Regardless of whether you’re a rookie or PGA player, one thing you can’t do without in golf is a trusty pair of shoes. Not just on a practical level but because most courses require you to wear them.
Thankfully, gone are the days when you had to wear fancy, dress shoes (the type you’d wear to a wedding) adorned with sharp metal spikes. Though you might still see a handful of veterans donning this style of shoe, you’re more likely to see modern trainer-like golf shoes with plastic spikes or no spikes at all when you’re out on the course.
Why? Well, they’re lighter, comfier and less damaging to greens, tee boxes and fairways. But also because most of the top pros wear them, from Michelle Wie to Bryson DeChambeau.
Irrespective of your golfing ability, choosing golf shoes that are comfy, durable and offer a decent level of support, is no easy feat.
Thankfully we’ve put together a brief guide of things to look out for when you’re in the market for a new pair, as well as a list of the best options on the market for all budgets and needs.
What kind of golfer are you?
Are you a fair-weather golfer? Grab a no-nonsense pair for under £60. Are you a semi-regular who plays once or twice a week? Then you’ll want a pair for over the £75 mark to ensure they’re durable enough to last 100-odd games a year. Are you a scratch golfer striding fairways day in day out? In that case, you’re best off having a few pairs of performance-focused golf shoes in your locker.
Spikes or spikeless?
If you’re mainly playing in dry conditions, spikeless shoes are great because they’re lighter, more flexible and less damaging to the golf course. They’re becoming more popular on tour and still have nodules to ensure you get that traction you need. However, if you’re playing more regularly in wet weather, spikes are an option as they give you more grip and stop you from slipping over. You can also get hybrid golf shoes that are a blend of the two.
Narrow or wide fit?
A lot of brands now offer narrow or wide fit options to golfers. If your feet are slight, you’ll want to go for the former and if your feet are broader, you’ll prfer a wide fit. It sounds pretty straightforward, but a first-timer might not consider this when trying on golf shoes. It’s always best to check the description online or ask in-store.
Which style do you prefer?
Another thing to consider, and perhaps the least important, is what your golf shoes look like. Some prefer subtle, standard-looking golf shoes whereas others will go for something sportier or jazzier. It depends on your personal preference.
What do the experts think?
“For me, it depends on how much you’re going to play. If you’re going to take the game fairly seriously and looking to be a regular golfer, it’s worth getting something of decent quality that’s waterproof for this kind of environment and something that’s going to be supportive of your feet and ankles," Gareth Bennett PGA professional at Cottrell Park Golf Resort in South Wales, explained.
"You’re going to be walking a good bit of mileage on the golf course, and the terrain isn’t flat, so it’s worth spending a little bit. But if you’re going to be a recreational, three or four times a year golfer, then you can get a fairly basic cheap pair that’ll do the job.”
With guidance from a golf pro along with our own testing, we’ve picked out some of the best golf shoes on the market.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Adidas adicross retro spikeless men’s golf shoes
A casual-looking shoe for a casual golfer, Adidas’ men’s spikeless retro kicks are easy on the eye and light on the foot. It’s rare to find a golf shoe that you could wear to the 19th hole, but these beauties tick the box. Ideal for a mosey around your local course on drier, sunnier days or a golf trip abroad.
Although, despite the wind and water-resistant uppers, you’re probably not going to get away with them on blustery, wetter days. One of the things we loved was the soft cloudfoam comfort sock liner that hugs your foot.
Under Armour UA hovr show SL goretex wide E
On the money for golfers with wide feet, Under Armour’s hovr show SL are a well-priced addition to the brand’s footwear arsenal. These waterproof shoes, made from top-notch Gore-Tex, come with a swish pattern upper made from a clarion microfiber that’s breathable and easy to wipe down.
Underfoot you have Under Armour’s canny "hovr" foam, which allows you to harness the energy you put out when you swing. Although they’re more suited to drier ground, you’ll be able to wear them in slightly wetter conditions. The spikeless shoes are a solid option for mid-level golfers looking for reliable, snug shoes for a reasonable price.
Footjoy tour X spiked men’s golf shoes
The traditional-looking tour X men’s golf shoe is said to be Footjoys most stable shoe to date. They come with a bright, elaborate power plate outsole, launch pods and a nifty power strap to stop your foot sliding around. A 3D moulded collar has been incorporated to give you that extra sense of security and support.
