Last Updated on March 3, 2020 by Jake
For many, bowling is just an occasional activity for friends and family to get together and have a good time. But if you are finding yourself at the alley 4 or 5 times a year or more, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a pair of your own bowling shoes.
It’s really quite incredible how many different bowling shoes there are out there. The more advanced you get as a player, the more you’ll notice the difference of a pair of the best bowling shoes vs some rentals. There are shoes designed for all different kinds of bowlers. Bowling shoes for men, women, right handed players, left handed players, toe draggers, sliders, and wide feet all exist!
To help you make a decision on the best bowling shoes for your needs, we’re going to go over some bowling shoes tips. After that we’ll go over reviews of our top picks for various types of players!
Short On Time? Here’s Our Top Picks:
|Dexter Mens Pro Am II Bowling Shoes||Check Price on Amazon|
|Dexter Kory II Bowling Shoes||Check Price on Amazon|
|Dexter Comfort Canvas Series Womens Kerrie Bowling Shoes||Check Price on Amazon|
|SaVi Bowling Women's Vienna Hearts||Check Price on Amazon|
|Brunswick Bowling Products Mens Frenzy Static Bowling Shoes||Check Price on Amazon|
|Dexter Men's Pro Am II Bowling Shoes Left Handed||Check Price on Amazon|
Why Should I Get Bowling Shoes?
You may be asking yourself why dedicated pair are even important. After all, most bowling alleys will rent you a set for only a couple of bucks.
Look at it this way. If you were playing any other sport or took up another activity, wouldn’t you want the best equipment designed specifically for that sport? You would never join a basketball league then rent a pair of basketball shoes right?
Bowling is no different. There is an entire industry dedicated to creating bowling accessories and equipment. Bowling shoes are designed to help maximize your bowling performance. Plain and simple, you just won’t get the same level of support by renting old ratty shoes at the alley.
We recommend getting your own pair to any type of player who plays 5 or more times per year, even if you are a complete novice. After 5 trips to the alley, you will more or less have made up the cost of your shoes by no longer paying for rentals. But for any player who is intermediately skilled or higher, a pair of bowling shoes is an absolute must.
Different Types of Shoe
Shoes for bowling all fall into one of two buckets: athletic style and professional style.
Athletic shoes are geared more towards recreational players and beginners. As you would expect, they’re typically pretty inexpensive. If you’ve ever rented before, the soles on the bottom of athletic style shoes are basically the same as what you’d rent.
Athletic style also have the benefit of being agnostic to your handedness. So the any pair will work for you whether you are right or left handed.
Performance shoes on the other hand, are going to be more expensive. But with the higher price tag comes more attention to detail and design specifics geared towards making you a better bowler. They are quite literally an investment into making your game better. If you are an intermediate to expert player, professional shoes should be the best bowling shoes option for you.
Any pair of performance bowling shoes will have one sole made of rubber for breaking, and one “slippery” sole that is used for sliding. The hand you bowl with will indicate whether your left or right shoe is the one that slides or breaks. Right handed players will brake with their right foot, and vice versa.
Other Things to Consider
Before you make a final decision, there are a few more considerations when it comes to finding the right fit for you:
Bowling shoes are sized the exact same way regular shoes are. Similar to athletic shoes you’ll want a snug, but not tight fit when your foot is in there. This means that there should be zero slippage or foot movement when you walk or move around.
Foot movement will especially be a problem when it comes to bowling because of the way weight is transferred during the shot. The last thing you want is to buy a pair of shoes that’s too big and be left with blisters after a couple of games.
A good rule of thumb is for there to be about a quarter of an inch of space between your toes and the front of your shoe when your heel is touching the back.
Wide Bowling Shoes
Wide bowling shoes exist for bowlers with wide feet! If you have wide feet, make sure you find a pair that will be comfortable and has enough room.
There have been times when I’ve spent an entire half day at the bowling alley, and I know some people will go for longer. It’s very important to note if your feet get hot during extended periods of bowling. If they do, the best bowling shoes for you will be a pair with breathable material on top.
Those performance bowling shoes we mentioned earlier often come kitted with adjustable sliders. The amount of slide the sole gives gets standardized to a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the least amount of slide and 10 being the max.
Adjustable slides can come in very handy, you just need to know how to best put them to use.
For example if you live in an area with distinct seasons (i.e. hot summers and cold winters), it would behoove you to adjust your slide ratings as the seasons turn. Colder weather generally leads to slicker bowling surfaces, so a lower slide rating on your shoes would be appropriate to offset the fast lanes.
On the other hand hot weather generally makes stickier, in which case you’d probably want to max out your bowling shoe slide to help your mobility.
Best Bowling Shoe Reviews
With all of that in mind, let’s dive into our picks for the best bowling shoes available on the market today so you can get that bowling ball down the lane!
Dexter Mens Pro Am II Bowling Shoes
Best Men’s Right Handed Bowling Shoes
- Are you looking for a high quality bowling shoe with Performance characteristics at an affordable price
- The Dexter Pro Am II Bowling shoes are the ones for you
- RIGHT HAND BOWLERS ONLY Soft Durable Man-Made Upper Blucher upper pattern for adjustable fit Fully Fabric-lined with Padded Tongue and Collar Classic Rubber Outsole Raised Heel Rubber push-off sole Microfiber S8 slide soles on slide shoe
The Dexter Mens Pro Am II are the perfect blend of functionality and affordability. They fall into the “Performance” category we described earlier in this post, and are designed for right handed bowlers to be able to slide.
