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Are Golf Shoes Necessary?

If you ever watch TV or read a magazine, you have probably seen advertisements for shoes tailored to athletes for nearly every sport. Shoes designed with a particular sport in mind have features that are intended to improve the performance of the participant. If you are a weekend athlete who participates in a variety of different sports throughout the year, buying a pair of shoes for every sport may not be practical. You may question whether playing golf really requires a pair of golf shoes.


Golf shoes are not cheap, and because of the spikes that make a golf shoe a valuable asset for golfers, they have no real use off the course. Unlike basketball shoes that are often worn off the court for everyday use, golf shoes only have value while you are playing the game. Wearing them off the course is not only uncomfortable but can damage the shoes or even the surface you are walking on.


To answer whether you need golf shoes at all, the first question is how often you plan to play. If you only play for fun once or twice a year with your friends or family, the cost may not be worth it. While golf shoes can help give you a solid footing that can transfer power to your swing, they will not work miracles.


You also need to consider the rules of the golf courses where you expect to play. Some clubs may require golf shoes in order to play their course. The rule is intended as a safety precaution to ensure that a golfer does not slip while swinging his club. The spikes on the shoes help anchor the golfer and provide traction to avoid slipping during the swing.


For anyone playing golf regularly, particularly a skilled golfer, a good pair of golf shoes is essential. You simply cannot get the same performance from a pair of ordinary athletic shoes. They will not give you the traction you need, particularly on soft or wet turf.


It is important to find a pair of shoes that feel comfortable. If you are playing without a cart, you can expect to walk more than 4 miles during a typical 18-hole game. Even with a cart, you will spend a lot of time on your feet, so pick a pair that fits well and has adequate support.


Golf shoes come in a variety of styles, materials and colors. While fit and comfort should be your main concern, there are plenty of choices to make in selecting a pair of golf shoes. Take your time and choose wisely when investing in a golf shoe because a well-cared for golf shoe can last for hundreds of rounds of golf. Try on a number of different styles from different manufacturers to find the best fit for you.


Golf shoes can be found in a wide variety of retailers. The pro shop at your local course will often carry top-of-the-line models but will usually have a fairly limited selection of sizes, styles and colors. The 'big box' sporting goods stores generally have a larger selection but tend to carry mostly lower and mid-priced shoes. The best selection can be found online, but since comfort and fit are very important, the inability to try the shoes on is a major drawback. Make sure that the online seller has a generous return policy so that you are not stuck with a less-than-perfect fit.


If you are just starting and don't know if you will stay with the sport, you may choose a shoe made with less expensive materials or that carry a lesser-known brand name, but don't trade off comfort and fit for a few dollars in savings. It isn't worth it.


Golf shoes may not be a necessity for the recreational golfer who just wants to visit his local course a time or two a season, but for anyone who wants to enjoy the sport on a more regular basis, a well-fitting pair of golf shoes is an important part of the well-equipped golfer's closet.


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