2019 SPIKED SHOE BUYERS GUIDE

Despite the emergence of the spikeless golf shoe category, there are still many who prefer spiked shoes. While there are always exceptions, spiked shoes often provide better traction in wet conditions, and for golfers who need it, the additional stability that is sometimes traded for the versatility that makes spikeless shoes great for casual wear or for going straight from the office to the golf course.

At the same time, manufacturers have responded to the changing trends by leveraging new and often lighter materials and placing a significantly greater emphasis on comfort without sacrificing the traction and stability golfers demand from their footwear. Simply put, these aren’t your grampa’s wooden-soled, metal spiked blister-makers.

Whether you’re looking to buy a new spiked shoe today, looking for some buying advice, or just want a closer look at what’s on the market right now, this guide will help you find the right spiked shoe to fit your needs.

How We Test

We're here to help you find the perfect spiked shoe for your needs.

To do that, we employ a rigorous and fully independent testing process that leaves no sole unexplored, no arch unsupported, and no stone unturned.

The Test Process

Shoes are tested head to head with rigorous protocols. Consideration is given to the design, comfort, and ultimately the performance of the shoe, both while walking and while swinging.

Our Metrics

The metrics we consider when rating golf shoes include Comfort, Traction, Stability, Resistance to the Elements, and Style.

GOLF SHOE FEATURES THAT MATTER

Comfort

It’s important to understand that a significant portion of comfort comes from proper sizing. If you have a wide foot, you absolutely should gravitate to brands that offer wide sizing. The same is true for the narrow-footed among us. Every aspect of golf shoe performance begins with a proper fit.

A golf shoe should be comfortable from the moment it goes on your foot. There shouldn’t be any rubbing or discomfort after just a few minutes of use. A quality golf shoe doesn’t require any significant break-in period. Simply put, under no circumstance should comfort be sacrificed.

Traction

The last thing you want is to slip or spin out during your swing. Seldom is a quality golf shot preceded by a slip. Traction is sometimes overlooked because many golfers assume that all spiked soles are created equal. That’s simply not the case. Some designs provide significantly better traction with the biggest differences emerging in wet conditions.

Stability

While stability – the feeling of having the foot locked in place during the swing – is generally regarded as important, it should be noted that some golfers prefer and benefit from a shoe that allows the freedom to move around the footbed a bit during the swing. That said, a shoe should never be so unstable that it allows the foot to spill over the edge of the footbed.

Many golfers will find stability among the most important considerations in a golf shoe. Well-designed heel cups, along with stable support structures play a role in enhancing stability.

Are You Wearing the Wrong Size Shoe?

Did you know that, according to FootJoy, over 70% of golfers are wearing the wrong size shoe? It sounds almost unbelievable, but the reality is that only a small percentage of golfers seriously consider width when purchasing golf shoes. Take the time to have your foot measured to ensure you buy a properly sized shoe.

2019 Spiked Features Chart

 NameMaterialColorsSizingWidthWarranty
Adidas Tour 360 XT

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Premium Leather47 to15M/W2 Year
Adidas Tour 360 Boost 2.0

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Premium Leather77 to 14M/W2 Year
Callaway La Grange

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FashionLite TPU48 to 14M/W2 Year
ECCO Biom G3

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YAK Leather45 to 13.5M/W1 Year
Etonic Stabilizer

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Microfiber Leather38 to 13M/W2 Year
FootJoy Fury

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Full Grain Leather47 to 15N/M/W/EW2 Year
Mizuno Wave Cadence 2 GTX

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Gortex46.5 to 11M/W2 Year
Mizuno Nexlite

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Premium Kuray66.5 to 11M2 Year
New Balance Striker

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Microfiber Leather38 to 16M/W/EW2 Year
New Balance Minimus Tour

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Premium Leather47 to 14M/W2 Year
Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour

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Premium Leather37 to 14M2 Year
PUMA Ignite PWRADAPT Leather

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Full Grain Leather37 to 14M2 Year
Skechers Go Golf Pro V.4 Honors

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Smooth Leather27.5 to 14M2 Year
Skechers Go Golf Pro V4

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Full Grain Leather37.5 to 14M/EW2 Year
Under Armour HOVR Drive

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Microfiber Leather27 to 15M/W2 Year
Under Armour Speith 3

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Microfiber Leather27 to 13M/W2 Year

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: New Balance Striker - Function Over Form

While it won't suit every golfer's eye, the New Balance Striker is a serious contender in the spiked shoe category. The shoe features a stable heel cup that helps keep your foot locked-in during the swing. The insole is one of the softest we tested, making it a fantastic walking shoe.

