Have you ever wondered why you are not allowed to enter a bowling alley with your own shoes and why people always recommend different shoes or socks? The main reason for this is the bowling surface and while it remains durable, the best bowling shoes are designed to protect the surface and allow it to remain smooth for bowling purposes.
Compared to normal shoes, ten-pin bowling shoes are slightly different and the outer sole is made to give you comfort and traction while protecting the surface. In this article, we explore some of the top shoes that many of the pros are using for bowling and you can see just how much of a difference they make to your game.
We have included a thorough buyer’s guide with the help of experts to explore some of the features. This will show you how we went about selecting the top items and how much of a difference they can make to your game.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Bowling Shoes On The Market Today
- 1. KR Mens Flyer Bowling Shoes
- 2. Dexter Turbo II Wide Width Bowling Shoes
- 3. Brunswick Edge Men’s Bowling Shoes
- 4. Pyramid Men’s Ram Black Bowling Shoes
- 5. STRIKEFORCE Men’s Titan Bowling Shoe
- 6. Dexter Jenna Bowling Shoes
- 7. Dexter Men’s T.H.E 9 Bowling Shoes
- 8. BSI Women’s 460 Bowling Shoe
- 9. Storm Istas Bowling Shoes
- 10. Pyramid Women’s Rise Black/Hot Pink Bowling Shoes
- Key Features To Consider When Choosing The Top Bowling Shoes:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
10 Best Bowling Shoes On The Market Today
When it comes to shoes, there are a couple of factors that are important. These factors include the design and many other things. Before we dive deeper into these specialized features, it is important that you look at the top shoes. Now you can choose one without having to do all the research and tests that we have been through.
1. KR Mens Flyer Bowling Shoes
- Includes FlexSlide technology
- Handmade upper
- Incredibly durable
- Really affordable
- Colors are limited
The KR Mens Flyer Bowling Shoes are the first shoes to make it onto our list and these shoes are designed for the bowler who needs a lot of comfort. The man-made upper has been designed to conform to the shape of your feet and since it has been made by hand, the durability is really incredible for all users.
Synthetic materials are the main component and this adds to the overall durability of the upper, but the Komfort-Fit Technology is what conforms to your feet. Since I have larger than average feet, this meant the shoe automatically accommodates my feet and I don’t need to worry about actually breaking them in once bought.
If you have ever noticed bowlers slide a little when they bowl, you will understand why they have the perfect motion that enables them to hit more strikes. The microfiber slide pad on these shoes will allow you to maintain your posture whenever you are playing. It is also extremely soft and this will help to keep the playing surface protected.
One of the downsides is the colors and these shoes have a limited number of colors that you can choose from. This might be a little bit of a downer if your team specifically works with one set color. However, individual players should find them ideal. While I am a right-handed bowler, we have seen a couple of lefties also explore with this shoe.
One might argue that sport-specific shoes tend to be a little expensive. However, these are some of the more affordable options on the market today. The fit is comfortable and sizing seems to be on point. If you are new or you have experience in the bowling arena, we definitely recommend these shoes to you for the value they offer.
2. Dexter Turbo II Wide Width Bowling Shoes
- Durable construction
- Ideal for shorter players
- Great slide
- Really affordable
- Uncomfortable for taller players
Designed from durable synthetic materials, we have the Dexter Turbo II Wide Width Bowling Shoes. These shoes are a little wider than some of the others and it means they will accommodate most individuals with larger feet. Since they are constructed from synthetic materials, they tend to be lightweight.
A raised heel has been incorporated and this is one of those features that allow shorter players to stand up a little. With more control over the delivery of the ball, the shoes will really allow any player to hit the pins comfortably. However, taller players might find it a little uncomfortable to sand this high all the time.
Since I am quite prone to abrasions when using the shoes too often, the inner padding definitely made a massive difference. It is a little thicker than one would expect and this will allow you to move more comfortably. As for the sliding, it slides quite comfortably and the raised heel definitely impacts your slide. You can see your handicap improve quite significantly.
While these shoes are mostly designed for smaller players with wider feet, the width can also be a downside is you have straight and narrow feet. You might feel like your feet is drowning in the shoe and this can influence your game. Aside from this, the shoe is also a little uncomfortable for taller players with the raised heel.
Dexter is one of the top brands when it comes to bowling shoes and these shoes are some of their more technical selection. The shoes are lightweight and reasonably priced, making it great for us to recommend for shorter players. Even children with larger feet will feel some of the comfort when playing with it.
