Golf Shoes Buying Guide
Golf shoes are part of a players traditional attire and are made with the latest cutting-edge technologies for modern-day performances. Most golf shoes are also ideal for wet weather conditions, and a decent pair of footwear should last for years.
There are a few key things to consider before grabbing a pair of new golf shoes, and this buying guide will offer helpful advice on sizing, design and comfort to make sure everyone is fitted with the perfect golf shoes.
Traditional Golf Shoes
Traditional golf shoes offer an abundance of comfort, traction and water-resistance with plenty of breathability. A traditional or classic golf shoe will look and feel like any other footwear, and often the design will be toned down to appeal to a wider demographic of player. Traditional golf shoes are far and away the most popular footwear on the market, which isn’t a great surprise.
Some of the best traditional golf shoes available now, offering excellent breathability, comfort and style, include the adidas Golf Tour 360 Boost, FootJoy D.N.A. 2.0, Nike Golf Lunar Control 4, Callaway Golf Chev Mulligan and FootJoy Hydrolite 2.0 Sport to name just a few.
As street golf shoes continue to rise in prominence, so too do more brands roll out their own versions. The street shoe has made a name for itself by looking, feeling and acting like a regular trainer or stylish shoe which is golf course worthy. Sometimes with spikes, but more often than not spikeless in construction, street shoes offer everything that a traditional golf shoe does, although perhaps some models aren’t as waterproofed.
Street shoes are predominantly lightweight to make them easier to walk, run or jog while wearing. The flat soles can be a little jarring at first, but once a golfer gets used to the underfoot feel they will enjoy the comfort they offer with dimple soles in place of standard spikes. One reason cited for some of the top golfers to forego the classic styled golf shoe in favour of the street shoes is the aid it offers when tackling pain in the back and foot, with manufacturers Ecco Golf going above and beyond to deliver quality comfort in abundance. If Street Shoes had any drawbacks then they fall short when it comes to achieving the same level of grip on turf when lining up the golf swing and the waterproofing leaves a lot to be desired. The lack of golf spikes will make them less stable in long or wet grass, and typically they are not designed to provide waterproofing and perform much better in warm, dry conditions.
The Nike Golf Explorer Shoes, adidas Golf Gripmore 2 Spikeless Shoes, ECCO Biom G2 2016, Stuburt Helium Tour eVent Shoes and ECCO BIOM Hybrid 2 Colour Block Spikeless are some the best golf street shoes on the market today, and each is packed with the newest footwear technologies for a successful game on the golf course.
The rarest golf shoe seen on a golf course, boots have been steadily gaining popularity during the colder months of the year. Those who wear golf boots profess they feel and perform just like traditional golf shoes, despite them looking closer to hiking boots or wellingtons.
Golf boots offer a much higher level of waterproofing and deliver excellent turf traction. Boots warm the feet and toes during adverse weather conditions thanks to being covered almost entirely in a layer of waterproof material.
Golfers seeking boots for their game will find great comfort and performance in the FootJoy Ladies Boots, Stuburt Cyclone eVent Ladies Boots and Stuburt Cyclone Boots – but hurry as these shoes are only available during the winter months.
Golf Shoe Materials
Processed and then added to the golf shoes exterior, leather creates a stretch-free and tight-fitting waterproof experience ideal for any weather condition, especially summer as the leather is more breathable than other materials. Leather golf shoes usually have a saddle design feature that stabilises the surface of the shoe to keep golfers balanced and comfortable at all times. Most leather golf shoes come with a manufacturer guarantee of between one to two years.
Most golf shoes offer waterproof protection nowadays due to the unpredictable weather. One of the top materials in waterproof golf shoes is GoreTex, although there are plenty of variations available from other top brands which work just as proficiently. The extreme thickness of waterproof lining makes water penetration impossible and this obviously makes it the ideal choice for winter play, whilst the material within is breathable and incredibly warm when compared to leather, which means it may not be ideal for hot summers or playing abroad.
More reasonably priced for casual golfers but by no means lesser in performance to leather; lining is used rather than a material to cover the golf shoe. It is nonporous polyester that is spread over the shoes and this works to lend protection to the outer shell. Polyester lining is lighter, thinner and cheaper than leather, but does still deliver on the golfing greens.
In 2014 it’s highly unlikely there will many opportunities to purchase metal golf spikes as the age old ways continue diminishing with each passing season. Becoming less and less common, they are still used by some of the top professionals.
Metal spikes are longer and sharper, offering more turf traction on golf courses than plastic spikes, though their infamy for tearing great clumps of that turf from the ground has made them somewhat less popular with certain people. The heightened possibility of metal spikes becoming damaged during play, and the golf rules that strongly state repairing spike marks on the green is prohibited; plastic spikes have gradually pushed them out of the limelight and into the shade of the bunker. Metal spikes also cause some discomfort when walked on hard ground which can upset the rhythm of a golfer’s game.
Many golf courses have banned the use of metal golf spikes on their greens, so it may be worth checking ahead if you are going to play another course or abroad to see whether or not a switch to plastic spikes may be of greater long-term benefit.
Plastic spikes are far more common on golf shoes these days due to their lightweight appeal and lowered risk of tearing up the fairways. Plastic spikes are wider in size and this spreads the weight of the player across a larger area, which in turn creates less pressure and reduced turf damage. Plastic spikes are ideal underfoot accessories for summer conditions when the turf is hard and the technology of the plastic spike design is advancing at rapid pace, offering the same great traction as traditional metal spikes.