What Shoes Do Professional Disc Golfers Wear?


We
asked
dozens
of
pros
what
shoes
they
were
wearing
at
Worlds.
Here’s
what
we
learned.


Nathan
Queen
rocks

Whitin
Cross
Trainers

(and
sweet
disc
golf
socks).


“All
I’m
looking
for
is
comfort.
Grip.
Waterproofing.
Honestly,
I
feel
like
if
you
don’t
notice
your
shoes,
your
shoes
are
doing
a
great
job.
You
don’t
want
to
be
thinking
about
your
shoes,
so
they’re
an
accessory
product
to
allow
me
to
perform
at
my
best,
but
it’s
not
like
that
specific
thing
that
makes
them
indispensable
and
perfect.
It’s
just
that
when
they
do
their
job,
that’s
all
you
need
from
a
shoe.”

Nate
Sexton

One
of
the
most
frequent
posts
you’ll
see
on
disc
golf
forums
such
as
Facebook
groups
and
r/discgolf
is
“What
shoes
should
I
buy
for
disc
golf?”
For
professional
players,
this
is
a
legitimately
important
question,
and
they
have
every
incentive
to
figure
out
what
are
the
best
shoes
currently
available.
While
at
the
2023
PDGA
World
Championships
at
the
Smugglers
Notch
Resort
in
Vermont,
I
spoke
to
dozens
of
pros
to
find
out
which
shoes
they
wear
and
why.

Some
caveats
before
we
begin:

  • Smuggs
    has
    two
    courses:
    The
    heavily
    wooded
    Brewster
    Ridge,
    with
    paver
    stone
    tee
    pads
    that
    were
    chosen
    for
    ideal
    grip
    in
    both
    wet
    and
    dry
    conditions.
    And
    the
    very
    open
    Fox
    Run
    Meadows
    with
    lots
    of
    OB
    and
    turf
    tee
    pads.
    The
    ground
    in
    Vermont
    was
    pretty
    saturated,
    so
    both
    courses
    had
    their
    share
    of
    mud,
    especially
    Brewster.
  • Players
    often
    change
    their
    shoes
    based
    on
    weather/ground
    conditions
    and
    tee
    pads.
    The
    shoes
    they
    were
    wearing
    at
    this
    event
    might
    not
    be
    the
    same
    that
    they
    use
    at
    other
    events
    or
    even
    other
    individual
    rounds
    at
    Worlds.
    If
    they
    were
    playing
    in
    drier
    conditions,
    there
    likely
    wouldn’t
    have
    been
    so
    many
    shoes
    with
    GoreTex.
  • Most
    of
    the
    shoes
    worn
    by
    top
    pros
    at
    Worlds
    were
    premium
    quality
    and
    cost
    $100-$200.
    They
    might
    be
    more
    of
    an
    investment
    than
    more
    casual
    disc
    golfers
    will
    want
    to
    make.
  • There
    were
    nearly
    300
    players
    playing
    in
    the
    event.
    My
    sample
    size
    is
    58.
    In
    general,
    I
    focused
    on
    the
    more
    widely
    known
    players.
    A
    wider
    sample
    size
    would
    have
    provided
    more
    variety
    in
    brands
    and
    models,
    but
    I
    believe
    the
    information
    collected
    is
    enough
    to
    get
    an
    idea
    of
    what
    the
    most
    popular
    shoes
    are.
  • I
    did
    my
    best
    to
    identify
    which
    exact
    model
    each
    of
    these
    players
    was
    wearing,
    but
    some
    of
    this
    was
    guesswork.

I
will
categorize
shoes
into
five
main
categories,
and
if
you
don’t
like
reading,
I
have
also
listed
the
shoes
in
that
category
that
were
used
most
often
by
pros.


Disc
golf
shoes
:

Idio
Syncrasy


Hiking
shoes
:

Adidas
Swift
R3


Trail
Running
shoes
:

Nike
Pegasus
Trail
4


Barefoot
trail
running
shoes
:
Vivo
Barefoot
Primus
Trail

“Other”
shoes
:

Vans
UltraRange
EXO

We’ll
look
at
each
of
these
categories
one
by
one.