3. Brunswick Edge Men’s Bowling Shoes
- Stylish design
- Ambidextrous design
- A lot of inner padding included
- Extremely cheap
- The sizing seems a little off
Brunswick is one of the leading brands when it comes to bowling balls and they are also one of the oldest known brands available. The Brunswick Edge Men’s Bowling Shoes has a massive reputation to stand up to. However, it does actually stand up to everything that is expected of a shoe designed by Brunswick.
It has been constructed with fabric as the main materials and this means the shoe can stretch out quite comfortably for players with wider feet. The rubber sole gives you excellent traction, but it slides forward quite efficiently as well. This has helped me improve my handicap a lot after the break-in period has subsided.
Padding has been placed all over the shoes on the indie and on the sides. They are completely abrasion resistant and your feet will comfortably be nestled inside. The ambidextrous design has made them ideal for bowlers that are both left and right. However, right-handed players might feel a little more comfortable, to be honest.
The only downside is the sizing and unfortunately, these shoes tend to be a little oversized. You might need to buy one size smaller depending on the width of your feet. This has not been the case with everyone and many people have bought the correct size to see them fit comfortably. Unfortunately, I went a size smaller just to make sure.
As for the price, they are definitely one of the cheapest shoes on the market today and this has made them extremely popular. If you look at the price of renting shoes at your local bowling alley, you will find that these will save you a lot of money in the long run. We definitely recommend them to serious ten pin bowling players.
4. Pyramid Men’s Ram Black Bowling Shoes
- Classic design
- A functional heel that allows you to brake
- Sizing is correct
- Really cheap
- The design seems a little dated
When it comes to your bowling ball, choosing a reputable brand is definitely one of the things you should do. However, your shoes should also be reputable and this will allow you to have some incredible features. The Pyramid Men’s Ram Black Bowling Shoes are designed to make this possible and they will solidify you as a top player.
With a classic low-profile design, these shoes don’t hinder your movement in any way. The outer soles are designed to be easy to break into. However, felt is also considered a durable option for your outer soles. This allows you to slide all over the place and have even more comfort when you are trying to maintain the perfect form.
As for the heel, rubber has also been integrated and this will give you even more control when it comes to playing the game. You can decide when to slide and when you need to brake with this heel design. Synthetic materials have been used for the upper, ensuring you have some durability, while also giving you comfort to work with.
Since they have a classic design, many modern players might think that the shoes are old. They are designed to give you the timeless look, but unfortunately, this look does occasionally go out of style. These shoes also lack a little when it comes to width and you need to ensure you have the right size for your feet.
Much like the Brunswick shoes, they are really affordable and offer you a lot of value for your money. The shoes are made for players of all skill levels and they even work for left-handed players. When it comes to the Pyramid Men’s Ram Black Bowling Shoes, I can say that this is one of my favorite shoes for playing the game.
5. STRIKEFORCE Men’s Titan Bowling Shoe
- Includes advanced tech features
- Stylish design
- Reasonably durable
- Reasonably priced
- Lacks a little when it comes to width
The STRIKEFORCE Men’s Titan Bowling Shoe is one that encompasses all the latest technology and trends that the world has seen. It is new to the market and while the low profile design is timeless, the technology that has been included is not. It features some of the best features we have seen in top bowling shoes.
First of all, the design immediately stood out and these shoes are some of the most stylish that any player can actually use them. The synthetic man-made upper is designed to give you leeway and to allow your feet to stretch out the fabric as it is needed. This will accommodate players like myself and our wider feet.
The outer sole is constructed from microfiber and this adds to the ability the player has to slide when the ball has been released. With rubber added to the heel, the slide can be controlled a little more and all of this gives you more control. FlexSlide technology has really changed the world of bowling when it comes to improving your game.
While we had a lot of searching to do to actually find something wrong with the shoe, the width is something that actually stood out immediately. The width is not ideal for all men and the only size available is the standard D-size that may not work for everyone. However, smaller individuals will find it really comfortable.
Much like the other bowling shoes, the price is definitely one of the best features of this shoe. Having such an affordable price means that even beginners can use it and when you compare it to the rent, it is really affordable. I personally recommend these shoes to players with narrow feet as wider feet might require more of a break in period.
