What Are Golf Shoes? (Do I Even Need Them?)

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Golf shoes are a specialized form of footwear meticulously crafted to offer golfers the essential grip and stability required to excel in the game.

They are an essential part of a golfer’s equipment, providing comfort, support, and performance-enhancing features.

Golf shoes are available in a diverse range of styles, ranging from classic leather footwear to contemporary athletic designs.

One of the paramount aspects of golf shoes is their capacity to deliver optimal traction on the golf course.

Golfers must uphold their equilibrium and stability throughout their swing, and the appropriate pair of shoes can greatly assist in achieving this.

Many golf shoes have spikes or cleats on the sole, which help grip the grass and prevent slipping.

Another key feature of golf shoes is their design for comfort and support. Golfers often spend hours on their feet during a round of golf, and the right pair of shoes can help prevent foot fatigue and discomfort.

Many golf shoes have cushioned insoles, padded collars, and other features that provide support and comfort for the feet.

Understanding Golf Shoes

Form and Style

Golf shoes come in various forms and styles. Some are designed to look like traditional dress shoes, while others have a more athletic look.

The aesthetics of golf shoes are often a matter of personal preference, but it is important to choose a style that fits the golfer’s overall look and personality.

Materials and Durability

Golf shoes are typically made from leather or synthetic materials such as microfiber leather or mesh.

Leather shoes are known for their durability and timeless appeal, while synthetic materials offer a lighter and more breathable option.

ECCO Men's S-Three Gore-TEX Golf Shoe, White/Black, 10-10.5

Gore-Tex is a popular material used in waterproof golf shoes, providing protection from the elements.

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Weight and Comfort

Golf shoes should be lightweight and comfortable, allowing the golfer to move freely and easily throughout their swing.

Cushioning and breathability are also important factors in ensuring comfort during a round of golf.

Mesh uppers are often used to increase breathability, while foam cushioning provides added comfort.

Water Resistance

Water resistance is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing golf shoes, especially for those who play in wet conditions.

Golf shoes that are waterproof are specifically crafted to ensure the golfer’s feet remain dry and comfortable, while shoes that are water-resistant offer a certain level of protection against moisture.

Fit and Size

Achieving the perfect fit and size is crucial for both performance and comfort when playing golf. Golf shoes should provide a snug fit without being overly tight, allowing for natural movement in the toe box.

It’s worth noting that certain brands offer shoes in varying widths to cater to individuals with wider feet.

Support and Stability

Optimum support and stability are crucial when it comes to golf shoes, especially during the swing.

Arch support and lateral support can help prevent foot fatigue and improve balance, while a stable base can provide a solid foundation for the golfer’s swing.


Flexibility is important in golf shoes, particularly in the forefoot, to allow for natural movement and optimal performance during the golf swing.

Shoes with a flexible sole can help the golfer maintain proper ground reaction forces during the swing.


Golf shoes can have a significant impact on performance, with some shoes designed specifically to enhance the golfer’s swing and overall game.

Features such as FlyteFoam technology, ENVE midsoles, and BOA closures can provide added performance benefits.

Fashion and Market Picks

Golf shoes have become increasingly fashionable in recent years, with many brands offering stylish options in addition to their performance-oriented shoes.

Some popular brands in the golf shoe market include FootJoy, Adidas, Ecco, Skechers, Puma, Asics, True Linkswear, Under Armour, Payntr, and Callaway.

Brand Overview

Every brand possesses distinctive features and technologies that distinguish them from their rivals, setting them apart in the market.

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For example, FootJoy is known for its waterproof shoes, while Adidas offers shoes with Boost technology for added cushioning.

Spikes vs Spikeless

Golf shoes can come with either spikes or a spikeless sole. Spikes provide added traction on the course, while spikeless shoes are often more comfortable and versatile for wear on and off the course.

Notable Golf Shoes

Some notable golf shoes on the market include the Adidas CodeChaos 22, ZG23, and ZG23 BOA, Collin Morikawa’s Gel-Ace Pro M, FlyteFoam, Enve, FootJoy HyperFlex Carbon, Skechers Go Golf Elite 5, Payntr X 006, Ecco Biom C4, and Skechers Go Golf Drive 5.

Additional Accessories

In addition to golf shoes, golfers may also use accessories such as golf gloves for added grip and comfort during their swing.

Are Golf Shoes Necessary?

For regular golfers, yes, golf shoes are necessary. If you play golf in your everyday sneakers or running shoes, you might struggle to maintain your balance and even slip over when taking some of your shots.

Equally, golf shoes are designed to offer more stability and breathability than standard shoes, meaning they’re a better option than standard shoes for more reasons than one.

FootJoy Men's FJ Originals Golf Shoe, White/White, 11

While you can certainly get away with playing golf in standard sneakers or running shoes, they won’t give you the best platform from which to play.

For this reason, above all others, investing in a pair of golf shoes is worth it.

Can I Wear Running Shoes for Golf?

You can wear most types of shoes out on the golf course, and running shoes are no exception. However, if you’re planning to wear your running shoes, we recommend checking out Golfkicks, as these are cleats that attach to your sneakers.

You can attach Golfkicks to your current running shoes or sneakers, which saves you from buying a separate pair of golf shoes.

Remember that Golfkicks are designed to be permanent, so you shouldn’t take them out after finishing a round.

If your running shoes have spikes, you can certainly wear them on the golf course, but you should check with the rules and regulations of your local course.

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Some have specific rules regarding metal spikes, so it’s important to check before turning up.

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember regarding footwear in golf, as every venue is different.

Provided you check with the course in advance, you shouldn’t have any issues on the day of your round.

Do Pro Golfers Wear Spikeless Shoes?

Some pro golfers wear spikeless shoes on tour, but they’re still in the minority. For instance, current world number one John Rahm wears spikeless shoes from Cuater.

Known as The Wildcard, they look a little like gym pumps and are a comfortable option.

Tour players wear so many different types and styles of golf shoes, making it hard to speculate about the popularity of spikeless shoes.

Still, the fact that the current world number one wears spikeless shoes indicates how appealing they are to players at the top of the game.

Instead of basing your decision on which shoes to buy on who wears what, we’d recommend trying out different designs and fits at a golf retail store before settling on the perfect shoe for you.

After all, everyone is different, and you need to find a comfortable shoe that offers you the stability and performance that you would expect from a sports shoe.


There are so many different golf shoes that you can wear out on the course. From traditional metal spikes to new and innovative spike-less designs, you need to settle on a shoe that feels good.

That being said, if you only play golf once in a while, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a pair of golf shoes, as many courses allow you to play in standard sneakers.

It’s best to call ahead and check with the local rules before rocking up in any footwear that isn’t golf shoes, as you don’t want to be told that you can’t play!