Disc
Golf
Shoes

Corey
Ellis
wearing
the
Idio
signature
Nate
Sexton
Syncrasys.

In
2021,
Idio
launched
a
Kickstarter
for
the
first
shoe
specifically
designed
for
disc
golf.
Idio’s
first,
and
so
far
only,
shoe
model
is
called
the

Syncrasy
.

I
saw
Nate
Sexton
and
Corey
Ellis

both
sponsored
by
Idio

along
with
Aaron
Gossage
and
Paige
Shue
wearing
Syncrasys.
The
company
also
sponsors
Paige
Pierce,
who
missed
Worlds
while
recovering
from
an
injury.
I
recently

interviewed
Craig
Kitchens
,
Idio’s
founder
and
owner,
to
learn
about
how
the
past
few
years
have
gone
and
his
theories
on
why
more
pros
aren’t
wearing
the
only
shoe
made
specifically
for
disc
golf.

“I
worked
with
Craig
for
a
couple
of
years,
going
back
as
far
as
maybe
2018
about
his
vision
for
the
company
and
I
can
feel
the
passion
that
he
has
for
trying
to
bring
that
disc
golf-specific
footwear
to
the
market,”
said
Nate
Sexton.
“I
like
working
with
Craig
and
I
like
to
support
a
disc
golf
business.
They
do
have
some
cool
features
to
stay
durable
against
people
who
drag
their
toe
on
the
tee,
which
is
a
common
mistake
that
people
make.”

Hiking
Shoes


Juliana
Korver,
like
many
pros,
likes
the

Adidas
Terrex

line.

Hiking
shoes
are
a
modern
style
of
hiking
footwear
similar
to
a
boot
but
lighter
in
weight
with
a
lower
cut
at
the
ankle.
They
tend
to
be
durable
and
have
great
traction;
many
models
are
waterproof.
The
most
popular
hiking
shoe
among
the
pros
were
part
of
the
TERREX
line
made
by
Adidas.
In
particular,
the
TERREX

Swift

R2
and
the

newer
R3

were
worn
by
six
players
including
Paul
Ulibarri,
Chris
Dickerson,
and
Juliana
Korver.
This
waterproof
shoe
was
made
popular
by
Paul
McBeth,
who
received
a
grassroots
sponsorship
from
Adidas
in
2016
and
then
a
paid
sponsorship
for
the
2017
season,
before
walking
away
from
the
sponsorship
deal
in
2018.

Also
popular
was
the

TERREX
Skychaser
,
which
was
worn
by
four
players,
including
Valerie
Mandujano
and
Joel
Freeman.

“I
wear
Terrex
because
they
have
the
best
grip
and
they
keep
my
feet
dry,”
said
Valarie
Mandujano.
“For
different
situations,
I
sometimes
switch
the
model.
They
last
me
a
good
eight
months
to
a
year.
I
am
using
the
high
tops
now
because
they
make
my
ankle
feel
more
secure.”

“I
can’t
say
what
it
is
about
the
product,
but
I’ve
never
worn
a
shoe
that
performs
so
well
in
wet
conditions,”
said
Joel
Freeman

McBeth
was
wearing
the

Salomon
X
Ultra
4

at
Worlds.
When
asked
about
his
shoes,
he
explained
that
he
still
normally
wears
TERREXs,
but
they
got
torn
up
in
Europe
and
he
wasn’t
able
to
find
a
replacement
quickly
so
bought
Salomons
instead.
The
X
Ultra
4
is
also
a
waterproof
hiking
shoe
and
fills
a
similar
niche
to
to
the

Swift

R3
so
is
a
sensible
replacement.
Matt
Orum
was
also
wearing
the

X
Ultra
4
.

“I
think
the
Salomons
are
the
best
disc
golf
shoes
for
me,”
said
Orum.
“I’ve
tried
almost
everything
except
for
Vans.
The
Salomons
have
lasted
the
longest.
They’re
the
most
performance.
I
used
to
like
the
Adidas
Swifts
but
they
changed
the
mold
and
I
cut
them
off.”

