Bowling Shoes

Shoe Styles

When it comes to bowling, there are different components that come together to help you have the best game. Your bowling shoes are one of them. There are a variety of ways to create your own customizable shoes. You could also choose the easy and simple route, and rent your own shoes. Though, the easy way out is not always what’s best.

The Perfect Fit

It doesn’t matter if you’re renting or buying shoes, they all come in a variety of forms. To start off your search, you’ll first need to measure your feet. The size of shoe you normally wear; may not be the same size you’ll need when it comes to finding the perfect bowling shoes. Measuring your feet is a task in itself. You’ll first need to decide which style of shoes you are wanting to purchase. If you choose the performance style, you’ll want to measure each of your feet individually.

When it comes to measure your feet, be sure to measure them at the end of the day because your feet will have swollen up some. You’ll also want to measure your feet with the types of socks you will be bowling in. You’ll need:

  • paper
  • a writing utensil
  • ruler

You’ll first want to start off measuring from the tip of your longest toe, to the back of your heel. To find the width of your feet, you’ll need to measure the distance between the widest part of your feet. You can use the chart below to help identify your size for bowling shoes. If this starts to seem like too much to take on, you may look into getting your feet professionally measured.

 Rent or Buy

If you find yourself going to the local bowling alley on special occasions, then you would benefit from renting bowling shoes. Rental shoes are best for those that are inexperienced, and free-spirited. Renting bowling shoes can anywhere from $3 to $7. So this may be the most common sense route to take if you like to go out occasionally and bowl.

Maybe you find yourself going bowling more frequent than you have in the past, or can see bowling turning into a passion. For those beginner bowlers, and those who are already in a league, then you would benefit from purchasing your own bowling shoes. There is a wide range of ways you can customize your own shoes. You’ll need to decide if you want to create performance or athletic type shoes, the types of soles would be best for you, and any other optional features they have to offer. The best thing about purchasing your own shoes is that you can create your own “perfect fit”.

Athletic or Performance

When it comes to the appearance of your shoes you choose between an athletic or performance appearance. The athletic appearance is designed to look other athletic footwear. These styles usually come with both soles that are meant to help with sliding. Most beginners can a benefit from starting off with athletic appearance shoes.

While athletic appearances are great for beginners, performance appearance styles are for those that are seeking to improve their game. These shoes are created with each sole serving its own purpose in your style of bowling. One sole is meant for sliding, while the other is meant for braking.


There are two types of soles, sliding and traction. Sliding soles help you with your slide. You can choose these soles based on how long you want to slide when you bowl, and how you usually brake for the delivery. Traction soles help you with braking in your delivery. You can choose these soles based on how you approach the lane and how much you slide during your delivery. You can use the chart below to help pick out the right soles for you.

Slide & Heel Bowling Shoe Guide

Optional Features

When customizing your shoes, there are other features you can add to help with comfort. You can add padded linings and collars, cushioned insoles, and breathable uppers. These can not only improve the comfort of your shoes, but also allow for extra stability in your delivery. They can provide extra support and coolness during your game.


Content adapted from: