How many pairs of golf shoes do you currently own?
If you’re anything like the majority of golfers, you currently own one pair of golf shoes that you wear every time you hit the links. However, most serious golfers own several pairs of golf shoes and rotate them out regularly. What benefit would you see from owning multiple pairs of golf shoes?
It turns out there is a great deal of benefit.
Ideally, every golfer should own at least two pairs of golf shoes that they actively use one at a time, rotating each round.
The benefits of alternating between two pairs of golf shoes
- Your golf shoes will last longer. As you walk round after round, the wear and tear on your shoes will be spread across more than one pair of shoes. Golf shoes typically last for 1-3 seasons (which equates to roughly 400 miles of walking), depending on how many rounds you play each year, so getting the maximum value out of your shoes is a smart idea, considering the cost of shoes and the many other pieces of gear in your bag. One way to more precisely determine the expected lifetime of a golf shoe is by using this formula:
Lifetime Expectancy in Years = 400 / (Distance Walked Per Game [in miles] x How Often You Play Per Year).
So, if your course’s scorecard says that the course is 7,414 yards, that is the same as 4.2 miles (to convert yards to miles divide the number of yards by 1760). Using the formula above, you should expect to be able to walk that course 95 times before your golf shoes reach the end of their lifetime expectancy. If you were to play golf once per week, you should expect your shoes to last for 2 years. If you play twice a week, that drops to 1 year, and so on. Please note that other factors will influence how long your golf shoes will last, such as how often you clean them after use, if you allow them time to recover after use, course conditions, how they are stored when not in use, and whether or not you wear your golf shoes off the course as well, like while at the driving range or walking to and from the parking lot of your club.
- Your padding will recover fully. Wearing the same pair of golf shoes each time you play does not allow the padding and foam in your shoes enough time to decompress and return to their original state. Each step that you take and swing that you make has force from the foot pressing down at 1 to 2 times your body weight, which adds significant stress to the shoes. By having more than one pair of shoes to rotate between you allow additional time for your shoes to fully decompress 24-48 hours after a round. This becomes especially important if you play golf more than twice a week. Playing lots of golf in a short period of time will wear your shoes down much faster than if you allow them a couple days to recover. The longer you can leave a shoe to return to its original state between rounds of golf, the longer your golf shoes will last.
- Your shoes can fully dry out. An unfortunate reality of golf is sweaty feet. When you walk for hours at a time across fairways, sand, and rough, all 125,000 sweat glands in each foot are forced to work overtime to keep your feet cool,, which soaks through your socks and into your shoes. This is, of course, completely normal, and given a little time the shoe will dry out and return to normal. However, if you wear the same pair of shoes too often this sweat will not have time to fully dry out, which can actually cause the padding and foam inside the shoe to start to lose its shape. Having a second pair of golf shoes will ensure both shoes have enough time to fully dry out between rounds, thus removing the chance that the shoes will begin to deform and become uncomfortable and ineffective during play.
- There are no cost savings if you wait to buy a second pair. Whether you buy two pairs of shoes or one, your cost will ultimately be the same (or even higher if you wait). The cost of all golf products has been rising steadily for decades now, so if you wait another year or two to buy a pair of golf shoes you will almost certainly end up paying more for that pair in the future. Additionally, it doesn’t look like the disruptions to supply lines all around the world are going to slow down any time soon. These shipping delays have been going on since the beginning of COVID and have driven the costs of many goods up in recent years and this unfortunate trend is projected to continue or worsen for many months and years ahead. Economically speaking, having two pairs of golf shoes can save you money in the long run.
- The shoe you like may not be available in the future. Another risk of waiting to buy a second pair of golf shoes is that a style that you like will be sold out, discontinued, or redesigned. Every year manufacturers design and release new models of their golf shoes, often changing the comfort or style in the process. However, the purpose of a golf shoe never changes; helping you get better ground connection for greater distance and accuracy. So, if you own a specific shoe that really works for you and your game, why risk losing it when it reaches the end of its lifecycle? It could impact your game when you are forced to switch to a new shoe that doesn’t work as well for you when you could have bought another pair before and gotten a couple more years of benefit from it. When you are a competitive golfer, this awkward transition period from an old shoe to a new shoe can sometimes mean the difference between winning and losing.
- Different shoes for different purposes. While some golfers may want to have two pairs of the same model of golf shoe, others may want to own two completely different pairs of golf shoes to serve different needs while on the links. For example, you may want to own one pair of golf shoes that are waterproof for rainy days and another pair of mesh style golf shoes for extra hot days where your feet need that ability to breathe (we highly recommend checking out SQAIRZ SPEED for a great waterproof golf shoe and checking out our new SPEED Mesh golf shoes once they are available in Summer 2022).
Tips for rotating your golf shoes
It’s important when buying a second pair of golf shoes to make sure the style you choose is not a radical departure from what you are already used to, unless you know exactly what you are doing. Gradual changes or slight improvements to what you are already used to are what you should keep in mind when buying a second pair of golf shoes.
It may be a good idea to slowly implement a drastic change in your golf shoes to learn how to change your game up over time instead of forcing yourself to relearn everything all at once. The lightest and heaviest golf shoes on the market can differ in weight by more than 1 pound, and while that doesn’t sound like much, having more structure (more weight) can prevent the foot from sliding back and forth in the shoe and significantly reduce the amount of foot fatigue after thousands of yards of walking.
Brand loyalty is another consideration to take into account. Many people would scoff before ever considering buying a pair of golf shoes from anything besides their favorite brand, while others give almost no thought to the manufacturer, instead focusing on price or quality before anything else. It’s important to research the benefits and drawbacks of each style of shoe, as slight differences in comfort, stability, or quality can have a measurable impact on your game. If you are a serious golfer, however, you should ensure you are buying cleated golf shoes that have a sturdy outer material that can’t easily bend or twist while you are swinging a golf club.
It is also important to remember that feeling soreness or pain in your feet when switching to a new golf shoe is common and doesn’t always mean something is wrong with the shoe. The process of “breaking in” a new shoe can take several rounds and you should take it easy during that time to help your feet adjust with as little pain as possible. However, if your new shoes are giving you blisters and not fitting properly, that is an issue that needs to be addressed by ensuring you have the proper length and width of shoe. If your feet are able to move in the shoe in any direction, the shoe is too big and that movement will almost certainly cause pain and blistering. Additionally, if the shoe is tight around the toes, sides and top of the foot and you can barely move your foot at all, the shoe is too small and will also cause pain and discomfort. Your shoe should be snug; not too tight and not too loose, and no part of the heel or inner material should be sticking into any part of your foot or ankle. Don’t ignore pain in your feet, this could lead to a serious injury.
You should always be trying to improve your skills and your gear when playing golf, and having multiple pairs of golf shoes can help you just like having different golf clubs for different situations can help you. Everyone knows that great golfers know how to adapt to different conditions on the course, and different conditions in their own bodies. Having multiple pairs can help you to ensure your shoes are in tip top condition and that you are doing everything you can to get the maximum performance and value out of your shoes.
Don’t be afraid to invest in your gear and to have multiple pairs of golf shoes on hand. In a game where an inch can mean the difference between par and bogey, you should take any advantage you can get.