Tons of books and articles have been devoted to the art of golf. Numerous studies have researched and analyzed the mechanics and biometrics of the golf swing. Other scholars researched how different golf clubs affect the golf swing. However, in the play of golf, every piece of equipment can make a difference. Although often underestimated, golf shoes can also affect the quality of your golf swing.
Golf shoes are a much more critical part of the golf equipment than some golfers can think. Their quality and properties affect the overall game of golf in numerous ways. In this article, we will identify seven ways that golf shoes affect your golf swing in the main.
Many golf players perceive golf shoes as a fashionable complement to golf clothing. However, golf shoes are designed specifically to support and enhance the performance of the golfers who wear them. In golf, performance and swing personify the same thing; therefore, golf shoes affect the swing directly. Golf shoes may affect the swing positively or negatively, depending on their appropriateness for both the player’s physics and the weather and terrain conditions.
Golf Shoes – An Introduction
Golf shoes are a type of sports shoes designed explicitly for different weather conditions and golf course terrain specifics. They can be spikeless or with spikes attached to the sole. The spikes can be made of metal or plastic (soft spikes), intended to keep the balance and increase the traction of the golfer during the swing, on greens, or in wet conditions. Spikes usually are replaceable and are attached to the sole via thread or twist lock. (1) Spikeless shoes can also be worn as casual sports shoes out of the golf course.
Golf Shoes And The Swing
In golf circles, it is a well-known maxim that the golf swing is pivotal to this sport, and the ability to improve and master it provides superiority on the golf course. Our feet play a significant role in the complex motion of the swing, and shoes, consequently enhance that role. As we already identified in our shoes’ presentation above, the ways they contribute to the swing provide balance and traction. Below, we present you five more ways, seven altogether, that your golf shoes can affect your swing.
- Stability of the stance
- Speed and Distance
- Support and Comfort
List 1 Source Note (2)
Stability Of The Stance
According to professionals, one of the most crucial aspects of any golf swing is the solid foundation, and golf shoes, especially spiked, provide exactly that. They lock in your stance in a reliable position and allow the golfer to focus on improving his swing and developing his game. Wearing inappropriate shoes or just sneakers may lead to slipping or excess shifting of the feet, which can cause undesirable outcomes. Many golf shoes have built-in stabilizers along the side of the arches to help keep the feet from shifting or sliding right and left. (3)
Traction is a crucial factor when you perform golf swing on the green, muddy, and hilly terrain or in wet conditions. Lack of good traction decreases stability and the swing’s power since our feet use the ground as a strong point while swinging. It can also lead to slips, which usually result in a mis-hit. Spiked golf shoes provide excellent traction, so necessary during the golf swing. Detachable twist spikes on the outsole of the shoes help golfers maintain traction on various golf course surfaces. (2)
A very typical feature of the golf swing is that it is performed while standing still. In this position, the golfer needs a larger shoe base to be able to maintain good balance. Golf shoes are specifically designed with a larger sole and a broader shoe base to ensure this balance. Other types of athletic shoes do not have such a broad base because, unlike golf, their usage usually includes intensive foot movement. (2)
Speed And Distance
A study assessing human kinetics during the golf swing found a relation between a golf shoe’s outer sole design features, the speed while swinging, and the achieved distance of the shot. The study indicates that depending on the shoe you are wearing, you can create a natural coil and increase vertical force into the ground. It results in 8 to 30kg more force that you can release onto the ball. The more resistance upon the ground you create, the more speed and power you will generate in your swing. (4)
Versatility is paramount when you have to play golf on rugged or hilly terrain. Golfers often have to step on an awkward slope and swing a club. Golf shoes are designed to be flexible and allow the foot and ankle to adjust to the different surfaces. Unlike golf shoes, other sports shoes lack flexibility because they are designed to support a player’s foot and ankle. (2)
Many modern golf shoes are made of materials that increase breathability. Breathable cushion material absorbs moisture, preventing sweating feet and allowing them to breathe. A sweat foot can slip inside the shoe and upset your balance and stability during the swing. Many golf shoes have full-length inserts to reduce the translation of the foot within the shoe and potentially enhance accuracy and speed. (2)
Support And Comfort
It would help if you felt comfortable with no pressure on the feet while performing the swing. The leather and other light modern materials used to manufacture golf shoes make them flexible, light, and comfortable. Many golf shoes have extra padding inside that supports the mid-foot and intakes any eventual shocks. This mid-foot support is significant when driving the ball because golfers end their stroke on the balls of their feet. (2)
Golf Shoes FAQ
Do Golf Shoes Improve Your Game?
Your golf will benefit from the advantages that golf shoes provide. Golf shoes will keep you stable, flexible, and balanced while you swing and on the putting green. You will be secured against slips, fatigue or injuries, and bad weather conditions. In addition, you will feel comfortable and confident while playing. Finally, yet importantly, good golf shoes complement your good appearance.
Why Are Golf Shoes Spikes?
Golf shoe designers have good reasons to put spikes on some of their models. Spikes will provide better grip traction and support and will likely produce a bit more edge-wise stability than spikeless shoes. They provide an excellent foundation for your game, whether playing conditions are wet-dry, hilly, or flat. It might be the superior choice if you are playing a moist or hilly course. However, spiked shoes are appropriate to be worn only at the golf course, not anywhere else except maybe the soccer field or baseball diamond.
Are Spiked Or Spikeless Golf Shoes Better?
Buying golf shoes, you have options to choose between spiked and spikeless shoes. Which type is better is an individual feeling more than a general rule. Modern spikeless shoes today are not far behind in terms of traction, stability, and support. Spiked golf shoes do provide much more grip on soggy ground. However, spikeless shoes provide more balance and comfort.
The Last Thought On Golf Shoes And Swing
With the evolution of golf as a sport, the competition between golfers increases too. The golf swing is the basis of the game, and every other element is created to support it. The complex motion of swing includes nearly all parts of the human body, and a pair of good golf shoes can secure the correct interplay among them. Wearing a pair of modern golf shoes while playing, you can combine professionalism with fashion.
- 1. Wikipedia, “Golf Equipment.” Wikimedia Foundation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_equipment#Shoes Assessed May 2, 2021
- 2. Cicely Richard, “What Are the Benefits of Golf Shoes?” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, https://golftips.golfweek.usatoday.com/benefits-golf-shoes-1602.html Assessed May 2, 2021
- 3. “Spiked vs. Spikeless Golf Shoes.” PRO TIPS by DICK’S Sporting Goods, https://protips.dickssportinggoods.com/sports-and-activities/golf/spiked-vs-spikeless-golf-shoes Assessed May 2, 2021
- 4. Worsfold, Paul, et al. “Kinetic Assessment of Golf Shoe Outer Sole Design Features.” Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, Asist Group, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761538/ Assessed May 3, 2021