A good pair of golf shoes might cost you $200. A bad pair might cost you 25 yards.
For the thousands of factors affecting the golf swing, feet — and, more pressingly, the shoes attached to them — frequently get overlooked. After all, our feet are our only point of contact with the ground throughout the golf swing. They are a source of power, speed and, in the wrong environment, even the source of injuries.
To test this, we conducted an experiment with our friend (and noted shoe aficionado) Joaquin Niemann. First, we had Joaquin swing barefoot. Next, in a pair of sandals, then sneakers, then snowboard boots (above) and then, finally, spiked golf shoes.
In golf shoes, Joaquin was his regular self — pumping drives 320 yards with ease through a narrow chute. While swinging barefoot, in sandals and in sneakers, he was a shell of himself, losing ball speed and dispersion. And once we squeezed him into the snowboard boots, we watched as his lack of lower body movement forced him to compensate with his upper half, leading to drops in speed and huge duck hooks.
The lesson? Your lower body plays a major role in your golf swing. If you’re looking to add distance, learn how to activate your legs and drive through your feet. Oh, and don’t skimp on the spikes — your game will thank you.