Golf shoes do a lot of walking – on the golf course and from the clubhouse to the tee and from the last green to the changing rooms. If you have spikeless shoes, you could certainly wear them out, but they may not be the best choice for walking outside of the course.
Golf shoes (spiked or spikeless) should not be used for walking, except for walking on a golf course, as this is part of their design and function. If you plan to walk in them for street or fitness walking, they would not be suited for this purpose as the soles are designed for golf courses, not the street.
But, if you are planning to walk on grass similar to what you’d encounter on a golf course, then your golf shoes could well be used for that, as this is congruent with what they were designed to do.
So let’s see when you could and couldn’t use your golf shoes for walking.
What Are Golf Shoes Designed To Do?
The first function of golf shoes is to provide traction for your feet and body during the golf swing. The shoes are designed to provide lateral movement support to the lower body while in motion, and they do this using soft spikes or spikeless soles that grip the ground during the swing.
One of the primary differences between golf and walking shoes is the support structures in the shoes.
Most walking shoes and running shoes are made to support forward and backward motion, while golf shoes lend support to counteract the torsional forces experienced by the body during the swing.
Torsional forces occur during the upper and lower body’s twisting during the swing and affect the hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Tremendous forces act on the body as the force and acceleration build up during the swing.
The lower body especially needs the traction and support provided by the shoes to keep you balanced and prevent injury to your feet, ankles, knees, and hips. So you can execute the swing without worrying about slipping or hurting yourself.
So golf shoe designers create the support in the shoe to keep traction and support the lower body.
This is why golf shoes aren’t good for running, but they could be used for walking depending on where you walk.
Where Could You Walk With Golf Shoes?
Golf shoes are designed for walking on grass and occasional sand (depending on how straight you hit the ball) and have waterproof and breathable layers that prevent the shoes from collecting water and allow the feet to breathe during the round.
Where support is needed for awkward lies, golf shoes provide that support, so you don’t twist your ankle while swinging or fall over as you have traction on the ground.
In the same light, walking on grass trails or a golf course would work for your golf shoes, and you could easily use them for this purpose daily if that were the idea. Any terrain similar to the golf course terrain and surfaces would be suitable.
The real question is, do you want to walk in your golf shoes and wear them out sooner?
Where Walking In Golf Shoes Wouldn’t Work
If you plan to walk on tar, asphalt, or concrete as part of your walking regimen, it would be preferable to get shoes that are better suited to those kinds of surfaces.
The biggest concern is traction, as golf shoes, especially soft spikes, are not designed to provide traction on those kinds of surfaces. The modern spikeless shoes, while more like sneakers are still based on traction for grass, and while you could wear them out to dinner, doing a 10-mile walk on the street may not be ideal.
The Wear And Tear Factor
If the roads are wet or slippery, then sneakers would be better as they offer better overall traction than golf shoes, and obviously, soft spiked shoes (or any spiked shoe) would not work there.
The spikeless shoes could work, but the wear and tear on the soles would reduce their lifespan, and you could risk losing traction when you wear them on the golf course – meaning you’d need to buy new ones.
The friction between asphalt and the shoe’s sole would wear away the rubber faster than if you were just on grass, so replacing your golf shoes would become a more regular occurrence.
Since golf shoes, especially the newer spikeless ones, cost more than sneakers do, would you want to walk in them if you didn’t have to?
For the odd emergency or unavoidable instance, then sure, you can walk in your golf shoes. And yes, I’m no angel. I’ve taken the dog for a quick walk before a round in my spikeless shoes to save time!
Still, if your golf and walking regimens are separate, it would be better to have shoes designated for each specific activity. This way, you would get optimum results from each and not worry about traction while walking or playing golf.
Would You Wear Walking Shoes For Golf?
Let’s reverse the roles here. Would you wear sneakers you walk in to play golf? Probably not; as you know, they wouldn’t give the proper traction. While they would support your feet while walking, the swing support would not be there.
There are few things worse than that anxious feeling you get when walking on a surface and worrying that you could slip and fall with every step, and if you were wearing golf shoes on a surface where they couldn’t provide traction, that would be a very stressful experience.
This is very much horses for courses situation, and it’s best to use the right horse for the right course, so both you and the horse make the finish line without injury.
While you could conceivably wear your golf shoes for walking, especially if the walking surfaces are similar to that of the golf course, you would end up wearing out your golf shoes faster than usual as well as risk losing traction.
Considering the cost of golf shoes and the fact that there is an almost infinite variety of shoes available for every possible activity, it would probably be better to invest in a pair of walking shoes and leave the golf shoes for the first tee!