The 10 Most Comfortable Golf Shoes of 2023

Golf experts weigh in on the best footwear for traction, arch support, breathability, and more.

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Gould roundup Comfortable Golf Shoes TOUT

Travel + Leisure / Reese Herrington

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.

We have 10 top picks for men and 10 top picks for women. Influenced by the many golf professionals we interviewed, the choices 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.

The Most Comfortable Men’s Golf Shoes

Best Overall

Adidas Men's Tour 360 22 Golf Shoes

Adidas Men's Tour360 22 Golf Shoes


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.

Price at time of publish: $147

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

Best Spikeless

Payntr Golf PAYNTR X 002 LE Men's Golf Shoe



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.

Price at time of publish: $190

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

Best Waterproof

Ecco Men's Biom G3 Boa-fit Cleated Golf Shoes



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).

Price at time of publish: $190

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

Best Budget

Skechers Men's Go Golf Pivot Shoe

Skechers Men's Pivot Spikeless Golf Shoe


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.

Price at time of publish: $85

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

Best Style

FootJoy Men's Premiere Series-tarlow Golf Shoe

FootJoy Premiere Series Tarlow Golf Shoes


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?

Price at time of publish: $200

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

Most Versatile

True linkswear True Original 1.2

True links wear True Original 1.2

True Links Wear

Why We Love It:  The True brand re-launched a few years ago into a crowded golf shoe market and quickly gained an enthusiastic following — the Original 1.2 model is a big reason why.

What to Consider: If you’re an every-round cart rider, another golf shoe might be best for you.

In the pandemic era, people have had more time for golf, and they’ve opted to walk the course more often — better for your health in health-conscious times. That played into the strategy of True linkswear, which a few years earlier had re-conceived its product line and brand niche, keeping the original lifestyle feel but taking the engineering and walkability to new levels.

The True Original features “alternative” leather in the saddle and toe box, which is sized deliberately wide, to blend comfort with durability. Contact as direct as possible between the sole of your foot, the shoe, and the ground is central to True product design. Waterproofing is accomplished through a bootie and comes with a two-year guarantee. A recent tweak to the Original is its neoprene tongue, an upgrade from polyester fabric to keep feet drier still.

The look of the shoe has always been eye-catching in a way that’s just slightly artsy. Wearing the Original in comfort, you can also expect to get a lot of comments.

Price at time of publish: $175

Sizes: 7-15 | Upper material: Alternative leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 12.5 ounces

Best Breathable

Ecco Golf Biom Cool Pro Shoe

Ecco golf biom cool pro shoe


Why We Love It:  When a golf shoe like this one really breathes, there’s a barefoot-in-the-grass feeling that inspires you to play 36 holes, not just 18.

What to Consider: This is breathability paired with 100 percent waterproof performance, so the price is higher than you’d pay for a mesh-style shoe.

The Ecco watchword from the start has been superior comfort based on scientific analysis of the human foot. But outdoor sports like golf require a manufacturer to go beyond the anatomical and think meteorologically as well. The Ecco Biom Cool Pro challenges a golfer to test its performance in extreme dry heat, wet conditions, and serious morning chill.

Ingredients for a shoe that can do that are, in this case, a proprietary yak leather upper and Gore-tex Surround waterproofing — considered unsurpassed in breathability. While your feet are feeling fresh and comfortable, you’ll want them supported for swing performance, too: That’s accomplished in this shoe by a three-zone support design that emphasizes toe-to-heel stability and rotational support when the club is moving.

Price at time of publish: $180

Sizes: 7-16 | Upper material: Waterproof performance leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 12.8 ounces

Best Arch Support

Asics Gel-Kayano Ace

Asics Gel-Kayano Ace


Why We Love It: Everyone endures foot pain at times, but it’s worse for those with arch dysfunction — nice that there’s footwear like this to help a golfer deal with it.

What to Consider: Extra arch comfort and spiked outsoles seem to be mutually exclusive. If you’re okay with that, you’ll go for this shoe without hesitation.

Pes planus is the medical term for fallen arches, a condition that doesn’t have to cause notable foot pain but does increase fatigue and can possibly fire up plantar fasciitis, which hurts plenty. Golf professionals in the shops and the golfers commenting in forums will tell you the Asics golf shoe line is particularly likely to yield a shoe that gives relief to the arches.

The company’s Gel-Kayano Ace golf shoe seems to comfort the midfoot area by stabilizing, cushioning, and cradling the foot’s full length. A thermo-polyurethane heel cup is there to keep the foot centered and still, while the famed Asics Gel technology for cushioning absorbs shock in the forefoot and back to the heel. A thickly padded collar rounds out the cushioning system in this ruggedly good-looking golf shoe.

Price at time of publish: $170

Sizes: 6-14 | Upper material: Full-grain leather | Spiked: Yes | Weight per pair: 14.3 ounces

Best Traction

Sqairz Men's Speed Shoe

Sqairz Men's speed shoe


Why We Love It: A performance golf shoe based on the science of “ground force transfer” wants to help golfers add driving distance — we’re all for that.

What to Consider: The visual of a squared-off toe could be hard for some shoe buyers to get past.

