The Most Comfortable Golf Shoes of 2022, According to Experts

Our favorites are the Adidas Tour 360 22 for men and the FootJoy Pro SL for women.

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Golf Shoes
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon, Ecco, and Footjoy

A golfer who walks 18 holes will cover 4-plus miles, usually over sloping terrain. That's why superior golf footwear shares comfort factors we look for in hiking shoes: traction, stability, cushioning, light weight, water resistance, and breathability. But that same golfer is constantly pausing to perform a dynamic athletic act. The full swing is a set of movements requiring shoes that grip the ground and deliver stability in response to multi-directional forces that load and unload in a tight time frame.

Now, is every golf shoe on the market designed for players who walk a 7,000-yard course and grip-and-rip with gusto? No, because there are also cart-riding players who swing in a leisurely manner and may prefer a nine-hole outing. And we can't forget about style. So comfort is surely the first factor in golf shoes, and out-of-the-box comfort is demanded across the spectrum, but the feet-pampering sensation golfers seek has nuances, as we explain below.

Our top picks are the Adidas Tour 360 22 for men and the FootJoy Premiere Series for women. These are golf shoes with cleats, or spikes, in a market where currently half of all players go spikeless. Influenced by the many golf professionals we interviewed, the choice for Best Overall leaned toward the golfer with a greater traction-and-performance demand — but be assured this collection of first-class footwear includes plenty of uncleated options.

These are the most comfortable golf shoes to shop for men:

These are the most comfortable golf shoes to shop for women:

The Most Comfortable Golf Shoes for Men

Best Overall: Adidas Tour 360 22

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Zappos

Also available at Adidas

Why We Love It: They've got exceptional cushioning, plus toe boxes with ideal contours and lining that feels frictionless.

What to Consider: The many traction and stability features built into this shoe create some heft, so it's not the lightest option.

The 20th-century golf shoe was really just a dress shoe made of especially durable leather and outfitted with 11 metal spikes. The arrival of Adidas into the golf shoe category helped redefine it as high-performance athletic gear you wear on your feet. The Tour 360 22 shows Adidas doing its utmost to serve the comfort-loving golfer.

In the back portion of the shoe you'll find a generously padded collar, supple lining with a glove-leather feel, and heel reinforcement to prevent jostling. The instep area is where the Tour 360 22 envelops a player's foot with snugness intended to make it feel at one with the shoe. The toe box is ergonomically roomy, which enhances the transfer of energy from foot to ground.

"Energy transfer is a key design element for golf shoes," says Ian Brown, Director of Golf at Butterfield Country Club in Oak Brook, Illinois, and the PGA of America's national Merchandiser of the Year. "There are studies showing how much the toes flex to keep the feet connected to the ground during the swing — you need width up front to make that possible, and you need it for comfort as well."

What Adidas calls its Boost midsole completes the comfort story, with a design aimed at returning the energy expended with each step back into the foot to significantly reduce fatigue. The package of features taken together, plus the brand's proven craftsmanship, make this an excellent shoe for striding any fairway in golf.

Sizes: 7-15 | Upper material: Full-grain leather | Spiked: Yes | Weight per pair: 1 pound

Best Spikeless: Payntr X 002 LE

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Payntr

Also available at PGA Tour Superstore

Why We Love It: They check all the comfort boxes while engineering superior traction without spikes.

What to Consider: Spikeless or not, this is a shoe for serious players, so others may prefer a lighter, less structured option.

Payntr Golf is only in its second year, but the company's leadership and design group represent decades of experience at the famous-name golf companies. To get shelf space in leading golf shops you've got no choice but to excel in the comfort category, which Payntr does by combining classic aesthetics with a tech approach to the biomechanics of walking and swinging.

Breathability in the upper is driven by specially tanned and treated leather, plus a proprietary tongue material designed for that "lockdown" feeling without trapping heat. The footbed of the X 002 LE is precision molded and cushioned to deliver comfort that repeats every time you tee it up. Golf instructors now train their students using ground-force plates built into the flooring of teaching studios. Payntr uses readouts from them to tweak its midsole designs in a way that enhances the swing while cushioning each stride.

