When it comes to clothing selection in disc golf, one item that can often get overlooked, but can offer arguably the most comfort during a round is
Besides providing comfort, which is very important, proper footwear can also significantly impact your performance in a positive way when out on the course.
Who likes slipping on the tee pad?
Who likes having wet feet?
Who would like trying to perform at their best with either or both of these conditions at the same time?
I know I wouldn't, and neither shoulder you.
So now that we have you asking yourself,
What shoes should I wear to play disc golf?
The good news is, there are several options to choose from when it comes to picking adequate footwear for playing disc golf and we're here to help you make that decision!
What makes a good disc golf shoe?
When choosing a quality shoe exclusively for playing disc golf, we feel that there are 5 core features that would make a shoe, the perfect disc golf shoe.
And these features are:
Supportive- Nobody wants to roll an ankle when playing a round of disc golf, so a shoe should offer adequate support to prevent such injuries when doing actions related to playing, such as driving off the tee, but also during your walk from hole to hole when roots and rocks can make things interesting.
Waterproof- This may be a quality you didn't consider, but keeping your feet dry during a round of disc golf can make a world of difference in comfort, especially for a 2 round event such as a tournament. So having dry socks and shoes is a must. Even when it isn't actively raining, standing water in the rough or fairway can ruin your "dry" day relatively quickly.
Quality Grip- A good shoe should provide you with excellent grip and anti-skid capabilities so that you can effectively brace yourself during a drive from the tee or fairway. Most shoes will give you good enough grip, but some shoe types are inherently better than others, which we'll get in to.
Lightweight- The last thing you want on your feet for 18 holes is a pair of shoes that make you feel like you're walking through mud. They may be warm and water proof, but if they're not light, you're not going to enjoy playing as much as you could.
Comfort- Lastly, and most importantly, is Comfort. A shoe could check all of the boxes above, but if it isn't comfortable, then what good is it? Your feet could be dry, and you aren't slipping off the tee box, but if you have a blister, then your quality of play will be the last thing on your mind. So keep comfort a priority!
Keeping all of these 5 main features in mind, let's take a look at some popular shoe styles and see why they do or do not make a good choice as a disc golf shoe.
1. Sandals and Flip flops
First and foremost, open toed shoes such as flip flops and sandals do not make the best choice for disc golf footwear and we highly recommend steering clear of them, especially flip flops.
Besides being "waterproof" in that they are typically not worn with socks, open toed shoes have little to offer in helping you become a better disc golf player.
They may be comfortable, but they do not have much support throughout the foot and ankle and often times have very little tread for grip.
If you must go this route for an impromptu round, sandals that fully secure the foot are a better option.
One of the more logical and obvious options on our list is the classic sneaker or athletic shoe.
Many players gravitate towards this option because they're naturally comfortable, but in many cases designed specifically for athletic movements and all day wear.
It also doesn't hurt that most players own a pair for their everyday life, so they're not spending money on a hobby like disc golf.
Depending on the brand and model of sneaker that you're rocking, you may have little to no ankle support, or you may have completely adequate ankle support, it ultimately comes down to what you value in a shoe and choose.
Grip is average and tends to vary on the tee pad surface as most sneakers have tread that is not very aggressive.
This is fine for dry tee pads or concrete tee pads, but is not very helpful for less permanent tee pads such as dirt, mulch, and rubber matting. Sneakers also will not grip well in wet conditions.
Another big downside to normal athletic sneakers is that they are usually not waterproof.
This is great if conditions are known to be dry. But if they're not, then you may end up playing in wet feet all day.
Lastly, these shoes are often very light, making them favorable for athletes of all sports.
If you plan on only playing in favorable conditions, have only concrete tee pads where you play, and know that your course is going to be dry, then sneakers make an excellent choice.
