Golf Shoes, Are They Really Worth Buying?
One of the many strange things about golf is that players can and often do take part in the game wearing their ordinary leisure clothes & no golf shoes.
And provided that those clothes allow reasonable freedom of movement for the swing of the arms and club, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. In fact it’s perfectly possible to play good golf without any of the expensive apparel that the golf industry will try and sell you. After all golf shoes will cost you anywhere from $50 to $300
But please don’t try playing golf in your regular shoes - invest in golf shoes.
There are very sound reasons of comfort, performance and even safety which make wearing properly designed and manufactured golf shoes essential.
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Golf Shoes Comfort
Even in these days of the golf cart, playing 18 holes of golf will likely involve you in a considerable amount of walking over a variety of terrain.
You may need to walk up and down hill, on grass, and through sand, scrub and woods. The ground may be muddy or water-logged, or baked dry to the consistency of concrete. The temperature may be 100 degrees or barely above freezing.
But, remarkably, a good pair of golf shoes will cope with all these conditions while keeping your feet warm, dry and fresh.
Golf Shoes Safety
Golf is not generally thought of as a dangerous game, and provided some elementary precautions are observed, it should not be.
That said, trying to propel a golf ball over long distances requires the generation and transmission of very considerable muscular force through bones and joints, and this force cannot be generated or controlled unless the body is firmly braced against the ground.
Since the feet are the only points of contact with the ground, it follows that a secure grip of the kind provided by golf shoes is essential. Losing your footing during the swing will not only invariably ruin your shot but it can also be dangerous given the kind of biomechanical forces you are generating. This is all the more the case if you are forced to adopt an unconventional stance, perhaps with one foot in a sand trap, or on an extreme side sloping lie.
And the grip provided by the sole of your shoe is far from the only factor to be considered. A powerful golf swing imposes tremendous twisting forces on the feet and ankles and it’s imperative to be wearing well-fitting, well-padded shoes to provide support for these vulnerable joints.
Golf Shoes Performance
If you doubt the importance of good golf shoes to your game, try taking a full power practice swing (without club) in just your socks on a polished floor at home.
You may also notice how difficult it is to keep the right knee braced inwards during the backswing, loading it with the power to be unleashed in the downswing. You’ll immediately feel the difference when you repeat this drill with your spikes or cleats gripping firmly into the turf.
And your golf shoes won’t just help with the power in your swing. Your head and, your feet are the poles of the axis around which your swing rotates, so that any unplanned movement of either must inevitably disturb its arc. This means hooks, slices, topped shots and chunks.
Keeping the head quiet while swinging powerfully is a difficult skill which even very good players sometimes struggle with, but there’s no reason for your feet to be moving.
Golf can be a tough game at the best of times. So it’s foolish to make it any harder by trying to play without good quality, purpose-built golf shoes.