History of Bowling Shoes


Bowling is a cheerful and fun sport that has entertained young and old for many years. Although the date of manufacture of bowling shoes is unclear, its history can be traced to 1888 when a shoe made of leather and a water-resistant material was introduced in America. These shoes were suitable for many other sports, aside from bowling. After a few years, bowling shoes became modified with more robust stitching and optimized to enhance a better grip to the ground.

Why use bowling shoes and not regular sneakers. Are they necessary?

Bowling is a sporting discipline and is a pastime for all ages, which requires unique accessories to be practiced. It is necessary to have suitable shoes, namely bowling shoes that are made taking into account the type of movement that is carried out. The track on which the built-in ball parquet is thrown to favor enormous smoothness is oiled daily with special products. For this reason, it is highly not recommended to use regular sneakers that do not allow a correct grip on the floor and pose a severe risk of ruinous falls.

What are the characteristics of bowling shoes

Bowling shoes are generally laced, with upper in leather or other breathable materials and a rubber sole that allows an easy step on the track. With an anatomical shape that perfectly follows the foot’s curves, movements are facilitated. They enable the body to lean forward, in the typical gesture of throwing the bowl, without losing balance. The sole is equipped with small notches and reliefs that facilitate movements and make the step much more comfortable and safer.

Why are bowling shoes slippery?

Bowling shoes are slippery to allow you to carry out the pivotal movement of this sport easily, that is, the launch along the parquet. Though slick, they do not let you lose grip on the ground.

Bowlers know well that they have to move on the track carefully in other for the bowl to knock down all the pins on their feet. It is, in essence, a technical gesture that combines strength and balance.

Typically, the best bowling shoes have a completely smooth toe sole and a grip underneath to grip bowling alleys. 

What are the differences between men’s and women’s bowling shoes

The male and female gender have anatomically different feet. For this reason, they have footwear with several characteristics that can adapt perfectly to each need; bowling shoes are no exception and have details that allow for greater comfort. 

Men’s shoes, in particular, have a wider plant and an upper that envelops the instep, women’s shoes, on the other hand, are more enveloping and snug, especially on the side and have a modular ankle lacing. See guide for men and guide for women bowling shoes.

How to choose bowling shoes – what to look out for in bowling shoes?

The choice of bowling shoes must, of necessity, be different from other types of shoes as they must express high levels of performance. 

Materials: sole, breathability, comfort

Choosing the most suitable bowling shoe for each foot is not difficult; just have a little forethought and carefully try every model available without being in a hurry. 

The first detail on which it is advisable to focus is that at least one of the two soles must be smooth and soft to slide smoothly on the wooden track. 

Furthermore, the upper – the part that wraps the foot, must be made of a material that favors the natural transpiration of the skin without oppressing it.

Another element to evaluate when purchasing bowling shoes is comfort. The shoe must dress the foot lightly, without friction points. Comfort is of utmost importance, especially when playing for many hours.

The dimensions, the size, and the fit

The bowling shoe must be of the most suitable size for the foot; it must not be too big or too small, as the movement is supposed to be fluid and continuous. Especially for those who play at a competitive level, the shoe must be comfortable and flexible.

Bowling shoes for left or right-handed

Bowling shoes for left-handed or right-handed people differ in that, as is known, the main movement in the game is to throw the ball forward by leveraging the leading leg, therefore, depending on whether it is right or left, the shape of the shoe and sole changes to support the foot. The shoe is made with two types of sole; one with a cushion that favors stability and grip on the track, the other is smooth and very comfortable as it manages to reduce all friction caused by the game.

Remember to for a shoe that matches your style.

How to maintain a bowling shoe

Bowling shoes must be treated as a precious accessory, putting in place a few daily gestures that allow them to last longer over time. 

First of all, it is necessary to clean them after each use with a soft cotton or microfibre cloth and moisturize them with unique products which, penetrating inside the skin, prevent cracking or splitting. Also, they must be kept in cool and well-ventilated places. See the best at-home storage method for shoes.

The best brands of bowling shoes

There are bowling shoes in every shape, color, and size but what you have to look carefully at is the extreme difference between a bowling model shoe and a bowling shoe since shoes like those used in bowling are not optimized for playing on the lane.

It is advisable to buy a model of the most famous brands of equipment for this sport. Some notable bowling shoe brands are; Brunswick, Dexter, Hammer, Bowlio, and Strikeforce.


The history of bowling shoes can be traced to as far back as 1888, and several models have been invented ever since. For a great bowling experience, purchase only shoes that are designed for bowling, this will enable you have a better grip to the ground.