How do you decide between the grip and stability of spiked shoes over the comfort and versatility of spikeless shoes? Hopefully this will help...
Spikeless golf shoes without replaceable cleats accounted for barely 10 per cent of sales a few years ago, however this year spikeless – or street or hybrid shoes as they can also be known – are expected to account for well over a third of golf shoe sales.
So will spikeless shoes do to cleats what cleats did to metal spikes in the 1990s and make them obsolete? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
As you’ll discover in the video above with FootJoy’s Richard Fryer, sales of spikeless shoes have started to plateau after their purple patch.
As versatile as spikeless golf shoes are, including the added comfort their softer underfoot base provides, cleats will always give you more lateral stability than a spikeless sole.
While this factor isn’t as important on firm fairways in the spring and summer, it does make a difference when ground conditions are less favourable in the winter, when your feet are more likely to move during your swing.
On the flip side, the nubs, moulded cleats or traction lugs as they are most commonly known, found on spikeless golf shoes are very versatile.
They can be worn from your front door to the course, around 18 holes, and then into the carpeted areas of the clubhouse, all without a trip to the changing rooms.
In the past when weighing up cleated versus spikeless golf shoes, you’d take into account performance and what the professionals wear, but since Fred Couples was spotted in a pair of ECCO Street shoes while playing alongside Tiger Woods in the first two rounds of the 2010 Masters that soon went out the window.
In the five years since, tour pros including Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell to name but a few have all started competing with spikeless shoes, giving the style instant credibility.
Technology advancements have helped further, with lightweight uppers, foam cushioned midsoles and durable soles making spikeless golf shoes a better investment.
Increasingly sophisticated traction designs have also dramatically improved the performance of spikeless golf shoes in softer and wetter conditions.
Spikeless golf shoes also come in a greater array of colours that suit the warmer seasons they’re most often worn in. The benefit of this is where before you bought a £200 pair of shoes and held onto them for a few years, now you can buy two or three pairs of shoes and rotate them to get more style options and a longer lifespan.
The Golf Monthly verdict
Unless you’re a member of a links course or only play very flat courses, it’s still worth having a pair of more traiditional spiked golf shoes you can turn to in the winter and during summer showers. However, for the rest of the time, a pair of spikeless golf shoes are a great investment. They are generally more comfy on firmer ground, while rotating between pairs will increase the lifespan of your shoes and the versatility of your golf wardrobe.