Frequently Asked Questions
Which golf shoe is the best?
To state the obvious, everyone is different. We each have different tastes and opinions. The best golf shoe for one person could be horrible to the next person. This being said, through careful research and personal experience, we have a pretty good idea of which golf shoes are the best. Right at the top of this list is the PUMA IGNITE PWRADAPT Caged. It is as close to perfection as your going to get in a golf shoe. In fact, the only category it didn't get a perfect score in is "waterproofing", as it only comes with a 1 year warranty instead of 2. Nonetheless, it is extremely breathable and comfortable, making it ideal for walking the course. On top of this breathability, it boasts some of the best support of any golf shoe. This is quite amazing considering how much of it is made of mesh. All of this awesomeness comes in at well under $200, making it one of the best values out there.
Which is the best budget golf shoe?
Golf shoes certainly aren't cheap, and it can be very frustrating trying to find a high performance, quality shoe for less than a small fortune. Luckily for you, we've already done the hunting. We consider anything less than $100 to be "budget", At the very top of our list is the New Balance Fresh Foam LinksSL. It is the quintessential NB golf shoe, boasting a perfect combo of comfort and performance. It also performs extremely well in all weather conditions. Close behind the Fresh Foam LinksSL is the Callaway Oceanside. Callaway produces some of the most affordable, quality shoes out there, and the Oceanside is one of their best. It holds its own against just about every other top ranking golf shoe out there. Aside from awesome comfort and grip, what really stands out about this golf shoe is its very effective combination of waterproofing and breathability. It's not every day you'll come across this combo, let alone for less than $100.
How do I know what type of traction is best for me?
Some have the luxury of trial and error in determining which type of traction works the best. Unfortunately, many don't have the time or financial means to do this. If you fall into the latter category, we're here to help. There are bascially three types of traction systems out there: Spikeless, Hybrid, and Spiked.
Are spikeless golf shoes effective?
Spikeless traction doesn't feature removable spikes. Instead it has what we like to call traction "lugs" or "nubs". These lugs are usually spread strategically across the sole in different shapes and sizes. In our humble opinion, spikeless golf shoes usually don't grip as well as spiked golf shoes, but do have advantages. They're often super comfortable, which is why even a few TOUR pros opt for this style. They also look cool, and are the most versatile, designed to be worn on and off the course. Perhaps the main reason some top-level golfers opt for spikeless traction is that it's lower to the ground, increasing feel and sometimes stability. Our top-rated spikeless traction golf shoe is the PUMA IGNITE NXT.
Hybrid traction is the least common, featuring the traction lugs of spikeless traction, along with non-removable soft spikes that are smaller than traditional, removable spikes. We think highly of this traction system and would like to see more of it in the future. Hybrid traction golf shoes essentially have the best of both worlds. As with spikeless traction, the disadvantage of hybrid traction is that it isn't replaceable. Once it wears out, that's it. Fortunately, the materials used in spikeless and hybrid tractions are very, very durable. Our top-rated hybrid traction system is found on the Adidas Asym Energy Boost. Another type of hybrid traction can be found on the FootJoy Flex, which basically combines golf and walking tread. To state the obvious, this type of traction isn't necessarily the grippiest or the best for golf, but it is a lot more comfortable when walking, and can easily be worn off the course.
More often than not, spiked golf shoes combine six to eight soft spikes with traction lugs. In our opinion, this combo is almost impossible to beat in terms of pure grip. Most of out top-rated golf shoes for traction feature spikes, and most pros opt for this traction system. However, there are downsides to spiked golf shoes. For starters, spikes fall out. Regardless of new fastening systems, spikes always seem to come loose and some point. To avoid this, it's a good idea to tighten them before each round. Sure, spikes are replaceable, but it's time consuming. While there are some spikes that lower your center of gravity, most spiked golf shoes are higher off the ground, which, for some, decreases feel. One of our favorite spiked golf shoes is the Under Armour Spieth 4 GORE-TEX.
