If your New Year's resolution is to hit the green more, investing in a pair of the best golf shoes is a good place to start. Most golfers care about a few critical things when shopping for shoes: comfort, fit, and swing stability are often the three most important considerations. Then there are looks, of course, along with traction, breathability, weight, how they perform on hillsides and in wet conditions, and if they keep your feet dry.
Whichever factors you think are key, do yourself a favor: when you first try on a pair, be certain it’s comfortable from the get-go. With golf shoes, there should be no break-in period at all. Walk around in them on the carpet, (so you don’t get them dirty), and make sure your feet aren't slipping or chaffing inside. You’ll spend more time in golf shoes than in any other sports shoes, thus they should be lightweight, well-cushioned, and fit you perfectly. No, your running shoes won't do on the green — here's how golf shoes make a difference to your game.
To help you find the right golf shoes for you, we've tested some of the most popular picks on the market on a number of different greens, in different weather conditions, to find out which is best. Below, we've rounded up the best golf shoes that came out tops in our test, so you can put your best foot forward onto the green.
The best golf shoes to buy right now
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The very best golf shoes on the market will provide you with comfort, a good and snug fit, durable outsole, excellent gripping to the ground, breathability, and great looks. And your feet will feel just as energized when you putt out on 18 as you did stepping up to the first tee. Along those lines, this model hits on all cylinders. Plus it doesn’t hurt that several of the world’s top golfers wear it. That includes PGA Tour pro Dustin Johnson, who says: “I really like its design and style, but the traction, feel and comfort I get definitely make this the best version of the Tour360 that I’ve ever worn.”
This has been adidas Golf’s iconic flagship shoe model for 17 years — the top-of-the-line kicks that public golfers like us can buy in the identical form as the brand’s Tour staffers wear. And from day one, it’s always been mostly about fit and traction. Even if you’ve worn previous iterations, you will instantly notice with this rendition a more natural fit that offers better stability, better traction, and plenty of comfort. It’s built on the brand’s “Feet You Wear” last that mimics the natural shape of the foot, ultimately helping to create a better connection with the ground and accommodate the natural movements of your foot in all directions — as well as generating more power in your swing.
Inside, the shoe shines, with full-length proprietary BOOST cushioning for comfort. It also helps keep your feet energized, while you’re walking or riding the course. An EVA stability frame on the forefoot perimeter lends lightweight stability, comfort, and performance. There’s collar padding to make fit and feel on the top of your foot even better, and a sock liner that adds cushioning. A fresh traction system on the outsole includes cleats that have been directly injected onto the TPU base for stellar gripping. In other words, the shoe includes all of the company’s premium technology and materials.
Speaking of, the upper features premium rich leather (replete with a one-year waterproof warranty), microfiber, and textiles that incorporate recycled materials – that’s all part of the adidas global mission to help end plastic waste. That alone may make you feel good and responsible about your purchase. The shoe is offered in both a laced version and a BOA dial closure model for men and women, as well as a simplified lace model for juniors.
Year in and year out, Puma Golf comes to market with shoes that offer the best of every world — support, traction, comfort, fit, looks, etc. Literally, everything you might look for in a golf shoe is here. This new shoe is a prime example. Let’s start with the looks. It’s offered in four colorways for men and three for women. And you know what? They all look awesome. There’s kind of a rubbery mesh-looking upper with a soft tongue and heel collar. Then there’s an outsole with a white sidewall and an outsole that nicely complements the upper. All within a really nice athletic style. If you showed up to a basketball game or tennis match wearing these, no one would ever think twice that these were the appropriate shoes for the occasion.
The material usage is impressive, as well. The shoe uses proprietary Adapt foam, which is made from a combination of EVA cushioning and an impact-resistant polymer. The combination of the materials creates a platform that provides impact resistance, high energy return, and an excellent ground feel. The multi-material and spikeless outsole, which features a high-durometer, abrasion-resistant TPU perimeter, provides stability and traction on soft surfaces while the central crystal rubber unit gives you exceptional ground-gripping traction and a soft underfoot feel on hard surfaces. Subconsciously or not, that lets you be confident in taking a good whack at the ball from any lie by knowing the shoes will stand their ground. The upper “EXO Shell” is made up of engendered mesh with a TPU film that provides both structure and support, as well as waterproofness with a one-year guarantee.
