Buying golf shoes is not something to take lightly. Athletic gear like this costs a fair amount of money, so it is vital to have all the information needed to make a sound decision and a worthwhile purchase.
One of the important aspects to look at when purchasing golf shoes is the material used. The quality and price of shoes will usually depend on what was used to make them.
Leather And Synthetic Leather
Leather has been used since time immemorial to make all kinds of footwear—not just for golf. That being said, leather shoes will always have a special place in golfing history for being the most popular material used for footwear. One of the most iconic symbols of classic golf, the brown and white “saddle oxford” shoes by Spalding, were made out of leather.
There is good reason for the popularity of this material. While it can be very unyielding and rigid at the beginning, after being broken in, it will follow the contours of the wearer’s foot and mold to it perfectly for a very comfortable fit.
In addition, it is also usually waterproof, which is especially useful for a sport like golf, where the grassy terrain can be wet more often than not in some seasons. But despite being waterproof, leather is not a constricting material. It is in fact very breathable and still perfect for a hot summer day.
Leather shoes are usually of top-notch quality, which is often reflected in their price tags. Prices tend to be at the upper range for these items, especially for handmade, custom products with excellent craftsmanship. But for a frequent and long-time golfer, leather golf shoes can be considered as a great investment since they can last a lifetime if taken care of properly.
A less expensive option is synthetic leather. While not as high quality as 100% leather, it still definitely offers a reasonable level of utility for the wearer.
This is the material that is used in most commercial golf footwear. It delivers almost the same level of quality as leather, while not being quite as expensive.
Gore-Tex is durable, thick and fully waterproof. It is a heavy-duty material that is excellent against exposure to wet and cold weather. Because of this, it is used in many high-quality shoes as well. This is also the material used for most golf boots, a type of golf shoe that is specially designed to withstand the battering of the elements.
Despite being very heavy, Gore-Tex is actually still very breathable and will be comfortable in moderately warm weather. It is not advisable for very hot weather however, since it can get very warm and uncomfortable under these conditions. It will also cause the foot to sweat, which can be detrimental to a golfer’s performance by causing slips during a swing.
Wilbert L. Gore and his son, Robert W. Gore, invented Gore-Tex in 1969. It is also used extensively in the medical field.
Polyester is the material that is used in the least expensive of golf shoes.
It is usually used as a lining to reinforce a shoe and make it durable enough to withstand external conditions. Polyester lining is usually spread across the outer part of a shoe that is made of a different material.
This material is not as durable as leather or Gore-Tex, which is why it is so inexpensive. On its own, polyester doesn’t have the features of either of the previously mentioned materials. However, depending on the design and form of the shoe, a polyester shoe can still provide protection against adverse weather conditions.
One good thing about this material is that it is very light. It is not likely to weigh down a shoe, and since golf is a sport that involves a lot of walking, a polyester shoe may provide benefit in making walking a little easier.