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If you’re new to golf, picking up a pair of new golf shoes can seem a bit unnecessary. But the truth is, the best golf shoes will massively improve your game and keep your feet more comfortable during an 18-hole session. That means a better game and less achy feet — two things that every golfer hopes for, no matter the skill level.
The main benefit of golf shoes is grip. Thanks to spikes or specially designed grips on the sole, you’ll stay planted throughout your swing. You’ll notice more power and more accuracy — not to mention fewer embarrassing slips. This comes in especially handy if the fairway is wet.
Golf shoes are also a great way to solve foot and lower body fatigue on the course. The shoes are designed for maximum arch support, cushioning and blood flow, allowing you to walk the course and still have energy to focus on the next swing. If you’ve ever felt weak or strangely inaccurate on your last putt, that’s a telltale sign that you might need a better pair of golf shoes.
Golf Shoes Buying Guide
There are a few important things to consider when shopping for the best golf shoes for you. Here’s what to look for.
Spiked vs. Spikeless: Spiked golf shoes offer upgraded grip and traction while walking the course. Some golf courses don’t allow spiked shoes (they can damage the ground) which is why you can usually remove the spikes from spiked golf shoes. Spikeless shoes are obviously a better choice if your home course doesn’t allow spikes, and they’re easier to wear outside the course as well.
Comfort: Look for golf shoes with arch support, a cushioned sole and comfortable materials. Breathable fabrics (such as knits or synthetics) are also nice if you usually golf in warm weather.
Material: The three most common golf shoe materials are leather, synthetics and knits. Leather is the most high-quality and durable, offering the best waterproofing. However, some leather shoes can be a bit stiff while breaking them in. Synthetics are a good middle-of-the-line material because they’re typically water-resistant but still decently flexible and breathable. Knits are the most flexible and breathable, although not always great with moisture.
Style: Your shoes should match the rest of your golf wardrobe. Like the rest of the fashion world, golf shoes are getting more athletic. However, you can still find traditionally-styled kicks as well as casual golf shoes that are something of a middle-ground between athletic and dressy.
Best Spikeless Golf Shoes
1. FootJoy Pro/SL
FootJoy’s Pro/SLs are the best spikeless golf shoes, and possibly the best golf shoes, period. They use the brand’s ChromoSkin leather on the uppers, which is specially engineered to provide both flexibility and near-impenetrable waterproofing. Cushioning comes from a three-piece outsole that should hugely reduce foot fatigue. The sole is a molded TPU that grips on every swing but looks low-profile enough to wear outside the course. Speaking of the look, we’re big fans. The Pro/SLs are athletic yet refined, making them suitable with a range of golfing outfits from casual to dressy.
2. Ecco Golf S-Three Gore-Tex
If you call the golf course a second home, these premium S-Three kicks from ECCO are a great pick. The highlight is a Gore-Tex waterproofing that allows real breathability while blocking rain and dew. The midsole is also exciting with a tri-zone layout that offers three different levels of rigidity for support. Add a removable OrthoLite insole and you’ve got a seriously comfortable shoe. Traction is also top-notch thanks to 100 TPU bars on the bottom. Plus, we think the hybrid sporty-dressy look works well with almost any personal style.
3. Adidas Tour 360 XT
For a more athletic golf shoe, consider these Tour 360 XTs from Adidas. Supple full-grain leather makes up the upper, but the shoes are still surprisingly flexible. This leather is fully waterproof, ensuring protection from morning dew, mist or showers. The shoes also use Adidas’ famously comfortable Boost midsole, providing bouncy comfort all day. Plus, although they’re from Adidas, the kicks are more pulled-together than some athletic-style golf shoes.
4. Nike Roshe G
These Nike Roshe Gs are some of the most modern golf shoes around. They look like Nike’s iconic Roshe running shoes, and the upper is made of an extremely flexible, breathable material. The soft studs on the bottom are very low-profile, making the Roshes feel more like running shoes than golf shoes while walking about. But, despite this comfort, they’re still very grippy. Basically, they look and feel like soft, supportive running shoes, but deliver quality golf shoe performance.
The Best Spiked Golf Shoes
1. Under Armour HOVR Drive Golf Shoes
Walking 18 holes is tiring. These Under Armour golf shoes give a helping hand in the form of HOVR energy-returning cushioning. Once you’re ready to swing, specially-placed spikes help prevent over-rotation. The material on the shoes’ upper is also worth noting: it’s Clarino microfiber, which offers the flexibility of a mesh. But, thanks to the addition of Gore-Tex technology, the shoes are waterproof as well. Overall, they’re a high-performance pick that can help anyone up their game — no matter your handicap.
2. Adidas ZG21 Golf Shoes
These Adidas ZG21s are an example of where golf style is headed. The all-black colorway and athletic style is very modern, but they still look at home on the links. The materials, including a synthetic upper and a six-cleat TPU sole, are also quite advanced. They offer the rotational grip, waterproofing and flexibility you want from a golf shoe, only with less weight — 13 ounces to be exact. This makes the ZG21s some of the most lightweight golf shoes on the market.
3. Ecco Golf BIOM G3
Another great pair of premium, spiked golf shoes are these BIOM G3s from ECCO. The shoes are grounded by two different kinds of spikes which work in unison to provide grip while you walk, drive and putt. Inside is a cushioned footbed for support and added comfort. The upper is made of ECCO’s high-quality leather, complete with a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofing. Style-wise, the BIOMs do quite well with a subdued look that’s somewhere between casual and traditional.
4. Skechers GO Golf Torque Pro
If you want a pair of no-frills kicks to up your game, check out these Skechers Torque Pros. They’ve got six grippy softspikes that are removable in case you’re at a course that doesn’t allow spikes and replaceable when they wear out. The shoes also are decked out for all-day comfort with a rebounding insole and plenty of cushioning. Plus, the synthetic upper is flexible and waterproof, and it looks more like leather for a traditional style.