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Golf is one of the oldest sports existing. Its popularity not only transcends time, but it has become a widespread phenomenon globally. Unlike other sports that get their hype through aggression, golf is otherwise known as a gentleman's game. It is not only because of the pristine environment that looks straight out of a postcard, but it's also because of the nature of the contact-less game.
Ironically, despite getting called out as boring, it can get intimidating for many. The golf playground comprises 18 holes and has a distance of 6,200 to 7000 yards. Walking, planting a perfect stance, and following through the swing are all movements that cover the sport. Because of this, clubs are not the only essential item that would greatly help one's performance.
Footwear, even though it is not given much regard with the club's strict rules, is something that should be given some gravity. Choosing the right one from the myriad of golf shoes is not an easy feat. Read further as we tackle the different aspects that should be considered when selecting the most suitable pair of golf shoes.
Golf shoes may be viewed as a niche in the performance footwear market. It works more than just a fashion statement. But, purchasing a pair can be overwhelming. It comprises of varying brands, models, and technologies. RunRepeat dives into the nitty-gritty of each shoe. However, for this article, we discuss what golfers look for in a shoe. Hopefully, these will come in mind when purchasing. Because let's be honest, not all golf shoes are created equally.
No matter what kind of footwear it is, comfort is a must for everyone. In golf, it is needed because walking is almost a second nature to the sport. It may not include running, but the long distances take a toll on the foot. Moreover, each course entails different terrain challenges. A cushioned and flexible outsole works best for most.
Comfort and fit somehow go hand in hand. Trainers that are not correctly fitted can immediately overthrow all the technologies that would enhance comfort.
Aside from the length and width, the fasening system should also be considered. It keeps the foot secure and prevents it from sliding as energy is transferred from one foot to the other.
Relatively, golf is a relaxing sport, but when it comes to outsoles, the more aggressive, the better. It is not a piece of cake to deal with different types of terrain, perform a strong swing, and stand firm throughout 18 holes. Having a maximum grip on the ground is simply essential.
It is almost impossible to play golf and not deal with grass. It is part of the fantastic experience that comes with the sport. However, dealing with moisture is another part. Many golf shoes are equipped with different levels of moisture protection. Additionally, shoe brands also include a waterproofing warranty to ensure the owner that water is completely taken care of.
The price is not necessarily a factor when durability is taken into account. At the end of the day, It is essential because no one would want something ripping or separating. When purchasing, look into the craftsmanship, material, and technologies. These all go together to ensure that the shoe will be in it for the long haul.
When buying a pair, it is vital to know the needs of the player. From there, the kind of footwear can be determined. Each poses different characteristics and possesses strengths and weaknesses.
Most golf shoes in the market come in low-top profiles. It is because the freedom on the ankles is essential during a swing. From this silhouette, golfers can choose two routes- spiked or spikeless. Below discusses the specifics:
The first type that was created for golf is spiked shoes. It is only reasonable given that grip should not be compromised for every movement. In the past, golf shoe spikes were prevalently made of metal. But because of the damage it causes on the course, most ban its use. Currently, ceramic and plastic cleats dominate the market.
Spikeless golf shoes were only introduced in 2010. Because it is a relatively new kind, different golf shoe companies are still experimenting with the ideal design to produce the most traction without compromising stability and comfort. This type of golf shoe exhibits a flat outsole with nubs or dimples to achieve grip.
Most golf shoes come in a low-top profile, but other silhouettes are created to cater to different needs. Below are some of them:
When the heat is on, golf sandals are the best option. Because they are basically open-toed, they are the most breathable out of all kinds of golf shoes. They may compromise a bit in lateral movements because of its construction, but it certainly keeps the foot fresh.
Golf boots are quite the opposite of the sandals as they perform best when used during winter. They may weigh the heaviest among all, but the extra warmth and protection are the gains. This type of shoe is crafted for the most rigorous conditions, so it is only explainable why most are infused with technologies that battle moisture completely. Those looking for a pair can look at brands like Adidas and Under Armour.
One of the reasons why many are hooked into golf is that people from different age ranges can play. Inevitably, it sparks joy for many. But, it is also a challenge for brands to come up with styles that the different ends of the spectrum could appreciate.
Trends are being adopted to keep up with modern times. Traditions, on the other hand, are being kept to live up to the sport's legacy. Currently, there are two styles that players can choose from. Read on to know more about them:
Traditionally-styled pairs have a similar look to dress shoes, only with spikes. Those familiar with fashion terms can identify them as oxfords and saddles. Usually, they come in natural leather, which means that they may require additional care and maintenance. Looking like always dressed to the nines, and its durability are things that it guarantees.
Athletic golf shoes come in both spiked and spikeless forms. As suggested by their name, the shoes classified under this category look like a sneaker or a performance shoe. This style also explores all kinds of materials- natural, synthetic, and knits. Trends are most welcomed in this category. So those on the hunt for casual and street-ready pieces can appreciate this style.