By the way, as is common with many Puma Golf shoes, this model is offered in both a standard lace model and a dial-up Disc version — both at the same price. The lace looks great, while the Disc makes tightening and untightening the shoes incredibly easy. And while the laces always seem to relax a little during a round, the Disc rarely does — making it convenient. Golfers with narrower feet might prefer the Disc for that reason, while those with wider feet may opt for the laces. Either way, it’s no wonder Puma officials call this shoe their most advanced, stylish spikeless golf shoe they’ve made to date.
Packed full with golf-specific features, the Footjoy Fuel delivers sneaker-inspired looks. And that’s important, especially as golf attracts newcomers from other sports who are used to participating in sports with a certain aesthetic that feels like home to them.
FootJoy used feedback from its tour players throughout the design process of this shoe. The company also claimed that because golf participation is exploding, its designers wanted to ensure this shoe style appealed to men, women, juniors, beginners, and low handicappers, alike — ultimately landing on a clean, sleek-looking athletic shoe that meets the needs of even the most avid golfer.
While introducing the latest version of these shoes, LPGA Tour pro Jessica Korda – who wears the Fuel in competition — says above all, this model is incredibly comfortable: “Very athletic, very lightweight. And I like the way that the spikes are done – spikeless is such a touchy topic because people are afraid they’ll slip. But so far these have been amazing – holding me perfectly” during the swing.
The shoe is made to last. Its synthetic uppers are waterproof and make for a comfortable fit with plenty of durability — something FootJoy is well-known for. These have lightweight Stratolite foam cushioning that ensures ultimate comfort and maximum walkability round after round. The cleatless outsole is armed with plenty of molded traction nubs, as well as an all-new “Stability Bridge” that provides optimal support and control. And its last — essentially the shoe’s foundation — offers a fully rounded toe with a full fit across the forefoot and instep. A toe spring and a slightly narrow heel completes the athletic profile. A padded collar around the heel helps enhance comfort while keeping the foot secure.
That Tour pros commonly wear this model in competition should be enough of an endorsement that it provides plenty of lasting comfort, and that it’s stable enough to handle the most relatively violent swings. So for average golfers, it should be a slam dunk.
It comes in various colorways, in a vast variety of sizes and widths. There’s a traditional lace-up version available, as well as a BOA dial version. The latter will let you get the shoe nice and snug to your foot, and it won’t loosen up until you want it to.
From perhaps the best shoe brand you haven’t heard of, this shoe is amazingly comfortable. It’s actually a popular shoe in trendy Southern California, mainly because the styling fits right in the outdoor lifestyle. There are no cleats on the bottom, so it’s often worn by golfers to the course — and then for the rest of the day while doing whatever.
The Pacific Northwest-based company is big into the environment — thus its #ForeThePlanet social media mantra. So it should come as no surprise that the upper is made of 100% recycled, durable polyester ripstop; the wool liner is renewable and temperature regulating, and the outsole is made of recycled EVA and natural gum rubber. Oh, and the shoe doesn’t come in a cardboard box but rather a renewable shoe bag. How lightweight is it? The company claims it wants its shoes to leave the lightest possible footprint on the planet. It’s so light, in fact, that it’s machine-washable — we don’t know of any other golf shoe that can be tossed around in a washing machine unharmed.
Speaking of washing, this shoe is water-resistant. The insert and liner are anti-microbial and breathable so that they’re comfortable in any kind of weather. The shoe has a traditional drop of less than 6mm, so you will feel comfortable standing over your next shot. Plus, its unique one-width fits all sizing means it can easily and comfortably fit a narrow foot, all the way to EE. But it’s the minimalist and ergonomic design that will lure you in. It looks more like a skateboarding or beach shoe that happens to have traction on the sole. And the traction is more than sufficient for the course, providing good footing when you need it.
Company officials say the shoe and more importantly, the outsole has been tested on tour. In fact, Tour pro Ryan Moore is one of the company’s owners. So he knows what a good golf shoe needs to have. This is a brand that’s been around for many years, actually. It’s just that its earlier models looked more like large clown shoes than golf kicks, so it was a bit more difficult to recommend the shoes. But everything changed a few years ago with the shoe design, and golfers noticed the seemingly overnight upgrade.
This model comes in six solid colors, in sizes from 7 to 15. Walk 18 holes in them and you truly may never wear any other shoe — on or off the course.