What are the best golf shoes for cold, wet weather?
No one likes soggy socks. Especially when it's cold out. If you're after golf shoes that will keep you feet toasty and dry, look no further than the Adidas Climaproof BOA. First and foremost, we'd like to point out that not only is it practical in cold, wet conditions, but it actually looks really cool too. It's also comfortable, which is great if you're crazy enough to walk the course in miserable conditions. As one would expect, the grip is second to none. Wet conditions require special traction, and the removable spikes combine with lugs to keep you firmly planted. Having just lavished praise on this shoe, we should remind you that is is only practical for COLD conditions. We dare say that some may find it a bit too warm even in quite cold conditions. For many, the Climaproof BOA won't really be practical simply because they can't be bothered with seasonal shoes, and would rather have something that does well in most types of weather. At a suggested price of $170, is isn't the most affordable shoe, but it certainly does what it was designed to do. If you find yourself walking the course a lot, the Adidas S2G is much lighter than other "super waterproof" golf shoes.
What are the best golf shoes for hot weather?
There are lots of shoes out there designed specifically for hot, dry weather. Nothing is worse or more distracting than roasting feet. They can literally destroy a round. If you live somewhere with sizzling summers, we've got some suggestions for you. Pretty much all of the most breathable golf shoes are the sport/trainer style, many of which feature spikeless traction. One of our favorites is the Nike Roshe G. Not only does it keep your feet cool, it also performs really well and is great for walking.
One of the newer shoes to hit the market that we're really impressed with is the TRUE linkswear Knit. Its upper seems really light and stretchy, which makes it extremely comfortable as well. This is hands down one of the best summer golf shoes for walking. Do keep in mind that almost all hot weather shoes aren't so waterproof, meaning they are seasonal. Luckily, a lot of them are very affordable.
Can I wear running shoes to play golf?
The answer is a simple "yes". You can play golf barefoot if you want, but the question is whether or not you're getting the most out of your selected footwear. Most people considering running shoes for golf are focused on lightweight comfort. Something they can walk the course in. But we'd like to point out that there are a lot of lightweight, trainer-style golf shoes out there, which combine the best of both worlds. Take for instance the New Balance Fresh Foam LinksSL. It feels completely like a running shoe, with the added bonus of golf-centered support and traction. This being said, if you're really into the idea of running shoes for golf, go for trail running shoes. They have the lightweight comfort of running shoes with added grip. Adidas, New Balance, PUMA, Nike and whole host of other brands produce quality trail running shoes that could be used on the course. Also keep in mind that most of these shoes aren't waterproof, whereas most trainer-style golf shoes offer at least some protection.
The FootJoy FreeStyle combines the lightweight comfort of running shoes with the support and traction of golf shoes.
What is the best spray to keep golf shoes clean?
This is a tough question and there are seemingly endless sprays and chemicals that claim to do the trick. Us golfers have a tough task keeping our shoes free of grass and dirt stains, particularly those who prefer white or light-colored golf shoes. If you're looking to add extra waterproofing and protect against stains, consider the spray from Crep Protect or Jason Markk. If you didn't take preventative measures, and your shoes are already stained, try Jason Markk's Premium Shoe Cleaner.
Are golf shoes ok for walking?
These days, sport/trainer style golf shoes look very similar to walking/running shoes, and have the same level of comfort. However, they are usually more expensive. This is why we would recommend having a pair of actual walking/running shoes just so you won't wear out your golf shoes. Though the initial investment is obviously higher, you'll save money in the long run. This being said, if you are set on the idea of walking in your golf shoes, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better than the PUMA IGNITE NXT. Everything from its appearance to comfort to traction make it one of the best golf shoes for walking. The FootJoy Flex is also fantastic for walking, as its traction system is a kind of hybrid of a walking shoe and a spikeless golf shoe.
Is it a bad idea to practice putting with your shoes off?