With how reasonable the price point is though, these are actually a great option for casual bowlers as well. You don’t need to slide to reap the benefits of this shoe. The shoe is a little bit stiff out of the box, but with a little breaking in it is extremely comfortable while maintaining structure for maximum support.
Dexter Mens Kory II Grey/White
Best Bowling Shoes for Men – Athletic
- Package length: 12.7 cm
- Package width: 22.7 cm
- Package height: 37.4 cm
- Product Type: SPORTING GOODS
I often associate the aesthetic of bowling shoes with clown shoes. I don’t know why, but the rentals at my local alley sometimes look as if they could just as easily be in the circus! They don’t have to be that way though, and the Dexter Mens Kory II are proof.
These shoes look like they could just as easily be casual tennis shoes that you’d use to walk down the street. They go great with any kind of outfit and really look good with a pair of jeans.
All of that aside though, what really matters is the Kory II’s perform very well. The shoes are ambidextrous, so it doesn’t matter whether you are left or right handed to use these shoes.
Womens Bowling Shoes
Dexter Kerrie Bowling Shoes
Best Womens Bowling Shoes
- Lightweight and cool cotton Canvas upper
- Fabric-lined with padded collar
- Classic cvo upper pattern
- Refer size chart for perfect fit
The Dexter Kerrie shoes strike a perfect balance of structure and comfort. A lightweight, extremely breathable canvas is used for construction of the upper. The footbed is a removable, molded EVA that couldn’t be more comfortable and supportive for your feet. At only 11 0unces per shoe, you’ll be hard pressed to find something more lightweight.
On the forefoot outsole, Dexter’s patented Slide-Rite sliding pads are on both shoes. Which means these womens bowling shoes are usable for both left and right handed players. The Kerrie is not particularly wide so it might not be the best choice for those with wide feet.
SaVi Bowling Womens Vienna Hearts
For something with a little more structure, the SaVi Womens Bowling Shoes are a great option. Out of the box they may take a few outings to break in, but afterwards they will provide incredible support for quite a while.
They are also on the less breathable side so if you have hot feet, they might not be your first choice. A #8 white microfiber slide pad is on both shoes with FlexSlide Technology – making these shoes a great choice for intermediate players or anybody trying to learn how to slide.
Mens and Womens Wide Bowling Shoes
Brunswick Mens Frenzy Static Bowling Shoes
- The athletically styled and designed Brunswick men's frenzy bowling shoes have a mesh upper that offers breathability as well as a padded collar and Tongue for comfort
- The extra-light EVA outsole will keep you light on your feet so you can Bowl game after game; Brunswick pure slide microfiber slide soles offer immediate superior slide on both feet
- Drive your competition into a frenzy with these Brunswick bowling shoes; color: Static universal soles athletic mesh upper with EVA foam padded collar and Tongue extra-light molded EVA outsole
- Raised rubber heel for a Controlled slide pure slide microfiber slide soles on both shoes superior slide immediately
When it comes to wide bowling shoes for men, you can’t do much better than the Brunswick Mens Frenzy for an array of reasons. In addition to supporting wide feet, they are lightweight and breathable as well.
These are the kind of wide bowling shoes that you could wear all day and not feel pain in your feet.
Brunswick’s Pure Slide slide soles give you incredible slide ability on both feet. The rubber heels are intentionally raised to increase your control coming into and out of slides.
BSI Women’s 460
Best Womens Wide Width Bowling Shoes
- Lightweight durable rubber outsole
- Action leather upper
- Common sliding sole
- Microfiber sliding sole
- Extra plush insole/sock lining
Unfortunately, there just aren’t a ton of womens wide width bowling shoes on the market. The BSI Womens 460 are the best womens wide width bowling shoe option we could find. They don’t actually specify that they are “wide” shoes, but multiple reviewers who claimed to have wide feet said these shoes were a great fit for them.
A common sliding sole is used on the bottom, meaning they are usable for both left and right handed players. The upper is made of leather and the outsole is constructed of a durable rubber, so the BSI 460’s are built to last a while.
Left Handed Options
Dexter Men’s Pro Am II – Left Handed
Best Left Handed Bowling Shoes
- Comfort and performance
- Durability and style
- The #1 bowling shoe in the world
- Soft durable man-made upper
- Fully fabric-lined with padded tongue and collar
Obviously as a lefty, you could just opt for a pair that are made for both right and left handed players. But, if you are looking for the true performance feel, you should definitely look into getting shoes designed specifically for left handed players.
The Dexter Men's Pro Am II are designed with the slide on the right foot and the brake on the left, which is obviously how left handed bowlers set up. The outsole is rubber and the upper is a soft, hand crafted material designed to provide maximum support.
That concludes our top picks and buying guide! Please let us know in the comments section below if you feel like we left a great pair of out.
Need a bag to carry those shoes in? Check out or post on the best bowling bags next!
Last update on 2022-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API