Best Substitute For Golf Shoes

Golf shoes are specifically designed to enhance your performance on the golf course, providing traction, stability, and comfort. However, if you find yourself without golf shoes, don’t fret; there are alternative footwear options that can still provide a decent playing experience. In this article, we will explore the best substitutes for golf shoes, taking into consideration factors such as grip, comfort, and functionality.

  1. Tennis Shoes

Tennis shoes, also known as athletic sneakers, can be a great substitute for golf shoes. Designed for lateral movement and quick stops, they provide decent traction and support on the green. Look for tennis shoes with non-marking soles, as they won’t damage the golf course. However, be aware that tennis shoes may not provide the same level of waterproofing as golf shoes, so they may not be ideal for wet conditions.

  1. Cross-Trainers

Cross-trainers are designed for a variety of sports and athletic activities, offering a versatile option for those without golf shoes. They typically have more lateral support than running shoes, making them suitable for the twisting and turning movements involved in golf. Opt for cross-trainers with good traction to prevent slipping on the green.

  1. Trail Running Shoes

Trail running shoes are designed to provide excellent grip on various terrains, making them a viable alternative to golf shoes. Their aggressive outsole pattern can provide the traction needed for stability during your swing. However, be cautious of overly aggressive treads, as they can damage the greens. As with tennis shoes, waterproofing may be an issue in wet conditions.

  1. Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats can work as a substitute for golf shoes, especially for those seeking good traction. However, it’s essential to use cleats with rubber or plastic studs, as metal studs can cause significant damage to the greens. Additionally, soccer cleats may lack the comfort and support needed for a full round of golf.

  1. Spikeless Golf Shoes

If you prefer not to wear traditional spiked golf shoes, consider spikeless golf shoes. These shoes feature a flat outsole with rubber studs or dimples that provide traction without damaging the greens. They tend to be more comfortable and versatile than spiked golf shoes, allowing for a smoother transition from the course to other daily activities

  1. Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes are designed to provide excellent grip, support, and durability on rough terrains, making them a potential substitute for golf shoes. The sturdy construction and thick outsole can provide the stability and traction needed for a solid swing. Opt for low-cut hiking shoes for better flexibility and ankle movement during your golf game. However, hiking shoes can be heavier than other alternatives, which may affect your overall comfort on the course.

  1. Indoor Court Shoes

Indoor court shoes, such as those used for volleyball or squash, are designed for lateral movements and quick stops on smooth surfaces. Their non-marking soles offer good grip and stability, making them a suitable option for golfing. While they may not provide the same level of waterproofing as golf shoes, they can still offer a comfortable and functional alternative on the green.

  1. Turf Shoes

Turf shoes are primarily designed for playing sports on artificial turf, such as football or baseball. They feature small rubber nubs or patterns on the outsole, providing excellent traction without damaging the playing surface. As a result, they can be a reasonable substitute for golf shoes, offering a comfortable fit and decent grip on the greens. However, like other alternatives, turf shoes may not provide adequate waterproofing in wet conditions.

  1. Minimalist Running Shoes

For those who prefer a more natural feel during their golf game, minimalist running shoes can be an unconventional but effective substitute for golf shoes. Their thin, flexible soles allow for better ground connection and proprioception, which can enhance balance and stability during your swing. However, minimalist shoes may lack the support and cushioning found in other footwear options, so they may not be the best choice for everyone.

  1. Water Shoes

In wet conditions, water shoes can be a functional alternative to golf shoes. These lightweight shoes are designed for water sports and activities, offering excellent drainage and quick-drying capabilities. Their rubber soles provide decent traction on wet surfaces, which can be beneficial on damp greens. However, water shoes may not offer the support and cushioning needed for extended periods of walking, so they may be better suited for occasional use or short golf games.


