The Evolution of Golf Shoes

Golf Shoes have evolved greatly over the past 100 years, nowadays the simple golf shoe is now much more high tech, designed to support your golf swing and play to the best of your ability.  As the same as the evolution of golf, the journey of the golf shoe began in the late 1800’s with the introduction of the ‘screw in spikes’. However, green keepers of golf courses complained about how the shoes damaged the grounds. However, now .. a century later the spikes have been updated non metal cleats to ensure damage is minimal to greens.

The first shoe called the ‘Saddle’ was originally introduced by Spalding for use with racquet sports or sports with intense bursts of activity. The instep (the part of the saddle that is usually different colour or tone) main purpose was to provide support against the foot during activity.  The saddle shoe didn’t win over the fast paced sports, but golfers took to them.  Gene Sarazen was the first pro golfer who wore these shoes in the early 1920’s.  The shoes became popular with females also, a first for unisex footwear.  The Saddle shoe is still being worn into the 21st Century.

The ‘Spectator’ shoe was the next in the line up for golf shoes.  The shoe made it’s introduction in the 1930’s as a more informal shoe (i.e. not business) that would be worn to bars and clubs.  Fred Astaire made this shoe popular in his dance sets, but it was the golfer Bobby Jones who brought these shoes to the green.


Looking at the technology that is part of current golf show showcases just how advanced golf shoes have come.  As well as fashionable, the golf shoes of today are wearable off the course as well as walking 36 holes with ease and comfort.