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Improve Your Game with the Best Bowling Shoes in 2022

  1. Dexter SST 8 Pro White/Black/Gold Mens Bowling Shoes
  2. 900 Global 3G Mens Kicks Bowling Shoes
  3. Brunswick Men's Bowling Shoes
  4. BSI Men's Basic #521 Bowling Shoes
  5. Pyramid Men's Ram Black Bowling Shoes
  6. Buyer's Guide

A night at the bowling alley is typically a pretty casual affair. You pay for the lane, find a ball and rent the garish-looking bowling shoes without a second thought. For those who take the sport a lot more seriously, this list is meant for you. A good pair of shoes can have an extremely positive effect on your form and your game can greatly improve as a result.

Bowling shoes are meant to protect you and the alley floor as normal shoes are too stiff for you to move correctly so when you make your approach to throw the ball, your soles could damage the floor finish. Bowling shoes are outfitted with leather or non-marking rubber soles meant to slide across the floor easily while affording you a perfect balance of support and flexibility upon release of the ball. Like all sports gear, there are brands and models best suited for various skill levels offering interchangeable soles, arch support, high-end upper materials, and pairs accommodating right or left-handed bowlers.

Our list of what we think to be the top picks for men’s bowling shoes presents options for every budget and ability, each one chosen on criteria including their absolute comfort, quick break-in times, the inclusion of performance-enhancing soles, universal fitting, and of course, the long-term gameplay value each shoe offers.

Our Top Five Shoes For Bowling

Dexter SST 8 Pro White/Black/Gold Mens Bowling Shoes - Best Bowling Shoes Overall

The SST 8 was designed to accommodate any type of bowler, whether right or left handed and manufactured with a leather upper which is soft and easy to quickly break in. The big selling point here is their versatility because Dexter has manufactured their Men’s SST SE with two types of interchangeable soles including a slide pair and a traction pair. This variety allows you to choose which foot you'll push off with to better suit your approach.

These shoes also come with two interchangeable heels to lighten the shoes weight overall and hit the right sole/heel combination complimentary to your style. To protect the soles from peeling off, the shoes have a drag protector along the toe so they stay firmly in place throughout the game. These shoes tend to run big, so you may want to consider picking a pair a half size smaller. From comfort to function, Dexters well made SST 8 SE bowling shoes excel in nearly every category.

900 Global 3G Mens Kicks Bowling Shoes - Runner Up

The hefty price tag might put a few people off, but for those of you who don't mind dropping around $200 on a pair of bowling shoes, the Tour Ultra's are pretty impressive. They've been built from soft, supple Kangaroo leather making them some of the most comfortable footwear you'll ever wear inside a bowling alley. The soles of the shoes are made of Kevlar with rubber traction so you won't be spending more money on another pair anytime soon.

These shoes are built to last a long while so don't worry about air circulation either as these have plenty of ventilation along the inner soles so they won't make your feet hot either. We haven't even gotten to the heel and sole customizing options that come with the 3G's, with four interchangeable soles made of deer skin, back skin, chrome leather and cleated, three interchangeable heels including flat normal, rippled and back skin in addition to three cleat sets, Teflon, back skin, and felt. If that's not enough, you get shoe trees, a slide-sole cover, and a shoe bag.

Brunswick Men's Bowling Shoes - Honorable Mention

The Flyer keeps this bowling shoe affordable by using a synthetic leather upper that’s soft and comfortable right out of the box and doesn't require much of a break-in period by way of Brunswick's Komfort-Fit construction design. Textile mesh lining and padding along the tongue and collar of the shoe offers additional comfort in the places where blisters can develop all too easily. This is a universal sole shoe that works for any player, no matter if they're right-handed or left, and it features a non-marking rubber outsole suitable for use in any bowling alley. You get a choice of colors here with simple black, a black/white combination, black/blue, and camo. The price tag on the Flyer is also quite likable, available at around $40 depending on which retailer you choose.

BSI Men's Basic #521 Bowling Shoes - Consider

Boasting a supple leather upper and rubber outsole, the BSI 521 is a durable and resilient shoe that’s perfect for folks with wide feet. That can be an issue for many of us, but not to worry, these will feel comfortable without any pinch or squeeze as they're soft and easy on the feet; however, the sizes run a bit big so keep that in mind when buying them online. Their plain black exterior doesn't even look like a bowling shoe either, resembling more of a casual loafer instead which can be a strong selling point to some who would rather own than rent when they hit the lanes. These shoes also have a universal slide sole so they can be worn by all bowlers.

Pyramid Men's Ram Black Bowling Shoes - Best Bowling Shoes

Pyramid presents their Ram Black bowling shoe, part of their great line of bowling products. These shoes perform surprisingly better than you would think given their low price. The soles don't take long to break in and offer some of the best slide of any bowling shoe in this price range or higher. A thin layer of felt ensures consistent footwork and the longer you use these shoes, the better they perform.

