How To Clean Golf Shoes? 4 Simple Steps

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Most golfers never get around to how to clean golf shoes. But they whine plenty of shoes not lasting long enough. Proper cleaning and care are critical to golf shoes’ life as will explore in this post. Here, we discuss safe ways to clean golf shoes without damaging them. We also explain how to dry them and store them.

How To Clean Golf Shoes

Cleaning Brush: If your golf shoes have mesh in any area or lugs/cleats underneath, a cleaning brush will easily dislodge the brush. Look for a small bush with medium to firm bristles. The brush should not be too harsh on the shoes or it might tear the uppers or break the cleats.

Warm water: Warm water works wonders in cleaning away dirt compared to cold water. The small rise in temperature forces the caked mud to soften and melt away. But don’t go for hot water. If your golf shoes are made of leather, warm water may damage both the uppers and the outsole.

Clean Towel: Keep a small towel separately to clean the golf shoes. Make sure this is soft and not abrasive to leather uppers like that of Footjoy Hydrolite golf shoes. Disposable kitchen towels may also do the job. Just don’t use the filthy so-called cleaning rags from the kitchen which dirty the shoe even further with oil residue.

Cleaning Liquid: Use some form of mild soap or dishwashing solution for tracking the dirt. Harsh soaps can wear away the color or finish of your precious shoes. Make sure it’s not colored liquid that can streak across the perfectly white surface of your shoes.

Old newspapers: Secure your work area with these newspapers. At the end of your cleaning spree, you won’t be left with a dirty table. We also use newspapers to stuff inside the shoes when they are drying. We’ll explain more in a minute.

Shoe Tree: A shoe tree is a foot-shaped wooden contraption that sits inside a shoe to absorb moisture and hold its form. Ever noticed the creases in the toe area? The shoe trees help the shoes overcome these creases and increase their life. These are usually made of Cedarwood or other varieties of unfinished wood.

It is a worthwhile investment if you are plunking a few 100 dollars on high-performance golf shoes.

Cleaning routine for leather/synthetic uppers

The uppers made out of full-grain leather are durable but they must be handled with care. To clean theses shoes:

  1. Remove the laces from the golf shoes.
  2. Remove the footbed if it’s detachable.
  3. Wipe down the shoes with a dry cloth. Brush off any stubborn mud on the sides of the sole using the brush. But make sure that the brush does not leave scuff marks on the shoe.
  4. Drop a few drops of shoe cleaner or dishwashing liquid in the warm water. Dip a towel in it and wipe down the leather/synthetic uppers. Make sure all the dirt is gone from the uppers. Some gentle rubbing will clean the grass stains and brown dirt.
  5. Drop the laces into the soapy water and let them stay there for 10-15 minutes. Rinse the laces with clean water.
  6. Wipe down the shoes with another towel dipped in plain water. Do not soak the golf shoes into the water. They take forever to dry and the moisture is harmful to the shoes.

Cleaning Mesh Uppers

The highly-ventilated golf shoes usually have a mesh upper. These shoes can be dunked in water and even machine-washed. Although, we suggest you confirm this from the manufacturer’s instruction and helpline. Here’s how we deal with mesh uppers:

  1. Remove the laces from the golf shoes.
  2. Brush off the dirt from the mesh upper lightly. DO NOT be harsh. Brush gently all along the uppers including the tongue.
  3. Now either soak the towel in the dilute cleaning solution and clean the shoes. Or soak the shoes in a sink full of cleaning liquid solution.
  4. Brush once again to remove the dried up dirt.
  5. If there’s still dirt left on the mesh golf shoes, plunk them in a washing bag and put them in the washing machine. One delicate cycle on normal temperature will do the deed.
  6. Wipe down the shoes with a cloth soaked in clean water.
  7. Dry the shoes in a dry airy area under the shade.

Cleaning the outsole

Allow the shoes to dry for ten minutes and move to the outsole.
Brush off the dirt from between the lug gently. We don’t want to break off the lugs or the cleats.
Make sure all cleats are in good condition and shake off their dirt with a gentle brush.
Do not tighten the removable cleats too much, they will be damaged.

Drying the shoes

  1. Pull out the tongue from the golf shoes
  2. Dry the shoes, laces, and the footbed in an airy area with shade. Don’t put the golf shoes out in the sun. This will simply damage the shoes.
  3. Crumple newspaper and stuff it into the shoes. This will absorb the water faster from the shoes. In 5-10 hours, the golf shoes will be completely dry inside out.
  4. While you can dry the laces with a blow-dryer. But do NOT blow-dry the shoes. This will disintegrate the leather pretty fast.

Once the golf shoes feel almost dry inside, slip out the newspaper and fill in the Cedar shoe trees inside

These will absorb any residual water or odor. And they will hold the form of the shoes upright while drying.

How To Keep Your Golf Shoes Clean

Here’s an all-round guide to keeping your golf shoes clean and healthy through a long life. As less as 5 mins at a couple of stages of the game keep them spruced up:

Before the game

Right as you pull on the golf shoes, you can avoid damage. Make sure you use your fingers or a shoehorn to pull the shoes on. A shoehorn may seem too fussy. But it protects your shoes in the most subtle way. The heel counter is the place where the inner sock liner tears off the fastest. Using a shoe horn reduces the strain on the counter and keeps it well-connected.

With a shoehorn, the golf shoes slip on smoothly.

Post the game

Once you remove the golf shoes if possible wipe off the mud right away so that it doesn’t cake up on the shoes. If you wear socks, remove the socks and keep them aside from the shoes before packing them away. The smelly socks may transfer the sweat to the shoes and moisture is never good for shoes.

Conditioning the golf shoes

Once the golf shoes are dry, you can condition the uppers to make them look as good as new:


You get a product called leather oil like Obenauf’s leather oil. Put a few drops of these on the polishing cloth. Rub the oil lightly on the uppers and the outsoles. This will help spruce up dry leather and make it look shiny.

Shoe polish:

Shoe polish has the double duty of covering up the scuff marks and redeeming dry leather. You get shoe polishes or shoe crèmes in a number of colors. Based on the color of your shoes, take the right pick for your beloved golf shoes.

Pro Tips:

It’s best to keep two pairs of golf shoes and alternate them between rounds. This may seem like a costly affair but it actually pays itself out in terms of durability and performance.

Do not leave your shoes in hot or damp closed places. Don’t leave them lying next to a heater or in the hot trunk of the car. Also, avoid storing damp shoes in such closed spaces. The moisture can disintegrate the material of the uppers.


While the process of cleaning any shoes seems like an easy task guided by obvious tactics, there are efficient ways of getting it done. Leather and mesh shoes have different tolerance for water and different cleaning methods. Using a brush, wet towel, and some dishwashing/cleaning liquid, you can dislodge any stain from the shoes. Dry them in the shade and condition them with the right polishes and you will have almost-new golf shoes in your hand.

We hope you enjoyed our tutorial on how to clean golf shoes.

2 thoughts on “How To Clean Golf Shoes? 4 Simple Steps”

  1. Shoe trees are the most important yet underrated tool in ones shoe care tool kit. Any person who wants to extend their shoes or keep them looking new for longer should own a pair of shoe trees.

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