Think all bowling shoes are the same? What’s the best bowling shoes? If so, both your feet and your game may pay the price.
While recreational bowlers who stop by the alley a couple of times a year may be just fine with cheap, clownish rental shoes, anyone looking to improve their performance, save some dough, and look better in the process needs their own bowling shoes.
What is the best bowling shoes brand? There are dozens upon dozens of bowling shoes out there for men and women to choose from, but only a handful stand out from the pack. Use this guide to learn all about bowling shoes and some of the best options out there on the lanes today.
Best bowling shoes review
- Dexter Jack
- Dexter Ricky III
- Brunswick Flyer
- Dexter Turbo II Wide-Width
- Dexter DX22551 100-P Pro-AM II
Best Men’s Bowling Shoes
|Dexter Jack||Synthetic||Non-marking rubber outsole with defined horseshoe heel|
|Dexter Ricky III||Manmade||Non-marking rubber outsole with defined horseshoe heel|
|Brunswick Flyer||Synthetic||Non-marking rubber outsole|
|Dexter Turbo II Wide-Width||Synthetic||Non-Marking cassic rubber outsole raised heel|
|Dexter DX22551 100-P Pro-AM II||Synthetic||Classic rubber outsole|
Dexter Jack – Best bowling shoes brand
Best bowling shoes features top-notch workmanship, excellent fit, and a classic athletic bowling shoe design that make it one of the most popular men’s bowling shoes around. With a soft yet durable synthetic upper, fully fabric-lined interior, non-marking rubber outsole, horseshoe heel, and dual-S8 microfiber slide soles, it checks all of the boxes and then some.
While professionals and avid league bowlers may not appreciate slides on both feet, beginners love the versatility of this athletic bowling shoe.
Dexter Ricky III – Best bowling shoes for beginners
Best bowling shoe covers looks remarkably similar to a men’s street or skate shoe yet has all of the features, stability, and design elements you would expect in a first-class bowling shoe. Due to its comfort and casual street shoe design, it’s an ideal bowling shoe for beginners transitioning to the sport.
Like any quality bowling shoe, the Dexter Ricky III also has a non-marking rubber outsole and a defined horseshoe heel. Similar to Dexter Jacks, the Ricky III features dual-S8 microfiber slide soles for long and smooth slides as well.
With its comfortable street shoe design and all of the features any budding bowler needs to hone the craft, this is a great choice worth keeping on your short list.
Brunswick Flyer – Best quality bowling shoes
Sliding plays an integral role in bowling, and very few men’s bowling shoes under $100 are as slide-friendly as the Brunswick Men’s Flyer Bowling Shoes. Although they’re not the best looking bowling shoes available, they do their job and do it very well.
Featuring a soft and durable synthetic upper with Komfort-Fit construction, padded collar and tongue, and a roomy textile-lined interior, the Brunswick Men’s Flyer is designed to fit perfectly and provide the comfort your feet need for knocking out frame after frame.
Dexter Turbo II Wide-Width – Best bowling shoe for wide feet
Feet come in all shapes and sizes, so some are wider than others. While it can be difficult finding quality bowling shoes specifically made for men with wider feet, Dexter Turbo II Wide-Width Bowling Shoes definitely fit the bill.
Like many other great athletic bowling shoes, the Turbo II utilizes a non-marking outsole, raised heel, fabric-lined interior, and padded collar and tongue for added comfort and stability. However, its synthetic upper is even suppler and the width of the shoe can accommodate EE widths with no problem at all.
Dexter DX22551 100-P Pro-AM II – Best inexpensive bowling shoes
If you’re improving your bowling game but not quite ready to pay big money for professional top-of-the-line bowling shoes, Dexter Men’s DX22551 100-P Pro-AM II Right Handed Bowling Shoes are the next logical solution. These affordably priced performance bowling shoes are designed to help take any novice to the next level.
With an affordable price tag plus a raised horseshoe heel, non-marking rubber outsole, fabric lined interior, and all of the other typical quality bowling shoe design elements, the Dexter Men’s DX22551 100-P Pro-AM II Right Handed Bowling Shoe is a great choice for any novice or intermediate pin crusher.
Best Women’s Bowling Shoes
|Dexter Vicky||Synthetic||Non-marking rubber outsole with defined horseshoe heel|
|BSI #651||Sport leather uppers||Stitched and glued slide sole|
|Dexter Ana||Synthetic||Universal Soles|
|Dexter Kerrie||Cotton||Non-Marking rubber outsole|
|BSI 460||Action leather upper||Lightweight durable rubber outsole|
Dexter Vicky – Best ladies bowling shoes
You don’t have to be named “Vicky” to enjoy the look, fit, and feel of Dexter’s Vicky Bowling Shoes. Designed to appeal to a wide-variety of women bowlers, these white bowling shoes with blue accents are a favorite for a number of reasons.
