The Best Substitute For Golf Shoes - (Golf Instructor’s Tips)

The Best Substitute For Golf Shoes — (Golf Instructor’s Buying Guide)

As part of the golf Instructor team here at Tell Me More Golf, I want to help you make an informed buying decision; getting you the Best Substitute for Golf Shoes from our review list!

Our expert review guidelines are used by Tell Me More Golf’s review team in order to complete the findings:

  • Stability
  • Grip
  • Comfort
  • Looks

#1. Nike Men’s Road Running Shoe – Best All-Round

Best Quality
NIKE Men's Road Running Shoe, Black White Dk Smoke Grey Grey, 8.5

To find the best substitute for golf shoes, our review team primarily looked for the following guidelines: stability, grip, comfort, and looks.

The Benefits:

These trail running shoes from Nike are an excellent substitute for golf shoes because they have a stable sole which enables you to keep your stability during the golf swing and hit a great shot. They also have enough flexibility and cushioning to remain comfortable for a long round of golf. The soles are also very grippy in dry and wet conditions.

The design is quite sleek and minimal with the classic Nike logo, which some people may find too basic. 


  • Great stability 
  • Comfortable cushioning 
  • Grippy soles


  • Basic design

#2. New Balance Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe – Extra Grip

Most Popular
New Balance Men's Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe, Black/Magnet, 9 M US

Grip is crucial when playing golf to ensure you don’t slide when hitting the shot. When searching for a shoe with good grip for golf, we looked for a sole that wasn’t completely flat without the risk of damaging the golf course.

The Benefits:

The Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe from New Balance can easily be used for golf as well as running. The fabric is high-quality and soft, and the comfortable cushioning ensures that you’re comfortable for a long round. The soles aren’t flat and have a special pattern that makes them grippy.

Some people may find these shoes a little too rigid and firm around the feet, but that has many benefits for keeping stability in the golf swing and good control as a result.


  • Very stable
  • Soft and comfortable fabric
  • Soles have grippy patterns


  • On the firmer side

#3. Peak Men’s Lightweight Walking Shoes – Budget-Friendly

Best Budget
PEAK Mens Lightweight Walking Shoes Comfortable Slip On Sports Sneakers for Tennis, Gym, Running, Casual Workout Black

When looking for a budget-friendly shoe, we wanted something with a fair price without compromises on performance or aesthetics.

The Benefits:

These Lightweight Walking Shoes from Peak can be used for multiple activities, such as running, tennis, and golf. The soft padding and cool fabric ensure comfort for long periods of time. The soles are very stable and have a pattern that grips the ground easily – making smooth swings and good shots come more naturally

The design is very minimal and sleek with a modern touch, but some may not like that it in virtually no way resembles a golf shoe. This is on the other hand good when performing other activities. 


  • Comfortable for long periods of time
  • Stable and grippy soles 
  • Fair price


  • Non-golfing design


#4. Adidas Men’s Response Super 2.0 Trail Running Shoe

adidas Men's Response Super 2.0 Trail Running Shoe, Black/White/Grey, 9

Looks and comfort are key qualities in a good shoe for golf. We searched for shoes with a sleek yet stylish design that remains comfortable for an entire round of golf. 

The Benefits:

The Response Super 2.0 Trail Running Shoe from Adidas is a modern shoe designed for trail running. This makes the grips also suitable for golf courses, so you can enjoy great stability and have control over your golf shots. The soles are quite heavily padded – making them very comfortable

These Adidas shoes are a little bit hotter than some competitors, which makes them better for colder climates or early morning rounds.


  • Modern design
  • Very stable
  • Comfortable padding


  • Can be slightly hot

#5. Asics Men’s Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes

ASICS Men's Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes, 9, White/Black

Stability is another essential component in shoes suitable for golf, as it makes it easier to control your shot and tempo. When looking at stability, we wanted shoes that don’t move when the weight on the foot shifts.

