Bowling is an interesting leisure sport, with a huge following across the globe. It’s highly possible that there is a bowling alley in your local area, where you can enjoy fun nights with your friends. You can also join a local league and eventually become a professional bowler. But whether you are a casual bowler or a professional one, you need to invest in the right pair of bowling shoes. As much as you can rent a pair of shoes in most bowling alleys, it’s always advisable to buy your own shoes. Apart from saving on rental fees, purchasing your own bowling shoes means that you are investing in a quality pair of shoes, designed for your feet.

Furthermore, most rental shoes are not hygienic, since they have been worn by different feet. Therefore, there is a high possibility of bacteria infestation. When you invest in a quality pair of bowling shoes, you will not only be protecting your feet, but you will also be improving your game. But with so many models on the market, finding the right one for your needs can be quite overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t have to dig through thousands of sites just to find your ideal choice – as we have already done that for you. Here are the best bowling shoes for men and women.

Top 5 Best Bowling Shoes For Men 

1. Dexter Men's Kam Bowling Shoes

Dexter Mens Kam Bowling Shoes- 10 1/2, Charcoal/Grey, 10.5
  • Universal soles for right and left handed bowlers
  • Package Dimensions: 36.4 H x 12.3 L x 22.9 W...
  • Package Weight: 1.126 kilograms
  • Country of Origin : China

Dexter is one of the most popular brands when it comes to bowling shoes. Their bowling shoes are renowned for their comfort, durability and stylish design. And the Dexter Kam is no exception. Featuring a cotton canvas upper with ventilation side vents, these men’s bowling shoes are lightweight and comfortable enough, to give you the perfect blend of speed and accuracy, yet sturdy and durable enough, to last you game after game. Their slip-on design provides a convenient and easy on and off while their padded collar helps to protect your ankles against chafing, irritation, and blistering.

Also, they are equipped with a molded-blown EVA footbed, which offers stellar cushioning and impact-attenuation. The EVA footbed is also removable, which means you can swap it with your custom orthotics. These Dexter bowling shoes come with universal soles, which means that they can be used by both right-handed bowlers and left-handed bowlers. On the other hand, their non-marking rubber outsole will not leave marks or spots behind as you bowl. Also, it helps to keep the alley clean and spots-free.

These stylish and cute bowling shoes are designed for bowlers who appreciate both performance and looks. Furthermore, they are flexible, lightweight and comfortable. Also, they are well-made and super durable. Also, they are quite versatile, which means you can wear them on and off the bowling alley.

2. Pyramid Men's Skull Green/Black

Pyramid Men's Skull Black/Green - Size 7.5
  • Unique, classic styling
  • Can be used by left or right handed bowlers
  • Easy break-in microfiber soles for perfect slide
  • Metal eyelets and heavy-duty stitching for...

If you are looking for a pair of bowling shoes for men that will deliver a top-notch performance at the alleys, then you should consider the Pyramid Men’s Skull. Whether you are left or right-handed bowler, you will enjoy superior performance and throughout the session. Featuring a soft, durable upper, these shoes are just what you need instead of renting the ones provided at the alleys. And with their smooth upper finish, cleaning these shoes is a breeze. You just need to wipe them, air dry them, and they will be ready to hit the alleys for your bowling session.

Their lightweight construction makes it easy for you to slide and throw the ball while improving your accuracy. As you probably know, it’s quite hard to focus on your throws when your feet are aching, or they have any form of discomfort. Luckily, you will not experience such problems, thanks to these shoes. They are among the most comfortable bowling shoes for left-handers and right-handers. Apart from their cushy midsoles, the tongue and collar are also padded for more comfort. Apart from that, their non-marking rubber outsoles will provide you with all the traction you need for your approach.

3. 3G Kicks Unisex Black/White

3G Kicks Unisex Bowling Shoes- Black/White 10.5 US
  • 3G Kicks Unisex Black 3G has come out with a great...
  • Be sure to check the size chart to make sure you...

