Ever wondered which golf shoe is better? Spiked or Spikeless? Do you really need spikes or is that just a marketing gimmick? What about spikeless shoes? Are they actually any good? Well in this blog we will be looking at the different aspects of these golf shoes and which one wins out in the spiked vs spikeless golf shoes battle.
So, what is the difference between spiked and spikeless golf shoes? While both types of golf shoes are designed to offer traction, spikeless golf shoes are designed for golfers who prefer the feel of the golf course, rather than the feel of the spikes. The main advantage of spiked golf shoes is that they provide more traction, which makes them great for wet conditions or soggy grass. On the other hand, spikeless golf shoes are lighter in weight as compared to spiked golf shoes. Furthermore, spiked golf shoes are more flexible and due to their comfort, you can walk around the clubhouse or a restaurant after a golf match.
I also asked a golf player about his preference for spiked and spikeless golf shoes. Here is what he said:
I’ve worn both. My personal preference is spiked shoes for sure. However, I play in Texas where a lot of the courses are either very dry in the summer, or too wet in the mild months. In either situation, I’ve found that spikeless shoes don’t provide the best grip for my swing.
Spikeless for comfort and Spiked for functioning
Also Read: Best Ecco Golf Shoes
Table of Contents
Why do Golf Shoes have Spikes?
The reason to have spikes on the soles of the golf shoe is that they will help the golfer get a better grip on the muddy ground or when the golf course is dampened by morning dew. Golf shoes with spikes will give you a structured feeling by providing more control over your steps by penetrating the soggy grass. If you are walking on an uneven surface or slopes, and the course is already wet then spikes on golf shoes could save your game.
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes Outsole Design and Traction
By spikeless golf shoes, we assume that they have flat bottoms like athletic or running shoes. But, that’s not true. To improve traction, spikeless golf shoes have textured spikes molded into the outsole. These spikes are called nubs.
Unlike the studs on spiked golf shoes, these short numbs are soft and comfortable. Moreover, they provided you with better stability as they are molded into the sole. An example of such outsole design is the Tri-Fi outsole in Ecco Golf Shoes, which is made of Thermoplastic Urethane material for stability, traction, and durability. From this, it would not be wrong to say that modern spikeless golf shoes are not far behind that spiked golf shoes in terms of traction.
Most golf players recommend Footjoy Sl Pro spikeless golf shoes. They are versatile and have excellent grip, but are not so comfortable like Ecco golf shoes.
On the other hand, spiked golf shoes have long studs made of rubber (soft spikes) or metal. Rubber spikes are generally made of polyurethane material and offer less traction as compared to metal cleats. According to golf experts, only spiked golf shoes with metal spikes show a significant difference if we compare them with spikeless golf shoes.
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes Durability
Spikeless golf shoes are not as efficient as spiked golf shoes. This is because they feature molded rubber nubs that wear down fast and lose their traction, just like the nubs on semi-slicks of autocross racing wheels. These rubber nubs become useless once worn down within six to eight weeks. However, the bright side of spikeless golf shoes is that you can still wear them like your regular sneakers off the golf course as they are stylish enough to walk on the streets.
On the other hand, non-spiked golf shoes allow you to replace outsole cleats without having to buy new spikeless shoes, allowing for more resilient footwear which can be worn several rounds of golf before they need replacing. All you need is a cleat wrench and right spikes so that you can easily get a new grip.
Many people recommend Footjoy DNA Helix spiked golf shoes because of their durability and performance. You should try them out if you’re looking for spiked golf shoes.
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes Comfort
Spikeless golf shoes have a low-profile design with a blend of traction control and the comfort and feel of a regular sneaker. Spikeless golf shoes allow to walk on golf cart flooring without significant wear which spiked golf shoes face on those surfaces. You don’t have to change your shoes after a match if you’re in non-spiked golf shoes as their lightweight and flexibility work on harder grounds. On the other hand, spiked golf shoes tend to feel rigid and heavy due to their studs system.
Furthermore, spikeless golf shoes are lighter in weight as compared to spiked golf shoes as spikeless golf shoes don’t feature an additional material such as a plastic studs system and inserts to fix them.
Another disadvantage of spiked golf shoes is that their long studs put pressure on the pain points of your feet. In the case of spikeless golf shoes, you can get rid of this issue as they feature soft molded nubs. Furthermore, spikeless golf shoes feature soft and cushioned midsole technology such as boost midsole in Adidas golf shoes and polyurethane foam in Ecco golf shoes to maximize comfort.
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes Performance
Swing speed is the major factor that decides whether you select spiked golf shoes or non-spike golf shoes. Spiked golf shoes are for those players who like to swing fast and generate power with every step. These types of golf shoes give you quicker reaction forces and torque, allowing for a faster swing without having to bring your weight fully back onto your heels.
Here’s what a golf player says about the compatibility of spiked golf shoes with swing speed.
I always wear spikes. My swing speed is pretty high and I worry that spikeless shoes will cause me to slip-n-slide at the worst possible moment.Source
For golf swing, you need a solid foundation so that when you swing the hockey stick with your maximum power, you won’t lose your balance. This solid foundation is provided by spiked golf shoes, especially on wet or soggy grass. When you wear spiked golf shoes, you’ll feel more grounded and balanced. On the other hand, the rubber or plastic nubs on spikeless golf shoes provide reasonable stability for casual golfers with light swing performance.
Here’s what another golf player comments on the performance of spiked golf shoes.
I’ve got both spiked and spikeless golf shoes. I feel taller and feel more stable (I often swing too hard) with the spikes. I think it helps with my angle of attack. Wear what’s comfortable. That’s what’s most important.
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes Versatility
Spikeless golf shoes are more versatile as compared to spiked golf shoes. Instead of just being for the golf court, you can use them for normal wear. You don’t have to bring another shoe for the fancy dinners after the game. Spiked golf shoes have just only one purpose, which is playing golf. Golf players sacrifice the versatility of their spiked golf shoes for extra traction on wet grass and improved longevity.
Final Thoughts Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes
So, spiked vs spikeless golf shoes, which one should I get? Ultimately, the choice between non-spike and spike golf shoes depends on your personal preference such as your proficiency in golf, and the condition of the golf course. Spiked golf shoes matter when you’re in sand, pine needles, or taking a full swing. If you live somewhere dry, spikeless golf shoes are good to go. If you live in a wetter climate or with softer conditions, spiked golf shoes are worth taking a look at.
FAQs about Spiked and Spikeless Golf Shoes
Between spikeless and spiked golf shoes, which is a better choice for beginners?
Spikeless golf shoes should be a better choice for beginners. Spikeless golf shoes are lightweight, comfortable, and easy to walk in. Furthermore, beginner golf players don’t have high swing power. So, getting a comfortable pair of spikeless golf shoes is a suitable choice for beginners.