Cheap v Mid v Expensive Shoe Test

We put three 2020 spikeless shoes at different price points through their paces.

(Image credit: Golf monthly YouTube)

We put three 2020 spikeless shoes with different price points through their paces to see if you get better performance the more money you spend.

Cheap v Mid v Expensive Shoe Test

Golf shoes can be a hefty investment, especially if you want to play in what the best players in the world are wearing, but do you get more performance the more money you spend?

That's what we wanted to find out, so we pitted three 2020 spikeless shoes at different price points up against each other at West Hill Golf Club to see how they compared.

Cheap v Mid v Expensive Shoe Test

Shoes Tested

  • Cheap - Rife Golf RF-01 - £59.99 - Buy Now
  • Mid-range - Skechers Go Golf Elite V4 - £99 - Buy Now
  • Expensive - FootJoy Pro SL - £149.99

Cheap v mid v expensive test

Looks The Pro SL shoe heads the way here but it is closely followed by the Rife shoe which has a very clean, neutral design which would go well with a lot of different outfits.

The embossed detailing on the upper of the Skechers may not be to everyone's liking but it still has a fairly plain look overall that should appeal to most tastes.

Performance Starting with the Rife, it is the heaviest shoe on the test and this was noticeable. The grip was ample from the majority of lies but it lacked comfort underfoot and there seemed to be an excess of leather in the toe area which creased when we walked.

However, generally speaking it is a perfectly adequate golf shoe with solid comfort and grip throughout the swing and in different lies.

Rife 01 shoe

Next up is the Skechers design with the lightness of the shoe being the first noticeable feature. This lightness has been combined with a very soft and squidgy feeling underfoot and around the ankles, so if that is something you prioritise, then this model is one to think about.

The grip didn't quite seem to be at the level of the other two models in the morning dew we tested in, but in all but the most severe of lies it still managed to provide a stable footing.

skechers-go-golf-elite-4-shoe-side-Skechers Go Golf Elite V.4 Shoeweb

We felt the FootJoy Pro SL which provided the best balance of being soft underfoot, stable to swing in and fitting really well. It was also the best performing option of the three models in terms of grip, the only downside being that the supple leather does crease and scuff a little easier than we'd have liked.

Of course the Pro SL comes in at a higher price point but in terms of total package; looks, feel, performance, it is one of the best golf shoes out on the market currently.

Verdict So do you get more performance from a golf shoe, the more money you spend?

This test has shown that at the top end, you really do get what you pay for but in that low-to-mid price point area, if you shop around you can get a good looking and decent performing spikeless shoe for less than you think. Golf shoes need to be considered as a key part of your equipment set up and for us, the Pro SL gave us the best stability and connection with the ground to help us swing with power and control.

Yes, it was the most expensive but it also gave the best grip, the best stability, the best fit and the best feel as well - ticking all the boxes a golfer looks for.


Golf Monthly is partnering with Titleist and FootJoy as our official golf ball, golf bag, footwear and apparel partners for this year.

We chose the FootJoy Pro/SL as the 'expensive' golf shoe in this test because of its number one position in the market, both on tour and at retail, and that the brand's Feature Product Partnership with Golf Monthly had no influence on opinions within this test.

Shop the featured FootJoy footwear and apparel worn in this video:

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Joel Tadman
Joel Tadman

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.

During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. 

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 4.7.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58° 

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x