Need A New Pair Of Golfing Shoes? Choose From Spiked Or Spikeless

Posted on: 5 November 2015


At one time if you were in need of a pair of golf shoes, your choices were spiked, or spiked. In today's market the spikeless shoe is gaining favor. The following are descriptions and some insight into the pros and cons of both types of shoes.

Spiked Golf Shoes – Historic Pick

Spiked golf shoes provide better traction on the golf course, especially while taking that all important golf swing. Once only available in a basic lace-up with metal spikes, now these shoes are made in a number of styles and offer plastic spikes as an alternative. The spikes make the soles stiffer and can make walking a bit uncomfortable, especially on marathon golf sessions. Changing to street shoes is a must before going into the club house or walking on concrete or asphalt.

Types of Spiked Shoes

  • The classic wing-tip style of shoe is still a favorite among golf purists, though some will go with the plastic spikes. These shoes are lightweight, water-resistant and provide stability on all kinds of turf, even the long blades of grass in the rough, or out of bound areas.
  • Golf boots are not seen that often, but they look more like a combination of an athletic shoe and a hiking boot. They have a padded above-the-ankle cuff that makes them nearly waterproof. They are popular in locations that see lots of rain.
  • Another invention, the golf sandal, is another spiked option that is popular in summer. They look like regular strapped sandals and are not waterproof.

Difference Between Metal and Plastic Spikes

Both metal and plastic spikes wear down and must periodically be replaced. Most brands have wear indicators, sort of like the bits of rubber on a tire that tell you when you need a new set. Some shoes also allow you to switch between metal and plastic.

  • Metal spikes are sharper and longer and are still used by many professional golfers. They do give better traction, but they also tear up the greens. Some golf courses forbid metal spikes so it's best to check the rules before you play somewhere new.
  • Plastic spikes are lighter weight and do less damage to golf greens because the spikes are shorter and wider. The plastic also flexes when walked on, making the shoe more comfortable.

Spikeless Golf Shoes – Relatively New Invention

Spikeless golf shoes have soles covered with rubber studs or a series of dimples that give you stability on the course. These soles are also more flexible than on the spiked shoes, making them more comfortable to wear, even on hard surfaces. Some look like regular athletic shoes, others like the more traditional golf shoes.

The trade off is a less powerful grip of the turf, especially in long, wet grass. Shooting an errant golf ball out of the rough might be more difficult. They also tend to be less water-resistant. The rubber spikes are designed to last the life of the shoe and don't need changed.

For assistance choosing shoes, talk to a professional like The Golf Guys.