Two years ago if somebody played in golf shoes without replaceable spikes, people would think he is not a serious golfer or cannot afford more. In those days spikeless golf shoes accounted hardly 10%. As golf dress code is getting more relaxed and we are looking for more convenience (nobody likes changing and replacing spikes + always changing golf shoes when go to play and when you want to enter to the clubhouse…it is really a hurdle!) spikeless golf shoes are gaining momentum.
Thus this year spikeless golf shoes (without replaceable spikes) and hybrid shoes (a mix of molded spikes and replaceable spikes) are expected to be 40-50% of all golf shoe sales. This is the fastest growing segment in golf equipment according to Golf Datatech. Their other finding is 70% of single digit handicappers that already owned spikeless footwear were very pleased with their performance.
Today we can see leading PGA players with spikeless golf shoes like Graeme McDowell, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh or even Tiger Woods (Nike's TW '13, have a combination of plastic spikes and molted traction.). To best of my knowledge Nike Golf has 5 different spikeless models.
The market leader Softspikes did not stay idle. Last year Advanced Research Centre found (I assume Softspikes can be sponsor of this research) that new, out-of-the-box cleated shoes provided up to 70% more traction than cleat-less shoes in wet conditions, and up to 51% when the ground is dry.
If it so, my question is do we need such level of traction that a cleated shoes can provide? When will the spikeless golf shoes reach that level of traction as the cleated golf shoes? I think it is question of time. If the spikeless golf shoes will be able to provide same level of traction then it will not stay a secondary market segment.
At the same time, although supporting the claims of Softspikes, FootJoy also tries to maximize the trend and strengthen its leadership position in the spikeless golf shoes segment by launching all-new DryJoys Tour™ SL. The new spikeless golf shoe from FootJoy will be on sale from 10th April DryJoys Tour SL will come with a 1-year waterproof guarantee and a suggested retail price of £120. Unfortunately, DryJoys Tour SL is still old fashioned: