Are your shoes hurting your golf game? This expert thinks they might be

Golf Shoes on turf

A human movement expert has warned that a poor choice of golf shoe could be preventing players from reaching their full potential on the course.

Professor of Biomechanics and Kinesiology at Utah Valley University Tyler Standifird recently spoke with GolfWRX on the subject of golf shoes in a discussion that also included Terry Hashimoto, co-founder of BodiTrak.

The pair discussed the impact of using a golf shoe that doesn’t give the player sufficient grounding to avoid slipping when swinging at full send.

“So the name of the game with the shoe/ground experience is friction,” Standifird told GolfWRX.

“Creating the correct connection with the ground so that a player can confidently interact with the ground without slipping.

“Here is a good example, the trail foot has to push really hard into the ground and away from the target in the backswing, with a secure connection with the ground, the ground will push back with a GRF that is pointed towards the target, helping them to initiate some motion forward in the golf swing.

“Now if they go to push and they were on ice, the foot would just go in the direction of the movement and the foot would slip out from under them.

“A key component of friction is the coefficient of friction, I tell my students it is the idea of how sticky the two surfaces contacting are.

“This is where cleats/cleatless and where the cleats are placed can play such a key role.

“They can really give the student the confidence to push on the ground with as much force as they can without fearing losing balance and stability.”

Standifird believes that players need to find the shoe that allows them to set up best.

“Some players who play in a spikeless shoe with little traction may work just fine. My only concern is what are they leaving on the table. Simple numbers,” he added.

“If my shoe allows me to push on the ground with 100 Newtons of Force, but in my swing, I only can produce 80, then I won’t slip and I am fine with that shoe. But if I have the capacity to do 120 newtons of force then I have an issue, I either push with over 100 and slip a little, or I just push with 90 even though I can do more.

“It might be that people have almost started taking some athleticism out of their swing, because of their shoes.

“They think they don’t alter their game, but in reality, they are leaving some on the table.

“Like a basketball player who knows they will slip if they move too fast due to a bad court/shoes, they just move more slowly throughout the game as a result. I think similar things could be happening in the golf swing.”