The upper makes up a massive chunk of a shoe. Because of that, different benefits can be brought simply through the materials used on it. Below are some of the most common ones for golf shoes:
Since the invention of golf-specific footwear, leather has been the primary material that has been used. In fact, for a long time, this was the only material used. In a way, the positives that it brings are ideal for the sport. It is naturally breathable, durable, and water-resistant. Leather shoes also mold to the contours of the feet, so, as they age, they become more comfortable to wear.
They may require additional care compared to the others, but it is only a minor tradeoff as it gives an elevated look and an excellent piece to wear during the warm months.
Synthetic covers all the human-made materials. Included in this group are faux leather, microfiber, nylon, neoprene, polyester, etc. Natural leather poses plenty of benefits, but it doesn't mean that synthetics are inferior. They are an excellent option for those going the eco-friendly route. No animals are involved in the material or the production process itself. More so, compared to leather, it doesn't include harsh chemicals for the treatment.
Golf shoes clad in synthetic upper are less expensive. They are also lightweight, thinner, and lighter. However, they are less durable and porous. Companies may put some water protection treatment, but if not, coating it with a protectant spray is recommended to prolong its life and keep the foot from soaking.
The demands of the outdoor sport pull in this material. More than its functionality, it cannot be denied that knits are also trendy. Though it can lack moisture protection, it brings the most in breathability. Golf shoes with knitted uppers are ideally worn during summer and dry conditions.
While it is always recommended to try all before landing into the perfect match, this strategy can be quite expensive and tedious. There are many brands to choose from, but those that currently dominate the market are Nike, Adidas, Footjoy, Puma, and Ecco. Each brand has something unique about them, so choose those that fit your needs. Brands are personal just like shoes. RunRepeat has a comprehensive rating system. This can supremely help when on the hunt for a new pair.
It depends on the model. Most of the materials these days are already soft enough not to require some break-in time. If the shoe is causing pain during the first wear, these suggestions can be followed to soften the material without going through the ordeal:
The sport may implement strict rules, but wearing golf shoes is not one of them. Beginners, especially those who are still exploring, tend to wear tennis shoes or sneakers. However, it is essential to note that the way that golf shoes are constructed equips the to overcome the challenges of different course types. Having a shoe that is designed for the roughs and hazards will not only protect the foot but will prevent accidents as well.
Golf and football come from opposite paths. Their similarity, however, lies in the footwear, specifically the bottom. If that is the case, why can't we wear golf shoes on the field and football cleats on the course? While, technically, this is permitted in sports rules. However, they are designed for different purposes.
Football shoes are built for agility and speed. It explains why the cleats are elongated and come in varying lengths.
Golf shoes, on the other hand, are built so that the foot would be planted on the ground when making a swing. More so, the spikes need to prevent the foot from slipping on uphill surfaces. Because of this, their shape is circular, wider, and flatter.
Ages ago, golf shoes were meant to be worn only on the 18 holes, and proceeding towards the 19th hole then calls for another set of footwear. Spiked golf shoes were not ideal to be worn anywhere beyond the course. But, the introduction of the spikeless changed the game.
Fit is probably one of the most important things to consider in golf shoes. An average golf game or the 18 holes last for three to five hours, which involves a great deal of walking. Here are some tips to help when choosing a pair.
A golf wrench is a must when owning a cleated shoes, but in case it's not present, these are the steps that can be followed:
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:
Cleaning golf shoes is probably one of the tasks that most owners slack. But it is a necessary and primary step to ensure that the footwear performs its best. Here are some easy steps to follow:
Part of making the most out of your money's worth is to maintain the longevity of the shoe. To make sure that it is performing its A-game, here are some of the steps that can be followed:
Rubber spikes are crafted from durable and flexible polyurethane. Users may notice that this is the most common material used on golf trainers and the cheaper option too. Wearers will definitely appreciate their comfort, weight (or lack thereof), and green friendliness. However, just be wary that compared to metal, they offer less traction and have a shorter life span.
Ceramics, compared to metal and rubber are the most expensive. While this is a red flag for most, it is also the most long-lasting material that doesn't need frequent replacements. They are also scuff-, scratch-, and cut-resistant. In summary, their features defend these cleats’ costly price tag. Just be wary of those with steel protuberances as they need to be maintained to avoid corroding.
Generally speaking, there is not one that trumps over the other. Assessing the pros and cons of both boils down to the needs of the golfer. Here are some of the questions that can be asked:
Practically speaking, rubber is excellent for entry-level players. It provides a decent amount of traction that doesn't require breaking the bank. Ceramic spike suits professionals more. Only because the price point is higher, and it needs more commitment to maintaining its pristine condition.
Because of the different technological terms, it can be quite confusing as to what kind of moisture protection it provides.
Technically speaking, there is an official waterproof rating that is used to measure fabric.
If the shoe does not have a numerical standard, then referring to this term might also be helpful:
Waterproof: Waterproof golf shoes are built for all conditions.
Water resistant: Water-resistant golf shoes are best played on light moisture and morning dew.
No moisture protection: These should only be played on dry conditions only.