The brand name Sqairz is based on the square shape of the toe area, and it aims to let your toes spread as they’re naturally inclined to do during the power-generating phase of the swing. And while golf may seem like a slow game, the head of a tour pro’s driver will exceed 120 miles an hour. Thus the word Speed as part of the product name  —it lets you know the aim of this footwear is actually to help you generate more miles per hour and therefore hit the ball farther.

To make that all happen requires a traction-ensuring design, because even very slight slippage leaks away speed and power. The widened base under the ball of the foot adds balance and stability, which is part of traction. Six strategically placed Pivix Softspikes, which can be replaced if they show wear, do the bulk of the ground-gripping work. (You get new ones sent to you free upon request for the life of the shoe.) The spikes are set in a heel-to-toe field of small traction blocks that vary their patterns based on what each area of the foot needs.

And yes, there is field and lab testing that testifies to a distance gain with the driver of 8 or more yards. We’ve long heard of the club or the ball promising a distance bonus, now along comes a shoe to do the same.

Price at time of publish: $200

Sizes: 7-14 | Upper material: Synthetic leather | Spiked: Yes  | Weight per pair: 12.8 ounces

Best BOA System

Adidas Men's S2g Boa Wide Spikeless Golf Shoes

Adidas Men's S2g Boa Wide Spikeless Golf Shoes


Why We Love It:  Securing your foot via the BOA closure rather than laces is an acquired taste, and this well-priced, innovative Adidas shoe is a great place to start.

What to Consider: It’s not designed for golfers with narrow feet.

One of the simplest consumer products in the world is the humble shoelace, which somehow has held its own against the wires and tensioner knobs that comprise BOA technology. Testing out BOA closure tech in a product like the S2G BOA Wide Spikeless is a great option, given the lofty standards and stellar track record of the Adidas brand.

Checking it out top to bottom, the S2G BOA Wide has a waterproof upper that comes in four colors, a BOA knob at the top of the tongue, and the time-tested Bounce midsole for flexibility and cushioning, all connected to the company’s V-Traxion outsole — a colorful mosaic of aggressive-looking spikeless traction. Be prepared for a solid, snug feel that the humble shoelace would be hard-pressed to match. This is also a product with “good cause” appeal — its upper is made of 50 percent recycled content.

Price at time of publish: $100

Sizes: 7.5-14 | Upper material: Lightweight textile and synthetic | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 10.8 ounces

The Most Comfortable Golf Shoes for Women

Best Overall

Foot Joy Pro|SL Women

Pro|SL Women


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."

Price at time of publish: $120

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

Best Spikeless

ASICS Women's Gel-course Glide Golf Shoes

ASICS Women's Gel-Course Glide Golf Shoes


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.

Price at time of publish: $80

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

Best Waterproof

Callaway Women's Coronado Golf Shoe

Callaway Coronado Spikeless Golf Shoes in grey and light blue


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.

Price at time of publish: $79

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

Best Budget

Under Armour Women's Charged Breathe Sl Golf Shoe

Under Armour Golf Shoe blue and white


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.

Price at time of publish: $85

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

Best Style

G/Fore Welt Stud Gallivanter Women's Golf Shoe

G/fore Welt Stud Gallivanter Women's Golf Shoe

PGA Tour Superstore

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.

Price at time of publish: $250

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

Best Versatile

Nike Ace Summerlite

Nike Ace Summerlite


Why We Love It:  This is ideal footwear for a day when you’re headed to the club but haven’t decided what you’ll do when you get there.

What to Consider: They’re to be worn on course in dry weather only.

The Nike Ace Summerlite offers golfers a “kick” that’s casual yet legitimate as golf gear. Its comfort features include a super-breathable mesh fabric upper with a smooth, micro-suede lining that will feel like a favorite pair of socks, even when you aren’t wearing any.

Among golf professionals, this is footwear that’s categorized as a “teaching shoe”— the pros’ term for something that’s all-day comfortable but serves the purpose when it’s time to step in and demonstrate a classic swing. Nike has updated it with a new, integrated traction pattern that retains lightweight comfort without sacrificing necessary traction.

Price at time of publish: $75

Sizes: 5-12 | Upper material: Mesh fabric | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 7.1 ounces

Best Breathable

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam Breathe Golf Shoe

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam Breathe Golf Shoe


Why We Love It:  A design that minimizes what’s between you and the fresh air still brings a serious-golf look, down to the pyramid-style traction nubs that line the outsole.

What to Consider: It’s a great pair to own if you’ve also got a waterproof alternative.

In athletic footwear, comfort is built on support, cushioning, and breathability — this New Balance model specializes in the latter but certainly checks those other two boxes. While mesh fabric is the material of choice when you want a shoe to breathe, adding some non-mesh overlays strategically, as seen here, lends important support strength.

In the midsole and insole of the Fresh Foam Breathe is a one-two comfort punch. A “cloud-like feel” is promised at the midsole by New Balance foam that’s proprietary and properly thick. Additional cushioning just below on the insole virtually guarantees smooth striding. All this is from a shoe that weighs in at just 7.8 ounces.

