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8 best men’s golf shoes that are comfortable and stylish both on and off the green

The Independent logo The Independent 04/08/2022 Harry Fletcher

Mark Twain famously said that golf spoils a good walk. He was totally wrong, of course, but one thing that we can all agree spoils a good walk is a bad pair of shoes.

When it comes to finding the right pair for you, it can come down to style, comfort and practicality, but most important is how they make you feel out on the course.

Golf is incredibly hard, and sometimes we need all the help we can get. Having a decent bag, putter and even a stellar golf jacket can all help you get to the 18th, but a great pair of shoes can make you feel a million dollars out on the links. And the best pairs will give you assurance and confidence, which we all know can be the difference between a good round and a forgettable one.

But which ones to choose? Time has moved on in the world of golf attire, and now there’s so much choice it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Plus, a golf course can be a stuffy place and, although dress codes around the world are slowly but surely loosening up, for many it’s a case of finding a quality pair that look stylish, but still respect the traditions of the sport. So we set out to find a pair that not only looked good but were comfortable enough to see us through from our first swing to our final putt.

How we tested

We took these shoes out for our usual club rounds at our local course and up onto a few Scottish links tracks on our yearly trip to the east coast. Thankfully, due to the weather the UK is experiencing in 2022, we were able to get out a few times a week on a hilly and taxing course to really check the comfort and practicality of each sample. With the amount of zig-zagging across the fairway we normally do, and the time we spend in bunkers and thick rough, you can guarantee we put them through their paces.

We didn’t often get to test them out on chillier, damper winter rounds, but we checked the waterproofing of the shoes and made sure we went out at least twice in each pair of shoes we include in the list below. We’ve included plenty of pairs that will suit most budgets, including ones aimed at players new to the game and perhaps looking to keep the costs down. These are the ones that are truly tee-rific (sorry).

The best men’s golf shoes for 2022 are:

  • Best golf shoe overall – Ecco biom C4 golf shoe: £210,
  • Best golf shoe for casual summer rounds – Adidas adicross retro: £75,
  • Best golf shoe for heavy rounds – Under Armour HOVR drive 2 golf shoes: £140,
  • Best trainer-style golf shoe with bold looks – Puma RS-G golf shoes: £64.99,
  • Best golf shoes for crossover styling – Duca del Cosma regent golf shoes: £169.95,
  • Best golf shoes for the true contemporary player – Adidas CodeChaos 22 golf shoes: £140,
  • Best all-weather non-spikes golf shoe – Payntr X 001 F golf shoes: £129.99,
  • Best premium golf shoe for traditional players – FootJoy premiere tarlow: £179.99,

Ecco biom C4 golf shoe

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Best: Golf shoe overall

This pair of premium Ecco golf shoes are some of the most comfortable shoes – golf or otherwise – that we’ve ever tried out. They’re favoured by a number of tour pros, with a custom design in collaboration with Erik van Rooyen – one of the most stylish players on tour, with a killer moustache to boot – and endorsed by YouTube golf star Rick Shiels, no less.

The Tri-Fi grip sole gives excellent comfort and grip, and the Gore-Tex waterproof technology makes them sturdy enough for robust weather. Perhaps most importantly, the looks tread a perfect line between smart and casual to deliver a shoe that works just about anywhere. They’re breathable in the summer and still waterproof, which makes them one of the most versatile available. We also wore these for a few days off the course and they more than held their own there too.

We wore them for a week straight and came away very impressed. They come at a pretty high-end price point, but when shoes can pretty much do everything as well as this pair, it’s well worth it.

Buy now £210.00,

Adidas adicross retro

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Best: Golf shoe for casual summer rounds

The comfort, paired with the affordable price point offered by the Adidas Adicross range alone, makes them the ideal option for people first getting into the game – or those looking for an accessible option for summer rounds at a good price. They’re dedicated golf shoes, but still cater to the casual player’s needs and offer a more street style-inspired look than many other options out there. They’re ideal for chucking on before a sunny Saturday round, but be warned that they’re suited best for fair-weather rounds as the water-resistant uppers could struggle in wet and windy rounds.

Best of all, they come at an affordable price point and cost less than you’d pay for a good pair of trainers, while offering good looks and rugged wearability. At £75, they’re one of the cheaper pairs we could find that still look the business when you pull them on.

The Adicross retros are golf shoes for the everyman who wants to look smart on his local course and not break the bank to do so. A very good choice.

Buy now £75.00,

Under Armour HOVR drive 2 golf shoes

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Best: Golf shoe for heavy duty rounds

Sadly, we can’t guarantee perfect golf weather all year round – which is probably for the best because we’d be out there 365 days a year if we could. While more casual pairs of golf shoes are perfect for summer sessions on the course, there will probably come times when players will require something a little more substantial. That’s where a top pair like the HOVR drive 2s comes in.

We’re getting used to seeing more and more spikeless pairs on the shelves of our local golf shops, but there will always be a demand for heavy duty pairs that can take a kicking out on the soggiest of fairways and come out unscathed. And Under Armour has a range of tech-packed shoes that offer athletic performance and fit, including a pair of the HOVR tours, which we also found to be good options when we tested them out. But it was the HOVR drive 2s that made the cut.

They felt rugged as soon as we put them on and still retained admirable comfort. There’s a waterproof membrane that helps to keep the shoes feeling lightweight but secure, as well as nice touches like the robust 3D-print toe guard. It also comes with a one-year waterproof warranty. Impressive.

