How to Make Bowling Shoes Slide More, or Less : As you need

How to slide more or less with bowling shoes

Bowling shoes are really important whenever you are out on a bowling alley. Bowling alleys tend to be really slippery, so you will need to have bowling shoes which provide you with equal amounts of traction and grip on the alley and its lanes. 

Without the perfect grip on the lanes, it can be very easy for you to trip and fall down, hence injuring yourself along the way. There have been multiple reports of people tripping on bowling alleys and breaking their teeth and jaws, all because of not having the right shoes on. 

A lot of people do not really know how to slide more or less after certain times since most of them have always opted for repurchasing a new pair soon after their old ones start to wear and tear down.  

But our readers here are in luck! We are going to discuss some cost-effective ways on how to make your bowling shoes slide more or less. So without further ado, let us get started right away!

How to Make Bowling Shoes Slide More

Getting the right pair of bowling shoes might not be hard work as there are plenty available on the market now. However, once you do have them, you will be required to maintain them properly so that they do not lose their sliding ability prematurely. 

But regardless of several hacks and maintenance tricks, it is quite a common sight to see bowlers with shoes that are incapable of sliding properly. When this happens, you might want to purchase another brand new pair of shoes again. But we think that is quite a loss. 

Instead, you can easily try to DIY your bowling shoes at home so that they start to slide better. This way, you can easily make them slide more or less, depending on what you might need at that specific time. 

There are some really easy hacks that you can use to make your bowling shoes slide more. I have described some most common but effective techniques below for you.

Use Bowling Shoe Slider

One of the simplest ways to make your bowling shoes slide more is to buy a Bowling shoe slider. If you don’t have one, I recommend you to buy this one which is one of the best shoe sliders.  

Use Sliding Powder on the heels and soles

There is another easy way to slide. Apply a small amount of sliding powder on the heels and soles of your bowling shoes. If you do not have sliding powder at your house, then you can easily find them at your local bowling alley store. For people living in regions where bowling alley stores are not available, you can try this one from Amazon. Stock them up at home and make use of the powders whenever you think your shoes need that extra sliding boost. 

How to apply Sliding Power in your bowling shoes? (Step By Step Guideline)

The key to applying sliding powder is a little unique. If you are a right-handed bowler, then you will want to apply the sliding powder on the left shoe. The same theory goes for people with the opposite dexterity. 

Sometimes, applying sliding powder to just shoes may not feel enough. At times like this, you might want to sprinkle the powder onto the foul line. Make sure not to overdo it as it makes the entire lane too slippery. That in turn, might even make you fall and hurt yourself and hurt the next person in turn. 

Rub the powder onto the foul line with your hands or with your shoe (the one opposite to the hand you use). This way, that extra bit of sliding powder will be sticking to your shoe, therefore allowing you that extra boost that you might need. 

Grab Bowling shoes with interchangeable soles

Another great way to make your bowling slide more is to invest into shoes that allow you to interchange the heels and soles. This is a great feature a lot of bowling shoes come equipped with nowadays as you can easily interchange the slide soles and heels whenever you want to. This also saves up a lot of money by reducing the chances of you having to purchase new pairs of bowling shoes. This way, you will not even need to buy an additional sliding powder! If you don’t have one, I recommend you to buy Pyramid HPX High-Performance Bowling Shoes.

This versatile feature is great as you can simply change up the heels and/or sliding soles of your bowling shoes right in the comfort of your home before you head out to the alley. On the other hand, you can quickly change up the interchangeable parts of the bowling shoes once at the alley, in case you do not feel comfortable in them. 

Use Steel Shoe Brush

If you bowl, you know it can be difficult to maintain momentum on your approach. This is due to the pressure placed on your foot, which eventually flattens the sole of your shoe. When this happens, there’s more friction, making sliding difficult and sticky. The solution is pretty simple: just scrape the sole of your shoe with a steel brush before you bowl. Scraping the sole relieves some of the friction and makes sliding easier.

How to Make Bowling Shoes Slide Less

Alongside trying to make a pair of bowling shoes slide more, some people go as far as trying to make their bowling shoes slide less! However, it is not an uncommon sight at all. You can think of it in this way: Suppose you purchased a pair of bowling shoes that were a bit too slippery. You cannot apply sliding powder to them, as it will make the pair even more slippery! So what do you do? 

Use Shoe Brush properly

Well, in this case, there are some easy kinds of stuff you can do to reverse the slide and give your bowling shoes more traction and grip on the alley. 

The most common hack that is carried out by bowlers who are trying to get their bowling shoes to slide less is to make use of a shoe brush. If you do not have one at home, you might want to pick out a good one from the bowling alley store, or any general hardware store around your neighborhood. You can also buy this one from Amazon

How can you use a shoe brush?

No, this is not to take out the dirt and gunk from the soles of your bowling shoes. Instead, make use of the shoe brush to brush through the frames of the soles beneath the shoes. Also, it is better to make use of a wired or nylon shoe brush for this case. 

The rough texture of the nylon and/or wire brush will help to decrease the slide ability of your bowling shoes, hence allowing you to play with more traction and grip on those slippery synthetic approaches and lanes. 

Replace your old slide soles with new one 

Similar to trying out hacks in order to make your bowling shoes slide more, you can also make your bowling shoes slide less with the help of interchangeable soles and heels! Whenever you feel like your bowling shoes are getting too slippery and sliding way too much on the approach or foul line, simply interchange the slide soles or heels with a different set, and you will be good to go! 

The best way to ensure that you do not face difficulties with your choice of bowling shoes is to first specify to your local bowling gear provider about your lane preferences and styles. 

If you are a stroker, it is quite obvious that you will want to stick with bowling alleys that are not as slippery as synthetic bowling alleys. In this case, you will need shoes that provide a little bit of that slide. 

On the other hand, if you are someone who prefers the cranker style, you might want to perform on a bowling alley with a synthetic lane. In order to balance the slide and slipperiness here, you will want to invest into a pair of bowling shoes that provide enhanced grip and friction. 

Why You Should Get Your Own Pair of Bowling Shoes?

It is always a good idea to get your own pair of bowling shoes. Sure, bowling alleys do allow you to rent bowling shoes, and they also do come with a variety of different sizes and colors to choose from. 

However, you will notice that one simple feature is the same for all of the shoes available in those rental sections. And this little feature is actually what can determine your bowling gameplay. 

Every pair of those rental bowling shoes come with universal soles. That means you will not be able to change them up. Therefore, both left and right-handed bowlers will have to wear the same kind of bowling shoes. 

Because of this, you will not be able to slide or slow down on the alley as much as you would want to. This really limits your bowling style and forces you to play with only one or two specific styles. 

Not only will you be saving up extra money in the long-run by investing in your own pair of bowling shoes, but you will also get the chance to be more versatile and flexible!

Video: Choosing the Perfect Bowling Shoes


Nothing can beat bowling as the most entertaining game to play! With the right pair of shoes combined with the right traction, you will surely be on your way to the very top of the scoreboard! Thanks a lot for checking out this article! If you want to know more about slide sole/heel setup guide click here. Till then best of luck!!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

Recent Posts