For those of us not fortunate enough to live in warmer climes, golf in the winter is not as much fun as golf in the summer, and it's a whole lot more difficult. There are several reasons for this but one of them is that it can be tricky keeping your feet warm and dry. Summer golf shoes don't cut it in the winter, and depending on where you play, winter golf shoes aren't always going to get it done either.
Golf boots are becoming increasingly popular and you'll find many of the major shoe brands now offer a winter boot for golf. I tried the Duca del Cosma Stanford winter golf boot in some awful winter weather and it performed exceptionally.
Having dry feet certainly makes golf a little easier but if you want to keep more than just your feet dry then you'll need our useful guide to the best waterproofs for golf.
But let's get back to what is afoot - the Duca Del Cosma Stanford golf boot.
Duca del Cosma Stanford Winter Golf Shoe: Price and availability
The Stanford is not as widely available as some of the more mainstream brands such as FootJoy and adidas, but you should not have too many problems finding an online retailer that stocks them. Currently they retail at £189 in the UK although if you shop around you may find some good deals. Scottsdale Golf currently have them on offer for £169.95.
In the US you can buy directly from the Duca del Cosma website for $239.
Duca del Cosma Stanford Winter Golf Shoe: Looks & Features
Duca del Cosma shoes tend to be bright and bold, but the Stanford has a very basic, understated design, which fits the purpose of this shoe. You don't want to be wearing bright coloured shoes when you're playing golf in the rain and mud.
So the Stanford comes in two colours - Black and Coffee. Both are made from high quality leather and look great, but the black was more to my taste. There is minimal, subtle branding and the different leather variation in the heel and toe provides some contrast, but essentially this is just a fairly plain black and white design. Or in the case of the Coffee, brown and tan.
The boot section around the ankle is thick and padded, while the sole is a fairly standard dimple pattern similar to what you would find on other spikeless golf shoes.
I love the design of the laces. There are open hooks on the high part of the lacing system rather than the traditional eye hole format. This means that the laces are hooked onto the top two fasteners which makes it much easier to get in and out of the shoes without having to fasten them all the way up.
In the worst of the weather you will want to fasten them all the way up, but when it's a little milder or in dry conditions you can ignore the hooks and just fasten them to a standard shoe height.
The laces themselves are made from polyester which is hard wearing and does not become dirty and discoloured in the way standard nylon laces do.
Duca del Cosma Stanford Winter Golf Shoe: Comfort and Performance
I've worn these boots on two different types of golf courses and they performed well on both. The first occasion was at Royal Birkdale, a firm links course with no mud. The weather was brutal that day and my round began in torrential rain. Not ideal for my playing partners but a great opportunity for me to run the rule over these winter golf boots.
With links courses you don't have to worry about them being too waterlogged or muddy as the ground is heavily sand based. The only issue I have had in the past is when I've had to go into the thick rough to look for errant tee shots (an all too frequent occurrence). That's when your feet can get wet if you don't have the right shoes, but even when your footwear is fully waterproof there is still the likelihood that your ankles will get wet when traipsing through the deeper rough. With the boot design of the Stanford that isn't a concern.
The Stanford dealt with the worst of the conditions and my footing was secure throughout the round. There was no slipping or sliding, but in truth Birkdale's tee boxes and fairways are in such great condition I could probably have played barefoot and still had secure footing even in the wettest of weather.
The other course I played was vastly different. My home course, Beacon Park, does not stand up well to the winter weather. The drainage isn't the best, it's very hilly and at times the low ground can be a bit of a mudbath. This is the ultimate test for a winter golf shoe.
For the most part I experienced very little slipping. Certainly no more than I would expect with any other shoe. So the traction on these boots is good, but it's not quite what you'd get from spikes. It's certainly no worse than any other spikeless shoe I have worn though.
Besides, when it's really muddy at 'the Beacon' even normal golf spikes are no good, you really need a pair of football boots with long studs!
I found the Stanford boot to be adequately comfortable and highly effective at keeping out the wet. I could walk through the knee deep rough and emerge from it completely dry, which is a big bonus as once your feet get wet that just makes any round of golf miserable.
The fit is snug but not tight. My foot felt locked in and there was no wiggle room, but it certainly wasn't cramped and there was room for an extra pair of socks had I chosen to wear them. The heel is quite raised which gave me an extra inch of height, which is always a good thing! While the sole isn't particularly cushioned and may even be described as a little firm, that did not detract from the comfort of the shoe.
I've certainly worn more comfortable golf shoes, such as the Adidas CODECHAOS22 which I reviewed earlier this year, but they are absolutely not designed for December golfing in the UK. In the summer it's all about comfort but in the winter you need to be dry and warm above all else, and if you're nice and comfortable too then all the better. The Stanford provides plenty of comfort and maximum protection and I can't really find fault with them.
They are quite heavy, which might be off-putting to someone used to wearing a more lightweight, sporty shoe, but the weight is distributed quite evenly and my feet felt nice and secure. I can't say the extra weight was a concern for me and it's only really after taking them off and picking them up that you remember just how heavy they are.
If I'm really nit-picking then I could say that the Stanford winter golf shoe would have better traction on wet ground if it were equipped with spikes rather than the rubber nubs, but the trade off there is you could then only wear them on the golf course. That would be somewhat of a waste, as these boots are a great all rounder and offer exceptional versatility.
I've actually worn these boots more away from the golf course than I have on it. They're great for day to day wear, especially when out walking the dog down wet and muddy pathways. I waded through ankle deep puddles and no water got in. They were covered in mud when I got home but you can just easily wash that off under a tap. It is like having a pair of great looking, Italian designer wellies!
I even wore them for a day walking around enjoying the sights of York and while it was a relief to kick them off at the end of the day, I find that's the case with any pair of shoes. My feet were no more sore than I would have expected had I just been wearing a pair of trainers.
Duca del Cosma Stanford Winter Golf Shoe: Verdict
With a nice pair of thick socks and the Duca del Cosma Stanford winter golf shoes, your feet will be fully protected from the cold and wet which makes these a sound investment. They might be a little heavy for some, but that's the trade off for the protection offered and overall these are a solid choice for anyone who plays in the worst of the winter conditions.