Yes and no. This is a completely subjective matter, completely depending on the individual. Some golfers insist that when practicing, everything should be completely the same as when you're playing, allowing the body to recognize and familiarize every intricacy of the swing/stroke. If your shoes are off, you're effectively shorter, which might change your stroke.
The other school of thought is that putting practice should be about feel, and whether your shoes are on or off, you're still practicing feel. Some individuals are able to mimic their putting stroke with or without shoes, while others find it awkward, with a noticeable difference.
The only way to know what works for you is to try. Again and again. We should mention that on most occassions, it is prohibited to go shoeless, so if you are keen to give it a try, make sure you won't get kicked off the course!
Is it worth spending money on expensive golf shoes for a beginner?
This depends on a lot of factors; how often you play, how rapidly your progress, conditions you play in... Expensive golf shoes aren't always the "best", and there are plenty of golf shoes under $100 that perform very effectively. The differences between expensive golf shoes and more affordable golf shoes aren't always huge, so it's a good idea to do research to find out the intricacies. Expensive golf shoes aren't necessarily more durable either, so if you are going to pay a good chunk of change, make sure they're going to last. If you're going to go for expensive golf shoes, we recommend the FootJoy FURY and the PUMA TitanTour IGNITE above all else. If you're on a budget, or just starting out and don't even know how far you'll pursue the game, you could do far worse than the ASICS GEL-Linkmaster. For just $69, this performance golf shoe offers great comfort, grip and support.
What golf shoes do the pros wear?
Just about every brand featured here sponsors at least one pro. As you probably already know, the biggest brands sponsor the most pros. This means a majority of pros are wearing Adidas, FootJoy and Nike. Of these brands, which specific model the pros wear is obviously personal preference. The one thing we can say is that without a doubt, the FootJoy Pro/SL is really, really popular on the PGA and European tours.
Which golf shoes are the best for wide feet?
There are plenty of golf shoes out there available in regular and wide sizes. Though not many brands offer extra wide, FootJoy is one that does. Our favorite of these extra wide options is the FootJoy FreeStyle 2.0. And what a fantastic shoe it is. Great for all conditions, it is very, very comfortable and boasts the brand's most advanced golf shoe technology.
What golf shoes should I buy?
So we've told you which golf shoes are the best, but not necessarily which ones you should buy. People tend to look for different things in shoes, and golf shoes are no exception. If you're on a budget, rest assured you can get a hold of awesome golf shoes for under $100. The New Balance Fresh Foam LinksSL and the Callaway Oceanside are without a doubt our favorite golf shoes under $100.
If you're looking to turn heads in the clubhouse with pure style, well, this is tough, because the list is long. The Margaritaville Tap In and the PUMA Kahala Slip-On are at the forefront of slip-on fashion, while the G/FORE Crusader features the hi-top look that some of the young guns, such as Rickie Fowler, sport so well. If you're going for elegance, the ECCO New World Class and the FootJoy ICON Black are simply beautiful. Not necessarily cheap, but certainly beautiful. If you're looking for stylish versatility, the TRUE linkswear TL-01 looks great everywhere. It literally looks as good off the course as it does on.
For those in hot climates, breathability matters more than anything else. Luckily, there are plenty of sport/trainer style golf shoes that focus on lightweight breathability. The TRUE linkswear Knit comes out ahead on our list of the most breathable golf shoes. Pretty much the sole purpose of this shoe is to make it feel as if you aren't wearing anything. It's also really, really comfortable.
A lot of us aren't fortunate enough to have hot weather year-round. We have wet winters that keep most sane golfers away from the course. But not everybody. Those who are brave/insane enough to battle the elements can at least take refuge in the Adidas Climaproof Boa and the Nike Lunar VaporStorm. They are guaranteed to keep your feet warm and dry. Just don't wear them in the summer.
