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welcome to Equipment questions you’re afraid to ask, a GOLF.com series produced in partnership with Cleveland Golf. This week we take a look at the myriad of golf shoe options available on the market..

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Golf shoe manufacturers have done an incredible job over the past two decades, going from uncomfortable leather shoes with painful metal spikes to more athletic options with alternative spikes made of synthetic materials.

Hooray for that. Many of us remember wearing metal loaded spikes and they were downright awful compared to what we wear today. And for what it’s worth, I firmly believe that alternative tips – while not new – never got the recognition they should have in terms of the long-lasting effects they’ve had in making playing more enjoyable for them. more people. They have been a game-changer in every way for millions of golfers.

In recent years, we have seen a new evolution in sole technology towards golf shoes with built-in traction patterns built into the sole, thus avoiding the need for removable spikes. The question is, however, are today’s alternative spikes and integrated sole designs any better than what you might get from a rugged running shoe?

The easy answer is obviously Yes. Golf shoes, whether spiked or spikeless soles, are better for golf than running shoes or even elliptical trainers.

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The simple reason is this: the soles of golf shoes are designed specifically for the golf swing, which means that they are structured to limit movement more flexible in a sports shoe).

They’re also designed to cradle the foot differently from a running shoe with less toe drop, meaning the heel of a golf shoe doesn’t rest as high as in a sports shoe to help you look better. feel the ground under your feet. Lastly, golf shoes tend to have larger and wider footprints than running shoes, which means they are designed to help you balance yourself better with increased traction when standing up and down. you swing from side to side, not when you run forward.

That said, that’s not to say that running / athletic shoes have nothing to offer golfers. Much of the technology found in running shoes is borrowed and used in many of today’s best golf shoes. Things like extra padding for better shock absorption and synthetic mesh materials for better breathability can be found in dozens of styles.

Asics, for example, a company that is perhaps best known for making running shoes popular with cross-country and marathon runners, recently partnered with Srixon to develop a collection of golf shoes that combine performance and performance. comfort in a variety of models. They look and feel as comfortable as a sports / running shoe, but are designed to work from tee to green with the aforementioned stability and traction required for maximum power into the ball.

To help make the process easier for you, when it’s time to buy a new pair of golf shoes (yes, you do), here are five tips to speed up your decision making.

Tip 1: Spiked golf shoes provide better traction in wet conditions

This is by no means a scientific conclusion, but rather a real life. I’ve spent years playing hundreds of rounds in the rainy Pacific Northwest, and spiked golf shoes just work best when wet or damp. And because I changed the cleats often, I had a new pair of golf shoes every season.

Tip 2: Spikeless shoes are more comfortable and work great in dry conditions

Spikeless shoes tend to have thicker soles, which makes them more cushioned and easier on the feet. Also in my experience, if the conditions were dry, they help me keep my feet firmly on the ground as well as the spiked models.

Tip 3: Golf shoes no longer require “breaking in”

Your shoes are not baseball mittens. They should feel great right out of the box and if they don’t, they’re probably too small or cramped. Instead, get a pair that fits you perfectly at the store. Your feet will swell once you start walking and playing, but with today’s leathers and man-made materials, they should stretch very slightly.

Tip 4: Socks are almost as important as shoes

You might not realize it, but the type of socks you wear can affect a shoe’s fit, not to mention its performance. The biggest failure usually comes from wearing socks that are too thin or too thick. Too thin and your feet will likely slip into the shoe, causing blisters and hot spots. Too thick and your shoe will be tight and your feet will become sweaty, which can again cause blisters and hot spots. Always, if you can, wear a breathable sports sock with light padding. This is still true for long or invisible socks.

Tip 5: For the love of golf, please dry them properly

After an amazing golf trip to Ireland, filled with more than a few rounds in the pouring rain, I was so passionate about golf that I forgot to clean and remove my soaked and muddy golf shoes from my shoe bag so they can dry before I load them into my travel bag for the long flight back to Los Angeles. It was a mistake initially, but the most brutal sin is that I didn’t golf for a few months after that so my soggy golf shoes hid in my moldy travel bag in a hot garage for Several weeks. Not only were my shoes spoiled with mold on the inside, but I had managed to cultivate a most powerful ecosystem throughout my duffel bag. I ruined my favorite golf shoes and also lost a travel bag. So please don’t be like me. Treat and maintain your golf shoes as needed, especially if you get them wet.

Want to redo your own bag for 2021? Visit the expert installers of our sister company, Genuine Golf Spec. For more on the latest equipment news and information, be sure to check out our recent fully featured podcast in the Spotify link below.

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