Can You Golf In Any Shoes?

Can You Golf In Any Shoes?

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When you’re new to golfing, you don’t want to spend a lot of money before deciding whether or not you want to continue golfing. 

As a beginner, golfing can be very intimidating. In addition to spending a large amount of money on equipment and other necessities, you also have to get used to the rules, golf vernacular, and other golf etiquettes, like clothing.

While so many golfers focus on whether or not they must wear collared shirts, shoes aren’t discussed as much. Do golf shoes make a difference? Can you golf in any shoes? If so, what kind of shoes are suitable? 

Can you play golf in tennis shoes or sneakers? All of these are valid questions for beginners, and we’re here to answer them in detail.

Are Golf Shoes Necessary?

It isn’t easy to know how to proceed when you’re new to a sport. Golf can be extremely confusing for those who are just starting. 

This is made even more complicated when beginners learn that different courses have different expectations for their members and visitors, and that these rules vary from course to course. 

That’s why it’s difficult to give a yes or no answer to the question, “Are golf shoes necessary?”

The answer is that it depends on the course. 

Most golf courses don’t require members or visitors to wear specific golf shoes, but this can be a requirement at more elite golf courses. For example, luxury clubs and private courses sometimes make golf shoes mandatory, and part of the “uniform” required to play golf. 

Some even go as far as to ban other types of footwear.

That’s why I would consider it a good practice to call and ask about their policies if you will be playing at a new course. Either call the course or check their website to ensure that you know what their shoe policy is. 

This way, you know what to expect, and can either borrow or rent a pair of golf shoes if necessary. 

However, as a rule of thumb, golf shoes are recommended at most courses but not strictly necessary.

Do Golf Shoes Make a Difference?

Golf shoes make a massive difference in comfort, gameplay, and safety. I will discuss each of those in more detail below. 


Golf requires a lot of walking, even when using a golf cart. Whether it’s sand bunkers or other obstacles, there are places golf carts cannot reach. 

As a result, you need to wear comfortable shoes to make the golfing experience enjoyable.

Golf shoes keep this in mind and are designed for comfort. In addition to stopping your feet from sliding around inside the shoe, they also keep you in place during the swing. 

In addition to being designed to handle the lateral and rotational pressure on your feet, they’re also waterproof and make it possible for you to remain dry during rainy weather or if you’re playing in the morning when the course is covered in dew.


The most widely discussed aspect that golfers focus on is gameplay. There’s no denying that golf shoes improve your gameplay. 

Golf shoes are specifically designed to keep your feet in place and help you perfect your swing. Golf shoes will dramatically improve your swing, whether you’re a beginner, an amateur, or a professional golfer. 

Without them, you’re at risk of your feet slipping and sliding, which is sure to hurt your shot and raise your handicap.


Most people focus on how much golf shoes can improve your swing and score, and they’re not wrong. Wearing the right shoes can improve your skills dramatically. 

However, a less talked about aspect about the importance of wearing the right shoes is safety.

Golf shoes are made for the terrain you’ll be walking and take safety concerns into account. Whether it’s transitioning during your golf swing or playing in hilly areas, golf shoes provide the proper grip required to maintain your balance. 

Without this, you can fall and injure yourself.

Can You Play Golf In Tennis Shoes?

Since golf shoes aren’t mandatory to play the game, you can play golf when wearing tennis shoes or sneakers. However, just because you can do this doesn’t mean that you should. 

Golf shoes are designed to provide grip and prevent your feet from sliding, while tennis shoes aren’t.

While you can play golf with tennis shoes, I would advise against it because it can result in serious injuries if you slip and hurt yourself. Tennis shoes and basketball shoes don’t have traction or the “ground force” needed to keep you safe and secure and generate swing speed.

Can You Golf In Any Shoes?

While golf shoes are optimal for golfing, other shoes can do in a pinch. However, it’s critical to make sure that these shoes have enough grip to support you and prevent slipping. 

Instead of tennis shoes or basketball shoes, you can opt for cross-trainers or hiking shoes with studs. These provide better grip, can help you prevent slipping, and may aid you during transition.

These are just some of the factors to keep in mind before choosing shoes for golfing. The most important factor is strong grip so you can avoid injury from slipping and sliding. 

After you’ve made sure that the shoes you’re opting for have good traction, it’s critical to ensure that they won’t damage the turf. Heeled shoes, for example, can leave imprints.

Final Thoughts

While you may be able to get away with wearing hiking shoes once or twice when you’re first trying out golfing, I would still suggest investing in golf shoes if you’re planning on golfing regularly. 

Even if you’re a recreational golfer on the weekend, golf shoes can be a great asset and are essential in terms of safety and gameplay and comfort.

With so many different styles of golf shoes on the market, there’s plenty of choice available. Additionally, there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a single pair of shoes since plenty of affordable options are also available. 

Whether you’re looking for spiked golf shoes or spikeless options, you’re sure to find something within your budget.

Matt R.

Hello, My name is Matt and I'm the founder of Just Golfin'. This site is all about one thing... GOLFING!

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