A
hiking
shoe
often
touted
by
players
online
is
the

Merrell
Moab
GTX
.
The
only
player
I
found
wearing
the
Moab
was
Ellen
Widboom.

“I
am
wearing
the
waterproof
Merrells
with
the
Vibram
bottoms,”
she
said.
“They’re
perfect
for
hiking
in
the
mud.
I
normally
wear
Altras
with
the
wide
toe
box
and
zero
drop.
Those
are
also
great
on
the
course
but
for
waterproof,
I
like
the
Merrells.”

Trail
Running
Shoes

Connor
O’Reilly
was
one
of
many
pros
wearing
the

Nike
Pegasus

trail
runners.

Occupying
the
space
between
running
shoes
and
hiking
shoes
are
trail
running
shoes.
They
allow
for
light
and
springy
movement
but
have
the
added
protection,
support,
and
traction
needed
for
off-road
travel.
The
most
popular
trail
running
shoe
by
far
was
the
Nike

Pegasus
,
in
both

GoreTex

and

non-GoreTex

versions.
It
was
worn
by
10
players,
including
women’s
champion
Kristin
Tattar.

“The
Nike

Pegasus

model
are

found
in
every
Dick’s
chain
store

around
the
country,
which
makes
it
a
consistent
buy
when
you’re
on
the
tour,
because
these
shoes
burn
out
after
like
two
or
three
months,”
said
Bradley
Williams.
“They
have
a
waterproofing
layer
over
the
top
so
the
morning
dew
doesn’t
saturate
your
sock
and
you
stay
mostly
dry.
The
tread
pattern
on
the
bottom
has
worked
well
for
most
types
of
surfaces.
I
wouldn’t
say
it’s
the
best
in
every
category,
but
it’s
pretty
consistent.
I
don’t
want
the
lugs
to
be
too
deep
and
spaced
out.
I
want
it
to
be
more
like
a
trail
running
shoe.
When
it
comes
to
buying
the
shoes,
I
don’t
want
to
feel
that
float
feeling
where
I’m
separated
from
the
surface.
I
want
to
still
feel
grounded
a
bit.
But
I
also
want
the
shoe
to
have
some
give.
When
I
go
to
rotate
my
backhand,
I
want
the
shoe
to
flex
and
stretch,
so
I
don’t
want
it
to
feel
too
caged
in.
It’s
a
balance
between
finding
support
and
give
in
a
shoe
for
me.”

“I
feel
like
I’ve
kind
of
gone
through
all
of
the
popular
disc
golf
shoes,”
said
Connor
O’Reilly.
“I’ve
worn
the
Vans,
I’ve
worn
the
Vivos,
I’ve
worn
the
Adidas.
These
Nikes
have
the
combination
of
a
good
tread
on
the
bottom
and
a
pretty
responsive,
kind
of
bouncy
midsole
that
makes
me
feel
nice
and
athletic
on
the
course.
They
don’t
have
too
much
heel
drop,
so
you’re
not
getting
that
weird
platform
that’s
unstable.
So
I
think
these
have
been
my
favorite
shoes
I’ve
worn
so
far.
I
do
like
the
Vivos,
but
they
made
my
calves
a
little
bit
too
tight.”

“I
am
wearing
the
Nike

Pegasus

trail
and
I
chose
these
because
they
have
a
lot
of
cushion,”
said
James
Proctor.
“They
feel
pretty
bouncy
and
when
I’m
walking
the
course
two
rounds
a
day,
caddying
for
Ella
in
the
morning,
I
like
to
go
cushy
in
the
afternoon.
I’m
also
a
big
fan
of
the
Vivos
but
those
are
more
of
a
one-round-a-day
type
of
shoe.
So
yeah,
traction
is
good.
Feels
great.
These
ones
are
not
waterproof,
but
I
don’t
need
it
today.”

