Are Golf Shoes Good For Hiking? (Answered!)
Among the keys to good performance in golf is certainly a decent pair of shoes.
Golf shoes are specifically designed to help golfers and maximize grip and stability on the turf, especially while swinging the club.
However, good golf shoes don’t come cheap and can often take a significant chunk out of the player’s budget.
As many golfers also enjoy other sports and all kinds of recreational activities, getting specifically designed shoes for each of these purposes can be quite expensive.
So, it would be more than convenient if they could also use golf shoes outside the golf course.
It’s a well-known fact that a lot of golfers are outdoorsy types and love nature, so, many of them are particularly interested in finding out are golf shoes good for hiking.
Below, I’ll look into this and explain in detail whether golf chose can also be used on the hike trails.
So, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Are Golf Shoes Good For Hiking?
Even though it’s not their primary purpose, golf shoes can be used for hiking, at least on some of the less extreme trails.
Golf shoes are specifically designed to provide good traction on the ground and keep players comfortable during their time on the golf course, which can take the whole day.
Solid grip and traction, as well as comfort, are also the main requirements of good hiking shoes, so golfing shoes can fit that role pretty well.
However, golf shoes don’t offer much ankle support which is also very important for hiking.
That’s why it’s best to use them on easier trails without much elevation gain or particularly rocky and uneven surfaces.
If you feel that golf shoes serve you well during light hiking, you can then try to wear them on more demanding trails.
Still, if you experience any discomfort, then it’s probably better to purchase proper hiking shoes.
Spiked vs Spikeless Golf Shoes for Hiking
It’s important to note that not all golf shoes are suitable for hiking. There are two main types of golf shoes: spiked and spikeless.
Spiked golf shoes feature spikes that can be made of metal or plastic.
These spikes, depending on the type, are usually detachable and can be easily removed from the shoe.
The main purpose of the spikes is to dig into the surface and, in that way, provide better traction and stability.
Spikeless shoes, on the other hand, don’t have classic spikes, but rather rubber or textured studs molded into the sole.
Some spikeless shoes may not even feature studs of any kind, but only aggressive treading on the bottom of the sole.
They’re rather similar to classic sneakers and golf players often wear them outside the golf course, for more casual purposes.
Are Spiked Golf Shoes Good for Hiking?
While spiked golf shoes provide a good grip on grass, they are specifically designed to deliver traction on soft surfaces.
On harder surfaces, such as rocky hiking trails, they are pretty much useless when it comes to traction and stability.
In fact, it’s the opposite, as they can be very slippery and unsafe.
So, wearing them while hiking will increase the chances of falling or slipping, which can be very dangerous, especially on trails near cliffs or canyons.
Furthermore, wearing spiked shoes on the hard ground during longer walks can be very uncomfortable.
It’s very likely that your feet will become sore on longer hikes. Even removing the spikes won’t do much for your comfort.
Doing this may help you walk shorter distances around the golf course, but on the hiking trail, you’ll probably find your shoes to be uneven and awkward to use.
Are Spikeless Golf Shoes Good for Hiking?
If you plan to use golf shoes for hiking, then the spikeless shoes are definitely the option you should go with.
Even though on grass, they don’t offer the level of traction and grip provided by spiked shoes, they perform much better on hard surfaces.
Therefore, spikeless golf does are much better suited for hiking trails.
The sole with the aggressive treading or molded rubber studs provides a solid grip making sure you won’t slip that easily.
So, you can rest assured you’ll be quite safe, at least on less challenging trails.
Furthermore, spikeless golf shoes are much lighter and far more comfortable which is very important if you plan to go on a long hike.
Plus, if you care about that, there’s a much wider range of styles and designs available.
Pros and Cons of Using Golf Shoes for Hiking
As you can see, you can use golf shoes for hiking purposes, but only under certain conditions and for certain types of hiking.
If you prefer to hike more challenging trails and explore areas with rough terrain, you will probably be better off going with specifically designed hiking shoes.
While golf shoes have some advantages that can be useful for hiking, on more demanding trails, some of their drawbacks come to light.
Be aware that the benefits and downsides described below relate only to spikeless golf shoes.
If you own spiked golf shoes, then wearing them while hiking is strongly discouraged.
- golf shoes are fairly light and fit well, so you’ll be comfortable on most hiking trails.
- golf shoes are commonly waterproof, which comes in pretty handy on the hiking trail.
- golf shoes are commonly well-ventilated so your feet will stay cool.
- rigid sole and cushioned heel of golf shoes do a pretty good job of protecting you from injuries while hiking.
- golf shoes commonly feature more stylish designs compared to bulky hiking shoes.
- you will save some money by using golf shoes for both golf and hiking. Plus, golf shoes are commonly cheaper than hiking shoes.
- while you can wear golf shoes outside the golf course, they’re primarily designed for casual wear, not heavy-duty use often required on hiking trails.
- using golf shoes for hiking will significantly decrease their durability. Hiking shoes are more rugged and designed to withstand the test of long hikes on rough terrain.
- over time, golf shoes, if used for hiking, may lose their traction properties.
- golf shoes lack proper ankle support which is crucial when hiking on particularly rocky and rough trails. Most golf shoes are cut below the ankle.
- if you plan to go on longer hikes, wearing golf shoes will likely make your feet sore after a while.
- you can forget about running the hiking trail in golf shoes.
Wearing golf shoes certainly seems like a good idea, as it’s a great way to use them more than once or twice a week and get more bang for your buck.
However, if you plan to use golf shoes on the hiking trail, you should manage your expectations.
They’re not a substitute for proper hiking shoes, specifically designed for this purpose, but can serve you fairly well on more casual hikes,
If you’re more serious about hiking and love to explore more challenging trails, leading you across rough terrain, then it’s a better idea to invest in good hiking shoes and keep golf shoes for when you hit the links.
However, for light hiking, on easy terrain, golf shoes can be rather useful and help you feel safe and comfortable on shorter trails.