When it comes to golf shoes, there are three main factors to consider – traction, comfort and stability. Some golfers will prefer to prioritise one over the others, so from all the shoes I’ve tested this year I’ve highlighted the three most stable golf shoes of 2020.
But what makes a stable golf shoe, and why would you want one?
When it comes to golf shoes, having a certain level of stability is important, as a golfer’s power starts from the ground, and so a golf shoe not only needs to be able to hold up under the sometimes extreme forces it’s put under, but actually ensure as little force is lost in the transfer from the ground, through the shoe and lower body, and into your golf swing.
Golfers with very powerful swings will likely benefit from a more stable golf shoe, potentially helping them to hit the ball straighter and further. A softer golf shoe may feel more comfortable, but too much flexibility can result in a loss of energy being transferred from the ground and into the swing. Usually, the more stable a golf shoe is, the less comfortable it tends to be.
So let’s run through my top three most stable golf shoes:
1. Under Armour Spieth 4 GTX- $200 / £180
Of all the golf shoes I’ve tried in 2020, these are by far the most stable. Under Armour have prioritised stability above all else in their latest iteration of Jordan Spieth’s signature shoe, and in my opinion they’ve done a fantastic job. There’s simply so much technology used in this shoe to improve the stability it’s actually quite difficult to know where to start.
Firstly the shoes have a large external TPU heel counter that helps to lock you heel into the shoe. Then there’s the overall fit. This shoe fits very tight to your foot, and it’s safe to say this is the closest fitting shoe I’ve ever tried. This has been done very purposefully to ensure there’s as little foot movement within the shoe as possible; Under Armour want your foot and the shoe to be as one. They do this by using a 3D molded quarter panel inside the shoe. Simply put, this looks like lots of small pillows on the inside of the shoe. The system works really well in hugging your foot from the the side, and I’ve never felt anything quite like it.
It’s a completely unique take on getting shoes to fit as close as possible Usually shoes will use some kind of mechanism to lock your foot down from the outside. In these shoes Under Armour are locking it down right around your foot from the inside and it really is effective. However, if you like a bit of room in your shoes, even with a wide fit option, these won’t be for you.
Still looking within the shoe, Under Armour have also included a Dual Durometer fit bed. This means the foam liner underfoot is made up of two types, a softer piece on the inside of the ball of your foot, and a firmer foam on the outside – all in the name of stability.
The sole of the shoe is a solid piece of TPU, which means it’s nice and rigid. Further to this the shoe also includes carbon fibre layers on the lateral side of the sole. The carbon again helps improve the stability of the shoe.
All these elements add up to make the most stable golf shoe available today. As you can probably expect, all this stability is at the expense of comfort. I’ve played several rounds in the shoes and never had a problem with blisters, however they’re certainly not the softest underfoot, and will likely be too firm for some golfers, so it’ll be really important to try these on where possible.
I’m purely focusing on the stability of these shoes, so you can see my full in depth review of these below if you’d like to find out more. And if you’d like to buy a pair you can buy them from Under Armour USA here, or you can buy them in the UK here.
Footjoy Tour X – $200 / £180
This is the most stable golf shoe Footjoy currently make, and it certainly has a lot going for it if that’s what you’re looking for. The Tour X has a slim fit, although the softness and structure of the leather upper means it doesn’t fit quite as close as the Spieth 4. However, while this shoe may not be quite as stable as the aforementioned Under Armour, it’s certainly still very stable in it’s own right, and is a lot softer under foot too!
The sole of the shoe uses Footjoy’s Powerplate. This is a solid TPU plate, with each of the 9 spikes housed in ‘Powerpods’. These essentially mean the shoes have additional traction and are more planted on the turf,
On the inside of the shoe, Footjoy are using an Orthalite fitbed, This gives an incredibly soft feeling underfoot which is quite unusual for a stability focused golf shoe. The collar of the shoe (ankle and heel area) uses a 3D molded technology which feels nice and comfortable and provides good support.
To lock down your foot, the shoes use Footjoy’s ‘Powerstrap’. This is a TPU piece of material integrated with the leather upper. The laces tie through the strap, and the strap pulls the shoe across the foot on both the lateral and medial side, which give a nice tight locked down fit.
Overall these shoes provide a fantastic amount of stability, while also giving a good soft feeling underfoot. They also look very slim and classy, while still modern. Please note there can be bit of a breaking in period with these shoes, especially in the heel area, so depending on your feet, you may experience some blistering initially.
Adidas Tour360 XT – $200 / £160
The Adidas Tour360 XT has been an incredibly successful shoe for Adidas. Technically it was released in 2019, but I’ve had to include it in this list, as it provides a totally different fit and feel to the above two, while still being classed as a very stable golf shoe.
Compared to the two shoes above the Tour360 XT is definitely the least stable of the three. However that’s not to say that it’s an unstable shoe, far from it. In fact this is the most stable golf shoe that Adidas currently sell. However, it’s also the most comfortable of the three shoes, both in terms of fit as well as softness underfoot, but we’ll come on to that shortly.
The shoe uses the Adidas X-Traction system, which is made up of lots of small TPU lugs in between the gaps of the 8 spikes. This TPU is a lot softer compared to the sole plates in the other shoes, allowing for a lot more movement and flexibility. While this may sacrifice the amount of stability the shoe provides, it will still be plenty stable enough for most golfers. In fact today I’ve just watch Dustin Johnson win the 2020 Masters in a pair, so if they’re good enough for him…
In term of fit, this shoe certainly has the most room of the three. There’s plenty of space in the toe box , and there’s also a wide fit version available too. To help lock down your foot inside the shoe, Adidas use their 360 wrap technology. This is made up of 3 straps (which helpfully double up as a 3 stripes logo on the side) which run right the way around the shoe and through the laces. Similar to the Footjoy, these help to pull the shoe across your foot.
The comfort of the shoe comes from the full length boost midsole foam, which provide an incredibly soft, cloud like feeling underfoot. These are some of the most comfortable spiked golf shoes I own, which is impressive for a high performance shoe. After walking 18 holes, your feet will be thanking you for picking these. However, some do experience a breaking in period around the heel and ankle, so make sure you bring some plasters, just in case.
If you’ve found this helpful, but still want some more information on these shoes, you can watch my full side by side comparison video here:
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