Where Are Golf Shoes Made?
Has the globalization of the world economy led to golf shoes being made in countries with cheap labor? Let’s have a look at some of the biggest manufacturers to see where they make their shoes. The golf shoe industry is a big business. With a projected value of $8.5bn for 2022 rising to $13.3bn by 2032 so it’s a market well worth fighting for.
Who Are The Biggest Golf Shoe Manufacturers
There are a number of golf shoe brands that provide a large percentage of the shoe market. Some of the biggest brand names are:
- New Balance
- Under Armour
In Which Countries Are Golf Shoes Manufactured
No doubt there are many countries that make golf shoes, many for some of the smaller manufacturers. I’m going to concentrate on the 10 companies listed above.
Footjoy used to produce their footwear in Boston but that plant appears to have closed in 2009. Their shoes appear to be made in the Far East and Mexico. They have successfully transitioned from classic golf shoes to modern golf shoe designs.
Nike shoes are mostly produced in the following four countries:
Another global sportswear giant Adidas makes some of its shoes in the Far East but also in other parts of the world including:
Puma has the majority of its manufacturing in Asian countries including:
New Balance makes the bulk of their shoes in China but does make a small number in the UK and USA.
Skechers makes the bulk of its shoes in two countries:
ECCO, the Danish brand make their shoes in factories in:
- India (under licence)
Under Armour shoes are manufactured at six facilities in:
Sqairz shoes are made in the Far East.
I couldn’t find any information on the Callaway website I emailed them to find out. They make their shoes in China, Vietnam and Italy depending on the model and time of year.
So when it comes to the biggest manufacturers it would appear that China, Vietnam and Indonesia produce the great bulk of their shoes. Following the pandemic, it will be interesting to see how many decide to diversify their supply chains going forward.
What Golf Shoes Are Manufactured In The USA?
Of the major brands, only New Balance and Adidas seem to manufacture any golf shoes in the US. At the end of the day, a business is there to make money for its owners so it is always going to look for ways of lowering costs and labor costs in the Far East are quite a bit lower than in most Western countries.
Allen Edmonds appears to be one of the few companies still making shoes in the US and although they have made golf shoes in the past there doesn’t appear to be any sign of them on their current website.
Why Are There So Few Golf Shoes Made In The USA?
The cost of production is the overwhelming reason. Labor costs in the United States will be higher than in most other countries. Other costs associated with running a business are also likely to be higher and when it comes down to it a business is there to make profits for the owners so controlling costs of manufacture is a major incentive to base manufacturing in lower-cost jurisdictions.
Can I Avoid Buying Chinese-made Golf Shoes?
If you want to avoid buying Chinese-made golf shoes then you don’t have that many options. Ecco appears to have one of the smaller footprints in China although if you are ordering online it might be difficult to know which shoes are made where until they arrive on your doorstep.
New Balance has a small range of shoes that are made in the US or UK. Aside from that, you have to check the details in the store or in the online listing before parting with your money.
If you want some handmade golf shoes then you should check out Alan Raddon who has been making a range of custom shoes for years including both normal golf shoes and his unique golf shandals. Pairs of his shoes can be repaired almost indefinitely unlike most mass-produced shoes that just get thrown away.
Should A Golfer Choose Function Over Fashion?
A golfer should always choose function over fashion when it comes to golf shoes. While it is important to look good on the course, comfort and support are much more important factors in a golf shoe. A well-fitting, comfortable golf shoe will help a golfer perform their best, while a stylish but ill-fitting shoe can cause problems with balance and stability. Therefore, it is always better to choose a golf shoe that is comfortable and provides good support, even if it is not the most fashionable option.
You don’t want to spend up to four hours in a pair of fancy-looking shoes that give you blisters or leave you with aching feet!
If you play in wet weather then a pair of spiked, waterproof shoes that offer some breathability would be a much better choice than a natty pair of spikeless golf shoes which might struggle to give you sufficient traction on the wet golf course.
Are Golf Shoes Important?
A quality pair of shoes is an important piece of golf equipment. They provide you with traction while walking and playing golf. If you buy the right shoe then they will keep your feet warm and dry no matter the weather. You might be able to get away with using running shoes if you don’t play very often but a well-fitting pair of golf shoes will stand you in good stead during your round of golf.
What Types Of Golf Shoes Are Available?
Shoe companies make two different types of shoes. Spiked golf shoes feature plastic cleats attached to the sole to help provide traction during the swing and while walking. Spikeless shoes were introduced more recently and feature treads and bumps on the sole to try to offer similar levels of traction while being more comfortable to walk on no matter the surface.
Traditionally golf shoes would have closely resembled more formal street shoes such as Oxfords or wingtip saddle shoes. These days golf footwear looks more like sneakers or training shoes. While there is still a place for traditional leather golf shoes lightweight trainer-like shoes seem to grow in popularity year on year.
Like golf balls and clubs, shoes have evolved quite a bit!
Where Are Golf Shoes Made: Summary
The majority of golf shoemaking is now located in the Far East. The made in China label on your pair of golf shoes is almost guaranteed. If you’re looking for American made golf shoes then it would appear you are almost out of luck. Although it is possible to avoid Chinese made products if you have philosophical reasons for avoiding shoes manufactured over there.