Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
Answer: Yes! a good-quality pair of golf shoes can improve your performance on the golf course by providing more grip and stability, improving your balance and, therefore, your accuracy.
If you’ve recently taken up golf, you might still be in the process of accumulating all the equipment and accessories you need to play the game.
Whether you’re practicing on the driving range or on the golf course, you will probably have noticed other golfers wearing golf shoes, and if you don’t already own a pair, you might find yourself asking, ‘are golf shoes necessary?’
This is the question we’re going to be answering in today’s article, so stay tuned for all the information you need!
Why Do Golfers Wear Golf Shoes?
Before we get into the question of whether or not golf shoes are strictly necessary in all golfing situations, it helps to understand why so many golfers wear golf shoes in the first place.
If you’ve always golfed without golf shoes, you might be thinking that golf shoes are simply a fashion accessory to look good on the course, but this is actually not the case.
Golf shoes are worn for the purpose of increasing traction because of their high-grip soles (especially the spiked brands) so that you feel more stable and balanced on the course.
This can really improve your game, especially if you’re working with muddy, slippery or uneven terrain.
Are Golf Shoes Necessary?
So, it’s clear that a good-quality pair of golf shoes can improve your performance on the golf course by providing more grip and stability, improving your balance and, therefore, your accuracy.
But are golf shoes really necessary? Well, if you’re comfortable golfing in wet conditions without golf shoes and don’t want to spend money on yet another piece of golf apparel, the good news is that golf shoes are not strictly necessary in most situations.
Most of the time, be it at the driving range or on more casual golf courses, there will not be any requirement to wear golf shoes. As long as you’re happy with your standard of play without golf shoes, you can carry on golfing without them.
The exception would be on exclusive golf courses where apparel is taken more seriously.
At some of these courses, you will be expected to wear golf shoes, but unless you frequent these types of golf courses, you really don’t have to worry about buying golf shoes if you don’t want to.
Do Professional Golfers Wear Golf Shoes?
If you watch professional golf, you’ll see that all the golfers are wearing golf shoes. This makes sense since professional golfers will want to play at the highest possible standard, and wearing golf shoes can help to improve their performance on top of their high skill level.
With that being said, women golfers who play professionally are technically allowed to wear sneakers if they prefer.
You just won’t see this often, if at all, because it simply puts a player at a disadvantage compared to other professionals playing golf, who are wearing golf shoes to improve their stance and balance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Golf Shoes Really Make A Difference?
If you’ve never used golf shoes before, or have only ever worn lower-end golf shoes, you might have felt that they don’t make much difference.
However, high-end golf shoes are carefully designed to increase traction and stability, and almost all golf experts agree that foundation is key to form, and that form is essential for accurate, long-distance swings.
Therefore, buying a good-quality pair of golf shoes can actually make all the difference to your game.
Spikeless Golf Shoes Help Your Golf Swing?
Spikeless golf shoes are a popular alternative to traditional golf shoes with spikes, and they can offer several benefits to golfers.
While they may not directly improve your golf swing, they can improve your footing, comfort, and balance, all of which can have an indirect impact on your own swing speed.
Spikeless golf shoes have rubber outsoles that provide traction and stability without the use of metal spikes. The rubber outsole can provide a solid base for your feet, which can help you maintain balance during your swing.
This can help prevent back foot from slipping and reduce the risk of injury, allowing you to focus on your swing and hit the ball more consistently.
In addition to improving your footing, spikeless golf shoes can also offer greater comfort than spiked shoes.
They are often made with softer materials and offer more flexibility, which can be more comfortable for some golfers. This can help you stay comfortable during long rounds, reducing the risk of fatigue or discomfort that can negatively impact your swing.
Finally, spikeless golf shoes can also provide greater versatility. They can be worn on and off the course, making them a more practical choice for golfers who prefer to wear their golf shoes all day.
This can be particularly beneficial for golfers who like to practice their swing or spend time at the driving range.
How Much Do Golf Shoes Cost?
Golf shoes, like most other types of shoes, can cost fairly little or quite a lot depending on the brand and the style. While you can buy cheaper golf shoes for as little as $25, higher-end golf shoes can cost almost $300.
Something to bear in mind is that while you absolutely can buy less expensive golf shoes, the ones that are well-built enough to actually provide good traction and stability will typically cost more than the minimum.
Therefore, if you’re not prepared to spend more than $25-$30 on a new pair of golf shoes, you may be better off not making the purchase unless you specifically need them for something.
If you really want to improve your stability and balance on the golf-course, we recommend spending a minimum of $50 on golf shoes.
Are Spiked Golf Shoes Better Than Non-Spiked?
You can purchase golf shoes with or without spikes, and depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers as to which type plastic spikes is better.
Spiked tennis shoes, as you might expect, are much better golf than at improving traction, so if you golf in an area that gets a lot of rain and where golf courses are often muddy, you should invest in spiked golf shoes.
Another benefit of golf shoes with spikes is that they tend to be more durable because the spikes take most of the wear and tear, and you can simply replace the spikes rather than the entire shoe.
With that being said, spiked golf shoes are usually more expensive, and as technology in the shoe-making proper footwear industry improves, golf shoes without spikes are becoming increasingly functional and durable.
This means that you don’t necessarily need to spend a huge amount of money on high-end, spiked golf shoes.
Mid-range, non-spiked golf shoes should last you a long time if you take care of them properly and they should have good grip and help your balance and stance as long as you don’t play golf on muddy, uneven terrain too often.
Do Golf Courses Require You to Wear Golf Shoes?
While not all golf courses require golfers to wear golf or other sport or shoes, many do have dress codes that require proper golf attire, which may include golf shoes. Some courses may require golf shoes with spikes or a specific type of spikeless shoe sole, while others may allow golfers to wear spikeless golf shoes or athletic shoes that meet certain criteria.
It is always best to check with the golf course you plan to play at to determine their specific dress code and whether golf shoes are required. Most golf courses will have this information available on their website or by contacting the pro shop directly.
What do I wear to golf if I don’t have golf shoes?
If you do not have golf shoes, you can still wear appropriate footwear to play golf. The most important thing is to wear comfortable shoes with good traction that will not damage the golf course. Here are some options for what to wear when you don’t have golf shoes:
- Athletic Shoes: Many golfers choose to wear athletic shoes with non-marking soles when they do not have golf shoes. Look for shoes with good traction and stability, such as running shoes or cross-training shoes. Avoid shoes with cleats or deep treads that can damage the grass.
- Sneakers: Sneakers with a flat sole and good traction can also be a good option for playing golf. Look for shoes with a comfortable fit that provide good support for your feet.
- Hiking Shoes: Hiking shoes with a sturdy sole and good traction can be a good option for playing golf on uneven terrain. Look for shoes with a snug fit that provide good support for your feet.
Unless you’re playing on a luxury golf course, you don’t strictly need to wear golf shoes. In most situations, golf shoes are not mandatory, but they can help you to play a better game.
The reason a lot of golfers, including the vast majority of professionals, wear golf shoes is because they help to increase traction and stability, which lays the foundation for more accurate swings both at long and short distances.
If you’re considering buying a pair of golf shoes, we recommend at least buying right pair of mid-range shoes to get the full benefits of well-built, well-fitted shoes to improve your stance on the course.