Can I wear running shoes for golf?

Can I wear running shoes for golf?

So, you want to head out for a game of golf, but you let your friend borrow your golf shoes for his big golfing holiday. Or, you’re new to the game and don’t have a pair of golf shoes to wear yet. 

Whatever your reasons, in these types of scenarios, you might be tempted to reach for your nearest pair of running shoes to wear instead. But hold your horses… depending on certain factors, you may or may not be able to wear running shoes at your local golf course.

The times may have changed and moods have shifted, but it’s still important to take note of tradition and, for the places where golf rules from decades past are still in place, respect them. Under these circumstances, it could be wise to order yourself a spare pair of men's golf shoes or golf trainers instead. 

With this in mind, here are a few things you should know about wearing (or not wearing) running shoes on the golf course.

Am I allowed to wear running shoes on golf courses?

Yes and no.

The rules and regulations surrounding golf footwear shift from course to course. It was once the case that you would have been quickly removed from any golf course in the world for wearing anything other than traditional leather golf shoes with cleats.

This slowly shifted in favour of more modern, comfortable and fashion-conscious choices, as golf trainers and less formal options entered the fray - though they still had cleats.

Then, as time continued to roll on, spikeless golf shoes became more widely available (and popular) leading to most golf courses pivoting their rulebooks yet again.

Today, many golf courses favour practicality over tradition, which is why many amateur golfers often wear standard running shoes on courses that permit them, though there are still many that do not.

In short, if you’re considering wearing running shoes during your next trip to the course, it is wise to research that course’s specific rules surrounding golf shoes before you leave. The last thing you need is to arrive ready for a great game on a sunny day, only to be told you’re not able to play.

Should I wear running shoes instead of golf shoes?

Now that we’ve discussed whether or not you can wear running shoes on the golf course, we should probably ask the question whether you should.

In our professional opinion, the answer is an emphatic no.

It’s true, running shoes are incredibly comfortable, look great and can offer sensational support and impact absorption designed for those putting one foot in front of the other at speed.

While some of these advantages will serve you well while moving from hole to hole, these shoes are missing the key element that makes all golf shoes a strategic necessity rather than just a handy tool.

That is grip.

The soles of golf shoes are carefully crafted - some top brands even utilise AI in this process - to produce golf shoes that offer enough traction and grip between the grass and the player.

This is done for two reasons: To help the player remain stable throughout their swing and to help build more power from the ground up.

These can be spiked and spikeless shoes, too. Modern spiked golf shoes use rubber (or similar) cleats to grasp the ground below. Metallic spikes may be banned on most courses today, due to the damage they cause to greens and fairways, but spiked golf shoes with artificial cleats remain incredibly popular and are still the number one choice for tour professionals.

Spikeless golf shoes, on the other hand, utilise special raised sole designs that offer a similar level of traction without the cleats, for a more freeing and relaxed feel. Once a rarity, nowadays, you can find examples of such spikeless golf shoe designs from all the major brands, including Nike, Skechers and more.

So if you’re satisfied losing all of the above advantages during your games, and the rules of your selected course allow for it, feel free to wear running shoes. But they won’t do your scores any favours when compared to the alternative.

Invest in the best golf shoes and golf trainers at

Do you want the comfort and style of a running trainer without sacrificing the advantages of golf shoes? A new pair of golf trainers is what you need! When it comes to the best golf shoes UK suppliers keep in stock, you can rely on to deliver every time.

At, we’re home to an extensive range of women's and men's golf shoes from leading brands, so we’ll always have a pair that will suit you down to the ground.

Explore all our golf shoes for sale today, or get in touch with our helpful team for specific product information and advice.
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