If you've never bought a pair of bowling shoes before, you may not know where to begin. Because, let's face it, outside of the local bowling alleys, you don't usually see a lot of bowling shoes. But if you want to bowl more often, or possibly improve your game, you might definitely want to consider buying your own bowling shoes. Here are a few tips that will help you decide when it's time to buy bowling shoes, and several things to know before buying them.
Whether to Buy or Rent Bowling Shoes
If you're only an occasional bowler, or just bowl for fun, rented bowling shoes may be all you need. Rented bowling shoes usually have a universal sole that is suited to beginning bowlers, or bowlers who do not bowl very frequently. If you find yourself more interested in improving your game, or are bowling more often, you may find that rented bowling shoes are too slick or provide more traction than you want. In this case, you might want to consider buying a pair of bowling shoes.
Bowling Shoe Choices: Performance or Athletic
An athletic style bowling shoe is a shoe that features the look and feel of a regular athletic shoe, but is custom made for the sport of bowling. Athletic styled bowling shoes typically have a sliding sole on both shoes, which is good for beginning bowlers, or people who bowl once a week or less. A performance bowling shoe is just what the name implies - a bowling shoe made for bowling which, by design, is meant to help achieve better bowling performance.
How a Performance Bowling Shoes Differ from Other Shoes
Each shoe in a pair of performance bowling shoe serves a different purpose. One bowling shoe is for sliding, and the other is for braking. It's because of this, that bowling shoes are designed specifically for right-handed or left-handed bowlers. The shoe for sliding is the one opposite of the hand you bowl with. For example, a right-handed bowler will have the left shoe as the sliding shoe.
The Soles of Pro Bowling Shoes
In performance or competitive bowling shoes, the sliding shoe features a sole which will allow the bowler easily slide during their delivery. The braking bowling shoe has a sole which provides traction, and is usually made of a higher friction material, such as rubber. If you are, or plan to be, a competitive bowler, you will probably want to consider a shoe with interchangeable sole pads, so that your slide can match your style, and the surface you are bowling on.
The Right Fit for Your Bowling Shoes
Bowling shoes come in a variety of widths. While it's probably obvious that you don't want too tight of a fit, it's also important to avoid a bowling shoe that is too loose. Bowling shoes that do not fit snugly can throw off your balance, and can have an negative effect on your game. Measure your feet, or have them professionally measured, even if you already know your size - feet can change over time. Use these to find your proper size in the shoes you are going to buy.
- Find Your Shoe Size - How to Measure Your Foot
- Inches to U.S. Women's Shoe Sizes - Conversion Chart
- Men's International Shoe Sizes Conversion Chart
Other Features to Look for in Bowling Shoes
Bowling shoes with padded linings and collars, and cushioned insoles will not only provide extra comfort. They can also provide extra support and stability by minimizing the movement of your foot within the shoe. This added stability can improve balance, and thereby improve your performance. For maximum comfort and coolness, you will also want to look for bowling shoes that have breathable uppers.