7 Best Golf Shoes in 2023

Cesar Monasterio
Cesar Monasterio on
7 Best Golf Shoes in 2023
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Adidas, Footjoy, Nike, Callaway, ECCO and over a dozen more sports brands are currently competing in the golf shoe arena. To the consumer’s benefit, this translates to a few hundreds of golf trainers that cater to every taste and style.

We aim to cut through all the marketing fuzzbuzz to find out which models truly shine on the golf course. Having reviewed over 80 models, we offer our top picks of golf shoes in five different categories.

Spiked or spikeless, premium or budget-friendly, you can choose what fits your needs the most.

How we test golf shoes

Before giving the final verdict, we consider all available golf shoe models on the market. Our experts treat both coveted and less known brands equally to offer an unbiased overview.

Spending 7 hours per shoe on average, our team studies all the nooks and crannies to understand what real benefits each trainer gives to the wearer. We also summarize thousands of user reviews to understand the shoes’ strong and weak points.

Once all the work is done, each model is given a CoreScore, a number from 1 to 100, which indicates its overall performance. Ten golf shoes with the highest CoreScore make it to this ranking.

Best golf shoes overall

Footjoy Fuel
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

This golf shoe has a youthful design that makes it easy to dress, allowing you to take this anywhere outside the course. On the golf course, this Footjoy golf shoe has proven to show excellent performance. Rain or shine, your feet will remain safe. Its spikeless design complements its waterproofness; it bites on any surface, no matter the condition.

Pros

  • Amazing stability
  • Clean, modern look
  • Pairs well with any attire
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent grip on various surfaces
  • Effective waterproofing
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • High collar may rub during break-in
Full review of Footjoy Fuel

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
White (55443)
Black (55451)
White/White/Blue Jay (55440)
White/Blue Fog/Red (55441)
White Navy Lime (55452)
Navy/White/Red (55442)

Best waterproof golf shoes

Footjoy Pro SL
88
Great!

What makes it the best?

The Footjoy Pro SL golf shoe is a lightweight option for golfers of any skill level who prefer a traditional style in a soft spike build. The shoe features a narrow fit toward the toe and widens out more toward the heel. The Footjoy Pro SL golf will keep your feet dry in any playing conditions and offer a soft sole for golfers who prefer to walk.

Pros

  • True to size
  • Good heel support
  • Waterproof
  • Great traction
  • Classic design

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Lacks breathability
Full review of Footjoy Pro SL

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
Black (53813)
White Grey (53804)

Best spiked golf shoes

What makes it the best?

The Footjoy Hyperflex golf shoe is billed to be the ultimate in athletic performance, highlighted by lightweight support and cushioning for optimal comfort. I loved the fit and feel of these shoes, which will be perfect for golfers who prefer to walk during their rounds. The soft spike sole adds a layer of great traction for all terrains, adding to the overall excellent build.

Pros

  • True to size
  • Flexible
  • Very comfy
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Excellent traction
  • Lightweight
  • Nice fit
  • Cushioned sole

Cons

  • A bit pricey than the average
  • Not for narrow feet
  • Soft, less durable outer material
Full review of Footjoy Hyperflex

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
Navy/Blue (51082)
Charcoal/Grey (51081)
Grey/White/Blue (51080)
Charcoal (51027)
Charcoal Grey Lime (51044)

Best golf shoes with BOA

What makes it the best?

Progressive is the theme of the Adidas CodeChaos BOA, and it reflects on both of its style and features. The shoe easily stands out on the course. The high-top built combined with the BOA lacing system are the features that excelled for golfers.

Pros

  • Comfortable to use
  • Fresh look
  • Snug and comfortable fit
  • Extremely flexible
  • Secure locked in
  • Stable
  • Fantastic grip

Cons

  • Lack of ventilation
  • Lack of arch support
Full review of Adidas CodeChaos BOA

Today's best price

Men
Women

Golf shoes with best style

Footjoy Traditions
92
Superb!

What makes it the best?

The Footjoy Traditions unexpectedly fuses the classic style of a saddle shoe and the comfort of a sneaker. Tried and tested in various conditions, it lives up to a high standard for waterproofing and traction. To every tester’s surprise, all of that is offered under the average price tag of golf shoes.

Pros

  • Attractive traditional look
  • Comfortable for walking 18 holes
  • Well-fitting from the start
  • Waterproofing warranty
  • Great traction
  • Replaceable spikes
  • Feels light on the foot
  • Great deal
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Leather tends to crack
  • Spikes need to be tightened
Full review of Footjoy Traditions

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
White/Brown (57905)
Grey/Blue (57902)
white/navy/gray (57901)
White/Rose (97919)
White/Charcoal Camo (57928)
White/Navy (57899)
Black (57904)
White (57903)
Blanc Blanc Bleu Marine (57927)

Best value

What makes it the best?