Yes, this iconic Southern California golf apparel company has a newer, breezy casual shoe brand. And it’s nothing short of awesome. The Moneymaker is Cuater’s spikeless, lace-up golf shoe that has a versatile, athletic style. And it also happens to deliver useful shoe technical features. Think of the Moneymaker as a slipper that doubles as a golf shoe. Yep, it’s that comfortable. In fact, it may be even more comfortable than most slippers.
First, the technology. It’s super lightweight. And that means that your feet have as much energy after your round as they did before. There’s also plenty of cushioning inside — the company calls this a “SweetSpot Cushioning System” that consists of several layers of cushioning and support while providing all-day comfort. The ultra-light foam midsole enhances comfort and adds a high amount of rebound into your step, which again contributes to how much energy your feet will maintain throughout the round.
The Ortholite foam insole is known for its padded cushion, and it’s also breathable and made with five percent rubber content. The meshy fabric on the upper is also treated to be both waterproof and resistant to stains. The rubbery saddle and heel cup nicely complement the fabric on the upper, as well. The bottom half of the tongue is made of fabric and has padding underneath, but the top part of the tongue is made of a different material. That portion is not padded so it can feel a little thin against the top of your ankle. Yet it does envelope your foot completely, snugly and comfortably.
Then there’s the TPU spineless outsole that has plenty of nubs for ground-gripping and stability out on the course. You will feel confident while making aggressive, full swings — even when the ground is wet or you’re taking a sidehill stance. It just feels solid as you’re standing over the ball. And when you get off the course wearing these, you may well just want to leave them on for the rest of the day.
They look just as at home on the street as they do on the links, as the overall look is simple and pleasant, and has a nice beachy vibe. And it appears to be very well made. It’s offered in four colorways, and in a plethora of sizes that run very true. There’s only one width available, but it will gracefully accommodate pretty much any foot from narrow to extra wide.
Believe the hype from brand spokesperson Tony Romo: Skechers golf shoes are super comfortable. “These are the most innovative and comfortable golf shoes,” says the former NFL quarterback who now plays in competitive golf tournaments throughout the year. “Skechers GO GOLF helps me feel confident on the course, and Arch Fit takes the experience to the next level. The shoes go the distance when it comes to comfort and support, allowing me to focus on my game. I've even won a few tournaments in Skechers over the last few years. Feeling good when golfing is essential, and no one does comfort better than Skechers.”
As with other shoes on this list, wearing the GO GOLF Drive 5 is genuinely comparable to having sneakers on for 18 holes — from a comfort level. And that can make a golf round — especially one in which you’re walking 18 holes — so much more pleasurable. It starts with the above-mentioned patented Arch Fit insole system that’s armed with podiatrist-certified arch support. This was created from studying two decades worth of data and is something the company now puts in all of its highly regarded walking shoes. Essentially it’s a removable, supportive Ortholite comfort foam cushioning insole system for a more comfortable walking experience. It also molds to the bottom of your foot, which helps to both reduce shock and increase weight dispersion for an even more comfortable walking experience. To top it off, the lightweight and responsive insole is known for its padded cushion, is very breathable, and is made with five percent rubber content.
A leather and synthetic upper sports a lace-up front. The outsole comes from tire company Goodyear and coined the “Goodyear Performance Outsole” that delivers enhanced traction, stability, and durability. Again, you’ll find solid footing with pretty much any lie on the course — in dry or moist conditions. Plus you can comfortably wear it off-course, as well, as the casual and simple street styling fits in everywhere.
The shoe is offered in three solid colorways with a brand logo on the side heel and offered in a wide array of sizes. It only comes in a medium width, which the company says is a D but feels more like an E due to the relaxed styling. That should be sufficient for most golfers.
This cleatless shoe seemingly offers everything, including this popular brand’s most advanced technologies. For example, its updated and popular “BIOM” last offers optimal support, the thermoplastic urethane posts on the outside add stability, and the internal technology enables your foot to move naturally and close to the ground. Then there’s the whole breathability and waterproof factor. The Gore-Tex Surround construction — combined with an exhaust grid with large angled openings that suck in fresh outside air and funnel it towards your foot to keep it cool — results in 360-degree breathability that keeps your feet cool and comfortable for the entire round. The upper is made of performance leather, and the inside is lined with a super-stretchy mesh sock that enhances comfort while making it easy to slide your foot in and out.
