Ensuring that you have secure footing is crucial when taking to the golf course. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the tee only to realize you’re rocking a pair of trainers - just like choosing the right golf pants, socks, and shirts, you need to have the proper gear for your feet too. Weather conditions such as morning dew, midday sprinklers, inclement showers, and winter golf can all affect the ground beneath you, requiring you to not only think about your lie, but also the contact your feet have with the turf. The best golf shoes will provide the right balance.
In recent years, golf shoe design has changed significantly. While traditional golf shoes were once the status quo, we’re now seeing more sneaker-style shoes than ever before. Not to mention, the spikeless movement has taken hold, expanding the boundaries of what constitutes a traditional golf shoe. This has paved the way for brands to take non-traditional silhouettes and modify them for use on the golf course.
Big names like Nike, New Balance, and Adidas have all dropped golf shoes that put their most popular sneaker models to the test. Jordans have been particularly popular in 2022, selling out within hours of release, while Adidas dropped a white Samba golf shoe that also sold out almost immediately. When it comes to selecting a golf shoe, spiked options can provide better traction under wet conditions, whereas spikeless options are more versatile and offer greater comfort.
Ultimately, a waterproof shoe is also a wise investment. As we all know, golfers play in all conditions, and having a shoe that can repel water can help keep your feet dry, comfortable, and focused on the game at hand.
In today's world, most golf shoes have a certain degree of waterproofing, even those made from leather. However, when purchasing a pair, it's important to make sure they suit your specific needs. If you live in a rainy area, verify that the material is 100% waterproof or consider a pair with hydrophobic technology like Gore-Tex.
While sneaker-style golf shoes are typically more comfortable than traditional styles, golf shoe technology has advanced considerably over time, making even the most classic styles comfortable for a day on the course. However, if you prefer walking rather than renting a cart, we suggest opting for a sneaker-style golf shoe.
In 2023, there are no longer any strict guidelines to follow. Jordan and Air Max golf shoes are being released every week and often sell out immediately, much like traditional sneaker drops. Brands like FootJoy have even updated their traditional golf shoe silhouettes to look more like sneakers with sportier midsoles and more flexible uppers. Popular sneakers like Adidas Sambas and Air Jordan 1s are now available as spikeless golf shoes. The possibilities are endless when it comes to golf shoe styles these days.
Our Testing Process
We tested these shoes on various golf courses throughout different states, including the eastern seaboard and the west coast of Canada. Our testers walked and rode, playing multiple rounds in a day wearing each shoe. We evaluated durability, waterproofing, grip, and comfort when walking a 7,000-yard course. Our goal was to provide a comprehensive view of the shoe in various situations that golfers may encounter on the course.
The Top Golf Shoes for Men
Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour Next
If you're a golfer, you're likely familiar with Nike Golf, especially if you watched sports television in the 2000s. Tiger Woods, check on his chest at all times, TW logo adorning his cap, and it's still going strong today. The Air Zoom Infinity Tour Next is our top pick, boasting two Nike Zoom Air units in the forefoot, integrated spikes, and Nike React foam to provide stability and comfort while walking or riding in a highly versatile sneaker-meets-classic golf shoe design. The heel cup may take some getting used to, and they run slightly narrow, but our testers had no trouble walking 18 holes in them.
Adidas Codechaos 22
We've been fans of Adidas Golf for years, with the brand leading the way in golf attire for decades. Recently, Adidas has launched numerous lines of extraordinary golf clothing, including shoes like the Codechaos 22.
A wide variety of high-end golf shoes are available on the market, but the Codechaos from Adidas stands out as the cream of the crop. During our testing at Nicklaus North in Whistler, BC, we encountered every conceivable condition, from wet tee boxes to dry fairways, mud, sand and beyond. The Codechaos exhibited excellent performance in all scenarios, thanks to its spikeless soles that offer just the right amount of grip, snug glove-like fit, and a tasteful fusion of classic golf shoe design and modern technology and aesthetics.
Footjoy is a renowned shoemaker in the golf world that has been dressing professional golfers with its timeless leather shoes for decades. Its Premiere Series Field offering, made of waterproof leather and sporting 360-degree spikeless traction soles, harks back to the bygone era of golf. These shoes would have looked just as at home on the greens of Augusta at the 1980 Masters as they do in today's golfing fashion scene.
