Whenever you go to any Bowling Alley, there are a ton of accessories you have to wear in which bowling shoes being the must and almost all Bowling Allies require you to wear bowling but why is this so? What do bowling shoes do and How Does Impact On our performance, In this article, I will be answering all these questions and compare our normal shoes with the bowling shoes further in the article.

Even some serious bowlers bring their bowling shoes along with their ball. To get an answer to these questions, I called several Bowling Alleys, Bowling experts, and a few Bowling shoe companies, so here is what I have found.

Bowling shoes are required in Bowling Allies because they are made to be super slick which helps you slide while you’re throwing the ball giving you a smoother motion providing you a better control which basically helps you to throw better. They also help in preventing many injuries as it allows your body to move freely without sticking.

There are a ton of other things and reasons why bowling shoes are required in bowling alleys. There are also many benefits of wearing bowling shoes while Bowling which I will cover further in the article.

So Stay, tuned.

Reasons Why Bowling Allies Require Bowling Shoes

Following are the main reasons why majority of the bowling allies require you to wear bowling shoes.

Better Performance

Bowling shoes provide very smooth motion because of their slipperiness which helps you throw the ball in a more controllable manner which ultimately makes your bowling performance better. 

Prevent Injuries

Wearing normal shoes can lead you to stick on the floor by which all the force caused by the bowling and the force caused when you throw the ball will now be on your wrists and your knees which could be injurious. Bowling shoes spreads this force on your whole body with the help of its slicking ability.


In most of the cases, the soles of our normal shoes are very dirty which can basically make the floor of the Bowling Alley dirty giving a poor experience to other people who come afterward you. Your regular shoes with dirt will damage and add friction to the surface of the approach. If you wear them, you might fall over and injure yourself.

Let’s say you wear your normal shoes and there’s a chewing gum sticking on the sole of your shoes and because of the force exerted on your foot while throwing the ball, the chewing gum got stuck on the floor.

And then, let’s say your friend or even when you come again to throw the ball and you don’t see the chewing gum and you basically stick on the floor forcibly when you’re expected to slide, you will fall onto your face or you might end up having an injury in your wrists.

What Do Bowling Shoes Do?

Soles of Bowling shoes are made to be super slippery so that we can also transfer our body weight towards the ball that basically makes us throw bowling balls in a much more controllable manner because of the smooth motion it provides. Also, it prevents injuries to our wrists, knee, and foot as now we are doing proper body movement instead of sticking to the floor.

Earlier in 1888, bowling was a lawn game that could be played in any other shoes suited for outdoors. But when it was brought inside, shoes for bowling made out as necessary because of smoother motion.

Normal shoes might slip or stick on the floor while trying to throw the ball, which can cause injuries to people on wrists or knee as the balls they have on their hand is too heavy. Now, when their shoes is slippery, the slipperiness helps our hands in carrying the bowl and throwing it which prevents the injuries.

Now you might think if bowling shoes are so slippery then why don’t we fall too often on them while Bowling, I also thought the same, and from my research, I found that the heels of bowling shoes are made of rubber which stops us from sliding/falling after we throw the ball.

That’s why you do not slide all the way down with the ball through the lanes.

Benefits Of Wearing Bowling Shoes

Having the right equipment when sporting helps to improve performance. Read out the following benefits of wearing bowling shoes to improve your bowling performance.

Improve your bowling performance

Bowling shoes are the right equipment that will ensure you practice daily and enhance your bowling skills as they provide very smooth motion which helps you throw the ball in a more controllable manner. 

Provides Safety

While playing any sports activity, safety is the most concerning part. You should make sure that every piece of equipment is available in the sports activity you are going to play. Bowling shoes are made to provide safety, make sure that you find perfectly fitted shoes. Improper fit can cause slips, discomfort, and pain.  

Maintain the Approach

If you want to bring out maximum performance, make sure to maintain your gaming approach flat. Best bowling shoes will help you with that as their soles are more controlled.

