Heart and Sole – Anatomy of a Golf Shoe
Golf shoes seem simple enough. Just your standard wingtip or tennis-style shoe with some fancy plastic spikes stuck to the bottom, right?
From the outside looking in, that about sums it up. But there’s more to the modern golf shoe than meets the eye. In fact, shopping for proper golf footwear can get downright confusing without a working knowledge of the different pieces and parts that form the whole.
For instance, do you know what a footbed is? How about the upper? Know the difference between the midsole and outsole?
If you answered yes to all those questions, then stop reading and go shopping. If you’re stumped, relax. We’ve got the lowdown on these and other elements that fit together to make a single golf shoe.
Calfskin: Extremely soft leather made from, you guessed it, the skins of calves.
Footbed: A removable insole which is molded and contoured for comfort; it sits directly under the foot.
Full Grain Leather: Tanned leather displaying a natural animal-skin texture, or grain.
Heel: A piece attached under the heel of the foot; the height and material of the heel differ based on the shoe style. In traditional golf shoes, for instance, the heel may be a separate piece from the sole, whereas sportier styles integrate the heel into the sole.
Insole or Innersole: The cushioned interior portion of the sole, typically molded for a comfortable fit and added stability.
Last: Technically, not part of the actual shoe. The last is a wooden form around which the shoe is built. It is designed to replicate the size and shape of a foot. Shoes may be made with either standard or customized (“bespoke”) lasts.
Lasting: Again, not an actual shoe component, but the procedure which binds the upper to the midsole.
Memory Foam: No, it’s not the latest in artificial intelligence. Memory Foam is a high-density material which “remembers” the shape of anything pressing against it, such as a foot. The substance is often used in the tongue or collar of golf shoes.
Mesh: Breathable material often used in the upper to help regulate a shoe’s interior temperature.
Microfiber: Another breathable material, microfiber is soft yet strong and easily cleaned.
Midsole: Placed between the outsole and upper, the midsole is usually made from high-tech synthetics that provide cushioning and support.
Outsole: The very bottom portion of a golf shoe, or, where the rubber meets the turf.
Sockliner: A pre-formed liner on the insole, the sockliner cushions the foot and, if equipped with moisture-wicking capabilities, keeps the feet dry and cool. Sockliners are often removable.
Spikes or Cleats: Polymer-based prongs attached to the golf shoe’s sole to grip the turf and prevent slippage during the swing. Often called “softspikes” (actually a brand name), today’s golf cleats are more easily removed and replaced than the metal spikes of old. They’re also better for greens, concrete and wood surfaces, which is why most courses no longer allow metal spikes.
Upper: The part of the shoe above the sole; in other words, the visible, top part of the shoe, from heel to toe.
At Comfortable Golf Shoes, we’re committed to helping you find the best golf shoes on the market by giving you a wide range to choose from.
We offer high-quality, stylish, waterproof, turf-gripping and, most of all, comfortable golf shoes from the best brands in the business, including FootJoy, Nike, ECCO and adidas.
Take a look at the golf shoes we have on offer.
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