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Golf Shoes: Equipment or Apparel?

04 JUN 2019

Anybody that thinks they can get away with a single pair of golf shoes is missing out. That’s like sticking to one flavour of ice cream.

 By Peter Mumford

 Quick question: do you consider golf shoes a fashion accessory or a piece of golf equipment?

 Sorry, it’s a trick question. The answer is obviously both.

For those of you inclined to stash a single pair of shoes in your locker or the trunk of your car, and wear them repeatedly all season, you’ve made your choice. Presumably, you’ve found shoes that tick all the crucial boxes required in a piece of golf equipment: they look good, feel good, provide comfort and support throughout your round whether walking or riding, and most of all, they inspire confidence.

You might think that last one is a bit weird when discussing golf shoes but consider the rest of your golf equipment. You play your best when you have confidence that your clubs or ball will perform as required whenever you hit a shot. The same should hold for your shoes. How well do you think you could play if you were worried that your foot might slip, or you didn’t have adequate support to hit a shot from a steep sidehill lie? Ideally, you don’t even want to think about your shoes when you’re playing but if they’re a source of discomfort, embarrassment or insecurity, then that could affect performance.

In the days of yore, golfers generally had two pairs of shoes, regular shoes and mudders. With metal spikes, slipping was never an issue but before everything was waterproof, it was critical to have a cheap pair of shoes that could easily be replaced after succumbing to morning dew and torrential rain, while regular shoes were reserved for sunny afternoons.

Thanks to modern materials, you don’t need mudders anymore, so for the equipment crowd, one pair will do. They work, they’re comfortable and hopefully they look good with that pair of plaid shorts you’re so fond of.

At the other end of the spectrum are the fashionistas. One pair of shoes is a sacrilege. You might as well go barefoot. For you it’s a given that golf shoes will be comfortable and provide support while playing. But golf shoes are way more than that. Obviously, they have to look good but that only happens when they’re carefully matched with outfits for both on and off the course.

True fashionistas will have their shoes with the rest of their golf apparel and wouldn’t be caught dead in a mis-matched outfit. Head to toe styling is mandatory.

Fortunately, the design gurus at adidas, FootJoy, Nike and ECCO are just as fashion forward as their apparel counterparts and can produce some truly stunning pieces of footwear. If you’re up on the latest collections, pairing golf shoes with an outfit is no less serious than pairing a fine wine with delectable cuisine.

Realistically, I’m more in the performance camp than with the fashion brigade but I’m trying to let some creativity creep into my footwear choices. It’s difficult though. If you shoot a good score with your latest adidas, how could you possibly jettison them for a colour co-ordinated pair of FootJoys that have never been tested in serious competition? Shouldn’t you ride that winning horse until he can’t go anymore?

That’s another golf mystery I’ll have to raise with my mental coach next time I see him.

In the meantime, here are some terrific shoes that you can find in your pro shop or online in the ClubLink store. They all look good, feel good and will perform in any scenario.

FootJoy Fury


Designed from the inside out, the FJ Fury features the TruFit system to wrap your feet in comfort and support.
Available in store, click here to view 

FootJoy 30th Anniversary DryJoys Tour


A perfect blend of traditional styling and performance and a tribute to the longest running performance golf shoe franchise in the world.
Available in store, click here to view 

adidas Tour360 XT


Designed for comfort and performance, the leather and synthetic upper offers breathability while the BOOST mid-sole provides exceptional cushioning throughout your round.
Available in store, click here to view

adidas Ladies AdiPure DC


Lightweight, water resistant, spikeless golf shoe.
Available in store, click here to view 

Nike Ladies Roshe G


Iconic design includes a pressure mapped outsole for superior traction, a mesh upper for breathability and a cushion mid-sole for extra comfort.
Available in store, click here to view 

FootJoy Women’s FJ Aspire


Lightweight comfort and motion control, 100% waterproof, with Pulsar spikes by SoftSpikes for superior gripping control.
Available in store, click here to view

ECCO Men’s BIOM Hybrid


Waterproof GORE-TEX construction, soft, comfortable feel. Exceptional walking shoe with excellent support.
Available in store, click here to view 

adidas Crossknit 3.0


Spikeless outsole with a lightweight water-resistant upper offers enhanced cushioning and outstanding grip and flex.
Available in store, click here to view 

Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @FairwaysMag