Put Yourself In The Pro's Shoes
Walking round a golf course for four hours is usually hard enough, but if you don't have a good pair of golf shoes it can be a disaster.
Relatively few technological advances have changed the way in which we wander courses, however manufacturers are still producing a large number of quality shoes. Pushing the limits of sole, spike and water-resistant technology, today's shoes are verging on being labelled 'game-improvement' tools.
Still one of the most basic pieces of golf equipment and yet overlooked by many who choose whatever shoes they can find in their size. When buying a pair of shoes there are six key points to look for: comfort, style, waterproofing, breathability, traction and price.
The following information will help you understand what golf shoes can offer you and assist you in finding the pair for you:
Types Of Golf Shoe
Traditional Golf Shoes
The classic golf shoe offers comfort, breathability, water resistance, style and traction. Finding the right pair for you is based on personal taste and wants. You need to decide want it is your want in your golf shoe; a waterproof shoe? A shoe to wear in colder conditions? A lightweight shoe? Black? White? Brown? Soft spike? Metal Spikes? Whatever you need in your shoe, you will find in today's market.
Street Shoe Or Spikeless Shoe
The most recent development in shoes has been the introduction and success of the Street shoe. Essentially designed for comfort and style, these low-profile shoes tend to be lightweight, flat soled and most use rubber studs or dimpled soles in place of standard golf spikes. Many professionals now wear street-style shoes either for the look or the comfort that can aid back and foot pain. The drawback of a street shoe will be grip and waterproofing. The lack of spikes will make them less stable in longer or wet grass, and typically they are not designed to provide waterproofing.
Some warm climate golfing areas inspired this new type of golf shoe onto the market. Many social golfers wanted a shoe that was lightweight shoe that was not as restricting or tough as the classic saddle golf shoe. Many companies have designed this sandal version of a golf shoe, that is very lightweight and simple a sandal with spikes. The toeless design means that are very breathable and good for summer wear. Great for buggy golf, they can prove uncomfortable for long walks with the straps causing a risk of a blister or two. Cheaper than most golf shoes but offer a somewhat limited resistance to wet weather.
A rare and new version of golf shoe, the golf boot is golf's defence to mother nature. Designed to look very similar to a hiking boot or wellington boot, the golf boot is a very waterproof alternative to a shoe. They offer great traction and warmth for those winter months of golfing. Some also offer gaitors for increased water protection. Highly priced however due to the thick waterproof material used over the entire boot.
Golf Shoe Materials
Leather is by far the most popular choice for golf shoes across the market and rightfully so. The leather is processed and then added to the exterior of the shoe creating a stretch-free, tight-fitting waterproof shoe. Usually has a saddle for design and also to stabilize the surface of the shoe. Top manufacturers will offer a one or two year waterproof guarantee. Leather is a good option for summer golf, as it is more breathable than other materials. The price of the leather and the manufacturing is represented in the price and so be prepared to pay for quality.
The top material when it comes to a weatherproof shoe is Goretex, but other manufacturers have their own versions. Extremely thick and very water resistant it is a popular choice for winter play. The material is breathable and fully waterpoof and will feel considerably warmer than leather, which means it may not be the right shoe for hot summer golf or golf abroad.
The cheaper alternative to leather uses a lining rather than a material to cover the shoe. It is nonporous polyester that is spread over the shoe that protects the outer shell of the shoe. This type of lining is lighter and thinner than leather, meaning the price of the shoe is less.
Becoming less and less common, the metal spike is a still used by many tour pros. Metal spikes have longer sharper spikes that give more traction on the course than plastic. However, metal spikes are infamous for tearing up greens and fairways worse than plastic. Under the rules of golf, players cannot repair spike marks on greens, so plastic spikes have become the common choice for club players in today's game. Metal spikes may also prove uncomfortable on hard ground and cause some discomfort.
Many golf courses ban the use of metal spikes on their greens, so it may be worth checking ahead if you are going to play another course or abroad to see whether or not a switch to plastic spikes may be a good idea.
Interesting how drivers have gone wood to metal, yet golf spikes have gone metal to plastic. The plastic spike is now by far the most common spike found on club golfers shoes. They are more lightweight and are far less likely to tear up a green. The wider size of the spike spreads the weight of the player across a wider area, creating less pressure to dig up turf.
Ideal for hard summer conditions, the technology of plastic spike design is advancing so that soft spikes offer the same or greater amounts of traction as more traditional metal spikes. Easily changed, the plastic spike will be found on almost all new golf shoes on the market today and is a safe choice.
Fitting New Spikes
Not all golf shoes have the same type of fastening system so when you are swapping spikes, make sure you have the right type of replacement spikes. A handy guide can be found on the Champspikes.com site.