Whether you are racking up trophies around the globe or you are just discovering the fun and challenge of bowling, these unisex bowling shoes will provide unmatched performance throughout the game. They are built for comfort, style and most importantly, durability. You can wear these shoes for long hours, regardless of the weather and your feet will always be comfortable. Their uppers are made of synthetic leather, which makes them light but durable. The uppers also come with vents, which ensure ample breathability, to keep your feet cool and fresh.

Designed for both professionals and beginners, these shoes come with slide soles on both sides. Therefore, you can use them, regardless of whether you are a left-handed or a right-handed bowler. And once you lace them up, these bowling shoes for wide feet will remain securely on your feet, thanks to their unique lacing system. They also come with a spacious toe box, which ensures your toes have ample room to flex and wiggle.

4. Pyramid Mens HPX Right Handed Black/Black

Pyramid Mens HPX High Performance Right Handed Bowling Shoes
  • The HPX features interchangeable soles and heels...
  • Everything you need to dominate your game. 1 Pair...
  • High-quality construction and materials
  • Thermal polyurethane outsole for durability
  • Designed for right handed bowlers

The Pyramid HPX combine advanced technology with modern footwear aesthetics, to deliver a comfortable pair of shoes, worthy of your performance. These bowling shoes for right-handed bowlers come with a wide range of features, designed to ensure you hit peak performances at the alleys while keeping your feet comfortable. Their uppers are made of full-grain leather, which is an immense game-changer when it comes to durability and flexibility. And since they are treated with TPU, you can expect nothing less than utmost flexibility with minimal break-in time. Most shoes for the bowling alley require several games to break in fully. However, you will not encounter such challenges with these shoes.

These bowling shoes with interchangeable soles are designed to deliver maximum comfort. Their fit and shape takes into consideration the great amount of strain you place on your feet while bowling. As much as most people don’t consider bowling as an injury-prone sport, the repetitive sliding and braking can place a great deal of stress and strain on your feet, leading to ankle and foot injuries. Luckily, these shoes are biomechanically engineered to supply maximum arch support while reducing the possibilities of injuries. Regardless of the type of your arch, you can expect ample support when you are wearing these shoes.

Most bowling footwear that claims to be interchangeable lack a second heel option. However, these come with two interchangeable heel options. Therefore, you can choose between the already attached H2 Shark tooth heel or the graduate H5 rubber heel. With such incredible convenience, you don’t have to purchase a second pair of shoes to adjust to different gaming conditions. You will love their arch support, their lightweight nature as well as their ability to elevate your performances and overall score.

  • Pros
  • Minimal break-in period
  • Great arch support
  • Interchangeable heels and soles
  • Cons
  • Right-handed only

5. Dexter Mens Kory II Black/White

Dexter Kory II Bowling Shoes, Black/White, Size 10.5 (DM0000391-M105)
  • Lightweight and cool cotton canvas upper
  • Sporty lace to toe upper pattern
  • S8 microfiber slide sole on both shoes
  • Comfort Canvas collection

Whether you are a casual bowler or a league player, you will need a pair of shoes that will help you to perform at your best. If you are looking for such shoes, then you should check out the Dexter Kory II. Dexter is a reliable brand when it comes to bowling shoes for men and women. And with the Kory II, you can rest assured that you are investing in a quality pair of shoes, which will take your bowling to the next level.

Just like other bowling shoes from this brand, the Kory II features exceptional durability and flexibility, thanks to the sturdy canvas used on the upper. Apart from its flexibility, the canvas material used on the upper is highly breathable, thus making sure your feet remain cool at all times. Also, the use of canvas on the upper and a rubber outsole has resulted in a lightweight pair of shoes, which will keep your feet highly mobile throw after throw.

In terms of comfort and support, these are equipped with a molded EVA footbed, which provides ample underfoot cushioning. And in case you need more arch support, you can easily use custom orthotics, since the EVA footbeds are removable. They also come with a plush tongue and collar for additional comfort while the Microfiber Slide Soles means you can use them, whether you are a left-handed or a right-handed bowler.