Basically what we're trying to say is that different golf shoes appeal to different people. There are a lot of factors at play, from where you live to how often you play to swing speed to whether you ride or walk. And a bunch more. Hopefully we've narrowed it down for you, so you at least have an idea of which golf shoes you should buy.
When should I replace my golf spikes?
For optimal performance, it is commonly recommended to change your spikes every 15 rounds. Do keep in mind this is for optimal performance. Spikes can still be effective long after this as long as they haven't worn completely down. CHAMP spikes are awesome because they have a little indicator when they need replacing. Each spike has a "C" in the middle, and when it turns solid it means it's time to replace it. Replacement spikes are quite cheap, with a pack of 18 costing around $15.
Which golf shoes are waterproof?
To some degree, most golf shoes are waterproof. However, the extent of this waterproofing varies quite a bit. One of the best ways to determine if a golf shoe is waterproof is to see if it offers a waterproof warranty/guarantee, and for how long. The most effective shoes for waterproofing offer two year warranties/guarantees, while others offer only one year, or none at all. In our opinion, the best all around golf shoes for keeping your feet dry are the PUMA TitanTour IGNITE and the Under Armour Spieth 4 GORE-TEX. These shoes combine awesome waterproofing with amazing aesthetics and performance/support. One of the best shoes geared specifically for rainy conditions is the Adidas S2G. Because it's not as bulky as the other "super waterproof" golf shoes, you will find it great for walking.
Which golf shoes are the most comfortable?
This is such a tough question because feet come in so many different shapes and sizes. While one shoe may have too much arch support for one person, the next person may think it's not enough. This being said, through personal experience and general consensus, the FootJoy FURY and PUMA IGNITE PWRADAPT Caged once again pop up on our list, as does the PUMA IGNITE PWRSPORT, the FootJoy FreeStyle 2.0 and the Adidas CodeChaos. These shoes are not only very, very comfortable, but they also boast amazing technology which enhances performance.
What do the pros do with their old golf shoes and clothes?
This depends on which contracts they have, but a majority either auction them off for charities, or put them up for sale. Since the top players wear brand new shoes/clothes just about every tournament, it's no surprise that they're still in pristine shape when auctioned off. A lot of the pross will also sign their stuff before it's auctioned/sold, increasing the value.
How long do spikeless golf shoes last?
There's no clear cut answer to this common question. In fact, the answers may just add to the uncertainty. Everything from frequency of use to player weight to swing motion has an impact on how long spikeless traction lasts. Since spikeless golf shoes are more versatile than spiked golf shoes, they are wearable off the course as well. If you wear your golf shoes to work and then head straight to the course after, you'll experience a lot more wear and tear than if your golf shoes only come into contact with grass. Typically, what we find is that if you only use your spikeless golf shoes for golf, they can last years and years, with proper care of course. The most common issues after a while with golf shoes are the same as all shoes, such as lowers separating from uppers and decreased waterproofing. These problems will most likely occur before your spikeless traction wears out. Technology has allowed spikeless traction to become incredibly durable, with many brands using some form of TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), which is elastic and resistant to abrasion. The obvious issue with spikeless golf shoes is that when they do eventually wear out, you can't replace the traction like you can with spiked golf shoes. However, most people will find that the other problems associated with years of use of the same golf shoe will be more imminent.
What's the best casual/street style golf shoe?
Casual golf shoes are relative new comers to the golf shoe world, and have brought a whole new idea of what golf shoes can be. They are more often than not very stylish and versatile, meaning they are equally comfortable on and off the golf course. Just about all of them are spikeless as well. Though usually not as supportive as other types of golf shoes, street-style golf shoes are certainly comfortable and look fantastic. There are so many awesome ones to choose from, but we narrowed the list down, and the Callaway Highland tops the list, followed by the New Balance 574 Greens and TranisMathew's golf shoe, the Cuater MoneyMaker. The Callaway Highland amazes us because it looks like and maintains the comfort of a casual golf shoe, but peforms more like a performance golf shoe.
