A good pair of bowling shoes can help you bowl better and get higher scores, providing increased stability and balance while also protecting your feet. Bowling shoes offer the proper slide and traction when needed. In addition, wearing bowling shoes helps maintain the surface quality of the bowling lane, keeping it free from markings and debris. When choosing bowling shoes, you should consider different factors depending on your age, skill level, bowling frequency, and size. If deciding sounds overwhelming, don’t worry! We’ve listed the best bowling shoes in 2021 to help you choose the most suitable pair for your needs and budget. Remember that you can always add your own insole for customized support and comfort.
Both shoes have microfiber slide pads with FlexSlide technology
The shoes come with a 2 year warranty
These Flyer Mesh bowling shoes from KR Strikeforce cater to medium and wide feet for optimal protection, comfort, and technique. The medium fit is available from size 6 to 15 while the wider fit comes in sizes 7 to 15. The Komfort-Fit construction is light and breathable with an engineered mesh upper. These bowling shoes have microfiber slide pads on both shoes with FlexSlide Technology for the perfect delivery.
Shoes have a lightweight outsole with raised rubber heel
Pyramid Path provides a superior performance bowling shoe at an affordable price with this athletic Lite Mesh range. The seamless and lightweight design allows you to move around comfortably with a knitted upper to enhance breathability. The shoe fit is true to size so you can easily order your regular size for online purchases. With superior cushioning and support, the shoes can be worn by left or right-handed bowlers and they come with a 2 year warranty.
These synthetic and lightweight bowling shoes are super comfortable for hours of bowling. With microfiber slide pads, they allow beginners to control their footwork while still figuring out their shots. Brunswick Vapor bowling shoes feature a foam-padded collar and tongue with removable insoles if you prefer to insert your own for customized support needs. With a price under fifty dollars, these shoes are a great starting pair and definitely much better than using a rental shoe.
The shoes have rubber heels and slip pads from the arch forward
These stylish bowling shoes are available in sizes 7-14 in a charcoal grey color. Although they can easily be mistaken for non-bowling shoes, they have all the perks of quality, durability, and functionality. A molded removable EVA footbed provides optimum comfort and control during all stages of your approach. The shoes are slip-on so there are no laces to tie. For improved comfort, the slip-ons are vented on the sides for added breathability.
These BSI Men’s bowling shoes are a classic black version of the traditional bowling shoe look. They offer everything you need in a good bowling shoe as a beginner or intermediate player – at a reasonable price. The shoes offer great comfort with a padded tongue and collar as well as a lightweight EVA midsole for support. The sliding soles are stitched and glued for lasting durability, ensuring your pair lasts you a number of seasons.
Both shoes have microfiber slide pads with FlexSlide technology
The KR Strikeforce black and orange Flyer bowling shoes are equipped with universal slide soles which allow you to slide on both shoes. The shoes have durable and soft uppers with Komfort-Fit construction and non-marking soles. For ultimate comfort during your game they are fully fabric lined with a padded tongue and collar. These trendy shoes come in at a great price under fifty dollars and have a 2-year warranty.
Feeling nostalgic for that old-school bowling alley style? This shoe is for you. If you found a great match with bowling alley rental shoes and don’t want to compromise your game by changing them up, get yourself the same pair for exclusive use. No more sharing. These classic style shoes have a non-marking sole and raised rubber heel. In traditional red, blue, and grey colors you’ll probably feel like a teenager again when you put them on.
Buying bowling shoes requires a little more thought than just picking the best-looking pair in your regular shoe size. A good pair of bowling shoes need to be comfortable, supportive and provide you with balance and stability. You need to consider the fit around your toes, ankle, and heel support as well as the arch of your foot. Of course, you also want a pair of shoes that will last at least one or two seasons. In this guide, we’ll outline everything you need to consider when buying a pair of bowling shoes to help you improve your game.
How to Choose the Best Bowling Shoes
Types of Bowling Shoes
Bowling shoes come in different types depending on your style of bowling, age, and gender.
Youth bowling shoes are slightly different from adult shoes as they are more lightweight and require less cushioning. If your kids enjoy bowling, having their own shoes will be a lot more comfortable than wearing the rental ones at the bowling alley.
Wide-width shoes provide enough room and help relieve pressure when sliding at the foul line. These may be a little harder to find but are well worth it to look after your feet, ensure comfort, and prevent pain even after the game is over.
Men's bowling shoes and ladies' bowling shoes are somewhat different in design according to the varying anatomy of feet. Men generally have wider feet while women have narrower and smaller feet.
