A golfer who walks all 18 holes of a course will have walked, on average, 5 miles by the completion of the game. It is only logical to assume that golf shoes play an important role in how the golfer will feel at the end of the day. Like most other shoe purchases, comfort and style will be the main selling points. What other factors go into the perfect shoe? More importantly, how will the right shoe improve your game?
Best Beginner Golf Shoes: Buyer’s Guide
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about golf shoes for beginners and how to choose the right golf shoes for you.
Spikes or No Spikes?
Traditional leather golf shoes with metal spikes were the industry standard for decades. For some, it is hard to break with tradition and accept that new options exist, and that they have found the same success. When choosing a shoe, your first choice should be spikes or spikeless. This immediately narrows your search by half and helps focus your choice on other variables.
Modern spiked shoes use a soft-plastic cleat attached to the outsole of the golf shoe. Cleats can be replaced as they wear down to ensure the proper balance in your footing.
-Traditional spiked shoes allow for the best traction on all surfaces, especially wet grass.
-The added stability of cleats helps the buildup of energy during the backswing.
-Grass and mud can build up in the spikes requiring more cleaning.
-Shoes with spikes are less comfortable than spikeless shoes.
Spikeless shoes are inherently misleading as they are not completely smooth or flat. These shoes replace traditional cleats with protruding lugs that are part of the shoe itself, making it impossible to change them out. In dry conditions, they provide the same level of traction as a shoe with spikes.
-Spikeless shoes have a low profile, making them ideal to wear to and from the golf course.
-They are lighter and more flexible than shoes with spikes.
-Without the stability of spikes, you will have less traction in tall grass or rough ground.
Classic or Athletic
Similar to the choice between spikes or no spikes, this is personal preference. Classic leather saddle shoes are still worn by most professionals. Athletic golf shoes are designed to be casual and look like most popular sneakers. They are often waterproof so your only focus is on the game, making them ideal for beginners.
Midsole, Outsole, and Upper
As new technology is created for golf equipment as a whole, golf shoes are no exception. The best shoe is the one using the newest technology that provides the best outcome. The construction of golf shoes today have three main components of concern: the midsole, outsole, and upper. Polyurethane is commonly found in multiple components of golf shoes because it is robust yet flexible, allowing enough flex but always returning to its original form.
Polyurethane midsoles provide spring and comfort in the shoe. Another popular material for midsoles is a rubber-like polymer called ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA).
Outsole compartments are now designed to support flexibility and stability when it is needed during swings. The small lugs seen on spikeless shoes are also found on soft spike shoes allowing strategic placement of spikes.
Leather uppers used be standard on all golf shoes with your only choices involved being black, brown, or white leather. Now, you can find uppers made of mesh that are very breathable, and still waterproof.
Balance, Stability and Flexibility
It may sound counterintuitive to have a shoe that both flexes and stabilizes, but the perfect golf shoe will do just that. The large base on golf shoes is designed to provide the balance needed for creating power in a swing while standing still. Without a balanced swing, you have less control of the club making it harder to deliver it squarely to the ball and ensure accuracy.
If you were to swing a golf club while barefoot, you would become aware of the amount of motion that takes place in your feet during a swing. Golf shoes are designed with support in the arches to limit the side-to-side movement that happens throughout a powerful swing. The placement of lugs and spikes is nearly as important to stability as whether or not spikes are present.