Top 5 Best Bowling Shoes For Women

1. BSI Women's 460

BSI Women's 460 Bowling Shoe, White/Purple, Size 7.5
  • Lightweight durable rubber outsole
  • Action leather upper
  • Common sliding sole
  • Microfiber sliding sole
  • Extra plush insole/sock lining

If you are looking for bowling shoes for women that have a sporty, feminine design, then you don’t need to go any further. The BSI 460 is a great choice for girls and women who want to relax over a game of bowling. With their unique blend of purple and white, you will not only look stylish, but they will be easier to combine with a wide range of bowling outfits that you intend to wear.

These plush, lightweight and comfortable bowling shoes are great for those who are just venturing into bowling. Furthermore, they are universal, which means they will work with your feet regardless of your foot’s orientation. These bowling shoes for beginners come with a plush insole that is both gentle and soft to your feet. The insole is also highly effective when it comes to optimal shock absorption. Apart from minimizing the fatigue on your feet, these shoes can prevent knee, back or hip pain that you might experience after bowling for many hours.

In the upper, these shoes feature inbuilt vents, which improve airflow and circulation within the shoes, while ensuring your feet are as fresh and cool as possible. Also, the excellent circulation helps to prevent the build-up of odor-causing bacteria.

2. Dexter Dani

Dexter Dani Bowling Shoes, Black/Turquoise, 6.5
  • Soft durable man-made upper
  • Fully fabric-lined with padded Tongue and collar
  • U-throat upper pattern

Another great pair of shoes for the bowling alley from a reliable brand, the Dexter Dani are designed for casual bowlers who want to remain stylish on the alleys. Durable, lightweight and comfortable, these bowling shoes for wide feet come with an impressive design, which makes you look like a superstar on the alleys. You will notice that these shoes come with a slightly elevated heel, designed to protect your feet when your foot strikes the ground hard. Also, the outsole is enhanced with fortified microfiber to improve its sliding capabilities.

The upper features synthetic materials, which are both sturdy and durable. In addition, the interior is lined with a soft fabric material. When you combine the lightweight, breathable material, the soft interior lining and the padded tongue and collar, you end up with comfortable bowling shoes, which will enhance your slide and approach while improving your overall score. Their outsole is made of durable rubber. Therefore, it can withstand all the sliding and constant movement that takes place when you are bowling.

Just like any other pair of new shoes, these might take one or two sessions to break in. But once they get used to your feet, you will have all the comfort you need to put in a great performance. And even if you are not a regular bowler, you can wear these shoes for other activities. When you invest in these, you will no longer have to wear ugly or uncomfortable rental bowling shoes.

3. Karma Ladies

Brunswick Ladies Karma Bowling Shoes- Grey/White, 8
  • Performance mesh uppers
  • Foam padded collar and tongue
  • Light rubber outsole

The Brunswick Karma is a comfortable and stylish pair of universal bowling shoes, designed for casual bowlers. They are extremely lightweight, super comfortable and stylish. These bowling shoes for casual wear are also highly flexible. When you combine their exceptional comfort and their flexibility, you can finally focus on your slide, approach, and strikes, while worrying less about your feet. They are equipped with microfiber soles on both shoes, which means that you can use them, regardless of your foot orientation. Apart from that, their rubber soles supply excellent shock absorption, cushioning and traction, while remaining lightweight throughout the game.

The upper features lightweight denim, which is both flexible and comfortable. It allows maximum foot movement while allowing your feet to breathe. When you are playing with these shoes, you can rest assured that your feet will always remain cool and fresh, even when the temperatures are rising. Furthermore, these women's Karma wide widths are customizable. You can easily convert them from a slip-on to a lace-up and vice versa. And if you are looking to obtain a secure fit, then you just need to tighten the laces. If you are looking for a unique and stylish pair of bowling shoes for women, then you will not regret your decision to buy these shoes.

