Footwear Choices for the Golf Course and Their Benefits
***Disclaimer*** This post may include affiliate links, including Amazon. This does not affect your viewing, or any pricing on the associated sites, but we make a commission on purchases. This is how we help fund this site. Thanks!
Long gone are the days of hearing metal spikes crunch on the sidewalk and cart paths of golf courses. Since most courses have outlawed metal spikes since the advent of soft spikes, golf shoe manufacturers have become more and more innovative with their designs, particularly on the soles of shoes. Depending on what you’re looking for, the kind of style you like, and the type of conditions you normally play in, there is a shoe that is perfect for you and for your budget. Continue reading this article to find out more about footwear choices for the golf course and their benefits.
What Are Golf Shoes?
The first question one must ask is: why wear golf shoes in the first place? The most important and most practical reason is that they can help you maintain footing and balance during your swing. This becomes especially important on the downswing; as you rotate onto your front side, you drastically increase your chances of keeping your front foot firmly planted, which will help maintain a consistent contact point.
In today’s market, you can find two different distinct types of cleats on golf shoes: plastic or ceramic spikes, and spikeless. Each one has certain pros and cons, mostly involving the wear and tear of the soles.
Plastic or Ceramic Spikes
Plastic or ceramic spikes have two distinct advantages: first, they are the most versatile and can be used in basically any weather conditions. Another advantage is that they can easily be replaced for as long as the soles stay intact. Plastic spikes need to be replaced every few months or so, while ceramic spikes can last much longer.
This also correlates with the downside: you must replace the spikes, which can seem like a hassle. If you don’t like the idea of routinely having to pull out your spike wrench, your next best bet is to go with a pair of spikeless golf shoes.
Spikeless Golf Shoes
Spikeless golf shoes, as mentioned above, are great if you don’t want to worry about changing out spikes. This does come with some downsides, however: first, eventually, the soles will wear down, requiring you to purchase a brand new pair.
Also, depending on the pattern on the sole, the ones you purchase may not be suitable for wet and rainy conditions. Few things can be more frustrating that playing a round of golf with soles that hinder your ability to walk balanced.
FiveFinger Golf Shoes
There is, however, a third and more interesting option than the two most popular: FiveFinger golf shoes.
Having become popular by the minimalist movement, FiveFinger shoes offer the same sole patterns of most spikeless shoes, but also allow your toes to grip the ground as well, providing a better opportunity to maintain balance in every possible condition.
Sam Snead spent many years playing and practicing barefoot. While this may be a great way to achieve optimal balance, the plethora of chemicals used on most golf courses are not something you want your skin to be in constant contact with. However, if you like the idea of feeling the ground under your feet on the golf course, this is easily your next best option.
The last most important aspect regarding footwear is a proper fit. Before you spend that $100+ on a pair of shoes you’ll be wearing and walking in for several hours a round, take the time to get the fit right. Your golf game, and your feet, will thank you for it.
The Bottom Line
Golf has a lot of aspects to it and it’s quite challenging learning and remembering everything. Having the right clubs and equipment is vital to advance your game - this even applies for your feet. I hope the above information and advice will come in handy. Now go find out which shoes will work best for you and play better golf today!