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Opinion & Analysis

The spikeless golf shoe movement



Much has occurred in the golf world since 2005, the year in which many remember as having the big four in golf. Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els all found themselves in the top four positions of the World Golf Rankings. Some may also remember the bad blood and feuds amongst the game’s best. It was the second round of the Masters and the fourth ranked golfer in the world, Mickelson, was playing ahead of the No. 1 player in the world, Vijay Singh. Nothing sums up the storyline of this confrontation better than the statement made by Mickelson in the press room:

“On the 13th hole, two officials approached me at two different times,” Mickelson said. “They were sent by Vijay to check my spikes because he felt they were unduly damaging the greens. If that is the case, I am very apologetic and will make every effort to tap down what spike marks I may make in the future.”

Merely six years later, the 2011 Masters had an all-new media attention surrounding golf shoes. This time the conversation was very opposite to spike marks when Freddy Couples was noted for his wear of the Ecco spikeless golf shoes. Clearly, the world of golf is very open to change and innovation. Every year there will be new drivers on the rack, updates to courses and commercials showing the latest gear. Every so often though, a trend is born that will affect the traditional pattern of thinking. As many consumers do, golfers buy what seems to be popular, innovative and relevant. So when Mr. Couples, arguably the master of calm, cool, and collective, was seen in the “Street Wear” shoes, it raised a few eyebrows and left some to question, “What are they?” Well, very soon after that the golf world was made well aware of just what they are, a shoe capable of functioning on the course thanks to small rubber nubs on the sole while adding higher levels of comfort with a lower profile to the ground.

Fast forward to 2012, another great season of action on the PGA Tour and also a successful year for the growing trend of spikeless golf shoes. All of a sudden, Ecco was not the only player in the game. Major companies such as Puma, FootJoy, Nike and Adidas all debuted spikeless golf shoes this year that come with all types of praise for their amenities. Also, new and smaller companies such as True Linkswear were born only making spikeless golf shoe models. What was missing roughly a year ago was a stronger presence on the PGA Tour. People knew Eccos as “Freddy’s shoes,” but it did not take long to recognize stars such a Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Ryan Moore and Sergio Garcia all sporting this new trend proving that it can hold up on the PGA Tour and in some cases even lead to victory. If spikeless shoes are good enough for the best players to compete and win with, why wouldn’t amateurs want to sport a shoe that has such levels of comfort and function?

Innovation to the golf shoes we most commonly recognize with rubber spikes may feel unnecessary, but there is a downside. Those who have already purchased spikeless golf shoes will commonly note that there is an obvious trade off — traction for cushion. The bigger question that has to be asked is, “What caused the sudden strive for comfort?” Well, there is no secret that the original golf shoe is overshadowed by not having the appearance of something an athlete would wear. Even the most common models of golf shoes that have spikes are much more athletically inclined than in the past. Golfers do not want the irritation that a less-advanced model can unfortunately provide while spending countless hours on the course. These new styles may have sporty colors and looks that are a marketer’s dream, but also, they have the support of walkers and many tournament golfers. Next time you get the chance, see how many walkers at your local course are wearing a classic styled golf shoe. Most likely they will be the minority. Even a few years back they would still be the minority. The difference in 2012 is, now you may be inclined to finding several walkers supporting the spikeless trend.

From my experience in collegiate events, as well as caddying and playing in USGA qualifiers, taking advantage of the latest athletically styled shoes over the years has become the absolute norm in the world of golf. But now I’m starting to see that many golfers of all skill levels, including professionals not only take interest, but also believe quality spikeless shoes are a clear advancement in the game. Some words for thought — originally I did not think highly of the spikeless golf shoe because I was content with the traction of rubber spikes and the comfort in the many models I wear. Overtime could we see a new norm in golf be spikeless golf shoes? Would you buy a pair? Do you already have a pair? It seems like a long shot, but ultimately time will tell if they are either a fad, or an actual asset to the game. But even the most traditionalist golfer cannot deny its rising success.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum.

By Michael Zardet

GolfWRX Contributor

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.



  1. Pingback: 6 Best Spikeless Golf Shoes 2015 | Golf Gear Lab

  2. Travis

    Apr 3, 2014 at 6:44 am

    I for one prefer the traditional spiked shoe, I bought a pair of spikeless shoes about a year ago and have found that after 9-12months traction has decreased to the point where I no longer feel good about wearing them. Unlike the traditional spikes, to replace a loss in grip is to replace the whole shoe, an in my case, I’m looking towards the FJ DNA, very comfortable and look amazing.

