Once upon a time it was seriously frowned upon to go out on the golf course and play a round without wearing a proper pair of golf cleats. The majority of courses would ensure that this was the case by upholding stringent rules of dress. It was not uncommon, in some places, to be taken off the course if you didn’t have the proper footwear.
Thankfully, in recent years this trend has largely dissipated. The reason for this has a lot to do with PGA Tour professionals who started to wear non-golf cleat footwear when playing their rounds. Veterans like Freddie Couples started wearing alternate footwear in an attempt to ease some of the chronic back pain he suffered with on the course.
The trend started to catch on. Nowadays, many of the leading players on tour do not wear golf cleats. As a result, this behavior has trickled down to amateur players and golf courses around the world.
Having said that, the majority of golfers still wear a pair of dedicated cleats when they are out on the course. Here are some of the benefits to find out if you need them:
You can reap some performance benefits
Regardless of whatever style goals you may have when you are playing a round of golf, if you are looking to maximize your performance levels, wearing golf shoes is something that can help to shave shots off your game.
They have been specifically made in such a way that they aid you during the swing of a golf club. Your feet will not slide around in your shoes as they would if you were not wearing golf cleats. This provides you with a much more stable base when swinging, meaning that you will be more consistent in your long game and you will not have to worry about slipping mid swing.
They make the golf course easier to get around
Another one of the benefits of wearing golf cleats is that your journey around the course will be made easier. If you are playing on a layout that has a lot of hills and other undulations, you may find it hard to walk up and down these slopes without having some form of extra grip. You may slip or slide when walking downhill or struggle to get up hills as you can’t get proper footing.
But when you have golf cleats, you will be able to properly grip into the ground, thanks to the specially designed studs that are in the shoes. You will also be able to keep your feet well protected from any external elements. For example, if it is a wet day and you hit a wayward drive into the deep rough, you don’t want to trample around and have your actual feet get soaked if your footwear isn’t waterproof. This will make the rest of the round very uncomfortable and you may even get sick as a result.
Most golf cleats will be waterproof. They are also heavyweight enough that if you step on something sharp, or scratch the shoe with some thorns, the footwear will not be ruined.
There’s an array of style options
Some people prefer to not wear golf cleats, as they prefer to look stylish on the course with their own favorite type of footwear. These people may have gotten a bad impression of golf cleats. After all, in the past, they were often ugly and uncomfortable to wear. Many people are not fans of the old-school style of golf shoes that hack wingtips and tassels.
However, these days there is such a stunning array of options on the market that you are sure to find something that fits your eye. A lot of the golf cleats today even look like your everyday footwear.
At the end of the day, it is up to you to weigh up the various pros and cons, depending on your own personal preferences. Should you choose to wear cleats, however, it may end up benefitting your game.
— Andrew O’Malley