4. Pyramid Women's Rise Black/Hot Pink

Pyramid Women's Rise Black/Hot Pink (Size 9)
  • Universal Slide Shoes (For Left or Right Handed...
  • Unique and Eye-catching design
  • Easy break-in sole construction
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • Microfiber Slide Sole on Both Shoes

When it comes to style, performance, and comfort, you can never go wrong with the Pyramid Rise bowling shoes for women. They deliver exceptional performance and superior quality at a great price. Featuring synthetic uppers, combined with metal eyelets and high-quality stitching, these are among the most durable bowling shoes for this price. Their lacing system is easy to adjust, thus giving you a secure, custom fit. Furthermore, their heel is slightly elevated to give you the power you need for your slide. You will also love how easy it is to clean these shoes. They come with a smooth finish. Therefore, you can easily wipe dirt off using a piece of soft towel, and they will look as good as new.

The upper also features pink stars and other decorations, thus ensuring you stand out from the rest. Also, these bowling shoes for casual wear come with a padded collar for ankle support, while preventing chafing. These also come with slide soles on both shoes, thus making them great for both left-handers and right-handers. And their non-marking soles provide you with all the control and braking you need during approach.

5. Dexter Womens Raquel IV- White/Blue

Dexter Womens Raquel IV Bowling Shoes- White/Blue (7 M US, White/Blue)
  • Dexter has a great line of shoes our there ladies
  • The Raquel IV's are a standard universal soled...
  • Made with man made uppers for comfort and also...

Another great pair of shoes from Dexter, the Raquel IV feature an impressive design, which offers both comfort and style. Moreover, they are constructed using high-quality materials, to give you a pair of bowling shoes that you can depend on. The 4th generation in this series, these shoes come with universal soles, making them durable as well as comfortable to walk on. Also, their sole provides reliable sliding. And since they don’t have a heel, you will have all the balance you need to make your approach. Furthermore, the lace pattern on the front part of these shoes for toe draggers will protect your toes and the shoes from abrasion.

Most women tend to have smaller feet than men. The good news is that these shoes are designed with the woman’s foot in mind. Therefore, you will not struggle to find your right size. And with the soft materials used on the upper, you will not experience any form of rubbing or irritation. Just like other shoes from this brand, the Raquel IV are pocket-friendly. Therefore, they are ideal for casual players who play a few games on the road or anyone who is just learning how to bowl. Furthermore, you no longer have to worry about sharing bowling shoes with strangers.

Bowling Shoes for Men and Women Buyer's Guide

Based on how often you bowl, as well as your level of experience, you should go for bowling shoes that match your needs and preferences. Without the right pair of shoes, bowling can turn out to be a disappointment. Apart from enhancing your safety, the right pair of shoes will boost your performance. Whether you are an amateur or a professional bowler, here are some of the factors to consider when buying bowling shoes.

The Approach

The approach is one of the most important steps in bowling. As much as a good approach alone is not enough to make you a great bowler, it’s vital to your strike. For instance, if you execute your approach wrongly, then your release of the ball will also be affected. As a result, you will end up with a poor score. As much as building the right approach requires regular practice, having the right bowling shoes can make a significant difference. On the other hand, wearing the wrong shoes will definitely have a negative impact on your approach. Various elements in shoes affect the quality of your approach. For example, the materials used on the outsole as well as its overall quality are vital to an efficient approach. And most regular shoes don’t have the right outsole material to help you execute an efficient approach.

If you want to execute a decent approach, then you should look for bowling shoes that have adequate motion control. They should also have various stability features, supportive uppers, and outsoles, as well as flexible uppers. Cushioning will also affect the stability of your feet. As much as bowling may not be as active like running or hiking, your bowling footwear also needs adequate cushioning. Ensure your preferred pair of bowling shoes has a cushioned midsole and insoles. However, you should note that the level of cushioning found in bowling footwear may not be the same as the one in running shoes.

Bowling shoes come with thinner midsoles as compared to shoes for other sports. The cushioning in bowling shoes is intended to provide more stability as opposed to shock absorption. Also, choose the cushioning according to the biomechanics of your foot. If you have raised arches, then you should choose shoes that offer more arch support. The good news is that some bowling footwear comes with removable footbeds, which means you can easily customize them to conform to the shape of your foot. Lastly, bowling shoes should have the right amount of flexibility. They should not be too flexible as to allow your foot to swing laterally. On the other hand, they should not be too stiff as to hurt your instep when making the approach.

