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What Really Makes a Difference in Golf Shoes?

When considering golf shoes, there are plenty of choices. Your personal preferences between casual and traditional styles will likely be a starting point.

Casual golf shoes can be classified as having more of a simple, athletic-shoe look. They appear to be like a running or training shoe, but have ‘spikes’ on the bottom. In fact, you can even get a pair of ‘golf’ sandals, if you want. (Don’t choose these if you frequently play at private clubs.)

The more traditional golf shoe can usually be described as a saddle shoe. It is frequently two-tones or colors, and is made of leather. They are more expensive, but will tend to last much longer. They are still the preferred look at most resorts or clubs.


Perhaps the more important choice in golf shoes is to get a waterproof shoe. In almost any case, it is worth the additional expense. Even when you’re not playing in rainy weather, the grass on a golf course can often be wet. Shoes that don’t repel this moisture can get very uncomfortable during your round of golf. And when they dry out, you’ll be putting on shoes that will likely be rather stiff, and even more uncomfortable.

As far as performance goes, most major golf shoe manufacturers build a shoe that provides the necessary support in the right places. That said, be sure to look for a tight fit in the middle or the ‘saddle’ section of the shoe when they are new. It is here that they need to stretch and offer the stability you need during your golf swing.

Finally, the steel golf shoe spike is very nearly a thing of the past. The benefits of plastic or rubber ‘spikes’ for golf courses, especially on the greens, is universally accepted. In fact, on the vast majority of golf courses today, you can’t get on the course with steel spikes. Besides, the new ones work just fine.