Which are the best traditional/classic style golf shoes?
We have to confess that we've always had a soft spot for traditional style golf shoes, otherwise referred to as classic style golf shoes. There's just something about their elegance and sleek style. We love how they haven't deviated much from their original core design, yet are full of modern technology under the skin. Although they are often expensive and perhaps lack the comfort of other styles, they just look awesome with long pants and shorts. It wasn't easy coming up with the "best" of these classic golf shoes, but we felt we did a pretty decent job. Basically, it's really, really hard to find traditional golf shoes better than the FootJoy DryJoys Tour, Adidas Pure 360 LTD or the Adidas Adipure TP. Along with awesome style, they boast impressive performance similar to the best performance golf shoes.
What are the best performance golf shoes?
This is probably the toughest category to choose from, simply because there are so many golf shoes out there with amazing support and performance. It's certainly the biggest category, which makes narrowing the list quite stressful! Nonetheless we have compiled a pretty solid list of performance golf shoes. In a nutshell, these shoes focus on...you guessed it....performance. Everything about them was designed with support and performance in mind. When we say "performance" we're talking about the shoe's ability to deliver stability in the right places, while simultaneously providing responsive cushioning and promoting weight transfer. It's no easy task to design a performance golf shoe. In our opinion, Puma has done it best with the TitanTour IGNITE. Rounding out the top 3 are the Nike React Vapor 2 and the Under Armour Spieth 4 GORE-TEX.
What is the best trainer/sport/athletic golf shoe?
However you want to call them, this style of shoe is known for comfort and breathability. Trainer style golf shoes are great for walking the course, particularly on hot days. While a lot of these shoes don't offer the best waterproofing or support, some of them do. Our favorite sport style golf shoe, the PUMA IGNITE PWRADAPT Caged, offers everything you could want in a golf shoe. It surprisingly offers some of the best support we've felt in any golf shoe, and boasts an amazing combination of breathability and waterproofing. The FootJoy FURY, PUMA IGNITE NXT, and the New Balance Fresh Foam LinksSL round out the top 4.
Which golf shoe gives you the most bang for your buck? (Which is the best value golf shoe?)
These high value golf shoes aren't necessarily the cheapest, but provide a lot for what you pay. In other words, they offer the best value. What we consider is comfort, support, traction, and overall perfomance. A high score in each of these categories for a good price makes a golf shoe a good value. The PUMA IGNITE PWRADAPT Caged, in our humble opinion, offers the best value. Once again, PUMA beats out the competition. Along with the FootJoy FURY in 2nd place, the Nike React Infinity Pro and the PUMA IGNITE NXT round out the top 4 positions, followed closely by the FootJoy ContourFIT and the Callaway Highland. These shoes all offer high level comfort and performance at very, very affordable prices.
Which are the coolest, most stylish golf shoes?
Because there are so many different types of golf shoes out there, it's tough trying to definitively say which ones are the coolest and most stylish. That being said, you just know when a golf shoe is cool. The feeling hits you, and you can't describe it. This is obviously a personal, highly subjective category, but you can't deny that some of the shoes we're about to show you are cool. The ECCO New World Class is as classy and sleek as golf shoes get, and radiates "cool" without even trying. Next up is the TRUE linkswear TL-01, which is the coolest looking casual/street shoe design you're likely to find. The PUMA RS-G rounds out our list and is nothing like the first two we've described, The best word to describe this trendy sneaker is "hip". The great news is that whichever style you're going for, there's an awesome looking shoe perfect for your taste.
Which golf shoes offer the most support?
