Whether you've spent enough time on the course in 2012 or it's time to look like a grownup when you hit the links, here are a few things you should know before buying your first pair of golf shoes. From Tiger Wood's signature shoe to the classic brogue, get the basics here so you can make the right choice for your game and wallet. Here are 10 Things Every Man Should Know Before Buying His First Pair of Golf Shoes.
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No. 1 - Know How Low You Can Go
Golf shoes have moved in two very different directions when if comes to outsoles: shoes that take cues from your feet and allow for toe wiggling freedom and control, and the traditional firm standing numbers who use spikes to do the heavy gripping. For the barefoot golfer in all of us check out the True Barefoot, and for regular platform pounders you can’t beat the adidas Tour 360's all-terrain wonder-soles.
No. 2 - Consider Weight vs. Distance
Think about how much time you will be spending walking the course. For the young guns who practically run 18, it’s important to get shoes that won’t weigh you down. Oakley’s Cipher for instance, comes in at the lowest weight of any golf shoe, 9.2 oz. For old pros, who like their feet firmly on the ground, there’s the Allen Edmonds Legend.
No. 3 - Equip Yourself Rain or Shine
Those people playing in desert oases may be looking for shoes that breathe more than weatherproof leather. But for those who spend a good time out in the elements, there’s some shoes that can be a shelter from the storm. For the well stitched leather approach, try FootJoy DryJoys, and if you need a little desert heat relief as well, there’s Nike’s hi-top inspired Air Bandon.
No. 4 - Are You a Spike or Spikeless Golfer?
Without spikes, most golfers would lose their balance and throw off their swing. The wrong spikes can elevate you too far off the ground, taking stability and balance from your swing. There are lots of non-traditional grips being produced, with great results, like the Vivo Barefoot Hybrids which puts more of your foot in contact with the ground. But spikes are getting more sophisticated too, especially the Puma Spark Sport and its concentric rods. Or you could upgrade your existing pair with some top of the line PGA spikes, like Softspike’s Black Widow line.
No. 5 - Let Your Feet Breathe
Unless you’re golfing off-season, there’s always a strong danger of over-heating, which can throw a big hot wrench in your swing. Wet feet cause unwanted friction and slipping often in the same swinging motion. For ultimate cross breeze, try adidas Climacool. To still keep your stylish look afloat, Allen Edmond’s Double Eagles will take you there.
No. 6 - Stay Comfortable
A shoe with a death grip on your feet is a sworn enemy, but with the advances in foam and sole technology, the options are wide and varied. For guys looking for top of the line moon man technology, Nike’s excellent, lunarlon padding can be found in the Lunar Control. For a more old school approach to luxurious cushioning, there’s the ECCO BIOM Hybrids. Keep in mind, golf shoes get a lot of standing time, and what may be comfortable in the store, may not stay that way after a week or three. No. 7 - Toe Box vs. Roll Toe
A common problem with golf shoes happens in the toe. The soles are often very thick, allowing the front pad of the foot to act as the hinge and not the toes. To fix this problem, you need thinner toe soles, like on the True Tour 2012, or a wider toe box, like the FootJoy Classics Tour. Once you can comfortably grip in this way, you'll be surprised how smooth that swing will go.
No. 8 - Hybrid Shoes
If you're looking for a shoe that can off the green, try the Sensei's. It's also a good idea to stay classy with the Callaway Del Mar. Sporty or dressy, it's all up to you.