Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 06, 484 - 489

Research article
A Comparison of Golf Shoe Designs Highlights Greater Ground Reaction Forces with Shorter Irons
Paul Worsfold, Neal A. Smith, Rosemary J. Dyson 
Author Information
University of Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, UK

Rosemary J. Dyson
‚úČ University of Chichester, College Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6PE, UK
Publish Date
Received: 26-02-2007
Accepted: 06-09-2007
Published (online): 01-12-2007
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In an effort to reduce golf turf damage the traditional metal spike golf shoe has been redesigned, but shoe-ground biomechanical evaluations have utilised artificial grass surfaces. Twenty-four golfers wore three different golf shoe traction designs (traditional metal spikes, alternative spikes, and a flat-soled shoe with no additional traction) when performing shots with a driver, 3 iron and 7 iron. Ground action forces were measured beneath the feet by two natural grass covered force platforms. The maximum vertical force recorded at the back foot with the 3 iron and 7 iron was 0.82 BW (body weight) and at the front foot 1.1 BW approximately in both the metal spike and alternative spike golf shoe designs. When using the driver these maximal vertical values were 0.49 BW at the back foot and 0.84 BW at the front foot. Furthermore, as performance of the backswing and then downswing necessitates a change in movement direction the range of force generated during the complete swing was calculated. In the metal spike shoe the vertical force generated at the back foot with both irons was 0.67 BW and at the front foot 0.96 BW with the 3 iron and 0.92 BW with the 7 iron. The back foot vertical force generated with the driver was 0.33 BW and at the front foot 0.83 BW wearing the metal spike shoe. Results indicated the greater force generation with the irons. When using the driver the more horizontal swing plane associated with the longer club reduced vertical forces at the back and front foot. However, the mediolateral force generated across each foot in the metal and alternative spike shoes when using the driver was greater than when the irons were used. The coefficient of friction was 0. 62 at the back and front foot whichever shoe was worn or club used.

Key words: Club, friction, grass, handicap, swing, turf

           Key Points
  • During the golf swing ground reaction forces at the golf shoe to natural grass turf interface were greater with irons than with the longer driver.
  • In the golf swing maximal vertical forces were greater at the front (left) foot in the than at the back foot for a right handed golfer.
  • Similar maximum vertical ground reaction forces were recorded with each club when a 8 mm metal spike golf shoe or an alternative spike golf shoe were worn.
  • Force generation and coefficients of friction were similar for the alternative spike design and traditional metal seven spike golf shoe on natural grass turf.
  • Data collection possible due to application of technical developments to golf from work on other natural turf based sports.
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