The best golf shoes for better performance
Chasing down that handicap, or gunning for this year’s club championship? If so, then it’s likely you will be on the hunt for any incremental performance improvements you can add to your game, and that includes searching for the best golf shoes in 2023 that your budget can buy.
Advances in technology and materials science mean the game’s biggest brands are continually evolving their offerings in the footwear department to provide golfers with exceptional shoes that combine stability, protection, versatility and style, without the need to compromise.
Linking footwear to your scorecard may seem a little tenuous, but when you consider golf is played for more than four hours at a time, small discomforts caused by sub-optimal shoes can add up and may just distract you from your swing as the round progresses.
If shooting lower scores is your primary goal, read on as we shortlist five of the best golf shoes for better performance out on the course.
Adidas ZG23 Golf Shoes – $200 / £160
The ZG23 are remarkably light golf shoes that push the boundaries of how lightweight footwear can perform. This hybrid shoe combines a recycled upper, with a Lightstrike midsole for maximum cushioning and energy return, and is brought together with a six-cleat Traxion outsole designed to make you feel closer to the ground and help with weight transfer through the swing. The ZG23 also has 3D cradles down the side for lateral stability during the golf swing. All that you’d expect from a premium-priced shoe that is worn by some of the world’s best players, it’s also fully waterproof.
G/Fore MG4X2 Cross Golf Shoes – $225 / £190
G/FORE’s MG4X2 is the perfect blend of stylish streetwear and on-course practicality. The waterproof G/DRY knit upper sits on top of G/FORE’s lattice midsole to give golfers the support and comfort needed, and the molded heel cup secures the foot in place without rubbing. The 100% rubber outsole has a sawtooth traction pattern which gives excellent stability during the swing. Snow is our favorite color, but there’s a good range of bolder options if you prefer to make more of a statement.
Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour 3 Golf Shoes – $205 / £180 RRP
From every angle, this is a striking piece of footwear. Visually the Victory Tour 3 looks the part and is super comfortable and supportive thanks to the foam heel delivering a soft smooth ride. The old-school look with a few vibrant colors will really set your outfit off and have your playing partners jealous on the 1st tee. Partnering with superb traction from the new Tour Flex Pro Softspikes, you have a shoe that’s perfect for practice or a trip to the course. Unquestionably, you will get a smooth ride here from a shoe that is very waterproof.
FootJoy HyperFlex Carbon Golf Shoes – $200 / £190 RRP
The HyperFlex is a comfortable trainer-style model but it still has the benefits of a year-round shoe. It has a 100% waterproof knit upper that is breathable, comfortable, and, vitally, has a stain-protected, easy-to-clean upper. Hyperflex sees FootJoy take the use of carbon fiber to another level, developing a power plate on the sole to help golfers with stability and ground leverage. A padded heel adds comfort and support, and the knitted bootie is integrated into a thermoplastic wrap to help control lateral movement throughout the swing.
Ecco Biom G5 Golf Shoes – $270 / £220 RRP
As the originators and kings of spikeless shoes, Ecco don’t make many spiked models, but when they do, they’re exceptional. Taking inspiration from the brilliant spikeless Biom H4, the Danish shoe giant brings fashion to the Biom family with their G5 model featuring a premium leather upper and Gore-Tex membrane to ensure the model is both breathable and 100% waterproof. As you’d expect for the premium price, this is a very comfortable and supportive golf shoe that offers superb traction. We love the fit, especially in the BOA model.
How to choose golf shoes
When it comes to performance, there are some fundamental features that you really can’t afford to overlook when it comes to selecting a new pair of golf shoes.
Versatility – high-performance golf shoes are a significant investment, often retailing upwards of $150/£150, and therefore need to function well across the board, adapting well to a range of course and weather conditions. Ensure they stand up well to slippery stances and firm fairways alike so that your swing is never compromised.
Comfort – if your feet are aching midway through the back nine then you run the risk of being distracted from your swing when it matters most. Ensuring you try on your preferred pair prior to purchase will help you get a feel for their softness and stability, while making sure the fit is also appropriate for your feet.
Material – the models highlighted above are all constructed with lightweight, high-performance fabrics that will protect your feet from the elements, while also allowing them to breathe as activity levels increase. If it’s performance you crave, then prioritise the quality of materials to maximise functionality.