Cant seem to find an answer to this one, so I will toss it out to all you good people out there. It seems to me that sport shoes that truly need spikes are those involving sprinting on turf, like football, baseball, soccer, rugby. But golf? I can understand they help you while walking on wet or slippery turf to your ball, but do they really have a function with the golf swing? Furthermore, spikes seem to interfere with turning of the right leg and flexing the right knee at the end of a full swing. I find I do better without them but feel like I might be missing something here. Does anyone out there not use spikes? Are there any Pro Golfers that chooses not to use them?
Do golf shoes really need spikes?
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In 1995, a farmer from Azle, Texas named Robert Landers qualified for the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) in 1995. He made a name for himself by playing in tennis shoes. See sports story link:
As for spikes or not, I can practice short game or play a par 3 round with nubbie-soled training shoes. Otherwise, I want to play spikes. On hilly courses, it's hard to keep your footing without spikes. A friend who started playing golf showed up with street oxfords on. He almost slipped and fell on several full shots.
Spike patterns show more variety in recent years. Look at recent Footjoy and Etonic ads to see different offerings in spikes. Also, one of the replacement spike companies makes spikes which can be put at different heights within the same shoe. One pattern promotes stability, the other power. Anybody remember which kind of spike this is?
It depends on the conditions and course. When it's damp or raining, I have to chance to play proper golf without spikes that keep my feet in place. If it is really dry and warm, walking without spikes will probably work. You are pushing off the ground in the golfswing, a slipping back foot becomes annoying really quick. It does depend a bit on your swing, some can probably swing like they always do on wet grass. If you face a sidehill shot though on wet grass, gravity won't be nice.
I can chime in and say that I have had no issues at all with my TRUE golf shoes in both dry and damp conditions. I was skeptical at first but all my fears were quelled a couple weeks ago. Played a damp course, walking, and had no slippage at all. I've worn them to the range and hit off wet mats (notorious for slippage) and had no problems.
Nike makes a golf shoe that's kind of a hybrid. I think it has 3 spikes on each shoe along with nubs. The only downside I've found is the spikeless shoes (Ecco, TRUE, Nike) are expensive. You can find a $65 pair of spike shoes easily - the others are $120+.
I wear my shoes whether on mats at the range or out on the course. They're only a cheapy pair of Footjoy's with Soft Spikes in them but I've found them to pretty much be a requirement. Even at the range I've found that without spikes my rear foot tends to twist outward on the backswing which loses me power and balance and also extends my backswing more than I'd like it to be.
I'm a fan of the spikeless golf shoes, I think there are easier on my feet when walking, I don't swing hard so I don't really have an issue with not having traditional spiked golf shoes. I have even, if you can imagine, got to the golf course and forgot my golf shoes and played in tennis shoes and had no issues. Personally I think golf shoes are as much phsycolgical as practical, much like wearing a glove or a hat or sunglasses or any other mirred of things we golfers do.
I guess the other thing to bear in mind is the type of course you play and the time of year. In the UK, especially around Surrey the ground is a clay soil which gets very muddy, thick and 'gungy' during the off season. There's no way you'd be able to play without some type of spike on your shoes and even if you do you're still liable to be slipping all over the place.
I think it depends a lot on your swing. For me, I load a lot of my power into and then off of the ground throughout my swing. If I wasn't wearing shoes with spikes, my right foot would slide backwards easily on the downswing as I move onto my left leg and "push" off the ground.
So in my view, golf shoes with some sort of spikes is absolutely critical.
You're probably right, golf probably doesn't need spikes as much as the other sports that do, but when you're trying to swing a golf club with tolerances of a fraction of an inch, maintaining every bit of stability is helpful. You really don't want your feet sliding unnecessarily during the swing, even by a couple millimeters. If you feel like you're losing your balance, even for a split second, you can compromise your shot. You may not need spikes on most shots, but if it's virtually certain that you'll need them for some percentage of your shots, why not wear them?
Nelson didn't invent golf shoes. Here's a link: http://www.golflink.com/facts_4788_history-golf-shoes.html
Earliest Golf Shoes
One of the earliest references to spiked golf shoes appears in an 1857 issue of The Golfer's Manual. In the Scottish publication, novice golfers are advised to wear stout shoes "roughed with small nails or sprigs" to walk safely over slippery ground.
In 1891, golf shoes with separate screw-in spikes were introduced. While they provided better footing for golfers and were more comfortable than some of the hob-nail shoes and boots worn by some golfers, during the next century groundskeepers complained about the spikes damaging the greens.
Spalding introduced the "saddle oxford" style of shoe with an extra saddle-shaped piece of leather around the laces in 1906. It was originally designed for racket sports, but didn't gain popularity there. It did become a standard look for golf shoes and was still being worn into the 21st century.
anyhow, I can't imigiane playing without a good pair of golf shoes, aside form the traction spikes offer when walking and during your swing, , most nowadays are also water proof, built with a firm and solid footbed designed to give you the proper platform for your stance.