  3. tony

    Jul 31, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    I have a very difficult time finding my size spikeless shoe.


    Any suggestions??

  4. Brian

    Nov 10, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I’ve experienced very little loss in traction. In fact, grippy plastic spikes tended to get grass and leaves stuck all over them. After a round, my spikeless shoes would have hardly any grass on their soles.

    To take a bit further, I’ve also started to bring the “minimalist” movement in running to golf. In other words, we’ve started beefing up golf shoes with support and spikes to compensate for bad form and over-swinging. By going to a very flexible, low profile shoe, I’ve found I get better feel for the ground, and much less tendency to be out of balance.

  5. John

    Oct 18, 2012 at 8:27 am

    As a golf walker, I’m a big believer in spikeless shoes. They provide greater comfort, particularly as we age.

    Any loss of traction is offset by an improvement in tempo as we adjust our swing rhythm in order to maintain balance. This is especially noticeable with the long clubs.

    One word about shoe brands. Not every spikeless golf shoe will be comfortable. The Ecco golf shoe, much like the Ecco street shoe, will be superior footwear. Just ask any car salesman.

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GolfWRX Forum Member dpb5031 talks about the TaylorMade Twist Face Experience



Forum member dpb5031 (aka Dewey) joins TG2 to talk about his Twist Face Experience at The Kingdom. Recently, him and 6 other GolfWRX Members went to TaylorMade HQ to get fit for new M3 and M4 drivers. Does Twist Face work? Dewey provides his answer.

Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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Opinion & Analysis

Inside the Ropes: 5 things you didn’t know about playing on the PGA Tour



Golf finds a way to take a hold on you… whether you become entranced by the skill of the world’s best professionals, fall in love with the feeling and beauty of a well-executed shot, or simply enjoy getting outside and having fun — the game is addictive.

I started playing at the age of 4 and began watching the pros on TV dreaming what it would be like to play golf on the PGA Tour. When I earned my PGA Tour status for the 2014 season, that dream became a reality. And like anything, it’s not until I actually experienced that life did I have any idea what it entailed.

For those of you who are curious what it’s like to be on the PGA Tour, here are 5 things to describe it.

1) The Culture

Traveling the world to various cities can be fun, and it’s an underrated part of the Tour lifestyle; you get to see new landscapes and taste the cuisines that define different regions across the country and the world. Unlike some other professional sports, where players stay in one place for maybe a night or two, we get to stay in places for a week or more, which allows for plenty of time away from the course to see the sights and get a feel for what the cities and their cultures offer.

2) The Show

The setup and time that goes into planning an event — the grandstands, concession stands, volunteers, and the whole network that makes these tournaments run — is beyond impressive. We see the finished product at the event in the epicenter of it all, but the planning goes on behind the scenes all year. When it’s game time and the golf ball gets teed up, it’s time for us players to block all of that out, but we certainly appreciate all of the hard work that goes into putting on an event. It may feel like being in a circus at times, but performing in the show is a thrill.

3) The People

The game of golf in general brings people together, but especially so on the Tour. Thousands and thousands of fans come to watch the golf action and enjoy the festivities. The Pro-Ams are a great way for the fans to get an up-close look at what goes on at a Tour event, and they’re also a great way for us pros to interact with fans and maybe provide some helpful swing tips, too. In my opinion, one of the best events of the year is the Pebble Beach Pro-Am — a gathering of pro golfers, athletes, musicians, actors and other celebrities. It’s a testament to how the game can bring people together from different walks of life.

4) Inside the Ropes

The Tour is almost like a private school of sorts. It’s a select group of a couple hundred guys traveling around playing these events. The jocks, the nerds, the geeks, the loners; you see a little of everything. As much as there’s a sociable aspect to traveling on Tour and getting to know these people, it’s a dog-eat-dog world where everyone is playing for their livelihood and playing privileges.

5) The “Pressure”

A season-long race can come down to a single shot making the difference — for some it’s between winning and losing a tournament, and others it’s between keeping and losing your card. The cameras, the grandstands, the noise… it can all be quite distracting. The idea is to block all of that out and pretend you’re playing like a kid, focusing with pure imagination for the shot. All the extra attention can help heighten the focus further, adding inspiration to “give the people what they want” and hit even better golf shots.

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Ping Engineer Paul Wood explains how the G400 Max driver is so forgiving



Paul Wood, VP of Engineering at Ping, joins our 19th Hole to discuss the new G400 Max driver, which the company calls the “straightest driver ever.” Also, listen for a special discount code on a new laser rangefinder.

Listen to this episode on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes.

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19th Hole