Are Golf Shoes Necessary? Do They Make A Difference?
When assembling your golf gear, many often neglect the shoes.
The debate about whether golf shoes are necessary or whether or not they’re any different from regular shoes has been going on ever since golf shoes were introduced into the market.
As a beginner, you might be having the same dilemma. So are golf shoes necessary or are they just another piece of money-grabbing merchandise?
Related: Golf Essentials For Beginners, What You Should Know
The short and sweet answer is YES. Golf shoes are a necessity for anyone playing on any golf course and for more reasons than one.
Although we can’t say that golf shoes are more important than golf clubs or quality golf bags, the case for them is pretty strong.
From preventing injury to ensuring your feet stay comfortable in a game that can last hours, there are many reasons to support the need for golf shoes.
If you’re still not convinced, read on to learn why they’re something you should invest in.
Are Golf Shoes Necessary As A Beginner?
In the beginning, during the phase where you’re still learning the rules and techniques of golfing, it might not be immediately necessary to get a pair of golf shoes.
This is especially if you’re not playing at courses yet.
During this period, you should be more concerned with improving your swing and developing the necessary skill first rather than investing in flashy footwear you won’t use.
But once you start playing seriously at golf courses, you’ll find out pretty quickly that golf shoes are pieces of equipment that you just can’t live without.
Apart from making a game set in uneven terrain for hours upon hours more comfortable, golf shoes can also help improve your swing.
The right golf shoes can remind you to focus on your alignment and swing.
These are things that will set you up to become better at the game in less time.
How Do Golf Shoes Help?
Yes, golf shoes help. Good quality golf shoes provide balance, traction, and stability for players.
Consider for a moment how large a golf course is and how varying the terrain can be.
From sand to sloping hills and everything in between, it can be difficult for a golfer to get the right footing needed to make quality swings.
Golf shoes ensure your feet are firmly planted on the ground, providing you with the platform you need to get the ball soaring.
They also make sure your feet are comfortable through the hours and hours a game of golf can usually last.
Furthermore, they can minimize injuries. Though golf is by no means an injury-prone sport, accidents can occur.
Shoes with less traction can lead to slips and trips than can lead to injury, both minor and serious. Golf shoes are made to cope with the demands of golf the way other types of shoes can't.
Do Professional Golfers Still Need Golf Shoes?
The more golfers progress in the game, you’ll find that their equipment only increases in quality and quantity.
This is because they have been playing the game for so long that they know what aspects need to be finetuned.
Thus, they acquire the equipment, and shoes, to help them push their abilities further.
Whereas beginners can get away without golf shoes, although it's certainly gonna be uncomfortable, professional golfers simply can’t live without them.
They are on the course, practicing, for hours a day and competing in tournaments that can take up the entire day.
This means they need shoes that can keep up with the demands of the game while still being comfortable.
Choosing The Right Golf Shoes
Not all golf shoes are created equally though. Different brands offer different features and it’s usually a game of trial and error for golfers to find the one that works best for them.
When selecting golf shoes, place more importance on the comfortability and traction they provide rather than the look and price point.
Sometimes, the ones that cost less are the ones easier on the feet.
That being said though, other brands of golf shoes warrant their higher prices by being very durable, saving you from having to purchase new golf shoes every month or so.
Of all the different brands of golf shoes though, there are two categories that all golf shoes fall under: spiked or spikeless.
Spiked vs Spikeless Shoes
Spiked golf shoes usually sport cleats at the soles. These are usually made of hard plastic but some older models of shoes were made of metal. This is discouraged though as they harm the surface of the golf course and can cause serious pain to anyone whose foot you might accidentally step on.
The spikes on the soles are designed to grip into the grass or sand, offering you more stability and traction when playing. A trade-off though is that they might be less comfortable.
Spikeless golf shoes are just as the name would suggest. They are golf shoes without rubber or plastic spikes on the soles. They usually feature a flat outsole with rubber studs or dimples in place of spikes.
Spikeless soles are more comfortable than the spiked ones and allow for more movement. But where spiked golf shoes offer stability, ensuring your feet are firmly planted on the ground, spikeless golf shoes are less so.
The question between which of the two types to get is largely one of preference.
That being said, each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages which could affect your overall performance.
Though we can’t say that one type is better than the other, we’ll explain the differences between the two and let you decide for yourself.
Which is better?
- Spiked shoes might be less comfortable but they provide a bit more lateral stability overall than spikeless styles, especially on hilly courses and in wet conditions. This allows the golfer to be content better no matter the terrain or weather condition.
- On the other hand, spikeless golf shoes allow for greater mobility and a better ground feel. They are flexible as to bend along with the movement of your feet, making them much more comfortable to use for extended periods of time.
With all that said, innovations are being made to both types of golf shoes.
This means the line that differentiates the two is getting thinner and thinner with new releases.
Modern spiked golf shoes are more flexible and breathable now, making them much more comfortable.
Newer spikeless golf shoes have been designed to offer more traction and fare better through harsher conditions.
In the end, the question of which one is better still remains a matter of preference. When buying a pair of golf shoes, take the time to try them on and walk around a bit to see how they feel. Try to imagine what it would be like wearing them on the golf course.
Being critical can go a long way to making sure you only know the type that works for you.
Does The Type Of Shoes Differ Depending On the Course?
- When on rough terrain or in harsh weather conditions, spiked golf shoes are the way to go. If the course you’re playing in has a higher difficulty level, spiked shoes are definitely the way to go.
- If the terrain is relatively simple, or you’re engaging in a casual game, then you can walk just fine with spikeless shoes. They’re more comfortable and can seamlessly be used outside of the golf course. This means you don’t have to switch shoes when it’s time to go home.
But as stated above, the difference between the two types is slowly disappearing with each new release.
The day might come when the differences are so menial that you can wear either type of shoe no matter what the condition. Some might argue that the differences are already menial as it is.
Golf shoes are a necessary part of golf. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, having the right footwear can seriously improve your game. It is also essential when making sure you’re comfortable enough to play for longer.
Whether you choose spiked shoes or go spikeless, the differences between the two are so negligible that it’s really a matter of preferences.
If you want to be on the safe side, use spiked shoes for serious games in rough conditions. If it’s just practice or recreational, then you can safely use spikeless shoes without noticing too much difference.
Golf shoes might seem pricey pieces of gear that some might argue to be unnecessary. Although we can’t say that you can play just as fine with any other type of shoes, golf shoes are an investment that can take your skills from good to great.
Walking a mile in a golfer’s shoes can teach you valuable lessons about alignment and swing stability. With the right kind of footwear, we do not doubt that you will improve as a golfer and contend even easier with other more established players.