We should all know by now that golf can be split into two halves; one half is having the ability to drive, chip, or putt the golf ball into – or at least towards – the hole. And the other half is looking damn fine on the course. And with such a huge selection of golf clothing brands churning out tops, pants, and all manner of other golfing attire, it’s never been easier to look the part while taking part.
But while in some instances you could potentially substitute your golf-specific clothing for something equally athletic in direction, one area you shouldn’t skip out on is footwear.
Men’s golf shoes are one of the most important factors in determining how well a game is going to play out. How so? Traction. Your feet need to be firmly planted if you want any chance of sending your ball into orbit, as one little slip could cost you bragging rights with your mates.
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When it comes to traction, you’re given a couple of options with golf shoes: spiked or spikeless.
Spiked Golf Shoes
Spiked golf shoes are the more traditional of the two, rocking metal or plastic spikes on the sole of shoes that dig into golf course grass, giving you a solid footing. A vast majority of golf courses have now banned metal spikes in an attempt to protect the grass, but plastic “soft spikes” are still fair game. Spiked golf shoes are particularly useful in wet conditions, being able to provide greater levels of grip compared to spikeless golf shoes.
Spikeless Golf Shoes
Spikeless golf shoes, on the other hand, do away with spikes completely, employing the use of small rubber nubs to help latch onto the green. Spikeless golf shoes can be worn off the course if you so wish, you could effectively wear them to the office and head straight to the course when you finish – you’ll still have to get changed of course, if you’re wearing a suit or some other inappropriate clothing.
While there used to be a world of difference between spikes and spikeless golf shoes, today, the difference is far more marginal. Ultimately, the best golf shoe for you will depend on the weather conditions you play in most. Wet weather? Go spiked. Dry most of the time? You’ll be fine with spikeless.
Most companies do, in fact, produce spiked and spikeless versions of the same shoe model, so if you wanted, you could have a pair of each to cover all bases.
Here at the best golf shoes for men to buy right now.
Men’s Golf Shoes FAQ
Do golf shoes make a difference?
The short answer is, yes. Golf shoes are specifically designed to give you greater traction and stability on the course, which help to provide a solid base from which to make your swing. You could wear sneakers if you wanted to, but your game will be improved with a pair of golf shoes.
What is the difference between spiked and spikeless shoes?
The clue is in the name. Spiked shoes feature spikes, or cleats, on the bottom of the shoe, which are usually made of plastic (metal ones have been banned from most courses). Spikeless shoes omit the spikes in favour of rubber lugs that work in much the same way as spikes, providing traction.
Spikes are usually better suited to wet weather and soggy courses compared to spikeless shoes, however the latter are slowly proving to be just as capable.
Do I have to wear golf shoes on a golf course?
Technically no, you don't have to wear golf shoes, but golf courses would much prefer it if you did. If you don't wear golf shoes, you should aim to wear a pair of shoes that don't have much tread on the bottom to help prevent damaging the course.
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Cole Haan Golf
The Ringer spiked golf shoe indeed looks like a casual sneaker but offers features that will certainly benefit golfers. SweetSpot Cushioning gives you plenty of all-day comfort, an air-mesh lining promotes airflow, yet they're also entirely waterproof. The Softspikes Pivix cleats are removable too, and will be with you every step through your swing thanks to Spring Flex legs.
The Ignite Pwradapt Caged men's golf shoes are available in spiked and spikeless variants, and both offer incredible support for your feet. The Pwrcage unit that can be seen on the outside is physically attached to the midsole, so when you tie the laces, the cage is pulled around your foot, which also results in the heel piece locking onto your foot, holding it firmly in place. The resulting sensation feels like you're literally not going to go anywhere, but remain firmly planted on the course. Fully waterproof and with Ignite Foam for cushioning, these Puma shoes not only look great, but perform just as well.
These Fresh Foam LinksPro take a running shoe style silhouette and throw some spikes on the bottom. Ok, that's not exactly what New Balance has done, but the idea behind them – and the use of Fresh Foam cushioning – is to provide a lightweight, running-shoe style feel and fit, with the added traction needed for golf. They're waterproof too, and spikes can easily be removed thanks to the FastTwist 3.0 system.
These Pro|SL Carbon spikeless men's golf shoes feature Fine Tuned Foam for comfortable, cushioned strides, while a completely redesigned Infinity Outsole boasts 189 traction points, resulting in great traction, despite the fact there are no spikes. Fully waterproof and with strategically placed areas of support for the foot, they could well be the best golf shoes currently available.
They do come with spikes, but these can be removed and still provide enough grip when used in dry conditions, essentially making them a 2-in-1 shoe.
These HOVR Drive Gore-Tex men's golf shoes are a spiked model (a spikeless 'Show' model is also available) and crams them full with the company's own HOVR cushioning. Not only does this provide ample support, it also provides energy return to give a little extra push into swings. The addition of Gore-Tex makes them completely waterproof, yet breathable, so you won't feel like you need to rush back to the clubhouse when the heavens open.
The Golf S-Three men's golf shoes are a standout model, serving up a hybrid design, employing the company's own Dynamic Traction System (E-DTS) which offers up so much traction that you won't ever feel the need to invest in a spiked pair of shoes. Zonal Fluidform technology provides comfort and support in three key areas and Gore-Tex is onboard to provide complete waterproof protection.
We're particularly fond of this opair of Del Mar golf shoes due to their less-traditional look, instead adopting a silhouette better associated with casual sneakers. The leather upper benefits from Opti-Dri waterproofing prevents your feet from getting soaked while the dura-rubber sole rocks a number of multi-directional lugs to give you enough traction when swinging through for 200-yard drives or three-metre putts.
Johnston & Murphy
The XC4 H1-Luxe Hybrid golf shoes feature a hybrid design, meaning you get spiked levels of grip from a spikeless design. They're fully waterproof, temperature regulation control to keep your feet at optimum temperature, memory-foam cushioning with arch support (and removable insoles if you use your own) and to top it off, we think they look bloody fantastic.
While you could look like you've walked straight off the streets and onto the course in a pair of Superstar golf shoes, we've picked out the Tour360 XT-SL spikeless men's golf shoes for their performance prowess. Designed for dry courses, these shoes rock a mesh upper (that is also waterproof) for enhanced breathability while Adidas' proven Boost technology offers exceptional cushioning with the added benefit of significant energy return.
These Go Golf Elite V.4 golf shoes feature Skechers' own Goga Mat cushioned insole for incredible day-long comfort alongside H20 Shield waterproof protection for dry feet in wet weather. They're a spikeless design too, employing the use of a proprietary Grip Flex outsole, which uses a low-profile design so that more of the sole comes into contact with the green, resulting in greater stability. Excellent men's golf shoes alert!
Jordan Brand Golf
These Jordan ADG 2 golf shoes blend the barriers between golf and basketball to serve up a shoe that look like nothing else on the course. You get plenty of foam cushioning to glide with each step while the quirky-looking traction on the sole ensures you don't fall over in less-than-ideal weather conditions.