6. Dexter Jenna Bowling Shoes
- Features a modern design
- Breathable upper
- Durable upper
- Reasonably priced
- Only for right-handed players
If you are looking for something a little different that still offers you all the features that you would find in a normal bowling shoe, the Dexter Jenna Bowling Shoes will be one of the most comfortable and unique shoes you could find. This is all thanks to the design being completely made from textile when we are looking at the upper.
The breathable knitted upper allows for optimal ventilation to pass through the shoe and this will enable you to use them for extended periods when playing. The shoes feature a low-profile design and this will enable you to have the best possible comfort for every player. It also looks a little more modern when you are used to wearing sneakers.
For the sole, S8 microfibers have been used and this will allow you to slide a little better and also help you to achieve more comfort when playing the game. A small bit of rubber has been added to the heel of the shoe and this allows you to comfortably brake when needed. It all combines to give you complete control of the game.
Unfortunately, the design of the shoes has only been made for right-handed players. This means that you won’t have the same comfort using them if you are a left-handed player. However, the sizing seems to be on point and we have not had any issues with player buying the wrong sizes. It is something that you can bank on.
The shoes are a little more expensive than some of the synthetic shoes and this does make a difference when you are strapped to a budget. However, the modern design is certainly something one could look forward to using. We would highly recommend these shoes to the top players who are serious about bowling.
7. Dexter Men’s T.H.E 9 Bowling Shoes
- Durable leather construction
- Advanced toehold technology
- Modern design
- Really expensive
If you have been playing the game for a long time, you probably have a better understanding than most when it comes to the best shoes. The Dexter Men’s T.H.E 9 Bowling Shoes are designed for the high-end professional players. It has been constructed from solid white leather and this not only makes it stylish but also adds to the durability.
The shoes feature a revolutionary toehold system and this has been incorporated to protect your feet and give you more protection. Unlike some of the other shoes, this one can be converted to ensure that it is comfortable for the left-handed players as well. Both of the conversions will offer you some excellent durability.
As for the slide pad, you will notice that the technology cannot really be rivaled. The slide pad is advanced and it ensures that the shoes offer you more stability when it comes to your technique. Additionally, it can be removed and replaced with the inner sole to ensure that you have the right sole for the best comfort.
When you look at the design, it might not be something that you will wear every day. However, it offers some excellent comfort and functionality for every player that might use it. The shoes stand out in most bowling alleys, leaving the other players wondering which type of quality shoe it is. This makes it ideal for making a statement.
Unfortunately, the price is the only downside and these are some of the most expensive shoes on the market today. They have revolutionary features that all include technology that we haven’t really seen with bowling shoes. We would recommend it to some of the top players looking to take their game to the next level.
8. BSI Women’s 460 Bowling Shoe
- Stylish design
- Comfortable inner sole
- Reasonably priced
- They have a long break-in period
Not to leave out any of the female bowlers, we have included the BSI Women’s 460 Bowling Shoe to ensure that every female player also has their fair choice. It has been constructed from synthetic leather for the upper, but this still adds to the durability. Since it is much more bendable, your shoes are ideal for molding to the shape of your feet.
The added thickness of the insole is perfect for female players looking for comfort and this sock lining will definitely mold around the feet to keep them in place and give you comfort when playing. The sliding sole is comfortable and it will definitely improve your game significantly when you need to hold your form after each throw.
Any female player will tell you that the shoes need to be stylish and you will need to look the part when you are playing the game. Fortunately, these shoes are extremely well designed and they offer a colorful white style. This should match anything that you choose to wear as part of your wardrobe and improve your game.
While the brand claims that the shoes have a decent width, the downside is that the shoes are not ideal for everyone. We have seen that many female players complain about it being a little too tight and this is not always comfortable. However, they should be more comfortable once you have worked through the break-in period.
As for the price, these shoes have been priced to move and they are great for beginners if you are also strapped to a budget. While I could not test the shoes myself, they seem much like many of the other top bowling shoes. I would recommend them for any female player looking for something unique to stand out.
9. Storm Istas Bowling Shoes
- Unique design with stylish upper
- EVA Innersole
- The heel allows sliding for better form
- Really affordable
- Sizing runs a little small
The Storm Istas Bowling Shoes are quite unique. The colorful design is not something we always want when it comes to bowling shoes. However, these shoes are perfect for the female players and they will definitely make a fashion statement. Personally, I feel the colors are a little too much and would prefer something a little plainer.
