Hello everyone and thanks for dropping by. We get numerous emails asking about golf shoes and I thought I’d spend tonight talking about them. Shoes are like putters… they’re very personal and everyone likes something a bit different. Let’s dive into the world of golf shoes and make them a bit easier to understand.
The perfect golf shoe is a combination of fashion, stability and comfort. It’s important to address each of these when searching for the shoe that works for you. Let’s break each of them down…
Like it or not… there is a definite element of fashion in golf. Shoe companies understand that looking good is half the battle for many golfers. Classic saddle and wingtip designs once ruled the golf shoe business but now golfers can find just about anything with spikes on the bottom. Most of my customers are now leaning towards more casual looks… running shoes, sandals and shoes with some European influence. It used to be that these types of styles offered the most comfort but now companies are finding ways to employ these elements of comfort into more traditional looks.
Let’s face it… running shoes and sandals aren’t for everyone. Think about what you wear when you play and find something that matches that style. Consider where you play… does your swanky private club snub players in sneakers? Consider who you play with. Lots of business is done on the golf course and many people want to at least dress the part. Would you wear sandals to a business meeting?
Fashion is probably the least important factor of the three but it still plays a part in finding the perfect golf shoe. Everything else being equal… fashion may be the deciding factor when comparing two shoes.
Stability is the biggest reason we even bother with golf shoes. There’s a lot going on when you swing a golf club and golf shoes provide the perfect foundation. There are really two aspects of stability… the outsole traction and the internal stabilization.
Outsole traction is pretty obvious when you look at a golf shoe. Today’s soles are a combination of removable plastic spikes and molded bars and nubs. These spikes, bars and nubs aren’t just randomly placed on the sole… companies spend a lot of time looking at things like weight transfer, walking styles, turf conditions and pressure points when designing spike patterns. Have a look at your golf shoes and you’ll probably notice certain nubs and bars facing certain ways. These are there for a reason and they’ll help you keep your balance on even the toughest terrain. These nubs and ridges can also reduce the number of spikes in an outsole. Spikes are almost a secondary source of traction on may shoes.
Internal stability is a bit less obvious but just as important. The trick with golf shoes is to make them extremely stable yet comfortable. Companies focus on the middle of your foot when they want to make a stable golf shoe. This portion of your foot is the bridge between your heel and your toes… if a shoe can control this area it will go a long ways in making the golfer more stable through the swing. Have a look at some of the better golf shoes on the market and you’ll see all sorts of torsion bars and shanks running through the middle of the outsole. These are designed to basically keep the whole foot on the “same page”. A good golf shoe provides maximum stability without sacrificing comfort. That’s why these bars and shanks are made from plastics and rubbers and not from steel!
Pay special attention to the outsole and stability technology when looking at golf shoes. Does the shoe offer any sort of extra traction besides the spikes? Try twisting the shoe to see how stable it will be during the swing. Can you twist the front and the back in opposite directions without too much trouble? If the sole twists like a wet noodle you might want to keep looking.
Tommorrow we’ll have a look at comfort… what makes a shoe comfortable and waterproof. Talk to you tomorrow!