Like with any other sport, golf requires a certain attire and gear to play your best game on the green. Part of the attire is golf shoes, some of which are outfitted with spikes on the bottom. But are golf shoes with spikes better than those without?
Golf shoes with spikes on the bottom are not necessarily better than golf shoes without them. However, the spikes are generally used to help the golfer maintain a semblance of a grip on potentially wet or slick surfaces, like the tee boxes and putting greens.
Golf shoes that do not have spikes on them work just as well as golf shoes that do have spikes. For the most part, the professional golfers on tour will wear the spikes to help with their grip and try to give themselves as much of an advantage as possible. But are they always necessary for golf hobbyists and novices? We’ll cover this and more below.
Are Golf Shoes with Spikes Better?
Contrary to popular belief, the spikes on the bottom of golf shoes are not huge spikes like those you might see on soccer, football, and baseball cleats. The spikes are small enough that you might not even notice them in long grass. This way, the impact of the spikes is minimal on the golf surface.
The spikes on golf shoes are designed to help a golfer gain a slight grip while golfing on the tee box or putting on the greens. These two grassy areas will be cut shorter than the other areas like the fairways, the rough, and the bunkers. Because the grass in these areas is cut shorter, it is more susceptible to getting wet and slick, which can affect a golfer’s shot if they were to slip during a swing.
With that said, although golf shoes with spikes can benefit players in this area, they are not necessarily better than golf shoes without the spikes. As mentioned, the spikes that golf shoes have on the soles are usually very small—less than a half-inch. These small spikes have a minimal impact on play, so normal athletic shoes or golf shoes are usually good enough for the average golfer to wear on the course without issue.
Do All Golf Shoes Have Spikes?
Originally, most golf shoes had spikes, closely resembling soccer cleats. The spikes were made from metal and fairly long, some longer than an inch. However, over time, scientists and golf enthusiasts found that the metal spikes were causing more damage to the course than rubber or ripped soles.
With the growth of golf becoming imminent, many golf courses and the US Golf Association began to recommend that golf shoe manufacturers either make rubberized spikes or shoes without spikes at all. Today, most golf shoes you’ll find will be without spikes; only specific golf-brand shoes will have them. Some manufacturers have even made golf shoes with removable spikes that golfers can screw in for greater customization.
Should I Get Golf Shoes with Spikes?
For those golfers who are just getting into the sport, you might feel the need to get all of the gear that the professionals wear. While it might be nice to look like a professional, the clothing and other gear for golfing can be expensive, including golf shoes with spikes.
With that said, golf shoes with spikes are not a complete necessity for golfers on the course. However, while golf shoes or athletic shoes are generally worn on the courses, the spikes can add a level of certainty and comfort.
If you’re still on the fence about whether you should buy golf shoes with spikes, consider these factors:
When it comes to the pricing of golf shoes, the brand and the quality of the shoes drive the overall price. For the most part, golf shoes are going to be in the same price range as other specific sport shoes (soccer cleats, football cleats, basketball shoes, etc.).
From amazon, there are a few options for people wanting to find a bargain deal or those who are able and willing to shell out a little more for a higher quality shoe.
The prices are wide ranging when it comes to golf shoes as there are entry level shoes and high end, high comfort golf shoes that make a difference!
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Another factor for deciding whether to buy shoes with spikes is to get a feel for your playing experience level and how much you plan to play golf.
For beginners who are just getting into the sport, you might not necessarily need spikes just yet; this is because most beginners will be spending their time at the range practicing or playing at low-cost courses only a few times a year.
If you plan on playing multiple times a week throughout the year, then it might be a good idea to get golf shoes with spikes. The more comfortable you are in the shoes you wear on the course, the better your game might be.
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Time of Day
The time of day you often play can also contribute to whether spiked golf shoes are appropriate to wear. For example, if you usually hit the links early mornings, you may experience more dew on the grass; therefore, spiked shoes are necessary to maintain grip.
Location of Golf Course
The location of the golf course you plan on visiting will also be a factor for whether you should invest in golf shoes with spikes or not. In some areas, the grass is going to be longer or shorter, depending on maintenance.
In the south, the courses are more likely to be cut shorter because the golf season is longer, so the course’s maintenance will happen more frequently. These courses will also more likely require you to wear golf shoes with spikes before you’re allowed access to the greens.
In contrast, in colder areas, the grass might be longer to help preserve the course a little bit longer to potentially stretch the golf season out. Courses in these areas might require no spikes or strictly rubberized spikes to preserve the green as long as possible.
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Golf Course Restrictions
Some golf clubs do not allow players on the course unless they have spikes on the bottom of their golf shoes. This is to protect the integrity of the club’s image and the course itself.
However, not every golf course will have these types of rules in place. Before investing in a pair of golf shoes, check with your local golf course to learn about their restrictions regarding golf shoes and spikes.
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The final factor on whether you should invest in spiked golf shoes is the type of weather you expect to play in.
If the weather is often humid or rainy near your chosen golf course, you may end up playing on slicker surfaces, which means that you’ll need to wear spiked shoes to maintain a safe grip. However, if the weather is often warm and dry, then golf shoes with shorter spikes or no spikes at all will be suitable.
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When it comes to whether golf shoes with spikes are better than those without, there’s no definite answer. Spikes can provide a grip on potentially slick areas of the golf course, which can help you maintain your balance, make better shots, and avoid possible injuries. However, traditionally, spikes have been known to cause some damage to the greens—although most spikes today are made with course-friendly rubber material.
With that said, whether you should invest in spiked golf shoes or not comes down to your personal preference. Consider price, how frequently you play and times, golf course locations and shoe restrictions, and the weather you often play in.