Sizes: 9-14 | Upper material: Full-grain leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: Not listed

Best Waterproof: ECCO Biom G3

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Ecco

Why We Love It: Like all Ecco models, these shoes feel exceptional on the feet.

What to Consider: Ecco enthusiasts praise its spikeless models, but this one has spikes for traction.

The use of "Biom" throughout its catalog is Ecco's salute to biomechanical research as a basis for its approach to building lasting, thoughtfully designed shoes. The Biom G3 is based on 2,500 digital scans of human feet, an ergonomic approach dating from the company's earliest days.

This shoe's 100 percent waterproofing comes from Gore Tex advanced fabric-treatment tech, so that golfers can experience the comfort factor of nice dry socks. If lacing these up triggers a pleasurable form-fitting sensation, it's because of a proprietary design that links the laces directly to the sole of the shoe. Between shoe and foot is a cushioning layer made of Ortholite that's removable and washable (to provide comfort for those around you).

Sizes: 5-16.5 | Upper material: Full-grain leather Spiked: Yes | Weight per pair: 14.3 ounces

Related: The Best Golf Travel Bags

Best Budget: Skechers Go Golf Pivot

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Skechers

Why We Love It: They're light on your feet at under 10 ounces a pair but nicely supportive and pleasingly cushioned.

What to Consider: While these shoes have a wear-anywhere look, the high-traction outsole wouldn't be good on pavement.

One of the most nimble and innovative footwear companies has succeeded in golf by blending quality with a relaxed, unstuffy brand image. The price point Skechers hits with the Go Golf Pivot comes from foregoing full-grain leather and simply leveraging its vast capabilities in design and manufacturing.

Full toe-to-heel cushioning helps this shoe make an excellent first impression, as does the "high-rebound" padded insole. Study the outsole and you'll notice a pattern of nubs, posts, and x-shapes arranged on a diagonal, befitting the Pivot name and the shoe's in-swing traction strategy.

One way Skechers maintains its high-comfort image is through offering greater width options than many competitors. This particular shoe includes a sizing the company calls Extra Wide, which is a special comfort to golfers who have that specific need.

Sizes: 8-13 | Upper material: Synthetic leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 9.9 ounces

Best Style: FootJoy Premiere Series Tarlow

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Footjoy

Why We Love It: Visually an ode to golf's 20th-century country club lifestyle, they're loaded with comfort features wear-tested on the pro tour.

What to Consider: They're not as flexible as some other options.

Especially in the navy/white version, the Premiere Series Tarlow from FootJoy merges golf footwear's glorious past with its tech-driven present. In classic shoe-speak, this is a pebble-grain cap-toe model with midfoot wings and a contrast heel, perforation throughout, and welt-style stitching atop the outsole.

Old-school doesn't mean there's a comfort price to pay. The shoe's sheepskin linings soothe the foot immediately, its Pittards leather upper breathes and cossets, and a proprietary footbed stays anatomically tuned to the wearer for round after round. The traction system (note that a spikeless version can be ordered) includes materials of varying textures to adapt to different surface conditions.

In shoes, comfort and fancy looks are often at odds, but that's not the case here. "There are people who enjoy a structured shoe with some weight to it," says Phil Davis, award-winning head professional at Beaver Meadow Golf Club in Concord, New Hampshire. "They associate that with support and stability, which in the end will reduce fatigue. Some younger guys feel that way, but it's mainly the older golfer." Makes sense, but haven't we seen the '60s-era white belt make a roaring comeback?

Sizes: 7-15 | Upper material: Full-grain leather and calfskin | Spiked: Yes (either) | Weight per pair: 15.4 ounces

The Most Comfortable Golf Shoes for Women

Best Overall: Footjoy Pro SL

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Footjoy

Why We Love It: They provide comfort out of the box plus cushioned support for walking and swinging.

What to Consider: They aren't the most interesting aesthetically.

True to its storied tradition in shoemaking, Footjoy based its design of the spikeless Pro SL on a high-performance waterproof leather, turning to their longtime British source, Pittards. ChromoSkin is the proprietary leather treatment selected, based on suppleness, lighter weight, and breathable waterproofing.