The New Balance 574 Greens golf shoes are perfect for players who want a more casual golf shoe with a soft spike design and extreme comfort. These shoes feel like sneakers but come equipped with great traction and waterproof protection. Fitting true to size, golfers will love the roomie comfort this shoe offers.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • True to size
  • Nice fit
  • Great traction
  • 2-year waterproof warranty
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Great-looking, modern design

Cons

  • Poor ankle support
  • Easily scuffed
Full review of New Balance 574 Greens

Today's best price

Men
Women
Any color
Black (NBG574GBK)
white/blue (NBG574GWB)
Grey/White (NBG574GGW)
True Black (NBG574GBL)

Comparison of the 7 best golf shoes

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Best
CoreScore
Users rating
Experts
Best price
Ranking
Popularity
# of colorways

Choosing the right pair of golf shoes

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Signs of wearing the wrong golf shoe

You have the wrong golf shoe if you experience any of the following:

  • feeling unstable when making a swing or while walking on hilly terrain
  • getting soaked from wet grass or rain
  • having sore feet after walking through all 18 holes

To ensure your comfort and performance on the course next time, you need to consider the following features:

  • Traction: spiked or spikeless?
  • Upper material: leather, synthetic, knit
  • Moisture protection: water-resistant, water-repellent, waterproof
  • Fit regulation: laces vs. BOA
  • Style: traditional or athletic?

Spiked or spikeless ?

While spiked golf shoes come closest to the original metal cleats, they are not a must nowadays. The more contemporary spikeless alternatives have also earned a spot among the golfing community.

There is no straightforward answer to which one is better, each one comes with a set of pros and cons. The choice depends on what features you value the most:

Spiked golf shoes

Spiked.png

were originally made of metal but because of the damage they cause on the course, current spikes are made of ceramics or plastic

Spikeless golf shoes

Spikeless.png

were introduced in 2010; have a flat outsole with rubber nubs or dimples; golf companies are still experimenting with this design

Advantages:

More grippy and stable

when the terrain gets wet, spiked pairs can help avoid slip, especially when performing a swing or walking up and down the hills

More lightweight and flexible

the absence of spikes keeps the foot closer to the ground; the ground can be felt better

Replaceable spikes

adds on to the shoe’s longevity

Can be worn off the course

the style and construction is closer to a regular sneaker

Disadvantages:

Heavier

which may not be ideal for those who prefer walking through the 18 holes

Less grippy

on wet and upland conditions

 Cannot be worn off the course

spikes can be damaged and also make it uncomfortable to walk on hard surfaces

No replaceable spikes

once the rubber tread gets damaged the entire shoe needs to be replaced

Because spikeless golf shoes are still a relatively new design, they tend to draw more attention and interest from the players. To find out more about this category, see our guide on spikeless golf shoes.

Choosing the right upper material

Once being the only material used on golf shoes, leather is still loved today for its exquisite appeal, natural waterproofing, and longevity. The use of synthetic materials added a slew of breathable and lighter options to the market. Finally, the knit trend has not passed by golf shoes either.

Leather golf shoes

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Synthetic golf shoes

synthetic-golf-shoes.png

Knit golf shoes

knit-golf-shoes.png

Breathability

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Flexibility

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Durability

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Moisture protection

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Dirt-resistance

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Go for synthetic golf shoes if you want a middle-ground of all listed features.

Waterproofing in golf shoes

Since golf is an outdoor sport, there is a high chance of dealing with rainy weather. If you see yourself playing in wet conditions, consider getting a shoe with one of these protective features:

Water-resistant

for light rain, morning dew, and wet grass

Water-repellent

for moderate rain; might leak when pressure is applied

Waterproof*

for heavy rain, snow, and stepping into water

Protection

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Breathability

decr.png

*Some waterproof golf shoes employ a high-performance Gore-Tex lining that provides full waterproof protection without sacrificing breathability too much. Some brands also offer shoes with a waterproof warranty.

Laces vs. BOA

The good old laces didn’t seem to be enough for the shoe brands. Today we can see the cutting-edge BOA closure system slipping into the realm of golf. But with the heavier price tag of these BOA models, is it worth the upgrade?

Laced golf shoes

laces-golf-shoes.png

BOA golf shoes

boa-golf-shoes.png

Advantages:
  • cheaper
  • easier to replace
  • faster to tighten and loosen
  • keeps the hold permanently
  • doesn’t get in the way of movement
  • resistant to water, mud, ice
Disadvantages:
  • less durable
  • may lose hold, get untied, lead to tripping and stumbling
  • takes time to adjust the fit
  • harder to replace
  • more expensive

Bottom line: The BOA definitely offers a host of upgrades compared to a standard lasing system. But it also comes at a higher price point. Thus, it can be recommended to the more professional players or those who want to stay on top of the newest tech.

