Do You Need Golf Shoes To Play Golf – (Spiked Vs Spikeless)

golf shoes
Golf shoes have come a long way. But are they necessary?



Wearing golf shoes is not required, but they do have some advantages. A look underneath the shoe will reveal spikes for improved gripping support. These plastic spikes prevent golfer’s feet from slipping and injuries.


Top 5 Reasons To Own A Pair Of Golf Shoes

  1. Spikes: Many golf shoes contain grips underneath, Grips provide stability, which prevents you from sliding around and falling over

  2. Lightweight: A good pair of golfing shoes should be lightweight. This is important since you may be on your feet for long periods of time.

  3. Waterproof: You’ll want to select water resistant shoes if you decide to buy a pair. Playing golf in the rain isn’t the most enjoyable activity, but it’s a whole lot worse with soggy socks!

  4. Improved Traction & Stability: I noticed a quality pair of golf shoes is made a little differently. They do tend to focus more on keeping your foot stable. This is achieved by creating a shoe with a low profile. This results in improved traction and stability. 

  5. Added Cushioning & Comfort: Enjoy extreme comfort thanks to thin synthetic material and a low profile cut. Shoe companies know golfers need to play comfortably. In fact if you buy a spikeless pair, you can even use them as walking shoes.


Are Golf Shoes Required?

golf shoe plicy
Most clubs are relaxed on wearing golf shoes.

As a golfing enthusiast I decided to do some uncommon research. I wanted to know exactly how strict golf courses were on players wearing golf shoes. Furthermore, I wanted to find out whether golf shoes were still a requirement, or if the rules been relaxed.

I did some extensive online research, and was surprised to see that most golf clubs don’t force you to wear golf shoes these days. In the past, clubs where more strict on this policy, so I’m glad things are changing for the better.

You’ll find any clubs now allow sneakers, leather shoes and even sandals. The only common rule I saw over and over again was the banning of metal spikes. Most courses won’t allow shoes with metal spikes as they can damage the grass.

In fact, only 20% of courses force players to wear golf shoes.


Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes

Aside from choosing which brands how to buy, you’ll need to make 1 more big decision. You’ll need to decide between spiked and spikeless golf shoes. 

Both spiked and spikeless do offer increased grip and stability, but there are some differences you should know:

Spiked Shoes:

  • Provides more grip than spikeless models
  • Contains 6-12 spikes 8-10mm long. Usually made from plastic.

Spikeless Shoes:

  • More comfortable to walk in than spiked models
  • Contains a flat surface with rubber studs or dimples instead of spikes


When I bought my first pair in 2010 things were very different. Sure the Internet was around, but it wasn’t as developed as it is today. Amazon was around, and there were definitely websites that sold golf shoes. However back in 2010, I didn’t know which website to trust. And I don’t remember seeing any spikeless shows back then anyway.

So what I decided to do was what most people did back then, visit my local golf store! I remember decided that day that I was going to buy a new pair of golf shoes. 

I thought it would be a pretty easy process, but even back then it wasn’t so simple. On the store shelves I saw many Nike and Adidas golf shoes for sale. 


Why Spiked Shoes?

When looking at both spiked and spike less shoes, the differences are obvious. Spiked shoes have spikes (also known as cleats) on the underside of the shoe. Turn your shoe upside down, and you’ll find either metal or plastic spikes sticking out.


  • Provide extra grip
  • Better traction especially in wet conditions
  • Are more common, therefore easier to find
  • Tend to last longer than spikeless


  • The spikes, make them less comfortable to walk in
  • May dig into and damage the ground
  • Are Less stable to walk in due to the added shoe height
  • Require maintenance or replacing of the spikes


First came the metal spikes which were very revolutionary at the time. Each shoe had 8 to 9 spikes, and it seemed golfers around the world using them! The extra grip allowed golfers to not worry where they walked.

Spikes tend to made from soft plastic, but there was a time when they were made from metal.

The surface of a golf course can get very slippery at times. The morning dew or rain can cause the fairway to become a hazard. Thanks to spikes, the chance a golfer would slide down sand bunkers or slip over grass was greatly reduced.

However metal spikes have continued to cause some outage over the years. The metal spikes would end up damaging the course, in particular the green. Thankfully, the days of seeing deep holes all over the green are fading away.

This is when metal cleats where finally replaced with more environmentally friendly soft plastic spikes.

While metal varieties came in 8 or 9 spikes, Plastic spiked shoes have 6 to 12 spikes.


