Junior Golf: Spikes Or Spikeless

In today’s Friday Flop Shot we will look at another criteria for buying golf shoes for your son, those with spikes or the ones without spikes, called spikeless. It does make a difference.(photo offcoursegolf.com)img_0106

In a TV broadcast a couple of years ago, Paul Azinger and David Feherty were talking about spikes and golf shoes. Zinger said, “They’d have to pay me a million dollars to wear a pair of those spikeless shoes!” To which Feherty replied, “Yes, I want nails!”

What does this conversation mean?
The purpose of spikes on golf shoes is basically traction, not slipping. There are a lot of times it’s tough to get good traction on a golf course. Grass, in itself is slippery and the longer it is, the tougher it can be to get solid traction. Loose dirt or sand, mud, small rocks or gravel all present their own traction challenges. So traction in merely walking or taking a stance has its own issues. But what Zinger and Feherty were mostly referring to is stability during the golf swing and follow-through. The forward foot must remain stable for proper distance, direction and balance, as well as helping prevent injury due to slipping.
Watch highly skilled golfers, men or women, and pay particular attention to their balance. It is a thing of beauty and it is essential in order to play golf at the highest level. You can also try walking around the golf course in shoes with limited traction. How is it to walk up a steep grassy slope? Not that much fun? Hard to get traction?
What’s a Dad or Mom to do for their junior golfer? Here’s a real-life example. Our whole family wore Adidas Tour 360 golf shoes for years and loved them. No break-in period, always waterproof and comfortable and good-looking. These are the shoes with the 3 45-degree stripes on the side that you see a bunch of the pros, both men and women wearing. They have soft spikes. They are fabulous golf shoes! (image google.com)image
So about S3’s junior year in college he falls in love with the Footjoy Comfort Spikeless golf shoe, bought 2 pairs and wore them almost 2 years. Now, please understand that while spikeless golf shoes do not have spikes, they do have small nubs on the sole for some degree of traction. It is not close to the amount of traction the your son can get with soft spikes, however. Near the end of his senior year, S3 says he’s going back to soft spikes, from his spikeless golf shoes, because he slipped a couple of times in tournaments, on long grass and it cost him some strokes. Ah, the price of education!image
Even if your son is shooting in the 70’s every round, I still feel you will put him in the best position for success by going with spikes. He needs the traction. The most important factor is proper fit, that the shoes are comfortable and need NO break-in period. With all the comfort technology available today, there is no reason to ever buy golf shoes with a break-in time. Your son should be able to put them on and go walk 18 holes immediately, with no problem. (photo golfwrx)
They must be waterproof. Quality shoes usually offer 1 or 2-year periods of waterproof warranty. Also important for your budget is to buy shoes with replaceable soft spikes. There are some models without this feature and the issue is that when the spikes are worn, the shoes are no good for golf and you now must buy new shoes instead of new spikes, big dollar differential!
See you on #1 tee with a new pair of soft spike golf shoes… Sam

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