11 Best Golf Shoes, According to Podiatrists
We asked podiatrists to share why these pairs of golf shoes are best for the links—and your body!
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What are the best men’s golf shoes?
If you find yourself golfing on the regular or frequently enough, you shouldn’t wear your everyday sneakers on the links—and that’s not because it’s bad for the course. Your go-to pair of trainers may not offer what you need while you’re playing, things like traction, grip, stability, and cushioning, which is why golf shoes were created.
“Golf shoes are an essential component of the golfer’s toolbox,” explains podiatrist Robert Fridman, president of the Northeast Division of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, New York City. “Many golfers prefer to walk the course rather than ride a cart—and some courses even have rules requiring players to walk the course—so they may end up walking over five miles at the end of 18 holes…or more if they are having a bad game.”
Focus on your swing, not your feet
That amount of walking can wreak havoc on your tootsies if you’re not wearing the appropriate footwear. “Good golf shoes allow you to concentrate on your game, rather than blisters, or sore feet and ankles,” says Fridman. “They need to fit well, keep your feet comfortable and dry, and also have traction and provide support during your golf swing, which generates high levels of angular force on your feet.”
Next, you have to decide if you want spikes or a spikeless pair. “From a podiatrist’s standpoint, spikeless golf shoes are better for your feet because the weight of your body is more evenly distributed throughout the shoes,” says Velimir Petkov, a board-certified podiatrist at Premier Podiatry, Clifton, New Jersey. “However, golf shoes with spikes do provide a better grip and therefore can prevent an injury during the golf swing motion.” Ultimately, the decision is up to you and what you prefer based on your body and golf game.
Interested in purchasing a pair of the best men’s golf shoes? We asked our podiatrists to give us their thoughts on why these golf shoes are ideal and what features stand out about each. And if you have a golf lover in your life, here are 13 other golf gifts to give this year.
Under Armour Men’s Speith 4 GORE-TEX Golf Shoes
These spiked sneakers are perfect for golfers with wider feet. “This is a top choice of mine” says Dr. Petkov. “The lightweight, microfiber uppers, and dual durometer EVA-footbed provide lateral support and medial cushioning, which are both necessary with each swing that you take harness power during a golf swing.” The brand offers a two-year waterproof warranty.
Adidas Men’s Codechaos Golf Shoes
Opt for these stable golf shoes that come in gray, white, and green. “Modern golf shoes offer a combination of stability and flexibility, which can greatly affect one’s game,” explains Dr. Fridman. And these new shoes from Adidas allow the golfer to experience both, combining the company’s Boost foam midsole, lightweight upper, with a hybrid grip on the outsole.
Skechers Women’s Go Golf Pro 2
$40- $110, depending on size
If Mother Nature decides to rain on your golf parade, the waterproof membrane of these shoes will be extremely helpful, as well as the spikes. “Spikes offer more traction and stability, which may help if the ground is wet or if one is playing on a very hilly course,” says Dr. Fridman. Plus, the brand provides replacement spikes in case yours get worn down! Even though they’re lightweight, the shoes still provide ample cushioning to support your feet during a full day walking the links.
Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour Golf Shoes
You’ll be king of the course in these Nike golf shoes. “Using premium materials might make these shoes a bit pricier, but it also means you can have premium performance blending leather, lightweight knit, and a hybrid grip outsole,” says Dr. Petkov. The spikes are removable, so they might make—but don’t let them break—your decision. Durable, responsive foam and the company’s Zoom Air technology make these shoes comfy enough to wear for hours.
Asics Gel-Course Duo Boa
This running brand is dipping its toe into the golf shoe game! “Asics is well-known for making great running shoes and these golf shoes resemble a lot of their characteristics—great arch support and midsole stability,” says Dr. Petkov. And they know a lot about lightweight cushioning and support, implementing foam technology into the midsole. The Boa lacing allows you to achieve a unique fit in seconds.
Callaway Men’s Lagrange Golf Shoes
You’ll get a classic look with a great fit in these golf shoes. The soft EVA midsole, molded insole, and heel stabilizer ground you for each swing, and also cushion and support your feet as you make your way around the course. “I like that they resemble a classic golf shoe and the fact that the leather upper is waterproof if the weather doesn’t cooperate,” says Dr. Petkov.
Jordan ADG Men’s Golf Shoes
Feel secure in your shoes when you slip your feet into the inner sleeves in this pair. The plush midsole provides ample cushioning thanks to the company’s Zoom Air technology. “In addition to the name recognition and the styling of the shoe, this pair focuses on comfort and cushioning and would be great for dry, and even conditions on the golf course,” says Dr. Petkov.
FootJoy Flex Golf Shoes
The transition from the links to coffee or lunch seamlessly in these versatile golf shoes, that don’t skimp on function when you need it most. The outsole offers both the stability and traction during each swing of the club that you take, while the mesh, breathable upper allows for some flexibility as well. ” Some flexibility is necessary when playing in hills and uneven surfaces,” says Dr. Fridman.
ECCO Women’s Soft Hydromax Golf Shoe
The extremely soft leather these kicks are made out of is water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it losing its look and feel over time due to rainy tee times. “Despite not having spikes, and looking a bit more like a lifestyle sneaker, these golf shoes offer great grip support because of the unique traction system created by the brand,” says Dr. Petkov. They come with a comfy Ortholite insole, which can be removed entirely or replaced by an orthotic if need be.
New Balance Fresh Foam Links SL
If you’ve ever worn any sneakers in the Fresh Foam line from New Balance, it will be an easy transition into these golf shoes. “These shoes have a one-piece sole, which includes small plastic lugs instead of spikes for traction,” says Dr. Fridman. “They look like running or tennis shoes, and have a more traditional athletic fit to them.” The foam midsole, plush insole, and padded tongue all add to the overall comfort you’ll feel in these traditional lace-ups.
A seamless, knit upper, made out of one single piece of fabric contributes to the lightweight, durability of these golf shoes. Not only are there three layers of foam in the footbed, but you can also remove it to wash it if need be. “These shoes offer a great amount of cushioned support and the unique pattern on the rubber soles takes traction into consideration as well,” says Dr. Petkov. “Support and traction are both helpful qualities in a golf shoe.” Next, check out the best slippers for men that you’ll want to put on after your day at the course.
- Robert Fridman, DPM, president of the Northeast Division of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons, New York City
- Velimir Petkov, DPM, board-certified podiatrist at Premier Podiatry, Clifton, New Jersey