The 2022 version of this popular shoe features a midsole cushioning upgrade to a multi-material formulation called Stratofoam. It's geared to equally accommodate swinging and walking through shock absorption and energy return. Even the shoe's outsole has a foam-based material inlaid for cushioning. Turn the shoe over to assess that outsole's traction strategy and you'll see the intriguing Infinity design, based on a figure-eight pattern that's tour-proven to grip the ground through all segments of the golf swing.

The Pro SL scores points for looking good while still providing an appropriately wide base. Nantucket-based golf instructor Jennifer Hudson, named last year to the Golf Digest list of Best Young Teachers in America, studies the footwear and footwork of her female students carefully. "There have been women's golf shoes on the market that looked nice but actually posed an injury risk, because they have too skinny a platform," says Hudson. "Foot-to-ground pressure in golf is pretty intense and fast-changing, so you want a shoe that flares out a bit, which FootJoy has always provided."

Sizes: 5.5-11 | Upper material: Chromoskin waterproof leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 9.3 ounces

Related: 11 of the Most Beautiful Golf Courses in the World

Best Spikeless: Asics Gel-course Glide

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Asics

Why We Love It: They blend the casual athletic-shoe look with a full arsenal of support, traction, and shock-absorbing features.

What to Consider: There is no moisture protection built in, so wear them on dry days only

Athletic shoe brands come into golf with the advantage of proven popularity, but they still must deliver golf-specific product benefits, including all-day comfort. Reports from the golf shops over recent years suggest the Asics brand has translated nicely to the fairways.

Up front, the Asics Gel-course Glide employs a seamless toe section for a smooth sensation. In the shoe's heel is a fairly rigid cup for stability, cushioned by the gel material Asics is known for. Most intensely designed of all is the midfoot area, with foam technology and paneling adapted from high-performance Asics athletic shoes, plus significant tongue cushioning. On its outsole, the Gel-Course Glide has a set of nubs, posts, and stabilizer bars that should do the traction trick for just about any player.

Sizes: 6-10 | Upper material: Mesh fabric | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 9.2 ounces

Best Waterproof: Callaway Coronado

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Callaway

Why We Love It: If you want an athletic look along with a golf-specific structural design, the waterproof Callaway Coronado is an excellent choice.

What to Consider: Some wearers have mentioned issues with lace eyelets.

Callaway delivers high-comfort waterproof performance in the Coronado. The upper material is a breathable microfiber leather, which features a proprietary treatment called Opti-Dry. You'll also find mesh fabric lining for coolness to go with the dryness.

Comfort comes from a rigid polyurethane component to prevent overflexing and a foam-based layer to cushion the shock of each step; excellent traction is provided here by a low-profile six-spike arrangement plus mini-pyramids. To prevent slippage in the rear foot as you shift weight on the downswing, a molded heel stabilizer is built into the Coronado.

Sizes: 6-11 | Upper material: Waterproof microfiber leather | Spiked: Either | Weight per pair: 9.4 ounces

Best Budget: Under Armour Charged Breathe Spikeless

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Under Armour

Why We Love It: They deliver value through cushioning and stability features, plus a stylish look and waterproof performance .

What to Consider: Sizing is relatively limited, ranging from 5 to 10, all in a single standard width.

After a decade in athletic shoe manufacturing, Under Armour is making good headway in golf. The brand's waterproof leather Charged Breathe shoe for women comes at a low price point but doesn't skimp on comfort, looks, or golf-specific features. In the all-important midsole there's an ethylene vinyl acetate component for firmness and support. To cushion it they use compression molded foam, known for responsiveness as well as durability.

This shoe gets its good looks from fun, sporty colors and sleek contours up front. In the rear section, cosmetics balance with ergonomics through the use of an appropriately flared sole platform, for proper connection with the ground during full swings.

Sizes: 5-10 | Upper material: Waterproof microfiber leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 9.0 ounces

Related: 12 Golf Vacations for New and Veteran Golfers

Best Style: G/Fore Welt Stud Gallivanter

Golf Shoes
Courtesy of PGA Tour Superstore

Also available at G/Fore

Why We Love It: High-end quality isn't enough for G/Fore, which bravely takes golf fashion forward with products like the Welt Stud Gallivanter.

What to Consider: They are very pricey.

