Why Golf Shoes? Do you really need them? And, Why do you care? Well, the simple answer to all three questions is “Yes, golf shoes are important and you need them.”
Every sport has specific gears, equipment, and kits to help players play the sport effectively and easily and keep them safe from injuries. The same rule applies to golf. Golf shoes are specifically engineered to provide you with extra support, flexibility, comfort, and stability.
All this helps you obtain a better swing, make better contact with the ball, and consequently play better shots.
Beginners often don’t give importance to golf shoes and they come on the course in sneakers. Though it’s allowed, it invites injuries. Often, they struggle to improve their game. Too bad for them as they don’t even think there might be a problem in their shoes.
Don’t believe my words. Experiment yourself. Don’t wear a good pair of golf shoes and the green with water would stand in your way making a par.
Now you would say, “Actually, it could happen because of the wrong clubs, poos golfing skills or out of nervousness and so and so…”
Yes, these can be the reasons but it can also happen because of tiredness, lack of stability, and imperfect swings. All these factors are directly related to the very shoes that you choose to wear on the course.
A good pair of golf shoes can help you prevent fatigue, keep your feet stable while you swing, and improve your shots.
So, my friend, this entire debate was to let you realize the importance of golf shoes. And, for all these reasons you need a pair of good golf shoes. IF AND ONLY IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT THE SPORT.
Why are Golf Shoes Important?
Golf shoes are important for several reasons. In simple words, a good pair of golf shoes help you improve your game. Some of the prominent reasons why do you need top-rated golf shoes are:
1. Support and Better Swing
Golf shoes save you from knee and foot injuries that may occur because of sudden transfer of body weight while you swing your arms.
Well, both spiked and spikeless shoes have wide rubber soles that help to keep the feet at their place. The spikes at the bottom of golf spiked shoes help in keeping the feet fixed to the ground during your swing.
This feature becomes even more critical playing in wet conditions. Imagine, you are playing on wet grass with sneakers. What do you think?
Yes, you are right, it would be extremely difficult to keep the feet at their place, which consequently affects your shots. Thankfully, you have spiked shoes to avoid this situation.
But, what about spikeless shoes?
Spikeless shoes have molded grip bottoms instead of removable spikes or cleats. The tread of the shoe is made in such a way that it provides great traction and does the job. So it can compensate for the absence of spikes helping you play better golf.
2. Comfort and Flexibility
Then the next reason(or benefit) of wearing golf shoes is the comfort. You know that golf is a tiring sport. You have to spend hours after hours on the golf course and walk all around the course on your feet. This can be lethargic.
Secondly, when you try to drive the ball and at that moment you put the maximum pressure on your front foot. Thus, you need shoes to provide you with some extra support at the mid-foot and some extra padding. Golf shoes are designed keeping all these requirements in mind. They have extra padding to absorb the shock and support the midfoot.
Lastly, being made of leather, the upper provides flexibility and comfort while walking on the course.
3. Better Breathability
Gore-Tex lining present in several golf shoes helps you keep your feet comfortable, airy, absorb sweat, and promote breathability.
Some shoes even come with a footbed made by combining polyurethane and charcoal that works like magic on sweaty feet by soaking a lot of moisture. So, you feel more comfortable on the golf course.
Many people(mostly beginners) are not aware that there are unique stabilizers built along the arches of golf shoes. These stabilizers prevent your feet from sliding right-left when you swing.
Moreover, golf shoes are tight at the midfoot to hold the foot in place while swinging. The design of the shoes is such that it distributes body weight evenly and improves flexibility. Thus, you get great stability and flexibility by wearing a pair of dedicated good quality golf shoes.
Are Golf Shoes Necessary?
Instead of answering in ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ I want you to do this. Imagine you are on the golf course; just about to hit the ball, you have stretched your arms backward to hit the ball with full power. As soon as you start swinging your arms you are transferring the torque from your arms to the inside of your back and finally to the ball.