Since comfort is something you need, it was fantastic to learn that the inner sole has been comprised of EVA. EVA foam molds to the shape of your feet, but will retract back to a normal state once you get out of the shoes. This means the foam will never slack and you will constantly have the same overall comfort to work with.
While most shoes feature a design that has been made from synthetic materials, these shoes feature a fabric upper and this will make them more breathable as well. The defined heel definitely stands out when compared to the other shoes, allowing the player to slide. Many players also note that they can brake a little more comfortable as well.
Unfortunately, the sizes run a little smaller than you might expect and this means that you might need to find a larger size than you are used to. The shoe is also much better suited for the female players then the makes when looking at the overall colors of the design
However, the price is actually a positive and these shoes are reasonably priced for the unique upper that you will receive. The breathability makes them comfortable for longer games and tournaments and this should be a massive upside. We would recommend them for female players looking for something stylish to stand out with.
10. Pyramid Women’s Rise Black/Hot Pink Bowling Shoes
- Stylish design
- Reasonably durable
- Includes a toehold
- Ideal for sliding
- A little too expensive
Last but certainly not least, we have another excellent shoe for the female players. The Pyramid Women’s Rise Black/Hot Pink Bowling Shoes feature a classic design with a low-profile cut that makes them comfortable for those who love sneakers. It is also really durable with synthetic leather being used for the upper.
The pink stars that form part of the design will ensure that you can stand out from the rest of the people at the bowling alley. However, the toe is not only pink to stand out, but features a toehold that will give you comfort and keep your toes fully protected. This will ensure even better sliding when it is compared with the heel as you release the ball.
With rubber being added to the outer sole, players have the ability to control the sliding and this will allow you to brake more comfortably. As a male, I could not test this feature but had some help to allow me to understand it a little better. It is worth noting that these shoes are also extremely lightweight.
Once again, we have an issue with the sizing, but this time the shoes tend to be a little too large for the average female. While too small can be broken in, if the shoes are too large, your feet might be swimming around inside and this could remove some of the control. You might need to consider a size smaller.
The price is another area that seems to be a little off. Unfortunately, these shoes are a little too expensive and while many females might like it, we feel it is too expensive. The shoes are recommended for beginners and intermediate bowlers and one of our companions definitely said that she would buy them for the style.
Key Features To Consider When Choosing The Top Bowling Shoes:
Now that you have seen some of the best bowling shoes, we have also included a buyers guide that will show you exactly how we came about these options. If you don’t like the shoes that we have chosen, this buyer’s guide should allow you to find the right shoes for your needs. That said, let’s have a look at the top features:
One of the main features of any footwear one needs to consider is the design. The design is the first thing that people will look at when you enter the bowling alley and if your shoes do not look the part, no one will take you as a professional. A good shoe will certainly elevate your style and allow some of the other players to look at you as more of a professional.
Even though bowling is a sport that you can play with any clothing, the shoes seem to be something that many people look at. If you don’t buy great bowling shoes, you might be better off renting the shoes at the bowling alley. However, this can be really expensive and you will see it amount up over time if you are a regular.
Next, we move on to another important aspect when it comes to your bowling shoes. The durability is something you need to keep a close eye on and since these shoes can be expensive, it will make a major difference to your game. The durability of the shoe is generally dictated by the materials that are used for them.
The leather is probably the most durable material that you can choose and it also yields the best possible results. Leather not only looks great, but it can hold up well. However, textile has been making an impressive entrance and since it is extremely breathable, you can play for extended periods without worry about your feet overheating inside the shoe.
When it comes to comfort, your inner sole will be the part of the shoe that will ensure that you have comfort. When it comes to the inner sole, your feet need to have a decent cushion that will keep them protected from potential pain. Once you start shopping around, you should notice numerous inner sole types available.
The best inner sole we could find is EVA. EVA molds to the shape of your feet and once you are done, the foam will fill up with air again. This means that your shoe will never lose comfort. If you have a little extra money, memory foam is another great alternative that you can consider and this will retain the shape of your feet but needs to be purchased separately.
With most shoes, the outer sole is not as important as many of the other features. However, bowling does rely a lot on the outer sole and it makes a massive difference to the way you play the game. The outer sole is a fundamentally important part of the shoe, especially when it comes to sliding and maintaining your posture.
Most bowling shoes will have microfibers that make up the outer sole and this will enable you to slide comfortable on each of the lanes. When you are looking at the heel, rubber is another important part and it will allow you to brake. Having this unique ability will definitely give you more control when playing the game.