When we say "support", we're not talking about grip/traction, but how the shoe supports the foot during the swing. We also factor in support for walking, but by far the most important aspect we look at is support during the swing. While most major companies offer at least a few highly supportive golf shoes, Adidas is just that much better. In our opinion, they have the top 2 most supportive golf shoes of any out there. The Adidas Tour360 EQT BOA and the Adidas Adipower Boost BOA are unbelievable. The Tour360 EQT BOA in particular boasts one of the most advanced BOA systems out there, the cables literally wrapping all the way around the foot, from the sides, top and rear. Performance style golf shoes traditionally offer the most support, and fill 7 spots out of our top ten most supportive golf shoes.
Do Pros Use Metal Spikes?
Yes, some do. But not many. It's estimated that roughly 20% of Tour players use metal spikes, including..., you guessed it! Tiger Woods. Pros who still use metal spikes claim they add that extra grip that soft spikes cannot. Whether this claim is true or just a mental thing is up for debate. Soft spike technology has come so far that we believe they are actually better, mainly because they grip pretty much the same as spikes, yet are more comfortable. Most courses don't allow metal spikes, but just in case you wanted to copy Tiger, he uses Champ Stinger spikes.
Which golf shoes give you more distance, spiked or spikeless?
This is perhaps a question many of us haven't even considered, but interestingly enough, there is a study on this very topic. We won't get into the specifics of the study, but the conclusion is that spiked golf shoes help you hit the ball farther than spikeless golf shoes. 4 yards farther to be exact. However, before you ditch your spikeless shoes, you should note that both types of golf shoes delivered the same accuracy and clubhead speed. Also, spikeless golf shoes, as a whole, are a bit more comfortable than their spiked counterparts.
Does it matter how many spikes a golf shoe has? Is the number of spikes on a golf shoe important?
In short, the answer is "no". Years ago, the answer would have been different because the traction systems relied solely on the actual spikes for traction. There was very little permanent traction. These days, however, permanent traction lugs/nubs and ridges compliment the removable spikes, and in some cases, improve grip more than the spikes. With more and more research going into movements during the swing, companies are getting smarter and smarter about where to strategically place specific spikes in relation to the permanent traction. In a nutshell, it's not about how many spikes a golf shoe has, but rather where they are placed and how they combine with the permanent traction.
What's the difference between standard, low drop and zero drop golf shoes? Which one should I wear?
This question seems simple enough, but the fact of the matter is that like most things in life, everybody is different, which makes answering this question a bit tricky. But before we even try to answer, let's review what these terms mean. In standard golf shoes, the heel is slightly higher than the ball. Low drop golf shoes still have this height difference, or "drop", but as you may have guessed, it's minimal. Zero drop golf shoes, as the name implies, have no difference in height from the heel to the ball of the shoe. So which one is the best? If we're looking purely at golf performance and feel, zero drop golf shoes are often the prefered choice. They bring you closer to the ground and thus enhance feel. However, since walking is a big part of golf, you also have to consider comfort. A golf shoe that you swing well in, but can't get through a round in is essentially worthless. Which "drop" is best for you depends on a ton of factors such as gait, bone structure and alignment. It's definitely worth doing research to find out which type of "drop" will keep you going through a round, and then seeing if you can swing well in them too.
Synthetic or real leather? Which is better for a golf shoe?
As you may have guessed, we have another question without a simple answer. What we can do though is break down the pros and cons of each. Synthetic leather golf shoes are usually cheaper than real leather. They cost less to produce and are also "vegan friendly". Synthetic leather does quite well in wet conditions and retains its original "nature" better than real leather. Real leather shoes are usually more breathable than synthetic shoes, which can get quite hot. However, they are also more expensive. But this increase in price is backed up by a classier look and a softer, more supole feel. Although they have come a long way, genuine leather shoes don't hold up in wet conditions as well as synthetic ones do. Real leather shoes tend to be more durable though, and it's worth factoring this in when comparing prices. With modern technology, the cons of both types of shoes have been mitigated to a certain degree, which means that perhaps the best way of choosing is through trial and error. Because each company/manufacturer produces unique products, there's no real way to determine what's best for you unless you comb through reviews and/or experience it for yourself.