Why Do You Have to Wear Bowling Shoes? 3 Essential Reasons

While going to the bowling night, you may remember the essential accessories you need. Aside from renting a bowl to play, you’ll also need specialized bowling shoes. You’ve seen it as one of the protocol points displayed by bowling alleys. 

You might ask that it is simply throwing a ball, then why do you have to wear bowling shoes? Certain requirements of the bowling alley surface cannot be met with simple sneakers or shoes. You need to wear bowling shoes to play well. 

In this article, you will go through the reasons for wearing bowling shoes, their necessity, and the disadvantages of not wearing bowling shoes.

Why Do You Need Bowling Shoes?


A basic segment of what to wear to bowling is bowling shoes. Yes, there are specialized kinds of bowling shoes that a player must wear during the game of bowling, which is an essential requirement of the bowling arena rules. Let’s go through some reasons to know about shoe restrictions.

1. Lane Protection

Bowling lanes are built differently to aid smooth bowling movements. The shoes with rough sole patterns and tread designs will damage the surface, impacting ball movement. To save alley surface that’s why bowling shoes are required. To avoid these situations, bowling shoes are made with softer soles and unique material that does not damage the surface of the alleys. 

You will save the lane by wearing bowling shoes, and your movements will be frequent on the lane. Bowling shoes prevent the surface from wear and tear, maintaining the shine for longer in bowling alleys.

2. Traction Conditions

While bowling, you also want to focus on the traction conditions; that’s what bowling shoes are for. There are two sole types featured in bowling shoes.

  • Sliding Soles: The sliding sole is usually placed on a non-dominant foot, allowing slide movement control during approach and ball delivery. With this sole, you can achieve smooth release and consistent throw flow.
  • Braking Sole: It is one dominant foot side, providing stability and traction to your foot; hence you keep balance while throwing the ball. That is why both soles balance to provide you with what you need at the bowling alley.

3. Lane Conditions and Performance

As you know, bowling lanes are coated with oils to form patterns and thickness to challenge bowlers for a complex game. When you use regular shoes, it can damage the pattern, or it may make you slip after losing your balance. 

In this way, the ball’s motion will also be disturbed, and accuracy will be compromised. Wrong shoes are one reason for your most frequently asked question, “why my bowling ball go left. 

4. Safety Concerns

Bowling places are public, with a high turnout of people throughout the week. The safety of the visitors is the top priority of the owners and management of the place; also, it aligns with government safety protocols. So, wearing specialized balling shoes ensures keeping the surface clean from unwanted dirt or debris from the outside environment. 

Disadvantages of Not Wearing Bowling Shoes

Now you know why you must wear bowling shoes while going to a bowling game. Aside from the reason there is a huge bunch of disadvantages, let’s have a look at them.

Disadvantages of Not Wearing Bowling ShoesExplanations
Increased risk of slippingLack of proper traction increases the risk of slips and falls on the bowling approach.
Potential damage to the bowling laneIt can scuff or damage the polished surface of the lane, affecting its quality.
Altered ball motion and accuracyDisrupts consistent ball motion and accuracy during delivery.
Hygiene concernsTrack in dirt, debris, and germs, compromising the cleanliness of the bowling alley.
Inadequate support and comfortLack of the necessary cushioning and support leads to discomfort and foot fatigue.
Non-compliance with alley regulationsBowling alleys require using bowling shoes for safety and fair play, and not following the rules may result in penalties.
Limited rental shoe availabilityRestricts access to rental shoes, making it challenging to participate in the game.
Reduced performance optimizationHinders optimal performance on the lanes.
Unfair advantage for other bowlersCreate an unfair advantage or disadvantage in competition.
Potential for penalties or restricted accessFailure to comply with bowling shoe policies may result in penalties or denied access to the lanes.

Wrap Up

So, why do you have to wear bowling shoes? Now it is clear that wearing bowling shoes will play into your advantage on the lane. You will have increased traction against the oil patterns on the alley surface, allowing you to grip your foot properly and take a shot. Still, if you don’t wear bowling shoes, you will be compromising your safety, lane safety, chances of fair play, and even game for all players. 

So do you prefer to own a bowling shoe pair or rent it out from the bowling alley?


The regular shoes can stick to the ally surface, causing an abrupt hindrance in your way. It will stop your thrown ball from taking the perfect motions restricting your foot action.

Yes, bowling shoes are essential for maintaining the shin on lanes and are important to grant you good playing conditions. With regular shoes, dust, and grass, debris will accumulate on the surface, making the ball slide uneven.

Please do not use your bowling shoes outside the bowling alleys because they have smooth soles and no traction that will result in foot slip in outer conditions.

Similar Posts