EXPERT TIP - What Does Fit Really Mean?

It cannot be overemphasized: Fit is the most critical element of golf shoe performance. As you likely know, sizing is often inconsistent from brand to brand and even from model to model. The length and width of supposedly same-sized shoes varies tremendously, as do other fit-related elements like the toe box, mid-foot section, and heel cup. You're going to want to ensure that the shoe you buy is snug, yet comfortable and requires next to no breaking-in time.

More Tips

  • Not everyone needs the most stable golf shoe one can find. It’s worth doing some experimenting with different shoe designs to determine what level of stability works best for you.
  • For those who do require more stability, look for designs with some form of wrap technology in the mid-foot section to help keep you anchored in your shoe.
  • BOA/DISC and lace systems sometimes secure the shoe, and ultimately your foot, differently than laces. If something doesn’t feel quite right in an otherwise comfortable shoe, it may be worth trying the BOA/DISC alternative when it’s offered. Note that these closure systems often increase the cost of the shoe.
  • While style preferences will vary among golfers, comfort is an absolute. Make it your top priority and don’t sacrifice it for any reason.
  • A healthy percentage of comfort comes from proper fitting. Take the time to have your foot measured to ensure you’re buying and wearing the proper size.

GET FIT FOR YOUR GAME WITH TRUEGOLFFIT™

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SEE MY RESULTS

2019 Spiked Shoe Results

 NameStabilityComfortElementsStyleTractionTotal
Adidas Tour 360 XT

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1st2nd2nd1st1st93
Under Armour HOVR Drive

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2nd2nd7th4th1st90.5
Adidas Tour 360 Boost 2.0

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3rd7th2nd1st7th90
PUMA Ignite PWRADAPT Leather

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3rd5th9th3rd1st89
Skechers Go Golf Pro V4

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7th1st2nd10th13th85.5
New Balance Striker

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7th2nd11th15th1st85
Under Armour Speith 3

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5th10th11th4th1st85
ECCO Biom G3

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16th10th1st6th7th82
Mizuno Wave Cadence 2 GTX

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10th5th16th13th7th81.5
New Balance Minimus Tour

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7th8th9th16th10th81.5
Callaway La Grange

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10th14th7th8th10th79.5
Skechers Go Golf Pro V.4 Honors

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5th8th15th13th15th79.5
FootJoy Fury

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13th13th14th8th13th77.5
Nike Air Zoom Victory Tour

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10th16th2nd6th1st77.5
Etonic Stablizer

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15th12th11th10th15th76.5
Mizuno Nexlite

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13th15th2nd10th12th76.5

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: ECCO BIOM G3 - Yak Leather Upper

The BIOM G3 is major step forward for Ecco in unifying the comfort it's known for with a high-performance midsole and upper. The company is taking a unique approach to materials by constructing the upper on its BIOM G3 from Yak leather. Enhanced with a GORE-TEX membrane, the unusually soft and supple textured Yak leather easily conforms to the contours of your foot, making for one of the softest feeling shoes in our test. A re-engineered outsole helps push the BIOM G3's performance into the upper echelon.

FAQ

Q: How much should I spend on a shoe? 

A: We’ve found that it’s possible to find a well-designed, fully featured golf shoes for around $90. That said, the majority of top performers, including our choice for Best Overall, are closer to $200. As with anything else, your rate of play should factor in the decision. Golfers who play just a few times a year may be able to find a suitable offering for less. Just don’t skimp on comfort to save a buck.

Q: What is the main feature I should look out for when buying a spiked shoe?

A: Comfort is by far the most important factor, followed by traction. While stability is an important consideration, the level of stability needed varies between golfers. Only after you have those three considerations covered should style factor in the decision.

Q: Is BOA/DISC technology better than laces?

A: Some golfers prefer modern closure systems to traditional laces, but it’s certainly not a universal preference. Users of BOA and DISC report a tendency for their shoes to loosen throughout a round, and while that’s not a big deal to re-tighten, it can become an annoyance. Also consider that if a shoelace breaks, it’s easily replaceable, whereas warranty replacements for other closure systems can take some time.