PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


The 39 best golf shoes you should consider this season

March 19, 2019

Photo by Chris Shonting

These aren’t your grandfather’s golf shoes, but that’s not to say you can’t find a pair that looks like them. How they perform, however, is thoroughly modern. Improvements in technology mean today’s golf shoes offer vast options. Choices used to come with compromises: Comfort meant giving up performance. Less weight meant less stability. Style worked on casual Fridays, not on tee-time Saturdays. But the new shoes show us a place where consumers get all they want. A shoe can be light and structured, spikeless and full of traction, waterproof and breathable, supportive without looking clunky. Most textile uppers are made to be waterproof, and classic styles use the latest high-tech performance materials. Whether you want a traditional leather upper with a sole full of cleats, a facsimile of your favorite running shoe or any street style in between, you’re covered. When it comes to golf shoes, we’re in a really good place. Even granddad would agree.

If you're someone who likes to wear golf shoes in your daily life, or someone who wants all the cleats you can find, there are shoes for you in this guide—as well as options for everyone in between. The newest shoes make no compromises.


The lightweight, breathable textile upper is built for comfort, but thanks to a water-resistant coating, that casual look is plenty tough, too. The running shoe outsole is durable, while the foam midsole provides a resilient cushion. Price: $180


This is the spikeless option in the company’s lineup with groundbreaking lightweight but sturdy uppers. Research showed certain sections of the upper are stressed more during the swing, so those spots are heated and pressed in the manufacturing process to fortify them with extra stability without adding extra weight. Price: $130

Adidas’ Boost midsole is a responsive material that cushions your feet and restores power when you step on your swing. But strong swings need stability, too, so the most-stressed sections of the lightweight upper are heat-pressed to provide support. Price: $140


This is the latest upgrade in the Adidas family of running-shoe inspired golf shoes. It features the same midsole material in the UltraBoost athletic shoes, designed for energy return on every step. The spikeless outsoles features different patterns and lugs for the inner and outer side of your foot help balance your lateral movement. Price: $160

The latest take on giving a lightweight upper more structure involves a special textile that’s coated with a layer of thermoplastic urethane. That allows for a tighter weave where golfers put the most stress during the swing. The X-shaped lugs on this spikeless model and a central bar in the outsole allow flexibility while maintaining stability. Price: $200

Adidas' Boost technology runs through the company's entire footwear line, and for good reason. It provides a strong combination of comfort and responsiveness. This tour shoe is fully waterproof while still being breathable. Price: $200

This popular tour shoe goes spikeless. The traction elements vary in height to provide extra grip where it’s needed most. The outsole’s X-shape adds stability by better connecting the shoe's forefoot section to the heel. Price: $170


Traditional has never been Biion’s signature (after all, the company shows a video of a left-handed golfer putting on its website). So what the company strove for in its latest offering is a shoe that allows you to feel as if you’re playing barefoot. That’s accomplished with a flexible upper designed to hug the foot, providing just enough stability without making you feel as if you’re in concrete shoes. Plus these spikeless shoes come in colors galore. Price: $85


The midsole’s double-layer approach features a cushioned foam for maximum comfort on top of a firmer foam for support. Channels allow the outsole to give as you flex your feet during the swing. Price: $150


A Gore-Tex lining keeps out moisture but is breathable. A resilient foam insole and synthetic-rubber collar provide extra comfort. Price: $250

You have to dig a shoe with a Yak leather upper. There’s also reinforced heel and toe panels for stability, and a plush collar for comfort. The outsole uses molded traction bars made of firmer thermoplastic urethane to grip the ground from any stance or rotation of the foot. As the shape of the shoe's last is the result of scanning the feet of 2,500 athletes to find just the right level of support. Price: $200

There might be only six cleat receptacles, but this shoe is all about traction. The synthetic sole boasts a variety of molded traction elements strategically placed to let your feet move naturally during the swing. Doing so also reduces weight. The leather upper is protected by Gore-Tex waterproofing. Price: $200


You'll find these shoes on the feet of John Daly. The upper uses a waterproof leather, and the heel is reinforced to help keep you locked in. Price: $80

The company touts this shoe as being “wrapped in innovation.” We’re not about to argue. A smorgasbord of useful comfort features include a collar that molds to the ankle for support and fit. The last features a roomy full-rounded toe, a shallow forefoot and narrow heel. Further innovation comes in the TPU outsole, including thinner receptacles for a lower profile that better players prefer. Price: $210

Any shoes that say “tour” are likely to have a significant traction element to them. No exception here. The “stability pods” on the bottom of the shoe not only house SoftSpikes Cyclone cleats, but are surrounded by pointed nubs for additional contact with the ground. A thick insole provides comfort while a fiberglass composite support bridge delivers mid-foot stability. Price: $190

Traction comes in many variations and here it’s in the form of large, spikeless “traction zones” that provide grip on the golf course, although you can wear them just about anywhere. A lightweight mesh upper lets your feet take a breath, while the foam footbed provides pillowy soft cushioning. Price: $90

A cushioned insole molds to your foot, and the outsole is firmest where you need it most. The upper features a leather-mesh combo that’s waterproof yet breathable. Price: $170

