Everything you need to know about golf shoes
You can golf without golf shoes, but your performance may be significantly impacted. Read this article to learn about how they can help you improve.
Do you play golf? It's a great sport which requires focus and plenty of careful aim. But did you know that the shoes you wear can drastically affect your golfing performance?
From the material of the shoe to the type of spikes on the bottom, everything plays a role in how comfortable you are and the amount of grip you have.
According to statistics, US consumers bought 7.5 pairs of shoes per person per year. For any professional golfer, you know this would include at least one pair of shoes just for the sport.
If you want to discover what pair of golfing shoes you need, keep reading below.
What Are Golf Shoes?
Like with any other sport, golf has a special type of footwear for the needs of the person participating in it. Some beginner golfers don't wear any special type of shoes when they play the game.
However, when you wear shoes that are not designed for the sport, you may increase your chances of getting injured.
In fact, according to statistics, 25% of injuries that happen to athletes are foot or ankle related. Therefore, it is important to choose one of the many types of golf shoes available when you step out on the green.
What Types of Golf Shoes Are There?
From spikes to no spikes to boots to sneakers, you have a range of stylish and comfortable shoes to pick from. Read about all of them below.
1. Classic Spiked Shoes
If you don't know how these look like, here's a breakdown. These golf shoes are characterized by leather and tassels along with the black and white wingtips. If you like old school golf shoes, these are the way to go.
Along with the retro style look, these spiked shoes also offer water resistance, traction, breathability, and comfort.
When choosing spiked shoes, it's important to find a pair that is based on your own personal tastes and what you want out of the shoe. A key positive to spiked shoes is that they can help bring your swing together since they are more stable than other types of shoes.
2. Spikeless Golf Shoes
With the creation of spikeless shoes, sneaker styles have become popular in tee boxes and clubhouses. They often come in the form of a lightweight and comfortable shoe that can transition to the golf course and everyday life.
Many professional golfers wear these street-style shoes, not just for comfort but also due to the fact they can aid with back and foot pain. However, there are some downsides to spikeless golf shoes.
They have less grip and stability than their spiked counterparts and they often lack waterproofing. Along with this, molded soles offer less grip in longer and wet grass.
3. Golf Boot
Considered a rarer version of the golf shoe, a golf boot looks more like something someone would wear for a mountain hike. It is a waterproof alternative to a regular shoe.
Golf boots offer great traction and warmth, especially during the winter months of golfing. The only problem is that they are quite heavy and they don't allow as much freedom around the angles during a swing.
There are some models of golf boots that offer gaiters for increased water protection as well. They can be a bit expensive as the thick waterproof material is used for the entire boot. However, they will work perfectly to keep mud and water out.
4. Golf Sandals
With many golfers in hot climates wanting a shoe to suit their environment, shoe manufacturers came up with a sandal version of the golf shoe. With its timeless design, this is a shoe that is breathable and perfect to wear on hot summer days.
They are fairly cheap too, along with keeping your feet cool.
However, they do have their downsides. They aren't great to wear if you have to walk long distances and you may even get a blister. Be sure to wear them if you know you have access to a golf buggy.
They also provide less support for your feet and limited resistance to wet weather. But as long as you can handle that, they can be the perfect shoe choice for you.
What Types of Material Can Golf Shoes Be Made of?
Out of all the materials that can be made into golf shoes, leather is by far the most popular choice to go with. It is processed and added to the exterior of the shoe. This creates a stretch-free and tightly fitting waterproofed shoe.
It is designed to stabilize the shoe and it is considered a good option for Summer golf as it is more breathable than other materials on the market. Top manufacturers usually offer a one or two year guarantee for waterproofing.
There are different types of leather shoes you can get too. The most common type is made of cow leather, however, you can even get shoes made of yak leather. Yak leather is incredibly waterproof and very strong too.
However, the price of the leather and the manufacturing is reflected in the price, so be prepared to pay extra for good quality.
2. Waterproof Linings
Some golf shoes are covered in a special waterproof lining. The most popular material choice when it comes to waterproofing a shoe is Gore-Tex. According to experts, the membrane of Gore-Tex is incredibly thin and the pores are 20,000 times smaller than a water drop.
This allows moisture to pass in but not water. Of course, there are other types of waterproofing materials to choose from as well. Most of them are breathable and completely water resistant, making them perfect for winter play.
It's also warmer than leather too, so it may not be great for summer.
Synthetic material is a cheaper alternative to leather. It involves a man-made upper polyester layer rather than a more natural material to cover the shoe. This polyester is spread over the shoe in order to protect the outer shell of it.
