Wondering how to clean golf shoes like the PGA greats? Whether you’re a pro or new to the sport, you need to know how to care for and clean your best golf shoes to keep them in top condition so they last for years to come.
The key to success is regular maintenance. If you take a few minutes to clean your shoes after each use, they’ll stay whiter and look newer because you’ll help prevent them from building up mud, sand or dirt. Golf shoes, like clubs and bags, are essential equipment and can be a serious investment, so give them the care they deserve.
While cleaner shoes won’t guarantee a hole-in-one, the best golf shoes will give you comfort, support and style, as long as they’re clean. Here’s a step-by-step guide to properly cleaning your golf shoes.
1. Remove dirt and grime after each use
Regular maintenance is the key to the longevity of golf shoes. We spoke to shoemaker Callaway Golf about the cleaning process – and they actually recommended that the outsoles be cleaned of dirt and residue after every game.
You can gently remove dirt, grass or debris from the surface of your shoes with a soft, damp cloth. If small clumps of grass or bits of mud are stuck in your cleats, remove them from the shoe, wipe away the debris, and reattach them.
However, be careful not to overtighten the cleats when putting them back on, as this is not good for the shoe.
2. Gently clean the upper part of your shoes with mild soap and water
You should regularly clean your shoes carefully, with a mild soap and a cloth, first removing the laces. This will make them look fresh and new, especially for white shoes. For more stubborn stains, you can use a soft toothbrush and some laundry detergent.
You can also use a dedicated shoe cleaner, but make sure you choose the right type based on the material of your shoe. Golf shoes are usually made of leather, mesh or suede, so choose your products carefully – any golf specialty store can recommend the right product for your type of shoe.
If you have mesh shoes, they can be machine washed in cold water only, with a small amount of laundry soap. Learn more about how to clean white shoes and make them look like new.
3. Let them air dry, away from direct sunlight
After washing your shoes, they need time to dry. Although it seems like the quickest way is to get them outside on the deck in the sun, this is best avoided.
Direct sunlight, as well as clothes dryers, are too harsh and can damage your shoes over time, so drying them indoors in a well-ventilated area is the best option. Speaking of heat, you also don’t want to leave golf shoes in the trunk of your car, because excessive heat exposure means your shoes won’t last as long as they should.
If your shoes get wet after playing in the rain, Callaway Golf recommends a quick clean, followed by placing crumpled up newspaper inside for 8-10 hours to soak up any excess water.
Then remove the newspaper and let air dry.
4. Apply leather oil or shoe polish, if desired
A little leather oil or shoe polish can go a long way in keeping your shoes looking shiny and clean. Apply oil or shoe polish only to dry, clean shoes and allow them to dry for at least 20 minutes.
This is especially useful for dark shoes, as a leather cream can condition the leather, keeping it soft and supple.
Keeping your golf shoes clean will help them last longer and help you look your best on the course, so take the time to care for your shoes after every round.
Looking for more golf equipment? Here we’ve found the best golf gloves to invest in, along with a guide to improving your putting technique.