There
were
three
other
Nike
trail
running
shoes
that
came
up:

Jesse
Nieminen
was
wearing
the

Nike
Wild
Horse
7
.
“They
have
good
grip
and
are
nice
to
the
feet.
I
think
Ricky
used
them
a
year
or
two
ago
and
I
checked
them
out
and
have
been
liking
them
since,”
he
said.

Zach
Melton
was
wearing
the

Nike
Air
Zoom
Terra
Kiger
.
“If
we
didn’t
have
all
this
mud,
I
would
be
wearing
the
Stephs.
Honestly,
I
just
like
a
light
shoe
with
grip,
and
with
a
little
Tennessee
orange,”
he
said.

Sullivan
Tipton
was
wearing
the

Nike
ACG
Mountain
Fly
Low
.
He
said
the
waterproofing
was
great.

In
other
brands,
second-place
finisher
Anthony
Barela
was
wearing
the

Adidas
Ultraboost
21
GTX
.
“I’ve
always
worn
Ultraboost
since
I
first
started
playing.
I’m
wearing
the
GoreTex
version
this
week
because
it’s
muddy,
there’s
wet
ground,
and
they’re
waterproof,”
he
said.

Manabu
Kajiyama
was
wearing
the

Salomon
Speedcross

and
Justin
Bilodeau
was
wearing
the

Salomon
Ultra
Glide
.
Bilodeau
said
he
likes
Salomons
because
the
tread
pattern
is
not
too
luggy.
He
has
actually
prototyped
his
own
design
that
he
might
manufacture
at
some
point.

Brodie
Smith
was
wearing
the

All
Birds
Trail
Runners
SWT
.

Eveliina
Salonen
was
wearing
the

Asics
GEL
Trabuco
GTX

and
Chandler
Kramer
was
wearing
the

Asics
GEL
Venture
9
.

There
were
three
players
wearing
Altras,
each
with
a
different
model,
which
are
all
similar,
but
with
different
amounts
of
cushioning
beneath
the
feet.
MPO
winner
Issac
Robinson
was
wearing

Olympus
4

(33mm
cushion).
Sarah
Gilpin
was
wearing
the

Lone
Peak
5

(25mm
cushion).
And
Ella
Hansen
was
wearing
the

Superior
5

(21mm
cushion).

“I
like
Altras.
I
have
wide
feet,
so
I
like
the
wide
toebox,”
said
Hansen.
“They
have
a
couple
of
different
models,
but
they
all
have
the
same
tread
so
I
can
trust
that
they’re
gonna
have
the
same
grip.
And
they’re
just
comfortable.
These
are
Superiors.
I
have
some
of
the
Lone
Peak
waterproof
ones.
I
kind
of
just
switch
of
depending
on
wet
it
is
going
to
be.
I
feel
like
I
can
wear
them
like
all
day,
which
is
good.”

All
of
these
Altras
are
zero-drop
shoes,
which
refers
to
the
height
of
the
heel
and
the
sole
of
the
shoe
being
the
same.
This
leads
us
to
our
next
category
of
shoes.

Barefoot
Shoes

Kat
Mertsch
wearing

Vivos
.

Barefoot
running
shoes
are
zero-drop,
have
no
cushioning
underfoot,
allow
your
toes
to
flex,
and
normally
have
a
larger
toe
box
permitting
your
toes
the
freedom
to
spread
which
is
thought
to
help
you
utilize
your
foot
muscles
better.
While
all
barefoot
shoes
are
zero-drop,
not
all
zero-drop
running
shoes
are
barefoot
as
zero-drop
shoes
can
have
plenty
of
cushioning,
a
narrower
fit,
and
lots
of
protection
in
the
uppers.

I
had
a
chance
to
speak
with
Seth
Munsey
of
Disc
Golf
Strong,
who
is
also
the
Director
of
Health
and
Sports
Performance
for
the
Disc
Golf
Pro
Tour.
“I’ve
always
done
strength
and
conditioning
training
for
athletes
with
them
either
barefoot
or
in
socks,”
he
said.
“You
just
get
more
connection
with
the
ground
and
you
don’t
have
an
elevated
heel,
so
it’s
just
a
lot
better
for
your
training.
Our
human
ancestors
walked
around
barefoot
or
with
some
kind
of
leaf
or
animal
skin
protecting
the
bottoms
of
their
feet.
That’s
how
we
were
designed.
We
have
the
same
skeleton,
same
foot,
and
same
gait
patterns
as
our
ancestors,
or
at
least
we
should.
I’ve
personally
been
wearing
barefoot
shoes
since
around
2006.”

