Spike vs. Spikeless Golf Shoes: Which is Better?

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Choosing a pair of golf shoes is not an easy task. There are many different shoes to choose from, each with their advantages and disadvantages. In addition, choosing a pair of golf shoes is more than just a matter of style; the spiking system significantly impacts how shoes are designed and thus their performance out on the golf course.

Knowing which spiking system is best for you will help you make a better decision when purchasing golf shoes and ensure that you have a good fit for your game.

In this Spike vs Spikeless golf shoes guide, we will compare the similarities and differences between these two golf shoe types so that you can decide which is best for you and when to wear each.

Spike Vs Spikeless Golf Shoes: What’s The Difference?

Golfers know how important traction can affect their game. Slippery conditions and unreliable footwear can be a real hindrance to your game. Golf shoes, both spiked and spikeless, offer golfers traction, stability, and grounding. However, a spiked pair of shoes will help more in wet conditions. Today’s spiked and spikeless shoes benefit from modern technology and the latest plastics to create more lateral stability because of the way the spikes grip into the ground. 

What Are Spiked Golf Shoes?

Spiked golf shoes are a traditional type of footwear that has been worn on the golf course for many years. The metal spike system has proven to be an effective golf shoe traction solution to allow golfers to get a good grip on the course.


Traction – classic cleated design that helps your stability and grip into the ground. The spikes 

Weather versatility – Golfers in wetter climates will prefer the stronger grip of the classic spiked golf shoe. The difference in traction offered from the spikes will become more pronounced on a soggier course. 

Classic style: Spiked shoes feature that classic ‘golf shoe’ look, while typical spikeless shoes will look more like your athletic trainer. Some golfers prefer the timeless style of a traditional golf shoe with the added stability support of spikes. Today, most designs will be offered in both spike and spikeless styles so aesthetic preference shouldn’t be the top consideration here when comparing the two.

More distance: Independent studies show that driving while wearing the classic spike shoe may lead to longer drives for those golfers with a higher handicap. Players teeing off tend to feel more grounded and in control while wearing spikes, leading to longer drives and hitting a greater distance.


Less Comfortable – A major drawback of metal spikes are that they can ‘dig in’ to your foot, leading to blisters. If you are consistently walking between shots, the spikes can become uncomfortable after a while. The comfort level will not be for everyone but maybe worth it if you can add yards to your shots and get better traction.

What Are Spikeless Golf Shoes?

Spikeless golf shoes are a relatively new innovation in golf shoe design. The shoes feature an alternative traction system that is designed to offer more comfort during a long round. Spikeless designs have mostly become popular because of the wide variety of styles that they come in. Spikeless shoes tend to feature better comfort, stability, and support than the classic spiked golf shoe, especially if weather conditions are perfect on the course.


Comfort: Spikeless golf shoes are similar to your athletic trainer in terms of fit, comfort, and durability for longer wear times. If you’re one to enjoy walking the course and comfort is at the top of your priority list, you may swing towards the spikeless here. 

Modern style: If you prefer the design of trendy athletic trainers today, spikeless shoes will be the better fit. With more design options and opportunities, spikeless shoes will appeal to the golfer looking for a trendy style.

Lightweight: For the avid walkers, spikeless shoes are the clear winner in their lightweight design. This becomes clearer on the back 9 when your legs are less tired due to the rubber soles.

Versatility: Spikeless shoes often look and feel like regular athletic trainers and will be welcomed to “19th hole” and beyond after a round of golf, making this design a clear winner for the golfer who wants to be sociable without having to change out their footwear first. Golfers who have a busy lifestyle or frequently travel will appreciate the versatility of spikeless shoes from the course to the clubhouse, running errands, or grabbing refreshments after. 


Inclement weather and grip: You may notice it’s harder to grip the terrain in wet weather or on a steeply sloped course. 

Tend to wear out faster: Given their versatile design and soft rubber soles, you may end up replacing these more quickly than with a traditional spiked shoe.

Which Is Better?

Deciding between the spiked vs spikeless golf shoes really depends on the golfer. Unfortunately, there is no universal ‘better’ option per se as each type offers different benefits depending on your level of play, the frequency that you golf, and your typical golf weather climate.

Beginner: Beginner golfers can get away with wearing sneakers to get a feel for the game and then switch to playing with spikes, as this will really help with stability, balance, and ensuring proper form as you learn the game. 

Frequent golfer: The frequent golfer may value comfort and versatility at the top of their list. If so, the spikeless shoe will be the better fit here. However, for the advanced golfer rotating between spikeless and spiked will give the most options for optimal performance. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do pros wear spikes or spikeless golf shoes?

Spikeless shoes have come a long way in the past few years, and the pros have noticed. Spikeless shoes are now being seen at professional tournaments. Spikeless shoes can offer long lasting comfort and support, particularly for those who suffer from old injuries such as knee or back pain. There are many notable pros who have played in spikeless shoes in competition and who feel that they do a great job.

Spiked shoes are still popular among the pros as they provide stability and grounding and can increase a player’s confidence. 

Do I really need golf shoes?

For golfers who are keen to grasp the fundamentals of the sport and hone their technique, golf shoes, whether they are spiked or spikeless, will increase their traction, and provide the ground and stability to improve your swing.

As you can tell, golf shoes are a necessary item for many golfers.

Why Are Golf Shoes Important?

Golf shoes differ from normal shoes as they can offer extra comfort out on the course while also giving stability to your feet and providing traction. In addition, they give you a better grip on the grass whether you are playing in a rainy climate or out after dark. Most importantly, they can give you a better platform for you to hit shots with a better technique for beginner golfers.

In Summary

Both soft spikes and metal spikes offer a wide variety of options to suit the modern golfer today. Whichever you choose, it is important to consider a range of factors and especially the type of golf courses that you play. This will help you select the shoe that will give you the most benefits and help improve your game.

Spiked shoes have come a long way from their original metal design to flexible plastic and are often available in sleek, stylish designs that will appeal to both the young and older golfer. Spikeless shoes offer long-lasting comfort and versatility with their seamless transition on and off the course. 

Although cleaning golf shoes can require unique methods, the benefits of owning a pair whether it be spike or spikeless are vast.