How to clean golf shoes

Golf shoes are a vital part of a golfer’s equipment, and keeping them clean not only extends their lifespan but also ensures optimal performance on the course. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of cleaning your golf shoes to maintain their appearance and functionality.

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1. Gather Your Supplies

Before you start cleaning your golf shoes, gather the necessary supplies:

  • Soft brush or toothbrush
  • Mild dish soap or specialized shoe cleaner
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber or soft cloth
  • Shoe polish (optional)
  • Shoe brush (optional)

2. Remove Surface Dirt

Begin by removing any loose dirt or debris from your golf shoes. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the outsoles, uppers, and any crevices. Be thorough but careful not to scratch or damage the shoe’s material.

3. Mix a Cleaning Solution

Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a small amount of mild dish soap or specialized shoe cleaner. Ensure it’s not too concentrated, as excessive soap can leave residues on your shoes.

4. Wipe Down the Shoes

Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy water solution and wring it out, so it’s damp but not dripping. Gently wipe down the entire surface of your golf shoes, paying extra attention to any stains or scuff marks. Avoid submerging your shoes in water or using excessive moisture, especially if they’re not waterproof.

5. Clean the Outsoles

Use a separate cloth or brush to clean the outsoles. Scrub away any dirt or grass stuck to the treads to maintain good traction on the golf course. Rinse the outsoles with clean water to remove any soap residue.

6. Dry the Shoes

After cleaning, let your golf shoes air dry naturally. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or heat sources, as this can cause the material to crack or warp. Stuff the insides with newspaper or shoe trees to help them maintain their shape while drying.

7. Optional: Apply Shoe Polish

If your golf shoes are made of leather, you can apply a high-quality shoe polish to restore their shine and protect the leather. Follow the instructions on the polish container for the best results. Buff the shoes with a shoe brush to achieve a polished finish.

8. Maintain Regular Cleaning

Regularly clean your golf shoes after each round or when you notice dirt buildup. Prompt cleaning prevents stains from setting in and ensures your shoes look great season after season.

9. Store Properly

When not in use, store your golf shoes in a cool, dry place. Avoid leaving them in a hot car or damp locker, as extreme conditions can damage the materials and cause them to deteriorate.

10. Check for Damage

Regularly inspect your golf shoes for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any damage, such as worn outsoles or loose stitching, consider getting them repaired or investing in a new pair to maintain your comfort and performance on the golf course.

11. Special Care for Spikeless Shoes

If you have spikeless golf shoes, pay extra attention to the tread pattern. Spikeless shoes are known for collecting debris and dirt in their grooves. To clean them thoroughly, use a toothpick or a specialized brush to remove any trapped dirt.

12. Dealing with Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains or scuffs, you may need to use a bit more elbow grease. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the cleaning solution and gently rub the stained area in a circular motion. Avoid using abrasive materials that could damage the shoe’s surface.

13. Properly Clean Soft Spikes

If your golf shoes have soft spikes, such as plastic or rubber cleats, remove them before cleaning. Clean the spikes separately to ensure they maintain their traction. After cleaning, reattach them securely to the shoe.

14. Consider Waterproofing

If your golf shoes are not waterproof, consider applying a waterproofing spray or wax to protect them from moisture. This is especially important if you play in wet or dewy conditions. Follow the product’s instructions for application.

15. Don’t Forget the Insoles

Remove and clean the insoles separately if they are removable. If not, gently wipe them down as part of your shoe cleaning routine. Keeping the insoles clean can help prevent odors and maintain comfort.

16. Rotate Your Shoes

Consider rotating between multiple pairs of golf shoes if you have them. This allows each pair to air out between rounds and can extend their lifespan. It also reduces the wear and tear on a single pair.

17. Professional Cleaning

If your golf shoes are exceptionally dirty or require specialized cleaning due to their material (e.g., suede or exotic leather), it may be wise to consult a professional shoe cleaner or cobbler. They have the expertise and tools to clean and restore your shoes effectively.

18. Store Accessories Properly

If you have shoe bags or shoe trees, use them to store your golf shoes. These accessories help maintain the shoe’s shape and keep them dust-free when not in use.

19. Replace Worn Outsoles

Eventually, even the best-cared-for golf shoes will wear out. Pay attention to the condition of the outsoles and midsoles. If they become significantly worn, consider replacing them or investing in a new pair to ensure your safety and comfort while playing.

20. Stay Informed

Lastly, stay informed about the specific care instructions for your golf shoe brand and model. Manufacturers may have specific recommendations to maintain the integrity and performance of their products. Check their website or product documentation for any brand-specific tips.

Cleaning Tools

Tool NameDescriptionPurposeWhere to BuyPrice Range
Soft BrushBristle brush with soft bristlesRemoves loose dirtGolf supply stores$5 – $15
Shoe CleanerGolf shoe-specific cleaning solutionCleans stains and scuffsSporting goods stores$8 – $20
TowelMicrofiber or cotton towelWipes off excess moistureAny department store$3 – $10
ToothbrushSoft-bristle toothbrushCleans hard-to-reach areasAny pharmacy$2 – $5
Shoe TreesAdjustable shoe treesMaintains shoe shapeOnline retailers$10 – $25

Cleaning Steps

1Remove shoelaces and insoles.
2Knock off loose dirt and debris by tapping shoes together.
3Use a soft brush to scrub the entire shoe’s surface gently.
4Apply a golf shoe cleaner solution and scrub any stains or scuffs.
5Use a toothbrush to clean seams and other hard-to-reach areas.
6Wipe down the shoe with a damp towel.
7Dry the shoes naturally, away from direct heat or sunlight.
8Reinsert insoles and re-lace the shoes once they are completely dry.

Cleaning Frequency

DailyRemove surface dirt and wipe down after each round.
WeeklyPerform a thorough cleaning, especially after muddy rounds.
MonthlyCheck for deep stains or scuffs and address them.
As NeededSpot clean immediately for any visible stains or spills.

Shoe Material Care

Shoe MaterialCare Instructions
LeatherUse a leather conditioner to maintain suppleness.
SyntheticWipe with a damp cloth and mild detergent for cleaning.
MeshAvoid soaking; clean with a damp cloth or sponge.
WaterproofUse a waterproof spray to maintain water resistance.
SuedeUse a suede brush and protectant to maintain the texture.

Additional Tips

Dry NaturallyNever use direct heat sources like heaters or dryers to speed up drying; it can damage shoes.
Store ProperlyKeep golf shoes in a cool, dry place and use shoe trees to maintain their shape.
Waterproof MaintenanceReapply a waterproof spray periodically to ensure water resistance.
Insole CleaningRemove and clean insoles separately to prevent odors and maintain comfort.
Professional CleaningConsider professional sh

By following these comprehensive steps and tips for cleaning and maintaining your golf shoes, you’ll not only keep them looking sharp but also ensure they provide the support and traction you need to perform at your best on the golf course. Regular care will extend the life of your shoes, making them a worthwhile investment for your golfing endeavors.

How to clean golf shoes


  • Grace Kaufman

    Grace Kaufman, our Creative Director and a Golf Course Design Specialist, brings a touch of creativity and visual flair to The Golf Mine. With a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of course layout, she ensures that our content not only informs but also engages and inspires. Grace's innovative approach, combined with her specialization in golf course design, enhances the overall experience for our readers, making our blog more than just words on a screen.

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