“I
would
recommend
barefoot
shoes
for
players
off
the
course,
but
not
for
throwing
because
that
had
never
really
been
done
at
this
level,”
he
continued.
“You
don’t
want
to
experiment
too
much
and
have
somebody
get
injured
experimenting.
But
from
working
with
Eagle
McMahon
barefoot,
he
started
trying
out
barefoot
shoes
and
eventually
settled
on
Vivo.
Eagle
wanted
to
try
throwing
them,
and
when
he
did,
he
really
enjoyed
it.
I
believe
he
was
the
first
pro
at
this
level
to
wear
them
and
others
then
tried
them
out
based
on
his
recommendation.
Now
it’s
just
crazy
to
see
how
many
players
are
using
barefoot
shoes,
and
I
believe
this
is
how
it
started.
I
never
expected
that
barefoot
shoes
would
be
popular
in
disc
golf
as
an
actual
throwing
shoe.”

In
a
previous
interview
conducted
by
Vivo,
Eagle
said
“I
started
wearing
Vivos
because
after
doing
research
on
what
the
benefits
of
a
barefoot
style
shoe
are,
I
could
not
fathom
returning
to
a
‘normal’
shoe.
Now
being
an
advocate
of
the
barefoot
lifestyle,
I
can
safely
say
that
I
have
eliminated
any
previous
foot
pain
and
strengthened
my
feet
to
give
me
a
greater
foundation
to
perform
my
sport
on.
All
while
helping
others
within
the
disc
golf
community
to
do
the
same.”

As
you
might
expect,
McMahon
is
still
wearing
Vivo.
Vivo
was
even
a
sponsor
of
the
European
Open
in
2022.
At
Worlds,
I
saw
McMahon
wearing
one
of
the

Primus
models

that
Vivo
makes.
The
Primus
line
are
considered
to
be
from
running
and
training
and
are
low
top.
Vivo
makes
the

Primus

in
several
versions,
including
firm
ground
and
soft
ground
versions
with
different
types
of
lugs.
I
also
saw
various
Primus
Model
Vivos
on
Eric
Oakley,
Sai
Ananda,
Silva
Saarinen,
and
Kyle
Klein.

“Vivo
barefoot
quickly
became
the
best
shoes
for
me,”
said
Oakley.
“I
used
to
wear
a
lot
of
Nikes
which
I
loved,
but
I
had
issues
with
the
higher
raised
heel
and
I
was
slipping
out.
Vivo
has
been
the
best
and
I’m
lucky
to
be
an
ambassador
of
the
company
and
feels
awesome
to
wear
an
amazing
shoe
that
feels
like
it’s
improving
my
game
and
improving
my
health.”

Vivo
also
has
their

Magna

line
of
shoes,
which
are
high
top
and
somewhere
between
a
shoe
and
a
boot.
Ricky
Wysocki,
Thomas
Gilbert,
and
Raven
Newsom
were
wearing
Magna
models.

“I
am
wearing
the
Vivo
barefoot
magna
trail
to
runners,”
said
Gilbert.
“I
use
them
because
they’re
water-resistant
up
to
my
ankle
and
then
just
have
superior
grip
on
the
tee
pads.
Best
I’ve
ever
worn.
I
used
to
wear
old
Costco
running
shoes,
but
since
I
found
Vivos
that’s
been
the
only
thing
I’ve
worn.
I
have
had
these
pairs
since
the
very
beginning
of
the
year
and
they’re
still
waterproof,
so
they
last
hold
up
well.”

“I
don’t
slip
as
much
and
I’m
heavy
on
my
front
feet,
so
they
have
really
good
traction,
and
it
makes
it
easier
to
be
consistent,”
said
Newsom.
“I
switched
to
zero-drop
shoes
because
I
kept
slipping.
I
wanted
to
find
shoes
that
helped
me
not
do
that.”