At this moment you need to keep your front foot fixed at its place. Otherwise, your shot will be shaky; you won’t get the desired distance, and the worst thing is, this may lead to an internal injury in your back, knee, or foot.
So, how can you avoid this?
EXACTLY! BY A GOOD PAIR OF GOLF SHOES.
Golf shoes have a spiked or non-spiked outsole that provides outstanding gripping and keeps your foot at its place. These shoes with super traction support the transfer of weight and body rotation. Thus, save your foot, back, and knees from injuries and helps you play better shots.
At the time of making an impact, you turn forward following the natural swing. You again use your front leg and foot to give support to your twisting body. Without a well-gripped outsole, you may fail to give the required support to your back and knee that may lead to an injury.
Therefore, for all these reasons it becomes it’s significant to wear golf shoes.
Why Do Golf Shoes Have Spikes?
As discussed above, you need solid traction while swing and making an impact on the ball. Apart from this, many golf courses have wet grass that makes keeping the foot at its place even more difficult.
Sneakers are unable to provide you the required traction because their outsole is not made to provide solid traction rather they are more comfort-oriented. Therefore, to keep your foot planted on the ground, golf shoes have spikes on their outsole to provide you with better traction on a variety of golf surfaces.
Why Spikeless Golf Shoes?
The primary reason for going spikeless from spikes is these shoes are allowed to wear on all golf courses, unlike spiked shoes that are not banned by most golf courses.
Spikeless shoes are also more convenient and versatile to wear as you don’t need to change them going from 18th green to 19th hole.
They also provide better comfort than spiked shoes and you can wear them out of the course as casual shoes as well.
Related: Best Golf Shoes for Women in 2021
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes Which Are Best?
Comparison Between Spiked and Spikeless Shoes
|Point of Difference||Spiked Shoes||Spikeless Shoes|
|Traction||Spiked Shoes Provide better traction than spikeless shoes.||Spikeless shoes though improved a lot but still cannot match the traction provided by the spiked shoes.|
|Performance on Wet Surfaces and Slopes||Spiked shoes, undoubtedly are better than spikeless shoes on wet surfaces and golf courses with slopes where even spikeless shoes with great traction struggle to keep the foot at its place.||Spikeless shoes are not suitable to wear on wet surfaces and sloping greens.
|For Beginner Golfers||Spikes shoes are better to for you if you are a beginner due to their solid traction they will help you play better shots.||If you are a beginner you might struggle in keeping your foot at its place while you swing if you wear spikeless shoes.|
|Flexibility and Feel||The flexibility and ground feel of spike shoes are not as good as spikeless shoes.||Spikeless shoes provide better flexibility and ground feel than spiked shoes helping you to enjoy your game more.|
|Permissibility and Convenience||Spiked shoes are not allowed to wear on many golf courses so you have no choice but to wear spikeless shoes.||You can wear spikeless shoes on any golf course. They are even more convenient since you don’t have to change them on moving from 18th green to 19th hole,|
|Comfort||Spiked shoes in the past were not comfortable but now the brands are making spiked shoes that have blurred the difference between spiked and spikeless shoes based on comfort.||Even after the technological advancement, spikeless shoes still provide better comfort than spiked shoes.
|Price and Versatility||Spiked shoes are expensive than spikeless shoes. Also, you can’t wear them outside the course as casual shoes.||Spikeless shoes are cheap. Unlike, spiked shoes, you can wear them as casual wear too.|
The Verdict: Considering all the pros and cons of both types of shoes and the most important requirements of a golfer, spiked shoes are better than spikeless shoes. However, your decision should be based on your requirements.
If you are looking for excellent traction and outstanding performance then go for spiked shoes. On the other hand, if your priority is comfort, price and versatility then you are better off going spikeless.
Metal Spikes vs. Nonmetal Spikes
In the past, metal spiked shoes were the only kind of golf shoes. Metal spikes shoes are known for providing great traction. The major problem with spiked shoes is that they damage the golf course and leave the marks of cleats everywhere. Because of this drawback, most golf courses have banned wearing spiked shoes on the course.