Then there’s technology that uses specialized fluid materials to form around the anatomical last, ensuring a finely-tuned balance of cushioning and rebound, while also creating a flexible and durable bond without the compromises that are common with stitched or glued assembled shoes. In fact, this shoe is made with fewer seams, for the purpose of keeping it lightweight and flexible. And its sole is low to the ground, which in turn gives you excellent ground responsiveness that lets you confidently take a larger range of motion with your swing — knowing you have stability and control under your feet. And the outsole has separate sections for stability and traction, ground penetration, and rotational support throughout the swing. In other words, don’t underestimate your ability to just swing away and let it fly.
The shoe is available in four colorways for men, including all-black, white/black, concrete/black and white/concrete. It has a sleek athletic look with hints of both classic and timeless elements. Below the upper is a thicker midsole and color blocks on the sides, for a sneaker-style aesthetic. And it also includes a breathable OrthoLite insole that translates to long-term cushioning that can be removed for both extra width and periodic cleaning.
Like most Ecco shoes, these will feel right to you fresh out of the box — lightweight yet solid. There really shouldn’t be a break-in period. And knowing how well-made these are — and that you can take a good hack at the ball without worrying about stability — makes this model a solid consideration when you’re buying your next pair of golf shoes.
New Balance is perhaps best-known for its outstanding and comfortable running shoes. As a result, its golf shoes often are built with similar construction, for extreme comfort out on the course. Its latest shoe for 2022 — the Fresh Foam X Defender — weighs just 11.3 ounces, which is super lightweight for a golf shoe. It has an ultralight and waterproof skeletally engineered “FantomFit” upper that’s welded for ultralight support — imagine a minimalist synthetic performance mesh that keeps things light and breathable, while securing your foot into place.
To enhance the fit, the shoe features a form-fitting tongue that hugs the front of the ankle. It’s all complemented by a soft molded foam compound Cush+ insole for enhanced comfort that won’t sacrifice durability or stability, and a Fresh Foam X midsole cushioning that’s responsive and lightweight. That midsole has been modified for this shoe, to give you much improved energy return with every step, along with reduced weight and the most cushioned underfoot experience to date in a New Balance golf shoe.
The TPU outsole is designed to move with the natural motion of your feet, while you walk the course and take a swing. Its sculpted design lets the outsole provide top-notch traction where you need it and flexibility where you want it. While there’s also a cleated version available, the outsole on this “SL” model is cleatless. But the pattern and volume of protruding nubs recreates a cleated experience as closely as possible — right down to the sound cleats make walking on cement. To top it off, each shoe has a welded form-fitting tongue that helps lock your foot in place.
It’s available in both white/gray and black/red colorways. This is also one of the few golf shoe brands that make its shoes available in a variety of widths, which is huge for golfers with narrow or extra wide feet. Mind you, it’s built on a foundation that has a wider forefoot and shallow toe box, for a roomer fit and ease of fatigue during the round. And there is an 11.1-ounce, spikeless version of the shoe — coined Fresh Foam X Defender SL — that’s also offered, for $10 less. Whichever model you opt for, you will immediately notice the comfort factor the moment you slip your foot into it. It’s what New Balance strives for with its running shoes, as well, and one of the main reasons runners flock to the brand.
You rarely find a company telling you that its golf shoes can help you gain distance. Yet citing a recent independent test, Sqairz claims participants gained 2.2 mph of swing speed wearing these shoes — translating to 8.8 extra yards. Pitchman Sir Nick Faldo openly proclaims that if you swap your shoes to these, you’ll also change your game for the better. The premise is that if you have better balance and stability through the shoe’s wider toe box area, you’ll be able to generate more distance by taking a swing with a fuller range of motion. And that’s actually fairly logical.
So what goes into the shoe? It has a unique square toe design bearing the widest base under the ball of the foot and most-possible ground coverage, to effectuate a more efficient energy exchange, and thus cause an increase in swing speed and distance. The square toe allows your toes to sit naturally in the shoes, for extra comfort, better balance, and more stability. You can make a full turn in your backswing and take an aggressive cut at the ball, without feeling like you’re going to slip. And that can result in more accuracy, as well. The cost of all this: The shoes have an obvious uncontemporary look. And you can’t help but notice it while you’re standing over the ball.
