Spikes or spikeless?! This new study details which golf shoes promise more yardage

November 26, 2019
Tiger Woods was wearing metal spikes on Wednesday at the Memorial Tournament.

Spikeless shoes have become increasingly popular among golfers in recent years. But what are their effect on your game? That was the question on the minds of GOLF Top 100 Teacher Eric Alpenfels and Dr. Bob Christina, emeritus professor of kinesiology at UNC-Greensboro, as they launched a new study into the topic. Alpenfels and Christina took 28 adult male golfers, half of which had handicaps under 9 and the other half higher than 12. Each golfer hit 10 drives—five with spiked shoes and five with a spikeless model—into a 34-yard-wide simulated fairway. The results are, well, gripping.

GOLF SHOES WITH SPIKES

Spiked golf shoes came out the clear winner, with golfers of all skill levels averaging about four yards more of carry distance, thanks to a higher smash factor and faster ball speeds. Golfers added that they felt spiked golf shoes gave them better grip and more stability.

SPIKELESS GOLF SHOES

It wasn’t all bad for shoes sans spikes. Driving accuracy and clubhead speed was essentially the same across both designs, and golfers reported feeling more comfortable in spikeless kicks. This was especially true among the higher-handicappers, whose slower swings didn’t rely as much on gripping power.

Whether you prefer the spiked or the spikeless is up to you. We’ve included some of our favorites in the posts below.