Why Do Golf Shoes Have Spikes?

Knowing why do golf shoes have spikes is essential information for all golfers. Aside from keeping your feet clean and comfortable, golf shoes play a larger round on the course.

Why do Golf Shoes Have Spikes
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The design of golf shoes tailors to the game mechanics, which requires strong balance and stability.

Why Do Golf Shoes Have Spikes?

Remember that not all golf shoes are spiked. Then why are golf shoes spiked?

Spikeless golf shoe designs offer versatility and flexibility rather than the balance that spiked golf shoes provide.

To answer why are golf shoes spiked, this is because it allows for what we call “traction.” It essentially means that it offers a better grip of the shoe on the ground. But when did it start?

Let’s go back a little bit on history on why are there spikes on golf shoes.

What we have today when it comes to golf spikes and cleats is a massive jump from the beginning of the sport.

The oldest spikes of golf shoes were only made of tiny nails and sticks, which players attach to the shoes’ soles.

Back then, why are golf shoes spiked was the solution they had for gaining more traction while playing and why are there spikes on golf shoes.

It is because the turfs where golfers were playing that time were slippery and damp. While it seems like a clever idea, just imagine the discomfort it gave to the earliest golfers.

It was also painful since the spike is directed upwards into the foot. Furthermore, it can do a significant amount of damage when playing on the greens and fairways.

Here’s a timeline of the evolution of golf shoes over the years and why are golf shoes spiked:

  • The mid-1800s: Golfers hammer nails into their boots’ soles.
  • 1891: Screwing metal spikes directly into the sole was introduced.
  • 1906: It was the year of the birth of the infamous Saddle Oxford. This shoe paved the way for golf shoes’ distinctive form and design.
  • The 1950s: The use of Saddle Oxfords became a norm for golfers.
  • The 1960s: Saddle Oxford retained its popularity as top players use it on tournaments. It was also the introduction period of replaceable metal spikes.
  • The 1970s: It was the birth of the Tungsten-tipped golf shoe spikes.
  • The 1980s: The focus of golf shoe designs transitioned into more flexible styles. Hence, designers and manufacturers started molding their shoes based on the foot of the players. Also, during this time, more and more people were expressing their concern over the damage spikes do towards the greens.
  • The 1990s: The introduction of the soft plastic spikes boomed and replaced the market’s metal spikes. It became the default choice of golfers when it comes to the shoes they use.

As you can see, the reason behind why are there spikes on golf shoes is because of functionality.

Different Types of Golf Shoe Spikes

Now that you know why do golf shoes have spikes, it’s time to tackle its different types.

Essentially, there are three different types of golf spikes: metal, rubber, and ceramic. Each category is functional, but it provides different pros and cons than the others.

To know more about it, take a look at the comparisons below:

  • Metal Spikes

As mentioned, metal spikes were the earliest golf shoe spikes that players used in the sport.

Because of this material, they are reliable when it comes to durability. Although, it requires proper practice as it is on the heavier side of golf shoes

However, for the same reason, it can cause detrimental effects as well, specifically on the course.

It can be rough, and so it can end up digging holes and tearing the greens and the fairways. It is the reason why a lot of golf courses and establishments have banned the use of metal spikes.

Also, as its popularity declined, some golf shoe manufacturers completely stopped making metal spikes.

  • Rubber Spikes

Rubber spikes or popularly known as soft spikes are the current standard in the golf shoe market.

It has an elastic material made from polyurethane, making it flexible and comfortable to wear.

They are also very lightweight and inexpensive, so it’s no doubt that it is the top choice of average golfers.

The only downside is that it reduces the crucial traction it provides in a wet environment, which is why do golf shoes have spikes.

It also has significantly shorter longevity than metal spikes.

  • Ceramic Spikes

One the other hand, ceramic spikes are the most expensive ones in the market. The material used allows to last longer compared to other materials.

You won’t need to replace it as often as when you have rubber spikes.

It is also highly resilient and resistant to scratches and scuffs. This is the reason why a lot of tour players and seasoned pros are more inclined to use this type of golf shoe.

However, you have to carefully note that it comes at a significantly higher price. It requires continuous maintenance because its material has the potential to erode.

Which Golf Shoe Spike is Best for You?

Since you have various choices on why do golf shoes have spikes, it can be challenging to select one.

You have to find the right balance among other golf equipment that will suit your preference and address your needs.

Essentially, you will only need to look at these criteria:

    • Traction
    • Durability
    • Comfort

Asking yourself the questions below may help in making the right decision on your purchase:

  • Which do I prioritize more? Traction or comfort?

Choose a golf shoe depending on what features you find more important. Some golfers may prefer having a better shoe grip on the ground.

However, some may rely more on the comfort of the shoes they wear.

  • Can I maintain my spikes?

Replaceable spikes have taken the golf shoe market by storm. Some of the popular systems of golf spikes replacements are large and small threads, Fast Twist, etc.

It has different purposes and mechanisms, so it will depend on your preference for how you want to replace your spikes.

While you can find durable spikes that require lesser replacement, you will have to do it one way or another.

It’s crucial to maintain your spikes to condition its natural form. After all, your golf shoe’s longevity will be based on how you clean and care for it.

As much as possible, only put your golf shoes inside a golf shoe bag to not ruin its form.

  • Are spiked golf shoes better than spikeless shoes?

While why do golf shoes have spikes is all about functionality, there are spikeless shoes available as well.

These are typically more comfortable than spiked shoes since they resemble regular sneakers.

These golf shoes have cleats that provide traction in the course while having the ability to blend on casual wear.

Number of Spikes on Golf Shoes

How many spikes should golf shoes have?

The typical number of how many spikes should golf shoes have ranged from 6 and up. If you play an 18-hole round, you can estimate to walk at least as far as five miles.

Having spikes on your shoes can provide stability and comfort while navigating the course.

It’s essential to have a balanced number of how many spikes should golf shoes have for better support.

You wouldn’t want to wear an uneven number of how many spikes should golf shoes have and stumble while walking.

While it differs from player to player, you can estimate to play at least 12 to 20 rounds before replacing your spikes. You will consider a lot of factors when it comes to spike replacement.

You must first check the condition of the inner soles and then the treads. Once you see it’s worn, then you can start checking if the spikes need replacement.

Remember, you have to know how many spikes should golf shoes have to replace them adequately.

How About Metal Spikes?

If you’re wondering where to buy golf shoes with metal spikes, you can actually find a few in golf stores.

However, the best way to shop for golf shoe spikes today is through online purchases. A lot of online selling sites are easily where to buy golf shoes with metal spikes.

While some golf courses have banned the use of this, you can still find places where it’s not. In fact, a lot of tour pros still prefer using metal spikes.

Hence, where to buy golf shoes with metal spikes also includes the mainstream market. Since it gives better traction, it works for major tournaments.

Additionally, you can also find many golfing threads, which is where to buy golf shoes with metal spikes.

There are golf enthusiasts who may offer collectible items of metal spikes or offer a good deal for you.

Golf online forums also provide a platform to know where to buy golf shoes with metal spikes.

It may be worth checking ahead if you’re not interested in using either rubber or ceramic spikes.

Strike with a Spike!

As a golf player, it is essential to know why do golf shoes have spikes.

If you want to commit to playing the sport, it can help you have leverage when you’re playing a round of golf.

Since there are many options and types to choose from, finding the perfect pair will depend on your style.

Try to assess your needs on and off the course.

You can also try different types of spikes during a practice round to evaluate which will best suit.

With that, good luck!

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Last Updated on September 25, 2020 by Paul Roger Steinberg