Outsole Surface

The outsole is a vital element when it comes to shoes for the bowling alley. In fact, they distinguish shoes meant for professionals from those designed for amateurs or beginners. Most bowling alley shoes come with a flat sole surface. However, you might come across others that have a slightly raised heel. You should also note that the outsole surface is different from one model to the other. In professional bowling shoes, the left shoe and the right shoe have different outsole surfaces. In bowling, the dominant foot is designed to provide sliding while the other foot is meant for braking. Therefore, you should note that your ability to brake or slide will depend on the outsole surface.

Outsoles that come with a slightly raised heel deliver more sliding as compared to those with flat outsoles. However, you should note that too much sliding can lead to other problems. Therefore, try to find shoes that offer the right balance. Also, you need to consider your foot dominance when buying bowling shoes. If you are a regular bowler, then you should ensure that your shoes match up to your performance. In short, they should have opposing outsoles. As much as opposing outsoles are costlier, they will help you to improve your game, especially if you are aiming to be a professional. On the other hand, if you are a casual bowler or bowling is just a past-time activity, then you don’t need shoes with opposing outsoles. Instead, it’s advisable to use a model with universal soles. Such shoes will help you to build your approach, braking, sliding and releasing the ball. Switching the shoes too fast may hinder you from developing the right technique. Bowling shoes are usually judged by the quality of their outsoles. Therefore, you need to spend more time on this area and find the right pair of shoes, based on your experience as well as personal needs.

Slide and Brake

As previously noted, most professional bowling shoes come with separate shoes for slide and brake. On the other hand, bowling shoes for beginners come with universal soles. Therefore, whether you are a right-handed bowler or a left-handed bowler, you can comfortably use them. Sliding occurs immediately as you approach the foul line. Each bowler has unique preferences when it comes to the amount of slide in the shoes. For example, some professional players prefer sliding as close to the foul line as they can, to increase the accuracy of their strike. However, you should also note that sliding is not as easy as it sounds. Therefore, if you are a beginner or an amateur, you should focus on control first and then learn how to slide properly later.

Sliders should choose their shoes carefully. A wrong pair of shoes can lead to excessive sliding, which may result in injuries. On the other hand, if you are more of a planter, then you should consider a flat outsole. Shoes designed for planters are equipped with small lugs on various strategic zones of the outsole. Once you apply pressure on this zones, these shoes will instantly stop your sliding. Regardless of your level of experience, you should remember that maintaining proper technique and balance is a matter of practice. Therefore, don’t expect your shoes to do everything for you.

Customization

Customization is an important aspect if you intend to become a professional bowler. Once you have built a proper technique using regular bowling shoes, you should now consider switching to customized shoes. Some professional bowlers don’t see the need for customization. However, once you become a professional, you need to be equipped like other professionals, especially if you want to improve your game further. Customization normally applies to comfort and performance. Comfort is a matter of how you feel when you are wearing your bowling shoes. For instance, you can insert a customized insole for enhanced heel cushioning and more arch support. On the other hand, some players prefer a thin sole with a zero heel drop for better balance. As much as it might appear unnecessary, customization will eventually affect your performance, especially when you are competing at the professional level. Therefore, ensure you go for the level of customization that suits your individual needs. For example, if you are a professional bowler, you need to choose your shoes based on your dominant foot. However, some players prefer versatility, and they play depending on the prevailing circumstances. If you are such a person, then you should opt for bowling shoes with removable insoles. As much as shoes with removable insoles tend to be more expensive than the other models, they will help to improve your performance significantly. Shoes with removable outsoles make it easy to customize your strategy, based on the level of competition. Furthermore, it makes them more durable, since the outsole tends to degrade the fastest when it comes to bowling shoes. Instead of buying a new pair of shoes when the sole degrades, you simply replace it.

Athletic Shoes Versus Performance Shoes

Bowling shoes are usually divided into two broad categories – athletic shoes and performance shoes. Athletic shoes are designed for occasional players and beginners. Also known as universal shoes, they come equipped with sliding soles on both shoes. Therefore, whether you are a right-hand dominant or a left-hand dominant, you can use these shoes. Furthermore, their style is quite casual, and they look like an ordinary pair of sneakers. Regarding the fit, their upper tends to be slightly firmer as compared to the build of regular shoes. You will find athletic shoes in most bowling alleys.