You’ve heard how perimeter weighting in a golf club provides stability? Well, the same holds true in a golf shoe. Although spikeless, the Pro SL boasts a wide outsole that offers plenty of support. It's highly cushioned middle section also helps make hoofing it an enjoyable experience. Price: $190

Inspired by its tour staff, the Tour-S looks like a shoe designed for the grip-it-and-rip-it crowd. Stability features abound, with nine cleats spread out on what the company refers to as “launch pods”—polymer bases that not only house the cleats but provide added traction and stability elements. They're pronounced enough that you can see parts of the pods protruding from the side of the shoe. Price: $250


The Gallivanter is available in a range of color options, and the upper has waterproof leather throughout the line. The footbed was designed to help airflow, so your feet won't overheat. And the small ridges in the insole massage your feet as you walk. Price: $185


The one-piece textile upper is breathable, flexible and fortified with a wide-lacing pattern for extra stability. The thick foam sole adds comfort to this fashion-forward offering. Price: $185


Looking at the upper, you'd think this was a street shoe. Yet look at the outsole and you'll find a traction pattern substantial enough to give you grip on-course (but unobtrusive at the same time). You'll also find a cheeky message on the outsole: one shoe says Fore and the other says Play. Price: $225

The soft, thermoplastic urethane (TPU) in the outsole flexes for support. The shape features more width in the toe box for a better fit. Price: $100

This shoe's two-pronged approach to traction involves significant molded elements combined with six replaceable cleats around the lateral sides and heels. Combined it adds up to big grab. As the name suggests, the company’s Air Zoom technology provides cushioning while the flyweave construction atop the upper reduces weight and adding flexibility. Price: $180

You have enough going through your mind without worrying if your feet are moving inside your shoe during the swing. Nike addresses that with a design that utilizes an internal heel counter to keep your feet firmly in place while you fire away. A soft, foam midsole provides extra comfort without adding significant weight. There’s comfort elements inside, too, thanks to a contoured sockliner for cushioning and support. Price: $110

You probably haven't seen a securing mechanism like this before: Pull on the tab at the top to make the shoe fit more snug and lock your foot in place. Then pull the red tab at the end of your round to loosen and take the shoe off. Price: $200

You want to speed up play? How about eliminating the need to constantly tie your shoes. That’s taken care of with the disc system on this shoe where simply rotating a dial on top gently tightens the adjustable, laceless mechanism until your foot is secure. A new, spikeless traction design takes care of any slippage concerns about wearing a spikeless shoe. Also available with standard lacing. Price: $150

The leather upper is waterproof, with the nine cleats on the outsole give you plenty of traction. The design of the collar helps create a tighter fit, while still being comfortable. Puma used its Ignite foam in the midsole to increase comfort. Price: $200

The mesh lining helps provide a more secure fit, while the leather upper is waterproof. The seven cleats set in Puma's PWRADAPT pods move to give you traction on uneven lies. Price: $150

We hear a lot about how shoes adapt to one’s feet. But this one goes one better, adapting to the terrain. The cleats are in receptacles that move up, down, left or right depending on your lie. The last has a roomier forefoot and a round heel pocket for a snug fit. The foam midsole offers plenty of comfort, too. Puma has a leather upper option as well. Price: $170


Making a shoe that moves smoothly from the street to the tee means starting with a durable sole, the better to preserve the traction elements you’ll need on the course. The mix of polymer and thermoplastic materials strengthen the sole while allowing for efficient traction. The Italian leather and suede upper is lightweight, and a leather lining is soft and breathable. Price: $230


It’s lightweight with an emphasis on comfort and features triangular traction elements that flex for optimum stability during the swing. The mixed-leather and textile upper is waterproof. Price: $120


Matt Kuchar’s preferred model features seven cleats for traction but stays true to Skechers’ commitment to comfort with the wide toe area and responsive cushioning in the midsole and insole. The heel lock design secures the foot for better stability during the swing. Price: $150


True Linkswear used tour-player input to make a shoe for everyone. The upper uses waterproof leather and suede. The rubber used in the midsole is lightweight, helping lower the overall weight of the shoe. Price: $200


It’s not often if ever that you hear luxury and minimalism used in the same sentence, but that’s the intent here. The trademark barefoot feel of this shoe’s low-to-the-ground construction and wide toe box mix with a waterproof full-grain leather upper and extra-resilient cushioned inserts. Price: $180


As the name suggests, these spikeless shoes feature a knit upper. It's both lightweight and breathable, and has been treated to be water repellent. It won't to be your shoe of choice on a really rainy day, but will have no trouble keeping you dry in the morning dew. Price: $129


Heavy glue and other unnecessary materials have been eliminated from this street-shoe-inspired style that’s the lightest model in our guide. Price: $150 (not available yet to purchase)

Under Armour used studies on the biomechanics of the golf swing to understand where torque and rotation occur. With that information, the R&D team gained a greater understanding of how the foot needs to be stabilized during the swing. Among the technologies used to achieve better stabilization are Under Armour’s asymmetric cleats with a carbon-fiber plate in the outsole. Price: $200

Under Armour’s new, lower-profile cleats are provide additional grip for horizontal movements during the swing. The midsole is cushioned toward the instep, and the outsole’s firmer around the outer edge for support. Price: $160