The sole has six replaceable Pivix Softspikes strategically placed under pressure point areas where you need traction most, supported by a series of traction lugs. Inside, there’s an EVA foam midsole for max cushioning. A thermoplastic urethane heel stabilizer spans from the heel into the arch, centering the foot and heel in the shoe, and helping you keep the heel down throughout the swing. That enables proper biomechanics and prevents rollover injuries to your ankles. The uppers are made of premium synthetic leather that’s structured for added support on both the medial and lateral sides of the feet. A gusseted tongue prevents water, sand, and other debris from entering the shoe, while a foam pads the tongue and the collar, for extra comfort. The shoes are breathable, as well, and employ Sta-Put laces that keep your feet in place without needing any mid-round adjustments. And the shoe comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
We’re not saying that these shoes will help lower your score. But there’s no reason to think that they won’t either. After all, having a stable foundation under your feet is an open gate to let you swing more confidently, for sure.
Imagine awful weather conditions for golf. That is downpours and drizzle, cold temperatures, and a very hilly course. That’s how we tested this pair of shoes, opting to walk 18 for the extreme experience. The shoes are a byproduct of a partnership between Asics and Srixon in North America. They’re built on the same platform as Asics’ popular running shoes, and that’s immediately noticeable in both the comfort and flexibility on the course.
To say these feel cushioned sells it short. Wearing these shoes is like putting on your favorite slippers that happen to have traction for a golf swing. They’re every bit as comfy walking off the 18th green as they are stepping up to the first tee. The official word is that they sport ASICS Gel and FlyteFoam that work together to absorb shock with every step. For added measure, comfort padding around the ankles prevents chafing. That’s Asics’ way of letting you know that your feet are well coddled out on the course. You definitely notice the outsole’s flexibility, as well.
Being that they’re lightweight — they hardly tip the scales at 14.4 ounces — they won’t tire your feet out during a round — even when walking. There’s mesh in the flexible and waterproof upper that’s lined with a thin polyurethane film, while more mesh at the vamp and quarter panel enhance support. And even though the turf conditions were rather miserable to play golf on this particular day, the shoes kept everything inside dry and comfortable. An Ortholite insole also provides additional cushioning and ventilation.
Cleatless, these also feature an “FG” traction sole pattern that the company claims places gripping exactly where needed — to lend stability and footing throughout a golf course’s terrain. Other than slipping on the cement cart path just off the first tee, these held their traction quite well from that point on. But beware if you do step on wet pavement wearing them. Taking aggressive cuts on the wet grass and sand was thankfully never an issue. There’s also rearfoot cushioning that reduces impact shock while you walk, as well as toe and lateral rubber wraps that help maintain balance throughout a swing.
The comfort factor and flexibility actually led us to try jogging in these after the round. And we concluded that they could probably be used for running shoes, in a pinch. The size fits true, as well.
What to look for when choosing the best golf shoes
The best golf shoes should be lightweight, well-cushioned, and fit you perfectly. Because bones and ligaments can take a pounding during an 18-hole walk, your feet need a stable outsole and a reinforced upper for support. That’s why we’re listing several models that use running shoe outsoles, materials, and cushioning features that help enhance forefoot flexibility and heel stability. In other words, the shoes naturally move with your feet. And whether you choose cleated or non-cleated models, you want to make sure that you have enough traction to swing a club, as you generate power by pushing off your feet to start the downswing. If your shoes slide the slightest amount, you’ll lose precious power. So again on the carpet, try taking a few mock swings to ensure you have that stability.
Finally, feet can get wet while playing golf from the outside — morning dew or rain seeping in — or from the inside, where you perspire about a shot glass of water per shoe during a round. That’s why good shoes tout some sort of ventilation and moisture-wicking lining.
No matter what golf shoes you end up buying, you should make sure to keep them in good condition. Here's how to clean your golf shoes.
How we test the best golf shoes
We test the best golf shoes by playing golf in them. Our expert testers put the golf shoes through their paces on and off the green, in multiple conditions, and on multiple courses. When testing, they are looking for comfort, cushioning, and support when walking and playing, as well as how waterproof the shoe is, and how ventilated it is.
Is it OK to play golf in running shoes?
In a word, no. We asked a golfing expert whether golf shoes really matter and he said, "Golf is no different from any other sport. There are features of the golf shoe that work with the game of the golfer, their swings, and their foot movement."
While you might be able to play in your everyday sneakers, there are drawbacks to doing so. Golf shoes will have better traction than sneakers, and most golf shoes are waterproof, while most sneakers are not.