They’re also waterproof, comfortable and come in medium or wide-fit. If you’re a golfer who wants to improve scores and like that locked-down feeling, you’ll struggle to find a better shoe for the price. They’re not cheap but are made from chromoskin leather, come with a year’s warranty and fit true to size.
Puma caged ignite proadapt men’s golf shoes
Puma’s newest caged golf shoes are a visual treat. They look more like casual day-to-day trainers than golf shoes but that doesn’t mean they’re not made for the course. Features include seven cleats, a neat heel cage that’ll lock you in and help prevent rubbing, and an ultra-thin TPU frame.
Focus again has been paid to the stability of this shoe, which comes with a taut power cage to limit movement. Without a doubt, these shoes are more suited to spring or summery conditions than the kind of torrential rain we see in winter in the UK. A lightweight, proficient offering for a regular golfer. Available in grey, black and white.
Footjoy ecomfort spikes men’s golf shoes
Footjoy’s ecomfort is an old-school, affordable men’s golf shoe that’s available in black or white. This no-frills, entry-level synthetic shoe is made for golfers at the higher end of the handicap ranking (we all have to start somewhere).
This US golfing brand has been making footwear for traipsing in and out of the rough since 1857, so you can rely on them for longevity. They come up slightly big, so keep that in mind. A wallet-friendly option that will do the trick for novices and recreational golfers.
Under Armour men’s UA spieth 4 gore-tex golf shoes
Coming in at the top end of the pricing spectrum are Under Armour’s newest edition from the Jordan Spieth range. These eye-catching, hi-tech men’s golf shoes were designed with help from a leading biomechanist, and are made for accomplished golfers looking to seriously improve already low handicaps.
They’re durable, waterproof (made from Gore-Tex and come with a two-year waterproof warranty) and fit tight to your feet – thanks to the body of tiny in-built 3D, foot-hugging cushions. Very much a shoe made to help you transfer energy from the ground up. Wear these spiked shoes whatever the weather.
Adidas codechaos men’s spikeless golf shoes
You get plenty of bang for your buck with these. They look the part and fit like a pair of slippers, thanks to the cunning sock liner and soft cushioning. Textured, waterproof synthetic uppers and intelligent twistgrip technology works a treat on various types of ground.
We tried them out on a drizzly summer day and didn’t slip once – although they could take on water in heavier rainfall as the tongue area isn’t waterproof. They’re small fitting, not the most breathable and tight to your foot, so if you like a bit of give, they might not be for you. Available in a range of different colours, from loud greens and yellows to subtle white.
Decathlon inesis men’s waterproof golf shoes
These low-costl aren’t the most aesthetically stimulating on the market, but they perform well – especially for the price. It’s not often you can get a pair of light, supportive and watertight golf trainers for under £100, but that’s probably why this budget sportswear brand has introduced them to the world.
They look a bit clunky, feel a little stiff but are super-grippy and cosy, in part due to the well-designed EVA sole. Whether you play a few times a year or once a week, then you’ll have no problems with these.
Ecco m golf biom hybrid 3
Ecco is often touted as the most comfortable golf footwear brand out there, and if the biom hybrid 3 is anything to go by, we can see why. This premium shoe, made from “ecco” yak leather, blends comfort, durability and waterproof qualities (they’re made with Gore-Tex construction) seamlessly.
Despite being a spikeless shoe, the quality of the tri-fi-grip will keep your feet lodged in place as you smash your ball down the fairway. The shape isn't one everyone will love, so make sure you try them on before buying. Brand loyalty is high for Ecco, so if you’re a fan, you’re probably set for life.
Nike roshe g tour
Despite having plenty of Nike options to choose from, we’ve gone for this mid-range golf shoe by the big-hitting sports brand. The reason? They’re soft on the sole of your foot, stand up to the elements, and come in slap bang in the mid-price range category.
It’s a fairly basic round-toe design, with nothing exciting in terms of supportive technology, but they’re good-looking and will suit traditionalist golfers. Although the real benefit of these shoes is the removable spikes, which offer a high level of traction in slippery conditions on varying gradients. Nike isn’t re-inventing the wheel here but sticking to what works.
The verdict: Men’s golf shoes
Adidas’ adicross is our top spikeless pick for fair weather to occasional golfers. They’re comfortable, light and offer enough grip to get you around the course on a dry day.
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