Spiked v. Spikeless Golf Shoes – What's better?
Much like the rest of the contents of your golf bag, golf shoes have experienced tremendous changes over the past two decades. Gone are the days of traditional-looking spiked leather shoes as they’ve been slowly replaced by models featuring an athletic profile.
This new design trend has also brought along a new debate to the golf community: spiked or spikeless, which is best? Indeed, these new shoes introduced elaborate sole concepts designed to support the golfer without requiring the need of spikes.
This guide will help you understand the differences between spiked and spikeless golf shoes by:
- Comparing the two when it comes to traction
- Touching upon the differences in the comfort they provide
- Taking a closer look at the versatility of both types of shoes
- Presenting which one is more durable
- Comparing the pros of the two to let you know which of the two is better suited for you
Traction is the first point we need to address as it’s the main difference between these two styles of shoes.
The sole of most spikeless golf shoes is an ensemble of sharper pieces of sole, which serve to provide some traction in the ground. Take the Adidas CodeChaos OG, a Golf Avenue exclusive, as an example.
You’ll quickly notice the absence of rounded spikes on the sole, but a closer look will reveal small mounds all along the sole. These certainly won’t provide as much traction as spiked shoes, but they still help you sink your lead foot into the ground when you swing, without having to worry about slipping.
Spiked golf shoes will showcase a set of small plastic spikes on their sole. You’ll usually find between 4 to 7 rounded points with spikes at their extremities. Naturally, these shoes will provide the most traction as the spikes are designed to dig into the ground, regardless of how you dig your feet in the ground.
These shoes are especially great for golfers who move a lot of weight around through their swing as it’ll allow them to plant their base in the ground.
Another perk of spiked golf shoes is the traction they provide when you play in the rain or wet conditions. The extra traction of the spikes will stop you from slipping and sliding around all day.
In terms of comfort, there aren’t too many differences between these two shoes as comfort mostly has to do with the boot of the shoe and in both cases, spiked or spikeless, comfort can be achieved just as well.
Despite their similarities in terms of comfort, we can find some differences that might ultimately affect your decision:
- Comfort on the pavement: Spikeless shoes are certainly more comfortable on the pavement as you won’t be feeling your spikes under your feet. Ironically, spiked golf shoes are going to be more slippery on hard surfaces, like concrete, compared to spikeless shoes;
- Weight: Here again, weight can be adjusted so that these shoes can weigh the same, but spiked shoes will tend to be slightly heavier because of their spikes, but the real weight problem can come up on wet days as your spiked golf shoes will accumulate any freshly cut grass under your feet.
Without a doubt, the crown in this category will go to the spikeless golf shoes. Indeed, these shoes are designed to be worn and used on the golf course, but their lack of spikes also makes them the most versatile option of the two.
That’s right, with spikeless golf shoes, you’ll be able to put them on your feet before you leave your home, drive to the course, walk to the first tee, play your full round, and drive back home, all without ever having to change shoes at any point.
If your spiked model allows you to remove the spikes, you can certainly wear those shoes everywhere, but there are two things to keep in mind here.
First, it takes a lot of time to remove all the spikes from under your shoes. Much more time than it would take you to simply put on a different pair of shoes.
Second, walking around with spiked golf shoes, without the spikes mounted, you risk damaging the slots in the sole that are designed to support the spikes.
The life expectancy, or the durability, of spiked and spikeless golf shoes, will generally be very similar to one another in the sense that once the water starts to leak in the shoes, once the spikes or the sole gets too slick, it’s a pretty clear sign that your shoes have reached the end of the line.
In the case of spikeless golf shoes, the beauty is that once a pair can’t serve its purpose on the course anymore, it can become your everyday pair of sneakers or you can keep them for your visits at the indoor simulator.
As for spiked golf shoes, there’s a key factor that will make a huge difference. Some models will have removable spikes, while some won’t. It goes without saying, but the one with removable spikes will naturally have a longer life expectancy.
The ability to remove old worn-out spikes with brand new ones is one of the best arguments for purchasing spike golf shoes. As long as they remain waterproof, you’ll simply have to updates your spikes when the time comes, ultimately saving you loads of money over buying a new pair of golf shoes.
Which one should you choose?
Based on the points we’ve highlighted already, the debate between spiked and spikeless rests on traction against versatility.
If versatility and the ability to put on your shoes right at home without having to change at the course is your priority, we suggest you opt for spikeless golf shoes. Plus, they’ll usually come at a lower price point than spiked golf shoes.
Pros of spikeless golf shoes:
- Tend to have a lower price point than spiked golf shoes
- Versatility - wear them on and off the course
- More comfortable than spiked shoes on solid ground
Golfers looking for as much stability as possible when unleashing the full power of their swing will want to strongly consider spiked golf shoes. The added traction of your feet in the ground will allow you to generate power from the ground as your feet will be planted firmly in there.
The argument can also be made that spiked golf shoes, with removable spikes, are a budget-friendly alternative as you only need to replace some spikes from one year to the next, instead of having to buy an entirely new pair of shoes once the sole is worn.
Pros of spiked golf shoes:
- Added adherance off the ground through your swing
- Removeable and replaceable spikes on the sole
- Extended lifestyle of the sole when compared to a spikeless model
Finally, picking the right golf shoes for you will depend on what your priorities are and what you need out of your shoes. Hopefully, this article helped you understand what you truly need.
Until next time,
The Golf Avenue Team
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