But things have changed now, after the invention of non-metal spikes. Non-metal spike shoes don’t damage the golf course as much as the metal spikes shoes. So, they are allowed to wear on many golf courses. Nowadays, even if there is no written restriction on wearing metal spiked shoes; it is considered as against the golf etiquettes wearing the one on golf courses.
Why are Golf Shoes White?
There are three primary reasons why the majority of golf shoes are white:
i.) History: White golf shoes have more than 150 years of history. They have been in the golf course since 1800 but came into fashion, not before Walter Hagen who introduced white golf shoes while playing at Country Lido Club in 1925. This turned the attention of golfers towards the white golf shoes and they became everybody’s favorite.
ii.) The second reason is white shoes can go fine with any kind of outfit so you can just pick them up and wear them without bothering about the looks.
iii.) The third reason is white color reflects the light best which in turn keeps your feet cooler than any other color shoes.
How to Care for Golf Shoes?
Golf shoes are not cheap and caring for them is necessary if you want to use them in the long run. And, believe me, it’s not rocket science. You can actually increase the life of your golf shoes if you follow the below guidelines:
Step 1- Use shoe horns to avoid the breakdown of the shoe collar. Shoe Horns also save your shoes from getting dirty from the inside and keep their shape intact.
Step 2- Clean your shoes regularly. Remove the dust with a soft muslin cloth or shoe brush gently from the outer surface every time you wear them. Remove the debris from the cleat using a wet toothbrush. If the shoes have stains, clean them with a little detergent and a wet sponge.
Step 3- Polish your shoes regularly with leather polish. Do not leave their shoes without polish if you live in a moist atmosphere even if you don’t wear them because unpolished leather shoes are more likely to catch fungus.
Step 4- Keep the shoes in the open rack and airy space. Do not stuff them in the golf bag; this would lead to loss of shape. Lack of air also causes them to give out odor due to the growth of bacteria and other microbes.
Step 6- Golf shoes often get a lot wet from inside during the play. To revoke this excess of moisture keeps them in a place by stuffing a shoe towel or crumpled newspaper to absorb the moisture.
FAQs (Why Do You Need Golf Shoes?)
What is the point of golf shoes?
The to the point answer is golf shoes help you improve your game. You get better traction, balance, flexibility, comfort, and protection by wearing golf shoes. All these factors work together to help you hit better shots and prevent injuries. Thus, improve your game.
What golf shoes does Tiger Woods wear?
Tiger Woods wears “TW” Nike braided shoes that are made specifically for him. Although its model number keeps on changing from time to time.
Do golf shoes need to be waterproof?
Wearing waterproof shoes is not mandatory but recommended. Since you often play on courses that have wet grass even if it’s not raining. So shoes that do not have a waterproofing feature may become damp by absorbing moisture and can make you uncomfortable while playing.
How do I choose golf shoes?
Many factors can affect your buying decision when you are shopping for golf shoes. And it's even more difficult to tell you what would suit you since each individual has his/her own set of requirements. However, in general, golfers consider the following features before buying golf shoes: ● Decide whether you need spiked or spikeless shoes? ● Choose the Right Size and Fit. ● Think about the material ● Consider the flexibility, breathability, and support. ● Check whether the shoes are waterproof or not. ● Consider your golfing skills. For beginners, spiked shoes are better than spikeless shoes. ● Determine your budget. ● Research the different products that match your requirements and budget. ● Read customer reviews.
Can you wear spiked golf shoes without the spikes?
Yes, you can wear the spiked shoes on the golf course by detaching the spikes. But remember! You will not get the same level of traction as is the case with spikes. It’s better to wear spikeless golf shoes than to wear spiked shoes by detaching their spikes.
Which style of shoes do golf Pros prefer?
Although there is a lot of noise out there about spikeless golf shoes because of their comfort, low-cost and permissibility the majority of Pros still trust spiked shoes more. The reason behind this is simple spiked shoes perform better on the course than spikeless shoes.