Traction and Grip

SubstituteTraction Rating (1-5)Tread PatternOutsole MaterialSlip-Resistance
Tennis Shoes3VariesRubberModerate
Trail Running Shoes4Aggressive, Multi-terrainRubberHigh
Soccer Cleats4CleatsRubber, PlasticHigh
Spikeless Golf Shoes4Rubber Studs, DimplesRubberHigh
Hiking Shoes4Aggressive, Multi-terrainRubberHigh
Indoor Court Shoes3VariesRubberModerate
Turf Shoes3Rubber Nubs, PatternsRubberModerate
Minimalist Shoes2Minimal, Low-profileRubberLow
Water Shoes3VariesRubberModerate

Comfort and Support

SubstituteComfort Rating (1-5)CushioningArch SupportBreathability
Tennis Shoes4ModerateModerateHigh
Trail Running Shoes3ModerateModerateModerate
Soccer Cleats2MinimalLowModerate
Spikeless Golf Shoes4ModerateModerateHigh
Hiking Shoes3ModerateHighModerate
Indoor Court Shoes4ModerateModerateHigh
Turf Shoes3ModerateModerateHigh
Minimalist Shoes3MinimalLowHigh
Water Shoes2MinimalLowHigh

Durability and Maintenance

SubstituteDurability Rating (1-5)MaterialWater ResistanceEasy to Clean
Tennis Shoes3Synthetic, MeshLowYes
Cross-Trainers4Synthetic, MeshLowYes
Trail Running Shoes4Synthetic, MeshModerateYes
Soccer Cleats3Synthetic, LeatherLowModerate
Spikeless Golf Shoes4Synthetic, LeatherModerateYes
Hiking Shoes5Synthetic, LeatherHighModerate
Indoor Court Shoes3Synthetic, MeshLowYes
Turf Shoes3Synthetic, MeshLowYes
Minimalist Shoes2Synthetic, MeshLowYes
Water Shoes2Synthetic, MeshHighYes

Price Range and Availability

SubstitutePrice Range ($)AvailabilityPopular Brands
Tennis Shoes50-150Widely AvailableNike, Adidas, Asics
Cross-Trainers60-200Widely AvailableNew Balance, Reebok, Under Armour
Trail Running Shoes80-200Widely AvailableSalomon, Saucony, Merrell
Soccer Cleats40-250Widely AvailableAdidas, Nike, Puma
Spikeless Golf Shoes70-200Golf Stores, OnlineFootJoy, Adidas, Ecco
Hiking Shoes70-250Outdoor Stores, OnlineMerrell, KEEN, Salomon
Indoor Court Shoes60-150Sport Stores, OnlineAsics, Mizuno, Adidas
Turf Shoes50-150Sport Stores, OnlineNike, Adidas, Puma
Minimalist Shoes50-150Running Stores, OnlineVibram, Merrell, New Balance
Water Shoes20-80Outdoor Stores, OnlineSpeedo, Crocs, Columbia

Suitability for Different Golf Course Conditions

SubstituteDry ConditionsWet ConditionsMuddy ConditionsHilly TerrainFlat Terrain
Tennis ShoesGoodPoorPoorModerateGood
Trail Running ShoesGoodModerateModerateGoodGood
Soccer CleatsGoodModerateModerateGoodGood
Spikeless Golf ShoesGoodModerateModerateGoodGood
Hiking ShoesGoodGoodGoodGoodGood
Indoor Court ShoesGoodPoorPoorModerateGood
Turf ShoesGoodPoorPoorModerateGood
Minimalist ShoesGoodPoorPoorModerateGood
Water ShoesGoodGoodPoorModerateGood


  • Ray Barnes

    Ray Barnes, our Senior Staff Writer and a Golf Analyst with a PhD in Sports Analytics, is a beacon of insight in the golfing world. With a deep understanding of the sport's nuances, statistical analysis, and a talent for demystifying complexities, he provides in-depth analysis and captivating narratives that engage golf enthusiasts worldwide.

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