The most organic way to play the game of golf is by walking the course. It allows you to take it all in, from the course design to the stunning views of and from the course. But walking 18 holes can be taxing on your feet. After all, walking 18 holes is almost like taking a 4-hour stroll around town.
Golf shoes comfortable enough for walking are a hot commodity these days and shoe brands across the golf industry are upping their game to offer you the best product possible. From spikeless, mesh, leather and waterproof, we’re here to cover it all and help you pick the right shoes for walking.
FootJoy Flex | Best Overall
At first glance, it doesn’t even look like a golf shoe. Only the FJ logo on the side gives it away with its otherwise casual shoe appearance. But man, are these sleek.
When it comes to comfort, breathability, versatility, and price, I found it extremely difficult to pick another shoe over the FootJoy Flex for our Best Overall pick.
When you slip into this shoe, you immediately can feel the comfort. It is lightweight but features large “traction zones” that help you perform on the course. A supportive EVA midsole provides cushioned support with every step throughout the round.
Although the feeling of stability with this shoe might not stack up with some of the other shoes on the market, the dropoff is negated by its walkability. The premium performance mesh uppers provide cool, refreshing comfort on warm days and a versatile athletic feel. Its spikeless nature allows you to go from course to clubhouse with style, without a dip in performance on the fairways.
Walking the course in the FootJoy Flex will feel like an afternoon stroll in a pair of cross-trainers. I don’t, however, recommend having these shoes as your only pair of golf shoes. The Flex is very much tailored for dry walking days on the course. If you’re a diehard that occasionally battles the elements, be sure to consider a waterproof option as well. But when it comes to looks, feel and performance, I can’t think of a better shoe for walking the course.
Adidas Tour360 XT-SL | Runner Up
The Adidas Tour 360 is a slightly more versatile option compared to the FootJoy Flex, however, it comes up just a little bit short in terms of comfort. I have it on this list as the runner up, but it’s definitely still an option to consider if you’re looking for a waterproof option and to potentially save yourself from owning two different pairs of shoes.
This shoe has been discontinued by Adidas but is still easy to find through Amazon and other shopping sites. Rather than the mesh feel of the FootJoy Flex, the Tour360’s have microfiber leather uppers that offer a different type of comfort altogether. This might be a feeling that you prefer compared to the lightweight and airy feel of mesh.
It gets the name “360” from its 360 wrap that locks in the foot and gives you stability. The boost foam midsole supplies cushioning and energy return on the bottom of your foot for increased power in your swing. Proper weight transfer is an important part of your golf swing and this shoe will help you in that department.
Climastorm protection repels water and the material of the shoe has a little “give” to it that allows you to not feel stuck in a stiff shoe. This stretchability will give you lasting comfort as you walk the course while still feeling that stability in your golf swing.
Once again, the spikeless bottoms give you the freedom to grab a beer in the clubhouse after 18, but the look of this shoe is closer to that of a traditional golf shoe. Overall, it is a classy-looking shoe that is a more than viable option for all-weather walking golfers. The diehards might want to choose this shoe over the FootJoy Flex.
Adidas Tech Response | Best Value
When it comes to walkability, Adidas puts out a great product with their golf shoes. Maybe it’s the company’s background with running, basketball and other sports that helps them bring comfort and flexibility over to golf. Who knows? But the Men’s Tech Response shoe is an excellent choice as well for those looking to keep their feet feeling great after a long trek around their favorite course.
This is a very popular shoe and for good reason. The price is definitely right and likely won’t hurt your wallet too much if you’re looking to upgrade your kicks for this season. The spikeless and athletic appearance of these shoes resemble more of a running sneaker but offer traction and support that will definitely help your golf game.
These shoes are breathable and have mesh uppers that hug your feet throughout the day and won’t leave you with blisters. The low profile EVA midsole ensures your foot is closer to the ground so you can use its forces in your golf swing. It’s extremely difficult to use the ground in your swing with an oversized sole that elevates you above the ground. This is definitely a highlight of this shoe.
Though these shoes are spikeless, the rubber grips on the outsole almost resemble real spikes. You might not get the same traction you would with traditional spikes, but I feel like the comfort you will feel with this shoe is hard to pass up, especially with the more than reasonable pricing. You should be able to find these shoes in-store at most golf retailers and there are plenty of options to purchase online as well.
PUMA Grip Sport | Budget-Friendly Option
Sometimes you’ve got to keep a tight budget. Maybe you’ve spent too much on new golf equipment already and you don’t want to break the bank for new shoes too. I get it!
I recently found myself in that situation and went with the PUMA Men’s Grip Sport. I definitely was not disappointed and ended up trusting these as my walking shoes for a couple of seasons. They are unbelievably lightweight and breathable. It barely feels like you’re even wearing shoes.
