Golfing equipment is important, clubs need to be taken care of and properly maintained if they are to last long. Many put an emphasis on golf clubs and their importance in the game and though they are crucial to the game, a player’s power and skill shine through the correct footwear on the course. Golf shoes are an important part of any golfer’s equipment. Not only are they required to be worn on the green, they enhance a player’s skill and amplify their power when it comes to driving. Of course, like all sports equipment, golf shoes see a fair of share wear and tear, so they have to be taken care of over the course of their life. Most golf shoes use a system of cleats or spikes to provide the wearer with traction during a swing. Overtime, these spikes are worn down from usage. Read below to find out how to remove soft spikes from golf shoes.
How Do Spiked Golf Shoes Affect a Golfer?
As a game golf is very easy going and relaxing, in fact many play it to relax. Most golfers, serious or casual usually wear golf shoes during a round on the course. Golf shoes offer a great amount of grip and stability during a swing, they’re comfortable enough to be worn for hours on but perform well during crucial moments.
The first thing any new golfer will notice when they switch from a sneaker or tennis shoe to a golf shoe is the stability and grip, especially from the spikes. These spikes, or cleats are made to grip the ground during a swing, they dig into the floor and stabilize the player.
The main task of the spikes is to keep the wearer in place in any situation, whether it be from a dewy surface or a rain soaked fairway.
Golf Spikes and Their Evolution
The invention of spiked golf shoes can be traced back to the game’s invention. Golfers would drive nails through their shoes so they could play on wet and slippery surfaces.
Though effective at their job, the nails often hurt the wearer. Spalding’s invention of the Saddle Oxford golf shoe in 1906 became a mainstay amongst golfers. It didn’t have spikes but it seemed to work well. The 1960’s brought about the invention of the replaceable golf spike.
It was screwed into the sole of the shoe for traction on slippery ground. The trend metal spikes continued until the 1990s, when plastic, soft spikes were introduced. Whilst metal spikes worked well, they could tear up the green and make work for the groundskeepers.
Soft spikes did the same job as their predecessors but without destroying a groundskeeper’s pride and glory.
Today, golfers wear a variety of different types of golf shoes, with different spikes and placement for optimum traction and stability.
What Do Golf Shoes Contend with on the Course?
Depending on the weather and time of day, a golf shoe will see several conditions. The best days for golf are sunny and clear days as the ground won’t be as slippery or wet.
Firstly, there are several hazards on the golf course. Sand bunkers and ponds are the main enemy of the golfer. Whilst you can recover from a sand bunker, sinking your ball into a pond is fatal.
Weather also plays a big part in a golf shoe’s life, rain can leave parts of the course drenched and can create very loose surfaces where dirt and grime may get stuck into your golf spikes. Dewy conditions, especially during morning rounds can lead to the grass being slippery.
Sometimes golf is played in the rain, of course, it can’t be too heavy but most golf shoes are waterproof to a certain degree. After 18 holes a golf shoe can be fouled greatly.
Different Golf Spike Types
Golf shoes are often seen as equipment rather than a fashion statement by golfers. In order to get as much an advantage as they can, golfers experiment with different kinds of spikes and cleats.
There are three kinds of spikes for golf shoes and each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Metal Spikes
The first kind were just nails pushed through the soles of shoe, later iterations saw them being made screw able. Often times these spikes tore into the green, which raised protest from groundskeepers and later saw them banned from most courses.
Though the most durable type, it needed a lot of maintenance. With the progression of time and technology, metal spikes have become yesterday’s news. Though banned from golf courses metal spikes are used in small quantities.
- Rubber Spikes
The 1990s saw the invention of the soft spike. Currently the most widely used and most turf friendly, the rubber spikes are amongst the most comfortable alternative to a metal spike and perform just as well as them. They don’t last as long as metal spikes or have as much traction as them, but are widely used due to cost and turf friendliness.
- Ceramic Spikes
If you’re looking for a more rigid alternative to a soft spike, ceramic spikes are for you. The most expensive and long lasting, these spikes combine the resilience of metal spikes and the non-damaging properties of rubber spikes. Often made with steel protuberances, special care is needed due to how they corrode.
How to Remove Soft Spikes from Golf Shoes
Spike wear, everyone has to deal with it and everyone deals with it in different ways. Often, professionals just switch out their shoes for new pair and they’re on their way.
Of course, they have a certain degree of financial flexibility and for anyone who wishes to get as much as they can out of a pair of golf shoes, replacing worn spikes is the first place to start.
Golf spikes can come in different shapes and levels of damage depending on the time in between maintenance cycles. Sometimes the spikes maybe worn down to the nub or they may even get stuck. Luckily, there are many ways to remove stubborn spikes.
Before we begin there are a few things you will need in order to begin the process of removing and replacing golf shoe spikes.
Items you’ll need:
- Golf Spikes.
- Spike tool to unscrew the golf spikes.
- Needle nose pliers to grip completely worn down spikes.
- Drill for removing stubborn spikes.
- Heat gun or hair dryer to loosen even more stubborn spikes.
Removing Soft Spikes from Golf Shoes
Taking care of your shoes will give them a longer life. Replacing worn spikes will return your shoes to how they were out of the box. The first thing to do is to understand just how your spikes wear down.
Spike wear is the product of the stress of walking and swinging and over time they traction they provide will slowly reduce until they don’t and you slip during a drive and embarrass yourself on the course.
So how do you replace them?
If you’re going to re-spike your shoe, make sure to replace all of them. It starts with the spike tool, make sure to buy one that matches your spikes otherwise extraction will be impossible.
Now all you have to do is insert the tool into the corresponding holes and rotate counterclockwise. If you did it right, the spike should come off and you’ll have successfully removed a worn, soft spike from your golf shoe.
Now, what if your golf spike is really worn down and the tool isn’t working, what do you do? This is where the drill comes in. Again, make sure to match the drill bit with the size of the bits on the spike tool.
Each spike has a bit of plastic that fastens them into place on the sole, we’re going to drill into this bit to create more leverage for our spike tool. Just slowly drill into the spike until you see some plastic shavings, make sure you don’t drill through your shoe. After doing so insert the tool, rotate and extract the worn spike.
Okay, what if your tool isn’t working or you don’t have the correct bit size or the spike is just stuck there. Not to worry, there is a solution for this and it is quite ingenious.
Arm yourself with a heat gun or hair dryer and use it on the bottom of your shoe, you’re going to heat till you see the rubber on the spike slowly melt, once this happens use a pair of needle nose pliers and try to grab hold of the spike and remove it.
What’s going to happen is that the layers of rubber will peel off slowly and your pliers should grip what’s left of the spike and a quick left turn should free it from your shoe.
Make sure to clean where the cleat attaches before replacing it or you’re going to have a bad fit and risk it coming off during a round.
Golf shoes make up part of a golfer’s equipment and need to be taken care of well. Replacing worn spikes is important to keep your game consistent and it also saves on buying replacement shoes. With the knowledge of how to remove soft spikes from golf shoes you too can save money and have a consistent golf game.
You can also read: What Golf Shoes Do the Pros Wear?