It’s All about Those Styling Bowling Shoes
If there is one thing about bowling that helps to sometimes give the game a bad rap, it’s the shoes. Bowling shoes are the epitome of awful to people for a few different reasons. First of all, many people are not overly keen on the style of the rental shoes available in most bowling alleys. Clunky, scruffy, and multi-colored, they are not most people’s idea of high fashion – though it must be said that SOMEONE likes them; rental bowling shoes are stolen all the time.
The other reason people give bowling shoes a big thumbs down is that they are indeed rental shoes. You’re never quite sure whose foot has been in them before yours, and most of the time, you really don’t want to know. So, if bowling shoes are such a dreaded part of the game, why don’t bowlers simply do away with them? Are the shoes really that important?
In a word, yes. Bowling shoes are a hugely important part of the game. First of all, the shoes help preserve the bowling lanes and keep them in working order. The soles on the shoes do not scuff up the lanes the way normal shoes would; if normal shoes were allowed, the lanes would eventually have grooves and digs in them that would disrupt the way the balls roll. Bowling shoes also help you as a player. Their sliding soles let you slide and move on the lanes like you need to without falling down. Without these sliding soles, your shoes would catch on the floor, and either mess up or shot or pitch you right over on your face.
For a casual bowler, rental shoes are entirely adequate, if a little unsettling to some. If you are a serious bowler, however, given the importance of the proper footwear to the game, you should consider investing in your own pair of bowling shoes. There are many styles and types on the market, and they are becoming more widely available in traditional sports shops. The kind you get depends on a combination of your skill factor and your personal preference.
If you are a new bowler, look for so-called athletic bowling shoes. These bowling shoes look more like traditional athletic shoes than other bowling shoes, but they have two sliding soles like the shoes you normally rent from a bowling alley. If you are a more experienced bowler, go for the shoes the professionals wear. Pro bowlers go for shoes know as performance bowling shoes. This variety of shoe has one sliding sole and one non-slip sole, to give players more maneuverability.
Even if you don’t get your own pair of shoes, going rental doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. Bowling alleys give the shoes an antibacterial spray between each use, and to be on the safe side; giving them a spray of your own before you put them on is not such a bad idea. Above all else, remember to bring your athletic socks to the alley! If you forget your socks, most alleys have socks available to purchase.
Don’t go barefoot – for your own sake, and for the sake of the person who has to wear them after you.