Kat
Mertsch
and
Blær
Örn
Ásgeirsson
were
wearing

Vivo’s
Hydra
ESC
,
which
are
specifically
designed
for
swimming
and
running,
a
kind
of
high-end
water
shoe.

“I
like
having
my
feet
as
close
to
the
ground
as
possible,
it
makes
me
feel
way
more
comfortable,”
said
Ásgeirsson.
“Plus,
they
have
a
great
grip
as
well,
which
is
important,
especially
in
Iceland,
where
I
play
most
of
my
rounds.
I’ve
had
these
for
four
months
now.
And
you
can
see
they
have
one
hole,
but
the
people
in
the
store
said,
if
they
get
damaged
so
quick,
you
can
come
here
and
we’ll
fix
it.”

The
other
two
zero-drop
shoes
I
spotted
were

Xero
TerraFlex
II

worn
by
Natalie
Ryan
and
the

WHITIN
Crosstrainer

worn
by
Nathan
Queen.

“Other”
Shoes

Calvin
Heimburg’s
iconic

Nike
Frees
.

You
already
know
one
of
the
names
that
will
be
in
the
“other”
category:
Calvin
Heimburg.
He
was
wearing
the

Nike
Free
4.0
Flyknit
,
a
minimalist
running
shoe.
It
is
very
light,
flexible,
and
has
a
small
6mm
drop.
Calvin
appropriately
gave
a
minimalist
quote
when
asked
about
why
he
wears
them:
“I
just
like
them.
They’re
comfortable.
They’re
light.
That’s
pretty
much
it.”

Missy
Gannon
was
wearing
different
shoes
on
different
days.
For
Brewster
Ridge,
she
wore

New
Balance
Fresh
Foam
X
Hierro
v7
GTX
Trail
Running
Trainers
,
which
were
the
only
New
Balance
shoes
I
saw
all
week.
On
a
day
when
she
was
playing
Fox
Run
Meadows,
she
was
wearing

Adidas
S2G
Spikeless
Golf
Shoes
.
Missy
told
me,
“These
specifically
are
for
courses
that
have
turf
tee
pads.
They
are
actually
spikeless
golf
shoes.
They
are
waterproof,
very
comfortable,
and
they
work
great
on
the
turf
tee
pads.
You
can
find
them
in
Dick’s
or
any
golf
store,
and
they’re
actually
pretty
inexpensive.
I
think
these
were
like
sub
$100.
So
they’re
a
great,
affordable
option
but
also
very
effective.”

The
last
of
the
“other”
shoes
was
one
of
the
most
popular
shoes
overall.
Six
top
pros–including
Gannon
Buhr,
Hailey
King,
and
Ezra
Robinson–were
wearing

Vans
UltraRange

shoes,
mostly
the

EXO
model
.
Vans
are
known
as
skate
shoes,
and
these
have
the
familiar
Vans
look,
but
on
their
website,
the
most
common
use
for
them
seems
to
be
casual
wear
with
reviews
touting
how
comfortable
they
are
for
walking.

“We
play
mostly
concrete
tee
pads,
which
are
more
like
a
skateboard
deck
than
they
are
anything
else.
I
used
to
skate
for
a
long
time
and
I
was
one
of
the
first
people
to
wear
Vans
(on
tour),
and
now
a
lot
of
people
are
doing
it,”
said
Luke
Humphries.

“I
find
Vans
to
be
more
of
a
comfortable
shoe
in
terms
of
cushion,”
said
Connor
Rock.
“They
really
fit
my
feet
well.
They’re
not
the
most
durable.
Also
in
terms
of
playing
on
a
course
in
bad
conditions,
they
don’t
hold
up
the
best
in
terms
of
grip
either.
If
they
are
brand
new,
they
hold
up
pretty
well
but
if
you
have
them
seasoned
in,
they’re
gonna
slip
quite
a
bit.
I
try
to
rotate
pretty
new
ones.”

Original source

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