For those with a rebellious streak and an affinity for punk rock, the G/Fore Debossed Skull & T's Gallavanter is the perfect golf shoe. With numerous skull and crossbones motifs, this debut brand footwear line combines smooth waterproof leather, an antimicrobial footbed, and a lightweight sole for unparalleled comfort and style. These shoes epitomize the current duality in the golf industry, where modern edginess coexists with deep-rooted respect for tradition.
Puma is fast becoming a household name in the golfing world, thanks to its catchy campaigns featuring PGA professional Rickie Fowler's monochromatic outfits. The Proadapt Delta is not as flashy as an all-orange shoe, but it still exudes stylishness and confidence. The shoe uses a dual-layer, decoupled collar technology that offers the comfort of a running shoe and the sophistication of a classic leather shoe. The Puma Proadapt outsole delivers grip, while the Adapt foam ensures stability and comfort all day long.
Under Armour has made its mark in the golfing industry, sponsoring legendary players such as Jordan Spieth and Steph Curry. The Hovr Drive 2 golf shoes are made of breathable microfiber upper and a lightweight waterproof membrane to ensure dryness and comfort. These shoes boast a hybrid spike/spikeless sole that is perfect for all-weather conditions, making them a versatile and stylish choice for the avid golfer.
True Linkswear All Day Knit 3
If you want a comfortable and laid-back golf shoe that can match any golf outfit, then True Linkswear shoes are for you. They're perfect for individuals who like trekking the golf course for 36 holes or simply require something they can use to go to and from the course.
Our tester tried the All Day Knit 3 shoes and confirmed they're an excellent golf shoe offering breathability and comfort. During a super muddy day, she noticed improved traction compared to playing in sneakers, which she used before. The best part was that they're machine washable. After the round, she threw them in the washer, air-dried them, and they were ready to use again in no time.
Ecco Core Mesh
With the average golf course being over four miles long according to the PGA, it only makes sense that Ecco, the walking shoe experts, would design a golf shoe. The Core Mesh blends functionality and fashion with a significant emphasis on comfort. The sock-like construction is as easy to put on as it is comfortable, and the midsole technology is designed to keep your feet from aching even on the 18th hole.
Nike Air Max 90 G
The Nike Air Max 90 G is a shoe that belongs to the gods in the sneaker industry, and now you can wear it while playing golf. The water-resistant and traction-integrated design made it practical for the course, and it seamlessly blends style and functionality without being an overly flashy silhouette that grabs attention.
Skechers Go Golf Ultra Max
The Skechers Go Golf Ultra Max is perfect for those runners who prefer Hoka. Bearing some resemblance to the shoe, this cushiony golf shoe is akin to your pillow-like running shoes' comfort. Skechers prioritized comfort, so the shoe is optimized for it, while still featuring golf-ready features like a breathable, water-resistant upper and robust spikeless sole.
Johnston & Murphy XC4 GT4 Luxe U-Throat
Johnston & Murphy is a brand that has been making shoes since 1850, yet many might not know they make golf shoes too. The XC4 GT4 Luxe U-Throat is the brand's renowned golf shoe with a long list of features that help excel on the course.
Introducing the XC4 waterproof golf shoe with removable spikes, a robust chassis, and a dual-density midsole, boasting unrivaled comfort and stability. The removable footbeds facilitate easy swapping with your custom orthotics, while the two-year waterproof warranty guarantees unwavering protection from moisture. No wonder it's one of the most technically advanced golf shoes on the market.
The Nobull Gore-Tex Ripstop
Hailing from the world of fitness, Nobull is renowned for crafting some of the most aesthetically pleasing Crossfit shoes on the market. However, they've since expanded their horizon to include trail running, cycling, and now, golf. The Gore-Tex membrane renders these shoes 100% waterproof, while the breathable ripstop upper ensures a durable and sturdy structure that can withstand the rigors of golf courses. Although the spikeless soles don't provide the best traction, they're versatile enough for a quick gym session before or after your game.
Further explore the Nobull brand today.