You can rent athletic shoes for $5 at the bowling alley or purchase your own pair for a couple of dozen bucks. Their features are not too detailed and usually come with a standard design. Most athletic shoes don’t focus on optimal performance but mainly lean towards comfort and support. They come in handy especially when you are learning proper bowling form and technique. And once you have grasped proper motion, balance and control, then you can switch to professional shoes. The only downside of athletic shoes is that they cannot help you to improve your game.

On the other hand, performance shoes are designed for professional players. They come with all the features you would need for competitive play. If you are a regular bowler or you are planning to become a professional in this game, then you should opt for performance shoes. They come with different soles on the left and the right shoe. One shoe is designed for braking while the other one is meant for sliding. The braking shoe is equipped with a thick rubber compound. It may also have short slugs. The outsole design and composition is meant to enhance friction between the approach and the shoe, thus preventing sliding further. As for the sliding shoe, it features a smooth sole, which slides easily.

Some sliding shoes come with a raised heel to boost sliding. The amount of slide will depend on personal preferences. Some players prefer a long slide while others opt for a short slide on the approach. Most performance shoes come with removable outsoles. Thanks to this functionality, you can easily switch your braking foot with the sliding foot depending on the circumstances. Most performance shoes are also durable since they are made of high-quality materials. If you are confident about your skills, then you should switch from athletic shoes to performance shoes, and take your game to the next level.

Removable Soles

Apart from being able to exchange soles, you need to know the type of sole to use for different occasions. Soles are usually grouped based on their sliding capabilities. They are ranked from 1 to 10, where 10 is the highest while 1 is the lowest. Based on the game mode, the type of lane as well as the prevailing environmental conditions, you need to adjust your soles to obtain the right sliding levels. For instance, if you are playing in warm conditions, then you should choose a sole that offers more sliding. Warm weather usually makes the lane drier, thus lowering its sliding. With that in mind, a sole with a grading of 10 will be ideal. On the other hand, cold weather makes the lane surface more slippery. Therefore, you should opt for soles that have a lower grade. If it’s extremely cold, then a grade 1 sole will be perfect. If the temperatures are average, then you can go with any grading between 3 and 8. However, always remember that you should always choose the amount of slide that you are comfortable with, regardless of the sliding surface or weather conditions.

Other Considerations

Most of the above considerations mainly affect the bowling shoe itself. However, there are various other factors, which you need to pay attention to. They include heel support, arch support as well as the overall value of the shoes. Most bowling shoes for men and women lack supportive features, especially for people with various pronation issues. Therefore, ensure you choose a pair of shoes that offer the right amount of arch support. Apart from that, if you experience heel pain after prolonged bowling, then you should opt for a model that offers the right amount of cushioning and support in that area. Look out for shoes that come with heel cups, low heels, and extra depth. Such shoes will minimize the strain placed on the heel, thus preventing pain.

Also, you need to make sure that you are getting value for your money. The best bowling shoes are the highly durable ones. You don’t want to invest in a pair of shoes, only for it to fall apart after a few months. Look out for shoes that have removable outsoles and insoles. With such shoes, it’s easy to extend their lifespan with replaceable units. Another consideration is aesthetics. As much as the appearance of shoes will not affect your performance, you want to appear confident and stylish. Therefore, find a pair of bowling shoes that match your unique personality.

Closing Remarks

If you are planning to bowl more than once in a year, then you should purchase your own bowling alley shoes. They will save you money and help in improving your game. Furthermore, if you are a regular participant in bowling tournaments and local leagues, then you will need a comfortable, customizable pair of shoes, as they will give you a competitive edge. But most importantly, choose a comfortable, durable and affordable pair of shoes, which will ensure you get the most out of your game.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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    1. Hi Maureen,

      Can’t say for sure, although I did see a couple of wide sizes available in the men’s section. So if you don’t mind wearing men’s shoes…

      Sincerely,

      Brian

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