Exclusive golf shops enroll themselves in G/Fore's Secret Society and sign up for Ghost Project shipments consisting of products chosen by the company, not the retailer. Owned by luxury golf brand Peter Millar and dedicated to quality as well as mischievous marketing, the brand is a phenomenon on the club scene.

Metallic gold and silver stud ornaments along the upper and the "welt," or perimeter, of the shoe are what make these catch the eye. What the wearer feels is a premium smooth-grain leather upper and a triple-density foam footbed for cushioning and airflow; the latter is removable and washable. Adding to the comfort factor are interior padding and an antimicrobial mesh cotton lining. The outsole blends lightweight high-traction surfacing with inspired splashes of bright color that have no function to complete the fashion statement.

Sizes: 5-11 | Upper material: Waterproof microfiber leather | Spiked: Either | Weight per pair: 9.4 ounces

Tips for Buying Comfortable Golf Shoes

Decide whether the lightweight factor is top priority

Golf shoes on the heavier end of the scale generally get that way by including elements that add support, increase traction, and provide durability. If you walk your 18-hole round on a course with varied terrain and your swing speed on the launch monitor is toward the high side, you might not want to prioritize light weight. But most golfers will appreciated lightness, so keep an eye out for shoes that are well under a pound per pair.

Take a front-middle-back approach

Your heel doesn't much resemble your instep, which in turn doesn't look like your toes. The shoe you wear has to accommodate all three regions, so when you try shoes on you should evaluate the feel and fit at each stop along the way. The toes need space, and the "toe box" of the shoe can't be shaped at odds with your foot's shape up front. Around the instep you need snugness, not space. When a shoe that fits you there gets laced up, it brings the two rows of eyelets together modestly, not excessively. In back, you need a collar that's shaped and padded to comfort the ankle bone, and you need a heel construction that limits slippage when you walk and lets you shift weight efficiently when you swing.

Twist them and flex them

Golf shoe evaluation can and should start with the product in your hands. Grip the back of the shoe with one hand and the front with your other hand, palm brushing up against the spikes (or traction nubs). Try to twist the shoe. If it twists more than just slightly, it's not performing according to your foot's anatomical needs. Now alter your "front" hand so that your index finger is under the tip of the shoe and your thumb and other fingers hold the widest part of the outsole. When you push up, the shoe should flex, along the line that will eventually show a wrinkle. That's forefoot flexibility, and it's also what the foot's anatomy calls for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will sizing be consistent across golf shoe brands?

Looking at manufacturers' size charts and reading online reviews, we give this question a definite no. Especially when European sizes are cross-checked on the charts with U.S. sizes, the disparities are there to see. And the chat forums are filled with positive golf shoe reviews containing a single caution — namely that size 8 in most shoes equals size 9 in XYZ company's shoes. If you do glance at those charts, look for any mention of width options. Some companies offer a wide version, along with what's usually called "medium." As for "narrow," which years ago was commonly seen, you probably won't find it.

What's the traction difference between spiked and spikeless?

As noted earlier, the difference is most notable in extreme terrain and with extreme swing speed. The golfer who walks a rugged landscape, plays when it's wet, swings mightily and sets up with his feet relatively close together is the most spike-needing golfer, all things being equal. One related point that you likely haven't glimpsed: Spikes are getting less obtrusive. The term used is "low-profile," meaning they don't extend out from the outsole as much as they used to. As a result, you'll be less conscious of them underfoot as you walk.

How often should I buy new golf shoes?

Golf professionals and veteran players would take a different approach to the question, by stressing "how many" over "when." You should own two or three pairs of golf shoes because conditions vary, because wet shoes need time to dry out, and because of those lifestyle nuances that make a given golf outing just right for one pair of shoes and not another. Based on spiked versus spikeless alone you could stock two different pairs in your closet. "My whole life and career is based on golf training, high performance and competition," says Hudson, "and I still have days when I have to wear a certain shoe because I just like how it looks."

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Travel + Leisure writers are product and shopping experts who draw on research and first-hand experience to curate the best, most up-to-date collections of items for readers. A golf writer and travel editor who has toured golf shoe factories and interviewed sports podiatrists, David Gould canvassed golf merchandisers and teaching professionals to research this article. He also shopped the market — in-person and online — to tell the most complete and accurate comfort story possible about current golf shoe offerings for men and women.

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