Step Up Your Game: Top Tips for Selecting the Best Golf Shoes

You’ve got the golf bug. What you need now are actionable tips and some expert advice on selecting the best golf shoes to enhance your performance on the course. We’ve got you covered. 

From fit and comfort to being aware of the latest trends and technologies, it’s vital that golfers are able to make confident and informed choices about their footwear. The importance of quality golf shoes really cannot be overstated, so be sure to make the right choice. 

The right fit

The first thing to establish is the size and fit you require. The quickest, most basic way to do this is simply to use a ruler. Here’s what to do:  trace the outline of your foot on some paper, then use a ruler to measure the length and width of the outline of your foot in a rectangle.

Better still, use a Brannock Device, which can also measure the arch length of the foot. Brannock Devices can be pricey but potentially worth investing in. Otherwise, a good old-fashioned ruler will suffice. 

It is also important to bear in mind that your foot size can change over time or even during a day. The difference is marginal – virtually immeasurable – but can make a subtle difference when playing golf. Feet can swell throughout the day, so be sure to select golf shoes that are not overly tight to begin with.  

When measuring your shoe size, it is advisable to sit with your legs at a 45-degree angle so that your feet are not overly flat when being measured, as flat feet and toes that are spread far apart can give a misleading size reading. Again, the difference is small yet potentially significant. You want your golf shoes to be perfectly fitted when playing. 

And there is more to proper fitting than simply measuring your feet and trying a pair of shoes on. Be sure to test the shoes properly – move around, simulate golf moves such as your swing, make sure the shoe’s breaking point aligns with where your foot flexes, and be certain there is no excess movement within the shoe as you walk around 

Other things to keep in mind: there should be a space similar to the size of your thumb between the top eyelets. More than that and the shoes are probably too narrow. If there’s less, they’re perhaps too wide. There should also be around half an inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. If there isn’t, the shoes are probably too small. Any more and they’re almost certainly too big. 

Comfort is key

So your golf shoes are the right fit. Fantastic. But added comfort is also important – and bound to help you play better. You might therefore consider cushioned insoles as these will greatly increase the arch support. There are also various ergonomic designs available and shoes with moisture-wicking materials can also be a worthwhile investment. Many wet-weather golf shoes include moisture-wicking linings as part of their design.

Traction and stability

It’s also important to be fully aware of the differences between spiked and spikeless golf shoes. The key word here is traction. Any style of golf shoe should offer traction, but the added grip that spiked shoes give is the main reason they are so popular. It’s a trade-off, though, because spiked shoes tend to feel bulkier. Certainly in drier conditions, when the extra traction isn’t needed, you’ll be better off with unspiked shoes, which can feel more comfortable. In fact, some are so comfortable they can be worn off the course, they’re so similar in feel to trainers. It’s also the case that the best spikeless shoes offer very sufficient grip even in wet conditions, potentially giving you the best of both worlds. 


The type of material is also important when it comes to buying golf shoes. 

Leather shoes have been a popular choice for many years and it’s easy to see why. They’re durable so they tend to last longer, are easy to clean, more resistant to water than other materials, and just, well, look good.

On the other hand, synthetic material requires less maintenance and many find them more comfortable, while a hybrid of both leather and synthetic material is another option worth considering. 

Consider the weather conditions 

As alluded to above, it’s necessary to consider the weather conditions when playing. Leather shoes tend to fare better in the rain and the leading manufacturers of running shoes also now make waterproof golf shoes that keep players comfortable as well as dry, which is vital in terms of being able to play to your maximum.

At the other end of the spectrum, playing golf in hot weather can be glorious, but returning to the clubhouse with swollen, sweaty feet definitely isn’t. So picking the right golf shoes for warmer conditions is important. For this, those trusted leather shoes we can depend on during bad weather might not be so suitable. You’ll need a pair that are breathable and lightweight. For that, it might be worth considering a mesh material. Be aware though, if the weather takes a sudden turn for the worse, these airy shoes will no longer be an asset, but a liability!

Technological innovations

Golf shoes have evolved over the years and the technological advancements have helped players enormously. From advanced grip systems and lightweight construction to integrated performance monitoring features, manufacturers are continually upping their game when it comes to helping players improve theirs. 

Just as in athletics, the emphasis in golf-shoe production has been on comfort in order to maximise performance. Advancements range from enhanced stability and cushioning to the kind of improved breathability and waterproofing mentioned above.

A good example of this technological evolution is Under Armour’s Drive Pro, which includes a three-layer ‘swing support system’ designed to support the natural motion of the foot with biomechanically correct diagonal and lateral support.

These kind of shoes look good, feel good and, most importantly, help players play at their best. In short, they balance looks with functionality, enabling players to look the part while improving their game. 

This doesn’t have to be overly expensive. The major manufacturers offer options for under $100 that give value while still maximising performance. 

In terms of maintaining your golf shoes, here are some handy tips: 

  • Clean them regularly, preferably with a shoe cleaner or soap and water. They can be put in a washing machine, but be sure to first remove laces and inner soles, which should be washed in a mesh
  • A toothbrush can be used to get rid of stubborn stains 
  • Use shoe creams (they prevent creasing and cracking and really help extend the life of a shoe) 
  • Ensure that wet shoes are left to dry properly. Handy tip: stuff them with newspaper while they’re drying out 
  • Store them in a way which keeps them dust-free 
  • Regularly replace spikes if you have spiked shoes 
  • Don’t leave them somewhere overly hot – such as the boot of the car during hot weather – as this definitely has a negative effect on the material 

So there you have it. Take the time and effort to find the best golf shoes and you can look cool as well as play to your maximum. Good luck!