The Different Types Of Spiked Shoes

  • Plastic (cheapest) Plastic spikes are the most common shoes now. They offer strong traction and are the most affordable type of shoe you’ll find. These are better than metal types, and are what I recommend using. 

  • Metal (middle of the range) Metal spikes are still used on the pro circuit by many golfers. I don’t like metal as the studs will create holes in the ground and rip out grass.

  • Ceramic (most expensive) The only players I’ve seen wear ceramic spikes is some of the pros. These are much more expensive than the other options, mainly due to their added strength.  

Do Spikeless Golf Shoes Work?

In more recent years spikeless shoes have entered the market. While you’ll still find the majority of pros using spikes, spikeless models are worth considering too.

Although you won’t notice it a great deal, shoes with no spikes are definitely more comfortable to use. Being a relatively flat shoe, your foots center of gravity is much lower to the floor. If the conditions are dry, this results in a more stable shoe to walk in.

However if the grass is moist, then you’ll feel more comfortable wearing spiked shoes. The spikes really do offer better traction in harsher conditions.

One thing to keep in mind is that spikeless shoes do tend to collect grass clippings. You’ll find grass and dirt getting stuck in the grooves of your sole. This doesn’t happen with spiked shoes. Therefore I must warn you that spikeless shoes will tend to get work out faster than spiked models.

Having said that, these shoes are fine for most players, especially non professionals. If I had to choose between the two, I would buy spikelesss myself solely for the added comfort.



  • Are more comfortable to wear
  • Offers better stability as your foot is lower to the ground
  • No spikes means you don’t have to replace them 


  • The spikes, make them less comfortable to walk in
  • Are Less stable to walk in due to the added shoe height
  • Traction isn’t as good spiked shoes in wet conditions
  • Shorter lifespan than spiked shoes

Best Golf Shoe Brands

Fortunately there are many different brand choices when it comes to golf footwear. I have noticed the quality of all golf shoes in general has significantly improved over the years. While improved quality may be the case, there are still plenty of dud products in the market.

I have compiled a list of my favorite companies for you to look at.  Do your own research and you’ll see plenty of favorable reviews on the products listed below.


Nike Golf Shoes 

  1. Nike Men’s Explorer 2
  2. NIKE Men’s Roshe G
  3. Nike Men’s Lunar Command 2

Adidas Golf Shoes 

  1. Adidas Men’s Tour 360 Boost 2.0
  2. Adidas Men’s Adipower s Boost 3 Onix/C
  3. Adidas Men’s Adipower s Boost 3 Onix/


Asics Golf Shoes 

  1. ASICS Men’s GEL-Linksmaster
  2. ASICS Men’s GEL-Preshot Classic 2
  3. Asics Gel Ace Pro Tour 2


Ecco Golf Shoes 

  1. ECCO Men’s Biom Hybrid 3 Gore-tex 
  2. ECCO Men’s Biom Hybrid 2 Hydromax 
  3. ECCO Men’s Cage Pro 


Sketchers Golf Shoes 

  1. Skechers Performance Men’s Go Golf Elite 2 
  2. Skechers Men’s Go Golf Elite 3
  3.  Skechers Men’s Go Golf Pro 3 Lx


List Of Golf Clubs & Their Shoe Policy

I have compiled a list below of my favorite courses and their policies on footwear.

(please check with club for current policies)

Course Name | State | Golf Shoe Policy

Chevvy Chase Country Club | CA |  Not required

Sterling Hills Golf Club | CA | Not required but must be soft spike, soft sole or tennis shoes.

Eagle Oaks Golf & Country Club | NJ | No shoes with metal spikes – No sandals – no flip flops – no golf shoes with spikes on carpets

Four Seasons Golf Resort
 | NY | Required

The Colony Golf Club |
FL | Not required

Champions Gate | FL | Golf Shoes without metal spikes are required. When it comes to other shoes, ask the club

Wollaston Golf Club
MA | Not required

Wescott Gold Club
 | SC | Not required. Sneakers are allowed. Shoes with hard sole and boots not allowed.



I hope you now have a much clear picture of golf shoes and why I like to wear them on the green. Most courses will allow you to use your sand shoes provided they are don’t look like sneakers. 

However I find a good pair of golf shoes does give me piece of mind. It’s nice not worrying about slipping over in front of my friends. It’s also nice to feel more grounded with the added traction support.

That’s why I feel everyone should own a pair of golf shoes if they can.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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