The Ram Black is among the most comfortable shoes on our list and they're universally appropriate for left or right handed bowlers. As their name implies, these shoes come in black with a classy little white adornment giving them look like they stepped off an episode of Mad Men. Pyramid offers a two year warranty for these shoes in the unlikely event something goes wrong with them.

Buyer's Guide

If bowling is one of your favorite fun things to do, buying a good bowling shoe is a good investment that will save you from the cost of rental shoes in the long run. Also, we don’t have to mention that you do not know to have the slightest clue as to how many feet have been in these rental shoes. This buying guide would show hobbyists and pro bowlers everything they need to know and consider when buying a bowling shoe. Once you know what you need, selecting a bowling shoe from the list above will be a ride in the park.

What are Bowling Shoes?

Bowling shoes are specialized shoes designed by shoe manufacturers to be worn only in the bowling alley.

These shoes are quite different from regular shoes. First, their sliding pads are attached to their soles and can be customized depending on whether the bowler is left or right-handed. Second, the heels on the soles are made of rubber to help stop your movement after you throw the ball.

Types of Bowling Shoes

There are several types of bowling shoes used by different types of people, depending on the event and their skill level. Here are three common types of bowling shoes;


These bowling shoes are for people who visit the bowling alley once, twice, or a maximum of three times a year.

Rental bowling shoes are available in every bowling alley, and a specific amount will have to be paid to rent these bowling shoes. However, since they are for public use, they are often worn out, and they provide very little support when worn.


These shoes are for beginners and regular bowlers. They have a look similar to sneakers, and unlike rental shoes that use Velcro, you get laces with athletic bowling shoes. In addition to this, they are comfortable, lightweight, and offer good support and attraction.

Athletic bowling shoes have their slides included on each shoe, making them perfect for both left and right-handed bowlers.


Performance bowling shoes are for bowlers who engage in professional bowling tournaments. The slide is usually attached to one shoe while the other shoe has the brake, depending on what hand the person bowls with, as well as the person's dominant leg.

To explain this better, when a right-handed bowler bowls the brake will be on the right sole while the slide will be on the left.

You should also note that bowling shoes in this category are fully customizable, you can choose to interchange the soles so that it matches the surface of the bowling alley.

Benefits of Bowling Shoes

Here are some of the benefits attached to wearing bowling shoes;

Floor protection

Wearing a bowling shoe ensures that the floor and the bowling lane are protected from damage at all times. These shoes preserve and maintain the bowling alley floors, this way incoming bowlers will be able to enjoy the game. When the floors are damage-free the bowling alley owners are also happy, since they would spend less on maintenance.

Improved performance

Another benefit you stand to gain when you wear a bowling shoe is a direct one. Wearing these shoes for bowling increases your throw power as it makes you glide and slide better than if you were not wearing a bowling shoe. With the proper shoes, you will be quick to master the art of bowling, and you will bowl better than others who aren’t wearing the proper shoes for bowling

Warranty protection

Many of the best bowling shoe manufacturers include an extended warranty on their bowling shoes. This warranty covers accidents that may happen when you bowl with their brand-name bowling shoes.


Unlike regular shoes, bowling shoes can be customized to increase your performance. You can remove the inner and outer soles and replace them with soles of your choosing.

Features to Consider When Buying Bowling Shoes


The insole refers to the portion of the sole covered by the shoe, and you will agree with me that whether it is a bowling shoe or a regular shoe, the comfort of the insole is vital to your performance.

In bowling, having comfortable insoles are extra important because they provide a snug fit that guarantees that you enjoy the game. In addition, high-quality insoles will be able to mold and take the shape of your feet.

Rubber outsoles

Another prominent feature to look out for when selecting bowling any bowling shoe is the outsole which needs to be made from rubber. Rubber delivers the right amount of slide and traction required to add more power to your bowling shots.

Added heel

Although an added heel is not a general feature to look out for, it does have its benefits and drawbacks.

For one, it makes your bowling shoes more fashionable and gives shorter players the extra height needed to put more power in their shots. They, however, make sliding a tedious task since they are heavy.


Snubbed toe-designed bowling shoes are perfect if you love to slide on your toes as you release the bowling ball.

Some Buyers Ask

Can you wear bowling shoes outside?

Bowling shoes should not be worn outside the bowling center. These specialized shoes are made using materials that would not do well when exposed to outside conditions that regular shoes face. If you choose to use them outside, know that the shoe's life span will reduce considerably.

How much do bowling shoes cost?

Renting a bowling shoe at the bowling alley cost around $4. However, if you go to the bowling alley at least four times a year, that brings the total cost to around $20. On the other hand, an average bowling shoe will cost you $24.

Do you really need bowling shoes?

Yes, you do. Bowling shoes make the sport safer and will increase your performance a whole lot.

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