Top tips for maintaining and cleaning golf shoes

Top tips for maintaining and cleaning golf shoes

Golf shoes are a huge part of your success on the course, keeping your feet comfortable during long, arduous rounds while also assisting with power generation, weight transfer and accuracy. If you’ve been golfing for a while, you’ll likely have a favourite pair of golf shoes you reach for every time, because you trust them to deliver the results you need.

But cleaning your golf shoes is essential if you want to get the most from your game. If you wear your golf shoes regularly without keeping them properly clean, you’re putting them at risk of degradation which will shorten their lifespan. Dirt, moisture and other nasty environmental factors will cause both visible and unseen damage if left unattended. Whether you wear synthetic golf shoes, leather golf shoes or another alternative, keeping your golf shoes clean will help them deliver the results you need for years to come.

With this in mind, here are some of our top tips to clean your golf shoes and help maintain them.

Remove surface dirt with a soft sponge and warm water

The best time to clean golf shoes is during the minutes and hours once you’ve finished your game. This is because any pieces of dirt or grass they’ve picked up during your round won’t have had a chance to dry, making them much easier to remove. 

A bowl of warm water and a soft sponge should do the trick and wipe away any surface dirt you’ve picked up. You can also use mild soap or a speciality shoe cleaner if you like. Just be sure any soaps you use aren’t harmful to your shoes’ materials.  

When you arrive home, bring your golf shoes inside - don’t leave them in the car, as this can cause damage over time due to fluctuating temperatures and humidity. Then prepare a bowl of simple warm water and grab a soft sponge. Try to avoid using an abrasive sponge, if you can, as these can cause scratch marks if you apply too much pressure and can end up damaging your shoe. But if there are some stubborn patches or stains that refuse to budge, you can try a slightly rougher sponge in small doses.

Dip the sponge in the water, squeeze off the excess, and run the sponge over the upper side of the shoes first. This should easily dispose of surface dirt that’s not dried on. Be sure to work the sponge into the nooks and crannies of your shoes where dirt can hide and build up over time. 

Once the top of your shoes is clear, you can move to the soles - this is where you can use a more abrasive sponge, if necessary, as this part of the shoe is built to withstand much more punishment than the rest of the shoe. If you wear removable spikes, take them off and clean them individually.

Then, once you’ve removed as much dirt as possible, leave the shoes to air dry on a towel or in an airing cupboard.

Treat leather golf shoes with a softener or shoe cream

If you’re the type of player that prefers traditional leather golf shoes, your shoes may need slightly more TLC than other types of shoes. While leather is incredibly durable and helps protect your feet against the elements, it is prone to suffering damage over time. 

You may begin to notice the texture of the leather begins to change and develop crevices and cracks. But you can slow the breakdown of the leather in your shoes by utilising a leather softener. In the same way that moisturiser helps keep our skin soft, occasional treatment with a leather softener will help keep your leather golf shoes intact, with as few cracks as possible, and will give the leather a bright new sheen. You can apply a small amount of leather softener over the top of your shoe with a soft cloth and allow it to dry.

You can also use an off-the-shelf shoe cream to help keep your leather golf shoes looking pristine. These are available at most shoe shops as well as online.

Spray your golf shoes with a shoe protector

If you really want to give your golf shoes the best defence, you can apply a shoe protector as part of your pre-round shoe care. A shoe protector is a spray that, once applied, creates an invisible layer atop your golf shoe, preventing dirt, grass and other substances on the course from sticking to the shoe and damaging the material. 

To apply a shoe protector, simply hold the spray bottle around one foot from the shoe and spray a quick, thin layer over the top of your shoe, and allow it to dry.

Use plastic shoe trees to help your golf shoes maintain their shape

Because golf shoes are made from such sturdy material, they tend to slightly alter their shape over time to match the movement of your feet as you walk. This can be problematic, as they may eventually feel different during play, no longer fit your feet appropriately and develop cracks along the top. This is especially true in winter when the shift in temperature can cause golf shoes to begin to curl.

However, using a shoe tree should help prevent this. A shoe tree is a specially-shaped piece, usually made from plastic or wood, that is inserted into your shoes while they’re not being worn - to help them maintain their original shape and not succumb to the hours of repetitive strain through walking.

In the same breath, using a shoe horn when putting your shoes on can help prevent the process from impacting the heel of the shoe and maintain the shoe's overall shape.

Find the best golf shoes at

Now that you have some helpful knowledge on maintaining and cleaning golf shoes, you’re ready to pick up a brand-new pair and treat them with the care and attention they deserve. is home to a massive range of golf shoes for sale of all kinds, from the world’s biggest golf shoe manufacturers, so we’re bound to have something to meet your taste. Check out our full range at the link above, or get in touch if you need a hand.
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