You can shop the most popular athletic shoe options on Amazon by clicking the banner below
3. Hunting/Outdoor boots
Moving on from one of the least aggressive tread options, to one of the most aggressive options are boots designed for outdoor recreation, such as hunting.
The good about this style of foot wear is that they are VERY supportive and comfortable, are waterproof, and have very aggressive tread patterns that will provide grip for just about any situation you'll find yourself in.
They're also generally warmer and a great option for colder, winter weather.
This all comes at a price however as they tend to be very heavy, bulky, and sometimes more expensive compared to every other style of shoe on our list.
Although they would make a good footwear choice for cold and snowy weather, I would suggest trying a different style of shoe for the majority of your disc golf playing for most weather conditions throughout the year.
I have played a round or two before in my boots, and while my feet were warm and dry, I felt like my feet were dragging across the tee pad for drives as they were simply weighted down more than what I was used to.
But hey, at least I was playing!
You can check out popular outdoor boot options below by clicking on the banner!
4. Hiking Boots/Shoes
Next, we move into the first of our 2 best options in hiking boots and hiking shoes.
Comparatively speaking, hiking boots have nearly every quality and feature that hunting boots offer, minus support (sometimes), but in a more compact and lightweight package.
While they may not be as supportive to the ankle as a high hunting boot will, it is still going to be much more supportive than just about any option on our list.
And you'll still get the waterproof capabilities and aggressive tread pattern most of the time which is a huge plus.
When you're shopping, just be sure to check to make sure that boot is in fact water proof, as some here and there are not.
To boil it all down, hiking boots are made for people who are active in nature, which is essentially a disc golf player!
To make things sweeter, some companies have even designed hiking 'shoes', which are even lighter and sleeker than hiking boots.
This style may not offer the same type of tread pattern, but will still be more aggressive than your typical sneaker will be, which is more than enough for nailing drive after drive.
This holds true whether you're on concrete, mulch, or even mud, as these shoes are made to grab better than just about anything else you'll find on the market.
Lastly, they're even comfortable, So you cannot go wrong!
Shop the best hiking shoe options on Amazon at the banner below, and again, be sure that they're waterproof!
5. Waterproof Shoes/Sneakers
Last but not least are waterproof shoes!
With this option, you take the comfort and ability of sneakers, and combine it with the waterproof capabilities of hiking shoes, and blend them together to form an excellent disc golf shoe choice!
They're very lightweight as you might expect, but also offer adequate foot and ankle support, all day comfort, and quality tread that will perform slightly better than regular athletic shoes will.
Some shoes in this category are not 100% water proof, but rather designed to dry very quickly when wet, so be sure to double check that whichever one you pick is indeed waterproof in full.
Just like athletic shoes for indoor use, the amount of foot and ankle support you get is going to depend on the model that you choose, but will in most instances be efficient enough to get the job done.
With waterproof sneakers, you get the advantage of having not only a lightweight and extremely versatile piece of footwear, but also the peace of mind knowing that your foot will stay dry regardless if it's raining, if you get into swampy, water laden ground when navigating your way through a course, or looking for lost discs.
You can shop some of the greatest waterproof options on the market today on Amazon by clicking on the banner below!
If you're torn between a hiking boot and water proof shoe, then we suggest opting for the hiking boot, as it will be slightly more capable year round and in rougher conditions than what the waterproof sneaker is really designed for,
but both will get the job done when needed!
And there you have it, the guide to
choosing the BEST shoe for disc golf!
If there is a type of shoe that we did not discuss on here, just be sure to compare it against our 5 main characteristics to make an educated guess on whether or not it would be a good disc golf choice.
Remember, you want something:
Comfortable, lightweight, waterproof, aggressive tread, and supportive
at all costs.
If the shoe doesn't hit all of these, or is weak in a category, then it is up to you to decide whether or not you need the feature that you'll be missing out on.
And that's it! Have any questions?
Feel free to send us a message so we can help you out as best as possible.
Until then, happy disc golfing!
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