You’ve probably never heard the term “Brannock Device,” but chances are you’ve used one. When shopping for a pair of golf shoes, a Brannock Device is an essential tool to getting a proper fit.
In 1927, Syracuse University student Charles Brannock invented the contraption that would bear his name and become a staple in shoe departments worldwide. The Brannock Device measures the length of one’s foot from heel to toe as well as arch length (heel to ball) and the foot’s width. Made of metal, it features various rulers and sliding pieces to gather info that practically guarantees a correct fitting.
That’s a good thing, because golf shoe shopping is no place for guesswork. This is one pair of togs that must fit snugly and securely without tightness or pinching.
If your on-course kicks are too tight, they will naturally be uncomfortable. Considering a round of golf lasts anywhere from three to five hours and involves lots of walking – even if you ride a cart – that’s a recipe for misery.
If, on the other hand, your shoes are too loose, they’ll cause friction that can lead to blisters. And nobody likes blisters.
Here are a few basic rules to follow when sizing up a new pair of golf shoes:
Lacing – When fully laced and tied, the topmost eyelets should be about 5/8″ apart. If they’re wider than that, the shoes are probably too narrow for your foot. Top eyelets closer than 5/8″ together likely mean the shoes aren’t wide enough.
Leather or material on forefoot – With your shoes on and tied, look at the top of your foot between the toe and laces (the forefoot). If this section shows a rippled or bunched effect, the shoe has too much volume – space inside – for your foot. Point this out to the salesperson, who should be able to accommodate your need for less volume.
Fit around the heel and forefoot – There should be no slippage in these areas when walking. Not only will slipping cause blisters, it will sap the stability from your swing. Take a lap or two around the shop to test this factor.
Fit around the mid-foot – Should be slightly tighter than in regular shoes to account for the movement of the swing.
Toe fit – As with any shoes, you should be able to wiggle your toes. A half inch between the big toe and shoe’s end is the standard guideline.
A fine point to consider is the shoes’ “last,” defined as the form of the foot which the shoe is shaped around. In the old days, everyone had their own, custom-built last made of wood. Modern mass production made that unnecessary and ushered in lasts made of plastic.
There’s a nearly infinite variety of lasts based on combinations of foot measurements and activity requirements. For instance, some golf shoes feature a square-toed last, others a rounded toe. Some are narrower across the heel and/or shallower around the instep. The forefoot fit is also considered, while the last’s bottom may be specially contoured to match specific movements.
Most major manufacturers offer an array of different lasts designed for men and women.
At Comfortable Golf Shoes, we’re committed to helping you find the best golf shoes on the market by giving you a wide range to choose from.
We offer high-quality, stylish, waterproof, turf-gripping and, most of all, comfortable golf shoes from the best brands in the business, including FootJoy, Nike, ECCO and adidas.
Take a look at the golf shoes we have on offer.
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