Upper made from leather with GORE-TEX® waterproof technology. OrthoLite® in-lay sole offers extra width and is removable. Midsole is ergonomically designed for supportive comfort. Outsole features Motion Grip for increased traction.
Expensive. The heel outsole might be thicker than some users desire.
Waterproof synthetic upper is easy to maintain and keeps users dry in morning dew. Stands out for its dressy looks combined with a comfortable fit from EVA Fit-Beds insole. Reliable traction with a DuraMax rubber outsole.
The upper can feel a bit stiff. A few users think they are uncomfortable.
A handsome, lightweight shoe that generates enthusiasm for its full-grain leather waterproof construction and supportive midsole. Fitbed footbed provides comfort while Duramax rubber outsole offers grip and traction. Can we worn on or off course with spikeless design.
Some users might desire more grip from a shoe with spikes.
Made from 50% high-performance recycled materials. Features Geofit collar and FYW wrap to keep your feet feeling stable and secure. Grip and traction provided by direct-inject TPU spikes. Comfortable support with DUALSTACK hybrid midsole.
An expensive pair of shoes with not many color options.
Material is airy, lightweight, and breathable. Features cushioned foam midsole and supportive wraparound heel counter. Extra grip and traction are provided by a pressure-mapped outsole. Keeps out dirt and sand with tongue gusset.
Not waterproof, and the material wears and stains easily. Too tight and narrow for some.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Although you can learn the rules of golf in an afternoon, really getting good at the game can take years, and most golfers would agree that improvement is always possible, no matter how long you play or how good you are. While skill and practice are crucial components to upping your golf game, your equipment also plays a role.
A good set of clubs is the most important golf purchase, but there are several other accessories that can really add to your enjoyment of the game. One of those accessories is a good pair of golf shoes.
While even the best golf shoes don’t guarantee you’ll make that hole under par, they can go a long way in improving your stability during your swing. Choosing the right golf shoes, however, can seem as tricky as getting your ball out of a sand trap.
Your first questions are probably, “Are golf shoes really necessary? How are they different from regular athletic shoes?” Those are both fair questions.
While golf shoes are not absolutely necessary, they are very strongly recommended, even for a beginning golfer. Part of that is for your feet’s sake; if you walk the typical 18-hole course, you’re going to cover four miles or more, so you want comfortable shoes with good arch support – something a quality pair of golf shoes provides.
But most of the answer comes down to the game, and particularly the swing. Because the golf swing requires a grounded, secure posture, golf shoes are just a bit broader in the sole than regular athletic shoes. This helps you balance during your swing. The arches of golf shoes are usually stabilized, as well, to keep your feet in position during this critical move. Golf shoes also have more flexibility than shoes made for running, basketball, or other team sports, as your feet need to flex, and they need to adapt to terrain that’s often uneven as you move through the course.
And finally, golf shoes have a sole made to hold tight to the course while you play. This generally means some type of spikes or nubs, which is an important enough issue to have its own section in this guide.
Actually, that’s a trick question, because both have their pros and cons, and the choice mostly comes down to preference and playing style.
While golf shoe spikes were once made of metal, few courses allow metal spikes these days, because they damage the turf. Instead, modern spiked golf shoes have a system of cleats or spikes made of heavy-duty plastic. Most brands make it relatively easy to replace spikes that break or wear down – generally, you just unscrew the broken spike and screw in its replacement.
Spiked golf shoes hold tight to the grass. They provide the best boost to your stability during your swing. On the downside, they are less comfortable to walk in than spikeless shoes, and definitely not suited to wear off the golf course. Still, spiked shoes are a good choice if you have a very fast or a very big swing, or if you find it tough to keep your balance during the swing.
Spikeless golf shoes aren’t flat on the bottom. Depending on the brand, they have nubs, bumps, or some other system of traction, but they do not have sharp spikes. This type of sole adds to your stability, but is easier to walk in than traditional spiked shoes. Plus, you can wear your spikeless golf shoes right off the course, which is very convenient. On the downside, you cannot replace damaged nubs or lugs, and while these shoes do provide stability, they don’t provide as much as spiked shoes do.
Gone are the days when “golf shoes” was synonymous with stodgy, black and white, leather saddle shoes. Today, you have a wide range of styles to choose from. Even many pros wear fun and funky colors or styles on the course.
Traditional golf shoes are still around, of course, and many golfers still prefer them as a nod to classic style or because they like the vintage look. The most common traditional style is saddle shoes – either in two-tone or solid leather – or golf loafers, which are often topped with a decorative leather tassel.
Athletic-style golf shoes have taken the course by storm. These shoes look much like regular athletic shoes, and come in a wide range of colors, patterns, and designs. Most are made of synthetic materials, although some are all leather, or a combination of leather and synthetics. You’ll find regular-cut, athletic-style golf shoes and high-top athletic golf shoes; the choice is a matter of preference.
As with any shoes, the right fit can mean the difference between a day of misery and a day of enjoyment.
Golf shoes come in the same size ranges as regular shoes, and as a general rule, you’ll wear the same size in both.
Try on your golf shoes in the same socks you’ll wear to play, and around the same time of day you usually hit the links.
If one foot is larger than the other – a common issue – fit the foot that is larger. However, don’t settle for a floppy or poor fit. If one brand doesn’t work, try another.
Shoes with full laces allow you to customize the fit a little bit, so are usually the best choice if you have a hard time fitting both feet evenly.
The right golf shoes fit securely around your heel without slipping, rubbing, or pressing, and allow your toes enough room to wiggle without squeezing, sliding, or painful pressure.
Unless you ride in a cart the whole course, you’ll do quite a bit of walking during your day on the greens. Your golf shoes should provide support for your arch, and they should have enough padding to prevent heel or ball-of-foot pain.
Take a few practice swings – even without a club – in the shoes to get a feel for how much stability and balance they offer.
You can find golf shoes for as little as $30 and as much as $300.
The lowest-priced golf shoes aren’t going to be high quality, but if you only hit the links once or twice a year for a casual game with friends, they may be sufficient for your needs.
On the other hand, if you golf frequently or take the game seriously, you’ll be happier with a higher level of quality, which generally means somewhere in the $50 to $100 range, depending on style and materials.
Q. Should I buy waterproof golf shoes?
A. If you like to play early in the morning, when the grass is often still wet with dew, or you don’t let a little rain scare you off the course, you’ll appreciate waterproof golf shoes. Water-resistant shoes, by contrast, keep out light moisture, but won’t protect your socks and feet if conditions really get wet.
Q. Do I really need to buy golf shoes? Can’t I just wear my regular tennis shoes?
A. While you certainly can play golf in regular athletic shoes, you won’t have the benefit of the extra stability and balance golf shoes offer. But if you are heading out for your first game, only plan on playing on rare occasion, or want to wait until you’re sure you are going to stick with your new hobby, your regular athletic shoes will get you by.
Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.