Walking 18 holes feels almost effortless with its two unique layers of cushioning and Fusionfoam EVA midsole. The breathable mesh uppers make it a comfortable fit and definitely won’t gift you any blisters.
I will say that the performance lacks compared to the other options on this list. Although the rubber spikes on the bottom provide some stability, they aren’t exactly flawless in wet conditions. The mesh material is not waterproof, so you’d be limited to strictly dry days with these kicks.
If you already own a great performance shoe but don’t have anything useful for long walking days, this is a solid low budget option that you can keep on the ready in your trunk. Definitely a great low budget option.
FootJoy Pro/SL | Best Waterproof Shoe For Walking
The “#1 shoe in golf” improved on an already beloved design for walkers. The Pro|SL by FootJoy prides itself on impact absorption and foot support with its Dual-Density midsole while also introducing other features that will improve your stability throughout your swing. The Power Harness feature provides lateral support in your swing while also providing the middle part of your foot with some increased comfort.
And best of all, the Premium ChromoSkin leather is incredibly soft but also 100% waterproof. Those soggy days on the course just got a lot more enjoyable! The 2-year waterproof warranty included with this shoe just proves that FootJoy is willing to bet on itself with this new waterproof design.
I love the look of this shoe. It breaks away from the traditional golf shoe look and joins the modern style that is reshaping the golf fashion game while maintaining (and improving on) many of the features that make traditional shoes effective. FootJoy also offers a wide array of customization options on their website with this shoe, so you can personalize and truly make it your own.
The 2020 version of this shoe has created quite a buzz on the market so far and for good reason. Some of the top tour players in the world trust this shoe for their golf game. With the lightweight feel and improved comfort features in this shoe, you should too.
FootJoy has always been a trusted brand in the golf shoe realm and has done their due diligence to provide you with an excellent option for improved stability and day-long comfort while walking the course. If you’re looking for waterproof comfort, choose the FootJoy Pro|SL.
What To Look For When Choosing A Comfortable Walking Golf Shoe
The first thing to look for when choosing a comfortable walking shoe is high comfort. People who ride have the luxury of sacrificing comfort for performance as they don’t need to walk more than a few feet throughout their round. You want to make sure you’re choosing a golf shoe that hugs your foot in such a way that it doesn’t hurt or bother you after a couple of hours of walking. Look for lightweight mesh material as this tends to be the most comfortable type of shoe to walk in.
Sometimes it comes down to choosing a breathable shoe versus a waterproof shoe. This depends on your climate and your dedication to the game. Someone who won’t ever cancel their tee time for a little rain would benefit more from a waterproof shoe. Those in warm weather climates might appreciate a more breathable shoe (mesh) on those hot midsummer days.
Despite the feel of the shoe, you still want to make sure it performs. Many of the best walking shoes are spikeless and therefore don’t have the same traction as some of the more traditional golf shoes. Look for a golf shoe that gives you ample support throughout your swing while not sacrificing too much in the area of comfort. I believe we included some great options in this list that will help you achieve that.
In my experience, there are plenty of low-budget options for walking shoes. If you’re feeling like you’ve spent a little too much already or don’t consider yourself die-hard enough to break the bank, we have plenty of affordable options listed above too.
How a shoe looks always comes down to personal preference. Some prefer the more traditional-looking shoe with a leather and mock-spike look. Others are drawn to the running shoe/cross-trainer look that has become popular in the shoe market. Regardless, there are plenty of options out there to suit your look. Just be sure you’re meeting your needs in terms of performance and weatherproofing.
Should I pick spiked or spikeless shoes?
Spikeless shoes are definitely a convenient option. You’re given the freedom to walk from parking lot to the first tee and welcome in all clubhouses. Pavement won’t do any damage and you won’t track as much dirt and grass inside.
Spikes do however perform better on the course in my opinion. But all in all, it seems like there are more spikeless options for walking shoes if that’s what you’re in the market for.
Do I need golf shoes on the course?
Yes! Regular sneakers just won’t cut it if you’re looking to improve your game. Balance and foot positioning are extremely important in the golf swing, so you want some grip under those soles to make sure you’re using the ground effectively and not sliding all over the fairway.
How far will I walk during 18 holes?
An 18-hole round could be anywhere between 3 and 5 miles depending on the length of the course and how much you’re chasing your ball around that day. If you were going to walk that far off of the course, I’m sure you’d have the proper footwear. Be sure to do the same especially even with a bag of clubs on your back!
Can golf shoes help me gain more stability with my swing?
Yes! To test this out, wear sneakers on a wet fairway and try to hit a solid shot. It’s pretty dang hard! Even some soft spikes will make a big difference in keeping you over the ball and making solid contact on most shots.