Why do you have to wear bowling shoes- Top 4 Reasons

Bowling ShoesHave you ever went to bowling? If you did, at least once, you know every bowling center has a strict policy for wearing bowling shoes during your games. You have to wear bowling shoes because it protects you from getting injured. Yes, without an ideal pair of bowling shoes you can get seriously hurt. You don’t want that, do you? So take a clear look at the reasons behind wearing bowling shoes and its importance.

Proper Sliding Support

Bowling shoes give you traction and support in a slippery bowling lane. Without bowling shoes, you can not slide properly. You can also wear regular shoes for bowling. But these shoes do not support any sliding feature which is much needed for any pro bowler. Right-handed bowlers need sliding support for the left-handed foot. Left-handed bowlers need this support for the right-handed foot.  Only bowling shoes support sliding feature in the left-handed foot for right-handers and right-handed foot for left-handers.

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Proper Release:

A proper release is highly dependable on your approach toward the pin. If you’re a speed-dominant player, you’d involve your legs more to gain some speed. When you do that, your feet need to have the proper equipment, which is a pair of bowling shoes. Your body and feet combination must be perfect to release the ball. Otherwise, you will either lose your grip or get injures by falling down.

On the slippery approach, bowling shoes will provide traction with the rubber in them, and on the tacky surface, the shoes will let you slide with the leather the shoes contain. Wearing the correct bowling shoes will help you glide on the lane without disruption which will enable perfect arm swing and ball release. Exactly what Brunswick Slingshot shoes do for you

Prevent from Injuries

Bowling may look simple from distance, but when you play it, you realize it’s much more complicated. Despite being an indoor one, this game can cause various physical injuries. One of the reasons for bowling injuries is not wearing bowling shoes.

After your stance when you prepare to approach, your feet control your overall bodily movement. Depending on the lane conditions, if your shoes aren’t quite slippery or stick, you will fall even before you can release the ball unless you are pro bowlers. During your fall, if the balls are in your hand, it’s more dangerous.

During the release, when you lower your hip and slide one of your legs, this is when shoes do some important tasks to keep your body position free of any physical injuries and give you balance. If you don’t wear bowling shoes you can have injuries like- Hip labral tear, sprained ankles, thigh strain plantar fasciitis, knee ligament injury, stress fracture, shin splints, etc.

Improve Bowling Performance:

Yes, it’s true. Bowling shoes can improve your bowling performance. When you throw a bowling ball, you have to run 4 steps or 5 steps before throwing. It is called the 4 step approach or a 5 step approach. It means you are storing energy to throw your ball with more speed. Who needs more speed they follow 5 step approach. Bowling shoes can help you to throw your bowling ball with more speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wear bowling shoes as a regular shoes?

Do not wear bowling shoes as regular shoes! I repeat, “Do Not”! Bowling shoes are made out of both leather and rubber. While the leather soles help you glide, the rubber heels stop that gliding for an on-pint bodily movement when you release the ball on the lane. If you wear this type of shoes outside, the leather soles and rubber heels will disrupt your natural walking style. Also on some surfaces, there will be possibilities of slipping, tripping, or sticking. Moreover, these shoes are more prone to damage due to rainwater, snow, ice, moisture, debris. So avoid wearing bowling shoes as regular shoes at any cost.

Why are bowling shoes so slippery?

As you take step toward the pins with your bowling ball in hand, it is important to slide sufficiently on the lane. Your bowling shoes are a combination of rubber and leather which help you move smoothly. The slippery feature helps you take the walk on the lane and ensures a safe approach and when you swing to deliver the ball. If your bowling shoes aren’t slippery enough, you can have major physical injuries, such as- bad knees, sprained ankles, plantar fasciitis, lower hip pain, etc. Therefore, make sure your shoes are adequately slippery. 

Do toddlers need to wear bowling shoes?

Honestly, Bowling shoes are not mandatory for toddlers. Usually, when a toddler plays bowling, they’re given very lightweight balls, and they mostly play just for fun. So they don’t need to wear bowling shoes. Although some bowling centers may require bowling shoes for everyone despite their age to protect the lane conditions. In that case, make sure the toddler’s shoes are clear and have no stuck debris, sharp or sticky stuff, or dirt under the soles. As long as they’re neat and clean, toddlers can wear their regular shoes. 


Whether you wear your own pair of bowling shoes or rent one from the bowling centers, there’s no alternative to not wearing any. From Junior to senior bowlers, everyone must own bowling shoes if you play regularly. Some bowling shoes have removable soles. So you can easily customize your shoes. If you have wide feet don’t worry about that. Bowling shoes also have options for wide feet.

It will save you money and wearing your own shoes is comparatively more hygienic. Bowling shoes also keep you safe and armored while you’re on the lanes. This is why you have to wear bowling shoes no matter what.

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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.

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