Golf shoes are part of the essential equipment list for a successful round of golf. The dress code in most good golf clubs would suggest that wearing golf shoes is required. I had a look at the dress code rules regarding shoes at a couple of golf clubs’ in my local area, they state on their websites:
- Recognised and conventional golf clothing and footwear only may be worn.
- Royal Winchester Golf Club – https://www.royalwinchestergolfclub.com/visitors/dress_code/.
- We request that members and guests wear clothing which is appropriate for the playing of golf. Jeans, military style trousers and collarless shirts are inappropriate.
- In the Clubhouse – We aim to provide pleasant facilities for members and guests to prepare to play their game and afterwards relax in a comfortable lounge area. In the club lounge we require that smart clean and dry clothing and shoes are worn but that caps and golf shoes are not worn. In the ‘Sports Bar’ you are able to wear golf shoes. Hockley Golf Club – https://www.hockleygolfclub.com/dress_code.
Their dress code rules are basically saying you should wear golf shoes on the course and not wear them in the clubhouse. Some clubs will have a sports bar, so you can have a drink straight after your round. This is sometimes referred to as the “Spike Bar” and has the name suggests you can wear your golf shoes. However, they would expect you to change out of any wet gear and your shoes if you were going into the main club house area.
Golf club dress codes can seem a little stuffy however, when you think about them they make sense. Golf shoes help you keep stable during the golf swing due to the grip the spikes or ribbed soles have. That’s a good enough reason to wear them if you want to play well. Also, you would not want to trapes mud and grass through the club house, so changing into clean shoes after your round makes sense.
Golf Shoes Types
Historically golf shoes had metal spikes were fitted with removable metal spikes on the sole, which helped with stable contact with even in soggy conditions. The spikes could be removed for cleaning with a tool called a spike wrench.
This type of shoe is still available however, many clubs require that you wear soft spiked shoes, because the old metal spikes can damage the tee box and green turf.
Rubber-dimpled soled golf shoes were originally developed just for summer golf when conditions are dry, these are an increasingly popular alternative. These are my personal preferred option for summer, but I do have a waterproof pair of soft spike shoes for the winter months.
The Modern Golf Shoes
Golf has a history of being classed as an old man’s sport however with an increase in the profile of the game through media coverage and the money that brings to the game, perceptions have change. The young top-class players train like athletes and have sponsors who ensure that they are in the latest high Tec, high performance but fashionable gear, including shoes.
Although you can still purchase the traditional design in shoes, the modern golf shoe can look more like a pair of training/deck shoes. The next generation of premium performance golf shoes provide the most stable and comfortable shoe ever created.
Innovations include wider cleat positioning to maximize ground force, something that is key for maintaining balance creating power with control during the swing. Some have a power strap that creates a harness that regulates footwork through the swing, providing a locked in supportive feel. The modern materials and construction provide underfoot cushioning and a feeling of comfort that can reduce the need to break shoes in and reduce foot discomfort, that can help make you round more enjoyable. Walking the last 6 holes with a blister is not an enjoyable experience.
Looking After Your Shoes
Looking after your golf shoes will help prolong their look, performance and feel. You golf shoes will get wet and dirty during a round the damper the conditions underfoot the worse they are going to get. So cleaning and drying your shoes after each round will help them last longer, look and feel better for longer saving you money. I would recommend:
- Rotating shoes between summer and winter, maintained the rotation of two pairs of shoes will provide a lightweight version for summer and a more robust waterproof version for winter play.
- Make sure you untie the laces when you put on or take off your shoes, this will help prevent the breaking down of the heel section. Damage to the heel section can cause improper fit and cancan cause blisters, which is a pain literally.
- Check your cleats between rounds, make sure that you clean them out removing any grass or mud, replace any that are damaged or missing and retighten them.
- Do not store your golf shoes in your car boot, high temperatures can break down shoe materials resulting in decreased lifespan of your shoes.
Post-Round Shoe Cleaning & Care
- Clean leather or synthetic golfing shoes after each round by removing dirt and residue using a mild soap and water. Allow to air dry at room temperature.
- If you have played in wet conditions and your shoes become wet, clean them quickly after the round. Place crumpled newspaper inside the shoes this will help to soak up the water.
Cleaning Mesh Shoes
- Soak in the sink with a squirt of liquid dish soap or laundry detergent and warm water.
- Use a soft cloth and brush to clean the mesh.
- Blot or dab at the mesh with a cold water dampened cloth to remove the residue.
- Allow the shoes to air dry. Do not place the shoes directly in the sun, allow them to air-dry in indoors.
Check out this video from FJ for a demo of how to clean your shoes:
Shoes Bag or Not
I would suggest that you buy yourself a shoe bag to store you shoes. This will provide you with storage to keep them in your golf locker or the boot of the car. Putting dirty wet golf shoes in your locker or car boots never a good idea. Your partner will not appreciate the mess or smell of wet dirty golf shoes and it will add to your chores list.
Well that’s all for now I hope you enjoyed reading the blog and it answered any questions you had about golf shoes. I look forwarding to catching up with you again in my next article.