Variety of Designs

Not that old-fashioned shoes, bowling shoes now comes with a variety of designs, style, and sizes. Pick the one that suits you best. 

How Are Bowling Shoes Made?

Bowling shoes are made out of leather and rubber, It is also, designed with a sliding sole that allows the bowler to slide with their sliding foot during their approach. The rubber is present at the heel of the shoes so that you don’t slip too much while bowling.

That sole is generally made out of leather material to give a proper consistent slide in the execution of a good bowling shot. The athletic or tennis shoe style bowling shoes are made with a sliding sole on both sides. Beginners or bowlers who bowl once a week should buy this type of shoes.

Bowling Shoes Vs Normal Shoes

The main difference between bowling shoes and normal shoes is the sole.

In bowling shoes, there is a sliding sole made of leather that helps the bowlers to slide while throwing the ball which is important for controlling the ball.

While Sneakers or regular shoes are made to be grippy and not slippery at all making your bowling performance poor and can even cause injury on your wrists. Your regular shoes with dirt will damage and add friction to the surface of the approach, wearing them might injure you.

But, remember not to wear your bowling shoes as regular shoes as their smooth soles can easily let you slip on different surfaces.

Can You Wear Bowling Shoes Outside?

You should not wear bowling shoes outside as bowling shoes are made to be more slippery and only for bowling. With just a few water droplets on the ground, you may slip and fall which will be very painful. You should always wear bowling shoes inside the alleys only and you should wear shoes with more grip when you’re outside.

Should You Buy Your Own Bowling Shoes?

Generally, you don’t need to buy bowling shoes for yourself if you are a hobby bowler & don’t bowl so often as almost all Bowling Allies provide you the bowling shoes which are dirty although. If you’re an advanced bowler – you bowl often or you are concerned about the cleanliness of the shoes, then it is recommended to buy your own shoes.

You necessarily don’t need to buy your own bowling shoes if you are just a hobby bowler and go bowling only twice or thrice a month. You might be worried about the cleanliness as those shoes were worn by other bowlers as well but most of the bowling allies say that they clean the shoes every time they are used by one person.

Honestly saying, they don’t do it so often, they might do it weekly but this is something that does not happen to the extent they claim it to be.

Secondly, if you bowl very often or you plan to be an advanced bowler, then I would recommend getting your own sized bowling shoes as it will make you feel much more comfortable and by buying some advanced bowling shoes, you can take your bowling to the next level.

Best Bowling Shoes

You can search around to know the specific tools you should be purchasing when bowling. Also, you can read some online reviews if you’re buying bowling shoes online. To make it easier, I have mentioned some best bowling shoes for you. By reading this post, you’ll find the right shoes for you.

Here are some best bowling shoes you should buy:

Dexter SST 6 BOA

In my opinion and many other professional bowler’s opinion, they are the best bowling shoes ever in the world.

This is one of the high-quality shoes for semi-professional and professional bowlers. It is comprised of premium, full-grain leather, which is ideal for durability in and out of the alley. This shoe comes with a padded collar, providing comfort for the longest bowling sessions. And there are really a lot of other features as well in these shoes which you can see in the above video.

Most of the Professional bowlers use these shoes. You can buy it on Amazon.

Brunswick frenzy

This one is the best budget alternative of the Dexter SST 6 BOA, You can go for it if you don’t have much budget, they are also a great bowling shoe option that comes with wide feet options. With synthetic materials that create a low-profile design suitable for everyone.

They are super comfortable and slides well like any average bowling shoe. I would suggest you to but this if your budget is low or if you don’t bowl so often. You can find it on Amazon for a really cheap price.

BSI Women’s Classic Bowling Shoe

An inexpensive, stylish, comfortable, and durable bowling shoe made especially for female bowlers who want to up their game. The above two shoes we talked about were for males, if you’re a female bowler then currently no bowling shoes are better than BSI.

I have talked to many female bowlers and most suggested the BSI Classic shoes only. You can find it on Amazon for a really cheap price.

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