Spiked vs. Spikeless: Choosing the Right Golf Shoe

On the bottom of your golf shoe, you may notice small spikes similar to cleats or a flat, textured surface like your everyday shoes. What’s the difference between golf shoes with spikes and spikeless shoes? The short answer is that spiked golf shoes dig into the ground for added grip and stability during your swing, while spikeless golf shoes are designed for a variety of surfaces from grass to cement. Learn more about the conditions each golf shoe is best suited for and find the right shoe for your game!

Spiked Golf Shoes

Spiked adidas golf shoes

Spiked golf shoes are designed with protruding spikes or pins that dig into the ground, helping to provide grip and stability during a golf swing. These spikes can be replaced, meaning spiked shoes can maintain optimal traction longer than spikeless shoes. When the shoes start to lose grip, just use a cleat wrench and replacement spikes and you’ll be back to the tee box in no time.

The biggest advantage to spiked golf shoes comes in wet conditions. Because the spikes dig into the ground, you’ll be less affected by slippery grass and can maintain the same swing no matter the weather. If you play in rainy climates, spiked golf shoes can help you play your best rain or shine.

Spiked shoes have a couple of drawbacks, however. They are typically more expensive than spikeless shoes and may not be worth the price for occasional golfers. They’re also less versatile—to extend the spike’s lifespan, the shoes should only be worn on grass, meaning you’ll have to change shoes before you head in or out of the clubhouse.

Best for: Golfers who play often or play in wet conditions


  • Traction in a variety of conditions
  • Easy to replace and maintain grippiness


  • Often more expensive
  • Less versatile than spikeless shoes

Spikeless Golf Shoes

adidas Spikeless Golf Shoes

Spikeless golf shoes are designed similarly to regular athletic shoes. They feature a rubber sole with multiple traction lines that wrap around the shoe and dig into the ground. This provides stability throughout your swing and as you walk on different surfaces. While spiked golf shoes still provide consistent grip in more conditions, most modern spikeless shoes have rubber nubs placed in specific zones for enhanced stability and rotation—you’ll still get the grip you need for a successful swing with spikeless shoes.

The biggest benefit of spikeless golf shoes is their versatility. Since there are no plastic or metal spikes, the shoes can be worn across a variety of surfaces from grass to concrete. They also feel most similar to athletic shoes and are especially comfortable for casual golfers used to wearing tennis shoes or sneakers. Spikeless shoes tend to be less expensive as well, great for golfers who only play occasionally.

While spikeless shoes provide more grip on the course than a standard athletic shoe, they still offer less traction than spiked golf shoes, especially on wet grass. If you’ll play in wet conditions, spiked shoes may be a better option. Additionally, the grip on spikeless golf shoes can’t be replaced like spikes—when the grip wears out, your only option is to buy a new pair.

Best for: Occasional golfers or golfers who want the added convenience


  • Less expensive
  • More versatile than spiked shoes


  • Grips can’t be replaced
  • Less traction, especially on wet grass
travismathew spiked and spikeless golf shoes

When it comes to finding the right golf shoe for your game, spiked and spikeless shoes each have their pros and cons. Spiked shoes provide more traction, especially on wet surfaces, but should only be worn on grass as much as possible. On the other hand, spikeless shoes are more versatile and less expensive but don’t provide the same grip as spiked shoes. The right golf shoe for you comes down to how often you’ll play, the conditions you typically play in, and your personal preference. To get more advice on the right shoe to improve your game, stop by your local SCHEELS or check out our Expert picks for the Best Golf Shoes.

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