As this lining is lighter and thinner than leather, it is a much more affordable shoe. However, it is not as breathable as its leather counterpart.
These types of shoes are less common as manufacturers are able to produce cheaper shoes with alternative materials that offer more comfort. Additionally, they are not as long-lasting as their leather and Gore-Tex counterparts.
As part of the perfect golf swing, you need good traction. This all depends on how your shoe is anchored to the ground with the help of golf spikes. Read on to discover more about them and what materials they can be made of.
1. Plastic Golf Spikes
By far the most popular choice for golf spikes in golfing shoes is plastic spikes. They are much more lightweight than metal spikes and are less likely to tear up a green too. They also come in wider sizes, so they can spread the weight of the player across a wider area.
They are ideal for summer conditions and the technology of plastic spike design is getting better each day. These soft spikes are now offering the same, if not more traction as traditional metal spikes. They are also more comfortable as the legs of the spike flex as you walk.
They are found on almost all new golf shoes and are the safest choice on offer.
2. Metal Golf Spikes
Although they are becoming less common, metal spikes are still used by many golfing pros. They are longer and sharper and give more traction on the course than their plastic counterparts. However, they do tend to tear up fairways and greens much worse than plastic.
As part of the rules of golf, players cannot repair any spike marks on the green, so this is why plastic spikes have become such a common choice for club players. Metal spikes may also prove to be uncomfortable on hard ground and thus can cause discomfort.
Some golf courses actually ban the use of metal spikes on their greens. Thus, it is worth checking courses before you play at them to see whether or not metal golf spikes are a good choice.
Putting New Spikes On
When it comes to swapping spikes on your shoes, not all of them have the same type of fastening system. Thus, you need to make sure you have the right type of replacement spikes at hand.
So, how do you know it's time to swap the spikes?
Many brands have special wear indicators, like a tire on a car does. This shows you when they should be replaced. Replacing the spikes can help to make an old pair of shoes feel brand new again, especially when the grip is improved.
What Are the Benefits of Golf Shoes?
You might be asking, "Is it necessary for me to wear golf shoes before I head out for a swing in the greens?" Read on to understand why you need to buy one now.
1. Stops You from Sliding During a Swing
Golf shoes are engineered to keep your feet from sliding around when you swing your club. This means that a good-fitting, quality pair of shoes should prevent your feet from sliding around. If this is not the case, then those pair of shoes are not fit for you and you shouldn't buy them.
Let's have a deeper look at the physics behind the sliding.
When you make a swing, you exert pressure downwards. This puts lateral and rotational pressure on your feet. Thus, having golf shoes which can keep your feet in place and handle these forces is an added plus.
If your feet slip or slide during a swing, it is practically guaranteed to produce a poor to a terrible golf shot. This is because you lose aim, and a lot of effort is wasted trying to keep yourself balanced.
Another benefit of good-quality golfing shoes is that their wide track rubber soles increase their sturdiness. Their sharp tongs also prevent any slipping which may occur on the grass. Most material that golf shoes are made of is lightweight but firm.
They also provide stable and solid arch support. This is something that is not provided by footwear used for other activities.
Plenty of golf shoes are made from materials that increase breathability. Golf shoes, especially those made from materials like Gore-Tex, prevent sweating feet, allow feet to breathe and absorb moisture.
Some shoes also contain a footbed that includes charcoal and polyurethane. Polyurethane is perfect as it can cool or warm the feet depending on the circumstances. This agent, along with others found in footbeds, can also be used to soak up moisture.
4. Support and Comfort
These shoes include extra padding which supports the midfoot and provides shock absorption when needed. Midfoot support is fairly important, especially when driving the ball. This is because golfers end their stroke almost always on the balls of their feet.
Along with this, the leather used to make most of these golfing shoes is flexible and comfortable, making walking on a long golf course easily.
Where Can You Buy Golf Shoes from?
In this day and age, it is easy to purchase yourself the perfect pair of shoes for golfing. Just head over to the following places.
1. Sports Stores
According to the marketing experts, the biggest demand for golfing equipment, especially shoes, in the next two or three years is going to be satisfied by sports shops.
So if you want to get yourself some quality golfing shoes, you need to look for a sports store you can trust.
Another place where you can buy golfing shoes from is online. Be sure to only get shoes from trusted websites if you want to ensure you're buying quality golfing shoes. Having a look at the user reviews can help you establish this.
Wrapping up: Golf Shoes Can Help Improve Your Golfing Performance
Whether you're new to the sport or a veteran golfer, everyone needs to make sure they have a good pair of golfing shoes.
For more information on where to find good quality shoes for any sport, including golf, click here.