Price at time of publish: $50

Sizes: 6-11 | Upper material: performance mesh upper with synthetic overlays | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 7.8 ounces

Best Arch Support

Skechers Go Golf Arch Fit Balance

Skechers GO GOLF Arch Fit Balance


Why We Love It: The design specifications that make this an arch-supporting shoe come from top sports podiatrists.

What to Consider: They can only handle moderate amounts of moisture.

True to its heritage in sports footwear, Skechers digs deep into the science of foot fitness to produce its Arch Fit golf shoe for the female player with particular mid-foot support needs. Help comes in the form of an orthotic-inspired insole system shaped over decades with the guidance of sports podiatrists who’ve examined 100,000-plus 3D scans of human feet.

Rounding out the features package of the Skechers Go Arch Fit is a Goodyear Performance Outsole built to deliver high-end traction, stability, and durability. This golf shoe isn’t made for extreme wet-weather golf, but the water-repelling treatment to its mesh-and-synthetic upper should easily handle moderate amounts of moisture. Medium and wide widths are available throughout the size run.

Price at time of publish: $110

Sizes: 5-11 | Upper material: Water-repellent mesh and synthetic | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 8.4 ounces

Best Traction

Adidas S2G Mid-cut Golf Shoes



Why We Love It: The woman on the links who needs performance traction will grasp immediately that this unique half-boot delivers.

What to Consider: If ankle-high is your limit, the SG2 Mid-cut might not be right.

Traction in golf is a dual proposition: the ground-to-shoe connection and the shoe-to-foot connection. Step into this innovative piece of golf footwear, take some big swings, and you’ll feel how both those needs are well-covered.

To help women’s feet grip the turf, Adidas shoe designers have come up with what they call a rubber V-traxion outsole with Thintech cleats — extreme waterproofing is part of this product’s traction-and-stability program. Four shrewdly located plastic spikes protrude from a field of sharply V-shaped permanent mini-cleats. You’re up to your ankles in ground-grabbing gear with the SG2 Mid-cut, even under wet conditions.

For comfort and walkability, there’s a cushioning Bounce midsole. The color choices are notably dramatic, to go with the non-conformist structure of the shoe.

Price at time of publish: $130

Sizes: 5-11 | Upper material: Textile and film | Spiked: Yes (either) | Weight per pair: 10.2 ounces

Why We Love It: The standard-lace version of the FJ Fuel is a stylish, feature-packed performance golf shoe, and the BOA closure option makes it that much better.

What to Consider: It comes in all-white or a gray/pink two-tone — no additional color choices.

It’s been 15 years since FootJoy shoes first came equipped with BOA micro-adjustable precision-fitting. That’s plenty of time to fine-tune the technology for golf shoes and learn how to design them to please folks who are into gadgetry and innovation.

Observe the women’s FJ Fuel BOA, and the key design decision is immediately visible, a heel-mounted tension dial. Aesthetically, it seems to be optimal for a golf shoe and as a performance feature that location produces the "down and back" fit that encompasses both the forefoot and the heel. For walking on sloped terrain or taking a big rip with the driver, BOA-provided foot stability is a nice source of added confidence.

Along with that, you get durable and waterproof synthetic uppers, an outsole that blends excellent traction with an anti-torque Stability Bridge and lightweight cushioning throughout the midsole courtesy of FootJoy’s much-praised Stratolite foam. Makes you want to just lace ‘em up — beg pardon, dial yourself in.

Price at time of publish: $160

Sizes: 5-11 | Upper material: Synthetic leather | Spiked: No | Weight per pair: 8.3 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 shoes?

    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 are golf shoes necessary?

    Let’s try a “reverse” answer to this age-old question. If you play golf long enough, you’ll get to the course one day and realize you left your golf shoes at home. The 18 holes you play in sneakers that afternoon won’t be disastrous, but it will be moderately frustrating. You won’t feel “dug in” when you take your stance for a full swing, and that will cost you some power and control. As your friends stride casually up and down grassy slopes, you’ll find yourself taking extra care not to slip. The very slow-swinging player who favors a dead-flat golf course is least in need of golf shoes, for the reasons stated above. Except for one key factor: Without the appropriate shoes, you won’t look like a golfer, and golf is a sport where not looking the part takes away from the experience significantly.

  • How do I clean golf shoes?

    Any golf-shoe cleaning experience that’s effective and low-stress will start when you come off No. 18 and the course where you play has a legit cleaning station. We’re talking about a hand-held compressed air gun — the gold standard — or an electric rotating brush-wheel that’s purpose-built for apres-golf. Using either one to de-gunk your traction outsoles will leave you more than halfway done. The DIY version is a wire brush or super-stiff plastic cleaning brush kept in the trunk of your car. A good-sized terry cloth towel should be in there, too, alongside a bottle of mild spray cleaner like Simple Green — wiping down moist, dirt-spattered golf shoes before they dry is highly preferable to the alternative. From there, if desired, you can do a home shoeshine of your leather golf shoes as you would with street shoes. If your golf shoes are rain-soaked, you’ll want to wipe the outside and then fill the inside with newspaper or dry cotton rags.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

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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