Otherwise, laces are still a solid option, especially if you are just starting out with golf.

Traditional or athletic: pick your style

To keep up with modern times, golf shoe manufacturers have been shifting away from the classic look towards the more athletic, sneaker-like designs. Traditions, on the other hand, are still being kept to live as the sport's legacy.

You have the option to choose what resonates best with your game and style:

Traditional golf shoes

traditional-golf.png

Athletic golf shoes

athletic-golf.png

  • only come with spikes
  • have a similar look to dress shoes, can be identified as oxfords or saddles
  • typically come in natural leather
  • come in both spiked and spikeless forms
  • have a casual and street-ready style, look more like sneakers or running shoes; trends are most welcomed in this category
  • feature all kinds of materials - natural, synthetic, and knits

Frequently Asked Questions

Are golf shoes necessary?

Yes, if you are going to play golf regularly.

It’s okay to wear your regular pair of shoes for a trial game or if you play the sport very rarely. But to illustrate the difference between a regular sneaker and a dedicated golf shoe, let’s compare a silhouette which comes in both casual and golf-ready options: the Nike Roshe.

Nike Roshe

(casual sneaker)

Nike Roshe G

(spikeless golf shoe)

Nike Roshe G Tour

(spiked golf shoe)

Protection

incr.png

Nike Roshe.png Nike Roshe G.png Nike Roshe G Tour.png
Regular mesh upper Gusseted tongue prevents debris from getting inside the shoe Synthetic leather with a waterproof quality keeps you dry in wet grass and rainy weather

Traction/Stability

incr.png

Nike Roshe sole.png Nike Roshe G sole.png Nike Roshe G tour sole.png
Flat outsole with thin treads is slippery on grass.

Sharper lugs get even more aggressive in the circular pods

These pods help to stabilize the player as they are placed at the pressure points of a golf swing

Strategically placed spikes grip all golf course surfaces, both even and hilly

Wider base with outriggers increases contact area and surefootedness during a swing

What shoes to wear golfing if you don't have golf shoes?

As some golf courses can be strict about their dresscode, it’s better to check with them beforehand. But in most cases, an athletic low-top shoe should suffice. You can wear any of the following:

It’s not recommended to use slip-on footwear or the one that easily loses hold when twisted. Before the game, mimic a golf swing in your pair to make sure the fit stays tight.

Heels and metal cleats are prohibited.

Do golf shoes need a break-in period?

The right-sized pair should not require any breaking in.

The best golf shoe models are designed to accommodate your foot shape from the start. If it doesn’t happen, try going a half-a-size or a size up, consider getting a different width is it is available, or simply go for another model.

In some individual cases, the shoe might cause discomfort during the first wear. Here are some firs-aid tips to soften the material without going through the ordeal:

  • Wear an extra thick sock or an anti-blister sock to have an additional cushion. 
  • Putting a shoe tree breaks in the shoe faster than usual. 
  • Athletes also attest to blister balms. They reduce friction and prevent excessive rubbing. 
  • A padding roll can also be wrapped in the areas that are prone to blisters. This item is thick enough to protect the skin and expand the material. 
  • Some golfers also use blister patches. They are designed like a band-aid, only thicker.

When is it time to buy a new pair of golf shoes?

In general, golf shoes are meant to last for a long time. However, they are not intended to last forever. There's no exact timeline for each pair's life span. It depends on how often it is worn, the course conditions it is used on, and how it is maintained. Here are some of the indications that a new one is already needed:

  • Water that seeped on the insides of the shoe is quite hard to reverse. However, it depends on water damage. For minor ones, then the insoles can be substituted, but for extreme cases, a replacement is a better option.
  • When a previously grippy shoe is losing its spark, then looking into a new one should be a priority. Traction, as we know, is essential. And, frequenting slips are definitely a no-no. 
  • Comfortable footwear that suddenly causes foot pain should be taken a look at. 
  • Spikeless pairs that lose nubs might be hard to fix. Cleated golf shoes, on the other hand, can be replaced.
Author
Cesar Monasterio
Cesar Monasterio

Cesar Monasterio is considered one of the best Argentine golfers of his generation. He is one of only 13 players to have victories on all three European golf circuits: European Tour, Challenge Tour, and Legends Tour. In 2014 he won the English Senior Open and was voted Rookie of the Year on the Legends Tour. Mr Monasterio represented his country in the 1995 World Cup. Still active and competing with a strong focus, he is the president of the Argentine Professional Golf Tour and the coach of several prestigious golfers. Finally, he is a specialist golf "Blacksmith" repairing golf clubs precisely at the workshop set in his house for this fine purpose.