The Benefits:

The Asics Gel-Dedicate 7 Tennis Shoes are great for tennis, pickleball, and golf in dry climates. The design is white and sleek, with the Asics logo standing out – meaning that these shoes won’t break any dress codes. The cushioning is comfortable, and the shoe delivers a nice and snug fit. The sole is very stable, as with all tennis shoes, which makes it great for golf as you’ll be able to control your swing better.

Because this is a tennis shoe, the sole is relatively flat and is therefore not suitable for wet conditions as you risk sliding and hitting a poor shot. However, this won’t be an issue if you live in a dryer climate. 


  • Stylish design that suits golfing 
  • Comfortable cushioning 
  • Stable sole


  • Flat sole not suitable for wet conditions

Golf Shoes Alternatives – Our Buyer’s Guide

Are Golf Shoes Really Necessary? 

While most professional and high-level golfers use golf shoes, they might not be necessary for a beginner or intermediate. A pair of golf shoes provide better stability and grip than any golf shoe alternative. The most significant difference between golf shoes, other than the appearance, lies in the spikes. 

There are spikeless golf shoes resembling regular sneakers and golf shoes with soft spikes or metal spikes. The benefits of golf shoes are significant, which is why we recommend serious golfers to wear golf shoes. 

The Key Traits of a Good Substitute for Golf Shoes

Here are some of the key traits of a good golf shoe alternative, which are also the main criteria for the previously shown list of shoes. 

  • Stability

Stability is crucial when playing golf as it heavily impacts the tempo and results in your golf swing. Maintaining your follow-through and key swing positions is difficult without sufficient stability, which also makes you risk losing consistency.

  • Grip

Grip is also very important both on the tee and out on the fairway. Without the proper grip, you risk sliding the feet, and potentially even slipping, when swinging the golf club. This will in most cases result in a poor shot. Search for shoes with a deeply patterned sole to find ones with enough grip.

  • Comfort

When playing golf, you’ll be out on the course for multiple hours at a time and constantly walking. That’s why comfort is perhaps the most important thing for choosing a good shoe to play golf in.

  • Looks

While some care about looks more than others, it’s important that your shoes don’t break the dress code at the golf course. Some courses have relatively few regulations and may even allow flip-flops, while others may not allow anything other than discrete sneakers or golf shoes. 

Which Is the Best Golf Shoe Alternative?

The best golf shoe alternative entirely depends on your needs and preferences. If you want shoes that suit multiple occasions, including golf, you should opt for something sleek with a flat but grippy sole like the Nike Road Running Shoe. If you only plan to use the shoes only for golf, we recommend getting proper golf shoes to get maximum performance.

Tell Me More Golf – Frequently Asked Questions

What shoes to wear golfing if you don’t have golf shoes?

You can pretty much golf in any shoes you like, as long as they don’t break the dress code, damage the course, or have too poor stability. We found the best non-golf shoes for golf to be the Nike Men’s Road Running Shoe. 

Can you play golf without golf shoes?

Many golfers play golf without golf shoes. At the end of the day, it’s all about hitting the golf ball with the golf club. However, there are benefits to wearing golf shoes, which you read more about earlier in the article. 

Can I use running shoes for golf?

Running shoes can be great alternative golf shoes, but you need to ensure that they’re stable and have some sort of grip if you’re playing in a wet climate. 

Can you wear regular shoes to golf?

Regular shoes, such as sneakers, can be great shoes to golf in. We believe that the best sneakers for golf are the Adidas Response Super 2.0, which are great for both trail running, golf, and everyday activities. 


There are plenty of great substitutes for golf shoes, and in this article we’ve shown our top 5 picks. All these options can be used for many different occasions to fit your lifestyle. Golf shoes do have their benefits though, which is why we recommend serious golfers to wear golf shoes.

Thank you for reading this article from – your golf comparison site.

Patrick Corley Tell Me More Golf Instructor and Coach
Patrick Corley
From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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