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Golf Shoe History

Earliest Golf Shoes

In the Scottish publication, novice golfers are advised to wear stout shoes "roughed with small nails or sprigs" to walk safely over slippery ground.

One of the earliest references to spiked golf shoes appears in an 1857 issue of The Golfer's Manual.



Golf Shoe Evolution and Historical Vintage Golf Shoe Designs Have Changed Considerably Over The Years.

Gillie or Ghillies are Oxfords without a tongue, laced across the instep often with fringed laces and worn with kilts, or plus fours, and argyle socks for golf. The word “gille” means “boy” or porter in Scottish Gaelic and came from the Old Irish “gilla” from “gildae”.

Kilties are oxfords with a tongue of fringed leather that is draped over the instep and covers the laces and eyelets. The style was a popular golf shoe (see Gillie), but has transferred to slip on shoes.

Saddle Oxfords: Saddle or “Saddle Oxfords” are characterized by a separate “saddle” shaped piece of leather at the instep. The saddle can be the same color or different. The shoes were called duotone if the saddle was a different color than the rest of the shoe. Spalding introduced the "saddle oxford" style of shoe with an extra saddle-shaped piece of leather around the laces in 1906.

Wing Tip Golf ShoesGolf Shoes OnlySpectator or Co-respondent shoes are two color shoes, usually white and black or brown. They can be two colors of leather or leather and canvas. They are usually considered a non-business shoe and worn only during the summer season as sporting and hunting footwear, but by the 1880’s had transcended into fashion.

Golf Shoes Plus, Over 500 Styles!Wing Tips In 1925 golfer Walter Hagen (1892 –1969) introduced the two-tone black-and-white wing tip to America at the swank Lido Club on New York's Long Island. The very next year, Bobby Jones championed brown-and-white two-tones, setting the pace for inventive color combinations to come, including tan with brown as well as black with brown.

More Flexibility
Golf shoes were fairly stiff since their inception, but as running shoes and other athletic footwear became more flexible and "wearer-friendly" in the 1980s, golf shoes also started to focus on foot support and comfort as well as style. Soon tennis style golf shoos and golf sandals were being produced.

History of Women's Golf Shoe Attire

Early Women's Golf shows women and their fashion evolving from classical times to the changing fashions of the early 20th century.

Though there are references to women playing golf in 15th century, their true early involvement in the game is loosely tracked but their fashion changes were dramatic.

In the 1880s country clubs became more than just a sports club, the country club was a place where society's young men and women could meet one another. Therefore the importance of women's golf fashion progressed.

By the 1890s women had adopted a more practical fashion to golf clothing.

Golf Shoe Spikes, Ecco Flexor BisonGolf Shoe Spikes

Screw-in Spikes
In 1891, golf shoes with separate screw-in spikes were introduced. While they provided better footing for golfers and were more comfortable than some of the hob-nail shoes and boots worn by some golfers, during the next century groundskeepers complained about the spikes damaging the greens.

The Loss of Metal Spikes
In the 1990s, shoe manufacturers introduced nonmetal cleats on their golf shoes to make them more comfortable and less damaging to greens and clubhouse floors.

How to shine two-toned Saddle shoes

  • Vintage Golf ShoesApply saddle soap with very little water.

  • Apply black or brown polish (what ever is appropriate to the non-white part of your shoe)
    polish with an old toothbrush (not your wife’s or roommate’s!)

  • You can moisten the polish with a few drops of water or for an authentic 1930’s shine – use gin!
    Wrap a cloth around your finger and buff the non-white part.

  • Work the polish into the leather, let the polish dry slightly, and then buff with a clean rag.

  • Use white polish, the kind sold for nurse’s shoes, for the white part.

  • Put it on carefully; let it dry and buff off with a clean rag.

Golf Shoes Plus, Over 12,000 Pairs

Funny Golf Shoe Patent

Heel Mounted Sand Trap Rake Accessory For Golf Shoes

US5109617

Golf Shoe RakeAn accessory for attachment to a golf shoe provides for smoothing out depressions in golf course sand traps. The accessory comprises a small rake mounted transverse to the shoe and rearward of the heel. The mounting may include a pivot allowing adjustment of the rake from a lowered position in raking contact with the ground to a raised position clear of the ground. A manually adjustable lock for the pivot permits securing the rake selectively in lowered or raised position. The mounting is held to the shoe by one or more prongs drive-fitted into the heel or by a spur assembly encircling the heel and strapped to the shoe.

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