend plastic for a few reasons.
Plastic spikes are light, have a wider design that helps to distribute weight, and most importantly they won’t damage the green. Nowadays, metal spikes are mostly banned from courses. They cause to much damage in the clubhouse and on the course.
As I mentioned earlier, styles have come from the dark ages to present day. There are so many colors and styles, it’s really all a matter of preference, but you will mainly find three styles to choose from. Athletic (sneaker looking), dress shoes, and the traditional saddle shoes. Honestly, I have no advice for what style to choose. I will just say, pick the style you like and that is the most comfortable for you. I’ve tried many, and some look amazing, but killed my feet, so if you’re limping around the course it doesn’t really matter how good you look in your new shoes!
Comfort & Fit
Speaking of comfort. As I just mentioned, comfort should be the main reason for buying the shoes you buy. The more comfortable, the better you will play, it’s really that simple. Golf is hard enough. You certainly don’t need another distraction aching from your feet or heels while you are trying to stay mentally focused on the course.
It really goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Make sure they fit correctly. If not, they will run and hurt, and then you’re not comfortable.
Who knew there could be that much to talk about when it comes to golf shoes, but if you have been shopping you know why I went into such detail. If you are just started to look, then hopefully this guide will help you not be overwhelmed when you reach the shoe section. As always, thanks for reading my rambling, and remember “Keep Swinging!”