How To Decide: Spiked or Spikeless Golf Shoes

spiked or spikeless golf shoes

Golf shoes today give you a choice between spiked or spikeless golf shoes. Originally, the differences were fairly large. Over time, the gap has closed as each type grew similar in regards to traction and comfort. While the choice is primarily a personal preference, it is good to look at some of the differences when deciding for yourself.

Spiked or Spikeless Golf Shoes: The Differences

Traction

Spieth One Rotational Resistance Spikes

Spiked shoes offer the most traction, as the spikes are larger than the “nubs” typically found on the bottom of spikeless shoes. This allows spiked shoes to perform more consistently in a wider range of conditions. The UA Rotational Resistance spikes (above with the red) on the Spieth One golf shoe are particularly good. The spike’s design helps keep your feet from slipping throughout your swing.

ecco golf shoes

Spikeless shoe soles and tread patterns have evolved, though. The soles on newer shoes have more pronounced, strategically placed, and more durable “spikes.” The ECCO Cage Pro, above, is a great example of this.

If you typically play hilly courses or in wet conditions, spiked shoes may be the better bet. The spikes give you better traction and more stability in those conditions.

Comfort

adidas crossknit boost foam cushion

Traditionally, spikeless shoes offer more comfort, with their casual design and the lack of large spikes on the soles. Spikeless shoes also tended to be lighter, aiding in their comfort. However, the evolution of golf shoe and spike design has allowed many spiked versions of shoes to achieve the same comfort. Boost technology in the soles of the latest adidas shoes offer tons of comfort in both their spiked and spikeless shoes (above). Newer spiked shoes also drop some weight thanks to re-designs and new materials.  In regards to comfort, I would say it is a draw.

Versatility

Footjoy Contour Casual

Perhaps the biggest advantage to spikeless golf shoes is their versatility. Thanks to the lack of spikes, you can put them on at the house, get to the course and walk to the first tee or range and start your round. After you finish, you don’t need to change before visiting the 19th hole or heading home. I even know many people who will wear their spikeless shoes to work or out for a night on the town. The advantage on this one is clearly for spikeless shoes.

Longevity

A sometimes overlooked advantage to spiked shoes is that when the spikes wear down, you can replace them. Provided the rest of the shoe is properly cared for, this can lead to the spiked shoes lasting longer. On the other hand, once the sole of spikeless shoes wears down, it is time to get a new pair.

Conclusion

When picking between spiked or spikeless golf shoes, the best case involves having a pair of each and rotating depending on conditions and course you’re playing. More and more players are going in this direction. Along with increasing the longevity of both pair, this allows some versatility for you. However, if you have to choose, take these factors as well as your personal preference into account.

Helpful Golf Shoe Reviews

Rudi Fann, PGA

Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.

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