Buy now £140.00,

Puma RS-G golf shoes

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Best: Trainer-style golf shoe with bold looks

The game of golf has come a long way, and these fashionable Puma kicks prove just how much the world of golf attire has moved with the times too. The Puma RS-G are some of the most striking options when it comes to golf shoes that are available now. They’re nice and comfortable, with chunky soles and more than enough grip for summer rounds, and they’re waterproof too.

But the looks are the biggest selling point. They work just as well with a pair of jeans after a round as they do with golf trousers or shorts out on the links – and that makes them a great option for people new to the game. If you buy these and don’t end up playing quite as much as you’d imagine, you’ll still have a pair of great trainer-style shoes in your wardrobe.

You might think twice about wearing the Puma RS-Gs to a bucket-list course, and the looks will probably prove too bold for some people, but for distinctive styling on and off the course these are pretty hard to beat. Do bear in mind, though, that the sizing can be a little snug, and the company recommends going half a size up.

Buy now £64.99,

Duca del Cosma regent golf shoes

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Best: Golf shoes for crossover styling

Golfers probably need only a second to look at the regents from Duca Del Cosma and they’ll know whether they love the look of them or wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. It’s true that they might not appeal to plenty of players with more contemporary tastes, but we love them. They’re handmade in Italy and the quality is apparent right out of the box. There’s plenty of grip on offer from the rubber spike-style soles, but the styling really is the selling point.

They’re not waterproof, so don’t be taking them out on squelchy fairways. But they’re ideal crossover pieces designed for players seeking a very wearable, transferable option that blends the modern game with old-school styling.

We took them up to play a couple of posh courses in Scotland on our annual trip and the quality feel of the construction and the beautiful looks made us feel at home. They take a little breaking in, but they’ll make you the sharpest dressed in the 19th hole after the round.

Buy now £169.95,

Adidas CodeChaos 22 golf shoes

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Best: Golf shoes for the true contemporary player

Don’t care for the look of traditional golf shoes? The Adidas CodeChaos 22 are about as far removed from the old school as you can get. Huge, bold styling is paired with athletic performance here. In some ways the shoes resemble a premium running shoe in looks, and the feel underfoot also lends itself to athletic performance.

The boost technology in the soles will put a spring in your step, while the spikeless soles offer some of the best traction we tried. There’s also the moulded EVA sockliner, which adds to the fit and function nicely. And at least 50 per cent of the upper is made with recycled materials, which is an admirable feature. Then, of course, there’s a choice of slap-you-in-the-face colour ways.

Traditionalists might balk at the idea of these, but the game is changing faster than ever in 2022. Get on board.

Buy now £140.00,

Payntr X 001 F golf shoes

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Best: All-weather non-spikes golf shoe

Spikes are definitely needed in some conditions, but having to take them off before heading to the clubhouse can put some people off. Thankfully the height of the plastic spikes on the X 001 F model from Payntr makes them a versatile option suitable for conditions all year round. They feel very solidly constructed without feeling rigid on the feet, as well as offering strong waterproofing and reassuring build quality. They also look sporty, but smart enough to pass the dress code at any course.

It’s an exciting brand to look out for too. This model was Payntr’s first foray into golf shoe manufacturing after developing shoes for athletes in other fields. One to keep an eye on.

Buy now £129.99,

FootJoy premiere tarlow

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Best: Premium golf shoe for traditional players

Now these are the kind of golf shoes you want to play bucket-list courses in. FootJoy has incorporated traditional looks with modern manufacturing in the tarlows, which are some of the most popular on tour. They’re worn by Justin Thomas, one of the most stylish players on tour, and one Tiger Woods, to name a couple.

To look at them, you might expect them to wear a little stiff, rub like hell and leave your feet cut up with blisters the first time you wear them, but our experience couldn’t have been further from that. The soft leather and sheepskin linings provided real comfort, even with just a pair of thin ankle socks on underneath.

There’s also a wide choice of colour options and the high-quality finish is evident throughout – from the quality of the leather to the stitching and the solid but supple feel of the shoe overall. They’re totally waterproof too and the spikes make them suited to pretty much any environment. The design is stunning and for us they’re the best-looking shoe on the list, but the traditional style definitely won’t appeal to all.

The most important thing about them, though? They feel special when you pull them on. The premiere tarlows aren’t the right shoes for a knockabout at the club after work, but if you’re going somewhere special, these are the ones you want in your bag.

Buy now £179.00,

Golf shoes FAQs

What shoes will work for you?

It’s all about circumstances when it comes to picking golf shoes. Everyone will have their own different criteria, but many players in 2022 will want shoes that work well both on and off the course. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there when it comes to spikeless shoes, which will go just as well while playing in your golf gear as they will with a pair of jeans in the pub afterwards.

For players looking to spend a little more, perhaps they’ll want to invest in a pair of more casual shoes as well as a heavy-duty waterproof pair suited for more testing conditions. There are also some stunning, traditional brogue options that continue to prove popular with players all over the world looking to connect with the history of the game.

As ever with golf, there are options available at all kinds of price ranges. It can be an expensive sport if you make it that way and everyone will have their own budget.

The verdict: Men’s golf shoes

Our pick for the best overall golf shoe, which ticks the most boxes for the contemporary player, is the Ecco biom C4. It offers everything, from supreme comfort to smart looks, ruggedness and transferability off the course, and left us very impressed.

The tarlow shoes from FootJoy put a smile on our face straight out of the box, and manage to mix traditional golf styles with more modern sensibilities. They’re stunning shoes, but it’s fair to say most golfers will prioritise other factors.

For the casual player not looking to break the bank, both the Adicross and the Puma RS-G shoes are great options, both with trainer-style designs that will cater to many.

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