Softspikes Strike Back
I’m here to report that spiked golf shoes are making a comeback! Well, technically they never left, depending on where you play. You see, on the PGA Tour where every shot matters and one bad drive can cost you millions, spiked golf shoes are still dominant. PrideSports, makers of the Softspikes brand, reported that all four major winners this year wore Softspikes, 100 percent of the World’s Top 10 and 86% of 2022 PGA Tour winners wore replaceable spikes in their golf shoes.
I remember when the spikeless shoe revolution started. In 2010 at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai in Hawaii, Fred Couples showed up wearing casual-looking spikeless golf shoes made by Ecco, and even though he shot 21-under in three rounds and lost to Tom Watson in a playoff, all everyone wanted to talk about was his shoes. A few months later he showed up for a Monday practice round with Tiger at the 2010 Masters Tournament wearing the same shoes and lit the world on fire. The spikeless golf sneaker revolution had begun.
I admit, I was a sucker to the casual street/skater look and comfort that these new shoes offered, but the biggest attraction for me was not having to change shoes in the parking lot or locker room before playing golf. I could just wear my shoes out of the house, to the course and to the bar afterwards. In fact, I frequently wear my spikeless Puma Golf shoes to work. For years I’ve worn spikeless shoes knowing I’m sacrificing traction for comfort, but what I didn’t know was I was also giving up distance.
In a study performed by Dr. Bob Christina (Prof. of Kinesiology at the University of NC Greensboro) & Eric Alpenfels (Director of Instruction and Golf Academy at Pinehurst Resorts), they found that wearing spiked golf shoes can result in an average gain of 6 yards of carry with a driver compared to spikeless shoes. 6 yards doesn’t sound like much, but in many cases that’s enough to hit one less club into the green, or to carry that fairway bunker you always find yourself in on the corner of that one dogleg par 5.
The bottom line is, traction positively impacts performance. The pros know this. Softspikes has seen a steady uptick in usage among professionals since last year. We don’t know the percentage of amateur golfers that wear spiked shoes vs spikeless, but I suspect most amateurs are wearing spikeless shoes. For almost a decade I’ve worn spikeless shoes almost exclusively, but I’ll be switching back to spiked shoes and replacing the spikes in the few pairs I have with new Softspikes cleats.
Replacement Softspikes and CHAMP cleats can be purchased in the golf section of most large retailers, sporting goods stores, golf specialty and golf course pro shops. Cleats can also be purchased online from any of these locations, your favorite online store or directly from www.softspikes.com.
PrideSports is the undisputed leader in the golf cleat segment with its CHAMP and Softspikes brands. The company recommends golfers change their cleats every six to eight months – or even more frequently based on use – to ensure golfers get the maximum performance out of their footwear. In my experience, twice a year seems like a good interval.
CHAMP’s Helix®, Zarma Tour® and Stinger® cleats, as well as Softspikes’ Pivix®, Pulsar®, Silver Tornado™ and Stealth® cleats, dominate the OEM and secondary market in terms of performance and sales. More information can be found at www.champspikes.com and www.Softspikes.com, or follow @softspikesgolf and @PrideSportsUs on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.