Size Is Important:
In the game of bowling, your shoe size will directly relate to the level of comfort you have. It is important to have shoes that actually fit and provides you with this level of comfort. Most shoes might have a break in period, but this is normal and you might need to fight through a little bit of this pain for a while.
Large shoes can be dangerous and they don’t hold your feet together as much. Your feet might slip around inside the shoes and this will hinder your ability to use the control feature offered by the brake. Alternatively, small shoes might constrict your feet and cut off the blood flow, which will eventually force you to take them off.
As with almost all bowling equipment, your shoes need to be easy to maneuver in. if they are too heavy, you won’t be able to build up enough speed when you are playing. A lighter shoe will also allow you to move much faster. The better your speed when delivering the bowling ball, the better your chances of actually having a strike.
Extra Features To Keep In Mind:
The above-mentioned features are the most important, but we all know that shoes are more complicated than this. We have identified a couple of other features that you could keep in mind to ensure you get a great shoe. These features might be small, but they will eventually make a massive difference:
- Lifted Heel: Are you short and you have trouble getting enough pace on the ball? If so, you need to consider a lifted heel. It will make life much easier and ensure that you can actually deliver the ball correctly. We have also seen the added heel cushioning makes the shoe look more stylish.
- Inner Collar: Abrasions can be frustrating and we all have to deal with them, especially when buying new shoes. Having added thickness for the inner collar means the shoe will help to reduce abrasions and give you more comfort. This has helped me a lot when it comes to breaking in the shoe.
- Toehold: The toehold can be an expensive feature to have in your shoe. The added technology will help you if you have a technique that involves sliding on your toe. However, the professional players have mastered this technique and it does help a lot.
- Ventilation: every shoe needs to have some sort of ventilation. The ventilation helps when you are playing longer tournaments. With ventilation holes in the shoe, you will find that you are not as fatigued all the time and you have more comfort.
As a beginner, not all of these features might be important to you. However, the advanced and intermediate players might find them important to help elevate their game. We recommend looking at these features if you have the funds available to add them. They are more designed for the top players in the sport.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Ten Pin Bowling is not a sport that is as straightforward as many people might think. The clothing and equipment might be basic, but there are a couple of things you also need to keep in mind. We have done a lot of research and found a few questions from beginners. With the help of the experts, we have managed to find the answers to ensure you don’t need to worry about them:
Why Can’t I Simply Use My Sneakers?
Bowling shoes have been designed completely different than most shoes. The outer sole of normal shoes focus on giving you the best possible traction, but this might limit your performance when you are bowling. It can also do a lot of damage to the bowling lanes, as it will absorb some of the oil and this will disturb the game
Should I rent Bowling Shoes?
The option for renting is one that we commonly recommend for beginners. As a professional player, renting might not be viable. It can be a little expensive to continuously rent shoes for your bowling games. If you save up a couple of bucks, you can find yourself an affordable pair of shoes for bowling that will work for beginners.
Should I Clean My Bowling Shoes?
It is vital that you clean your bowling shoes after each game. Since the outer sole will absorb oil, it is not always ideal to play with bowling shoes that have not been cleaned. Much like your bowling ball, debris will stick to the shoe and you will be limited when sliding. If your bowling shoes are cleaned often and maintained, you will notice a much better response.
How Does The Brake Feature Work?
If you have been following the article, you might have noticed us talk about the importance of the braking mechanism and how it will give you more control when playing. The brake is a small part of the heel that has been constructed from a soft rubber material. This rubber will allow you to sit back and stop or you might find yourself sliding behind the ball to the pins.
How Should I Know If The Sizing Is Off?
This is one of the most tricky aspects of buying a bowling shoe and brands don’t always tell you if the shoes are oversized. We recommend doing a little research of your own, but we have included the main consensus when it comes to size in the reviews. As you might have seen, the size is fundamentally important when it comes to comfort.
Now that you have seen the best bowling shoes, you should be able to actually make a decision. All of these shoes have been highly rated and with the help of experts, they all flourish when we use them. We cannot state that one is better than the other, but we would recommend that you look for the shoes from the reputable bowling brands. They have a reputation that needs to be protected and will ensure great value.
That being said, you will notice that there are many great bowling shoes available on the market today and we would love to read some of your thoughts on the products we have selected. Let us know in the comment section if you have ever used any of these bowling shoes and if we might have missed any of your favorites.