Right-handed only shoes mean that the left bowling shoe will be the sliding shoe whereas the right shoe provides grip on the approach.
Left-handed only shoes are the opposite where the slide sole is on the right shoe and the grip sole is on the left.
Universal bowling shoes allow you to slide on both shoes if you are comfortable sliding on your non-dominant hand as well. These shoes are generally more affordable and are a good choice if you are just starting or play mainly for fun.
Bowling shoes with interchangeable soles allow you to change the sole according to the surface you are bowling on without having to have multiple pairs of shoes. They are a great option if you bowl in different types of bowling centers.
What to Look for When Buying Bowling Shoes
One of the most important things to consider when choosing shoes for bowling is the sole of the shoe. You will notice that they are different from normal shoes.
Sliding shoes have smooth soles. They are intended for sliding to help you with the delivery of the ball, improving your approach and follow-through. The problem with having a sliding shoe on both feet is that too much slide can cause you to go over the foul line unintentionally. For this reason, a lot of mid-range and high-end bowling shoes feature interchangeable heels and soles. This allows you to adjust the amount of slide. Beginner and cheaper bowling shoes usually have sliding soles on both the left and right foot that are not removable while more expensive shoes feature one sliding sole that is adjustable and one traction sole.
Traction soles are often only featured on competitive and more expensive shoes, however, they can be key to producing more power in your throw. They also allow you to pivot more easily during the delivery phase. Traction shoes should be able to bend comfortably at the ball of your foot. They are recommended for bowlers who play often, however, if you are not a regular you probably won’t need them yet.
If you are looking for a good pair of bowling shoes with traction, opt for a pair with one sliding sole and one traction sole. The sliding sole should be on the leading foot of your dominant hand and the traction sole should be on the other.
Have a look at the smaller details of the shoe when choosing the most durable and comfortable option.
Shoes should be well-lined with a sock-like lining on the inside of the shoe, vamp, and quarter to offer added comfort.
Many bowling shoes have either leather or synthetic uppers. If the material is not breathable, check for perforations that aid breathability.
Toe Caps and Heel Stabilizers
Toe caps will help prevent wear on the toe when pivoting while heel stabilizers keep your heel secure and stable throughout the motions.
Insoles are important in any shoe for optimal support and comfort. They are often thin and removable so that you can add your own custom insole for your unique needs depending on the arch-type of your foot.
Midsole and Heel Wedge
The midsole provides extra cushioning while the heel wedge assists with less ankle flexion, keeping your feet in a position ready for pivoting.
Heel Cup and Padded Collar
The heel cup locks your heel in place whereas a heavily padded collar offers comfort while giving you ankle support to keep your feet secure in the shoe.
Non-marking soles may be a prerequisite at any bowling alley to prevent marking and damaging the floors.
How to Get the Right Fit Bowling Shoes
The right shoe should fit both the width and volume of your foot without any pain, discomfort, or chafing. There should be roughly an eighth of an inch space between the toe and shoe tip, with a snug fit that does not slip at the heel.
When determining your size take into account the thickness of the socks you will be wearing when you play and consider whether the construction is flexible or stretches. You also want to ensure that there is even pressure over your arches, however, you may consider adding your own insoles for the perfect supporting fit.
Bowling Shoes FAQs
Why do you have to wear bowling shoes when you go to a bowling alley?
The approach is the part of the bowling lane leading up to the foul line before releasing your ball. This part of the lane needs to be flat, free of debris, and moderately slick. Wearing bowling shoes that you either bring yourself or hire at the alley ensures that the approach remains in good condition, free of markings, dirt, and damage. Considering you are carrying around rather heavy balls, this is for your own safety as well.
Can you turn regular shoes into bowling shoes?
You can turn regular shoes into bowling shoes by applying the required soles using specialized glue. However, even if you have the right soles, regular shoes may still not provide the appropriate support and structure characteristic to shoes specifically designed for bowling.
When should I replace my bowling shoes?
Regular bowlers should be able to use their shoes for a couple of seasons. If you only bowl once a week, your shoes could last you for many years if you take good care of them. Replace your shoes if the soles or heels are damaged.
Amos grew up playing just about any team sport you can think of, becoming a great lacrosse player in high school. Once he got to college, he took up rugby and cricket and has never looked back. As an active guy, he continues to pursue his passions and plays in a bowling league with his younger brothers. Mr. Henderson knows just how important the right equipment is, whatever the activity, and is excited to use his breadth of experience to recommend the top products for any number of athletic pursuits.