Are Bowling Shoes Mandatory? (Explained)

The short answer is yes bowling alleys require bowling shoes, but isn’t as simple as some may think.

In this article, I will be explaining why bowling alleys require bowling shoes, whether it be in a league or just to bowl a few games with friends.

Bowling Alleys Require Bowling Shoes Because It’s Bad For The Lanes

Are Bowling Shoes Mandatory

People who haven’t bowled in a while might be confused about why are bowling shoes mandatory?

It’s true, bowling alleys make this a requirement—but there are good reasons for it.

The soles of the bowling alley- provide both grip and slide. Well, not to mention that the bowling lane is made of wood, its surface also has an oil coating applied to it daily to prevent damage (which can become expensive). 

So what does this have to do with your shoes? Well, if you were allowed to wear regular street shoes on the lanes (I’m sure many shoe stores would disagree), you’d be damaging the surface of the lane every time you stepped on it with chemicals found in your sole.

Plus, you’d definitely have trouble keeping your balance as well!

Lightweight Bowling Shoes Are Good For The Lanes

You might not realize this, but bowling shoes are usually made of a different material than regular shoes.

Bowling shoes are typically made from synthetic materials that are lighter and less likely to leave behind the black scuff marks common in leather soles.

Know: Why do Bowling Shoes look Ugly?

Additionally, because they’re designed with your comfort in mind, bowling shoes often feature cushioning on the insoles as well.

Not only will you be able to better get into a good stance for your next throw, but you’ll be more comfortable throughout the course of your game!

Rental bowling shoes are sanitary

The main reason why bowling alleys require you to wear bowling shoes is to keep the approach area sanitary. The approach area is the space where you go bowling before you throw the ball down the lane.

No one but those who are actively bowling should be in the approach area, so no street shoes should be allowed in this space. This helps ensure that any germs or dirt from customers’ regular shoes don’t contaminate the area where they bowl.

Bowling alleys have a second goal of making sure nothing besides your feet and your bowling ball touches the approach area.

Since only clean bowling shoes touch this surface, it keeps them free of any outside contaminants that could compromise their integrity or interfere with players’ ability to bowl well.

To make sure they meet these goals, most bowling alleys disinfect their rental shoes after every use and do not allow anyone wearing street shoes onto the approach area.

If you have your own pair of clean, non-slip bowling shoes, then some alleys may allow you to use them instead of renting a pair for a small fee each time you go bowling. However, if you want to wear your own pair, make sure that they are clean and will not slip.

Bowling Shoes Help You Control Your Slide And Protect Your Feet

I often see people who are interested in bowling but don’t know where to start. There’s so much information out there about it.

It can be confusing, especially if you’re just a beginner. That’s why I think it’s important to know a little bit about shoes before you head out and bowl.

Bowling shoes come in many different varieties these days with varying features and prices. Everyone is different, so knowing what type of shoe you should buy really depends on your personal preference and what kind of bowling style you want to develop.

If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend buying something that’s moderately priced and has good traction (stickiness) on the ball for gripping it as your bowl.

Bowling Shoes Aren’t All The Same

How does a bowling alley know which shoes to give you? If a bowler wears the wrong style of shoe, it could affect their game.

There are two main types of bowling shoes: “slide” shoes and “grip” shoes (also called “stroll” or “regular” bowling shoes).

Slide soles help bowlers slide into the lane, while gripped soles prevent bowlers from slipping while they are at the foul line.

Read: Why bowling lanes are slippery?

Because right-handed bowlers slide across the lane with their left foot, they need a shoe that allows them to glide easily on their right foot.

Left-handed bowlers (or southpaws) wear the opposite type of shoe—they need a sticky sole on their new left foot so they can stay balanced while throwing. For this reason, some people prefer to bring their own bowling shoes.

Bowling Alleys Require Bowling Shoes, But Don’t Buy More Than You Need To

Bowling shoes are required by bowling alleys to protect their lanes. The front of a bowling shoe is smooth and slides easily, while the back sole has grips that can dig into the lane. Keeping this protective barrier around the lanes will help keep them in good condition for years to come.

But wearing bowling shoes isn’t just about protecting the lanes! Bowling shoes also help protect your feet from injury when you’re out on the lane.

While it’s true that most of us don’t bowl so much we risk blisters or callouses, bowling shoes can actually help you maintain control of your slide and protect you in case you trip over your own feet while bowling (hey, it happens).

There are a couple of different kinds of bowling shoes: rental (which have smooth soles on both ends) and athletic/performance shoes (which have grooved soles).

Every alley will have its own rules about which types they allow and which they don’t, so be sure to check before buying anything yourself. Read More

About me

I am Stev Rene. I am a writer, blogger, and athlete. My blog focuses on sports and fitness.
I started this blog because I felt that many people lack knowledge about sports and fitness.