Hunter S Thompson had immortalized golf shoes in his famous movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by writing "If we're ever going to get out of here alive we're going to need some golf shoes." Why? Because golf shoes have the grip to walk on the muck, he insists.
Whether you take the above quote seriously or not is a personal choice, but for every sport, your feet plays and important role as it carries a lot of body weight. What protects our feet and gives it support in return are the shoes that we wear. Thus golfing that involves a lot of walking and the player needs to be on his feet for the entire duration of the play, it is very important that you wear the right kind of shoes. Wrong shoes may end up hurting your spinal cord very badly.
Just as different sports have their footwear like tennis shoes, soccer shoes, running shoes, golf too has golf shoes. All professional players wear golf shoes. Do you need a golf shoe? Let's first see what is special about golf shoes that set these apart from other sports shoes.
The most important part of golf shoes are the walking surfaces; the spikes. Although traditionally they used metal spikes, these days rubber spikes are used so that the playing surface is not damaged and at the same time the player gets a good grip on the undulated surfaces. The traction in golf shoes is what that sets its apart from a sneaker.
Since as a golfer you will be on your feet most of the time, golf shoes are supposed to be rigid. These shoes give you a strong support and a good base for your swing shots. You do want to stay on your feet and not on your back at the end of your swing!
Now let's review the question again whether or not you need golf shoes.
If you are considering playing golf in long terms and do spend at least a day on the field in a week, it is advisable that you go for a golf shoe. The more you are careful about your gait, your support and your feet, the longer will be your golfing career. Slipping on a muddy area and injuring yourself just because you were wearing the wrong shoes will not be very wise!
On the other hand if you are happy with your athletic shoe, stick to that as long as it gives you a good tread and strong support to your ankle. The tire pattern for tread is often considered to be good.
If however you plan to buy golf shoes look for the following:
Allow spaces for your toes to wiggle when you wear the shoes.
High-quality spikes that can be replaced.
Ensure that your toes are not getting pinched nor the back of your shoe is riding up.
So next time that you are out there teeing or golfing, do keep an eye on the shoes you are tying up; the shoes should give you support, grip and comfort.
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