First of all, these hybrid shoes are the perfect marriage between performance and traditional sneaker design. Although you may need to order a size larger due to their tight fit, Dexter Vicky Bowling Shoes are super comfortable when sized right and feel more like quality sneakers than stiff bowling shoes you rent at your local alley.
If you appreciate subtle styling, great construction, an inexpensive price tag, and all of the great features mentioned above, the Dexter Vicky Bowling Shoe may be just what you’ve been looking for.
BSI #651 – Best cheap bowling shoes
Do you like saving a buck? Is black and pink your thing? If so, you might fall in love with the BSI Women’s #651 Bowling Shoe. The unabashed shoe has an all-black sport leather upper with pink toe, making it an ideal bowling shoe for any femme fatale.
Beyond its color scheme, the BSI Women’s #651 Bowling Shoe features a lightweight EVA midsole, nice slide sole, padded collar and tongue, and a tasteful embossed logo as a finishing touch. Most importantly, it’s one of the comfiest women’s bowling shoes on the market today.
With a low price tag that would make any bargain hunter blush, this BSI women’s bowling shoe is easily one of the best shoes for the money you’re going to find anywhere.
Dexter Ana – Best bowling shoes on the market
If you’re looking for something a little more timeless and don’t mind spending a few dollars more, the Dexter Women’s Ana Bowling Shoe may be right up your alley. Featuring a flexible and comfortable synthetic upper with classic plaid graphics, it brings a little bit of the country club spirit to any bowling alley. Mimosas anyone?
In all seriousness, it’s a cute bowling shoe. However, it’s also well-made and ready for action. Thanks to its raised horseshoe heel, non-marking rubber outsole, and a great fit that’s actually true to size, the Dexter Women’s Ana Bowling Shoe can help turn any lady new to the sport into a strike tossing alley cat in no time at all.
Hitting it out of the park in almost every category, this classic ladies bowling shoe proves that contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sacrifice looks for performance when picking out bowling shoes. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
Dexter Kerrie – Best bowling shoes for beginners
Women new to the sport of bowling are often put off by unappealing bowling shoes, and most need a shoe they’re familiar with and will feel comfortable in. As part of Dexter’s Comfort Canvas Collection, the Dexter Kerrie Bowling Shoe is exactly that.
Although it lacks a raised horseshoe heel found on many bowling shoes, it fits true to size and provides plenty of stability despite its lightweight. With a lightweight, casual street shoe design and many of the features found on much uglier women’s performance bowing shoes, Dexter Kerrie’s may be an excellent choice if you want to feel and look good while improving your score.
BSI 460 – Best Shoe for Classic Looks and Feel
The exterior of the 460 is constructed of soft and durable white leather with purple accents. On the inside, you’ll find an extra-plush insole and a padded collar and tongue to keep your feet comfortable as you slide the night away. Speaking of sliding, the BSI Women’s 460 also has a raised horseshoe heel and microfiber sliding sole that puts rental shoes to shame.
Best Bowling Shoes Buyer’s Guide
Which bowling shoes are best? Quality bowling shoes are a must-have investment for professional or avid bowlers. However, even weekend or recreational bowlers can enjoy the benefits of owning their own pair of affordable, quality bowling shoes.
Many well-made bowling shoes are available for under $50, and shoe rentals cost anywhere from $3 to $5 a pop. This means you don’t have to hit the lanes very often to break even on your investment. Plus, bowling shoes typically incur minimal damage and are made to last for years, putting you way ahead in the dollars and cents category. Having your own bowling shoes will likely improve your game as well.
What is a Bowling Shoe?
A bowling shoe is specifically designed to provide bowlers with the right combination of support, grip, and the ability to slide and stop when needed. When releasing the ball, bowlers generally slide on their left or right front foot. Skilled bowlers make sure to slide as close to the line as possible in a nice and smooth motion. This makes a quality pair of bowling shoes vital for good performance on the lanes.
To achieve a smooth sliding motion, most bowling shoes use microfiber or another material on the bottom of their soles. More expensive performance bowling shoes typically feature one slide sole and one rubber stop sole. However, many of the best everyday models feature slide soles on both shoes. Many quality bowling shoes also feature a raised horseshoe heel for added stability and stopping power.
Types of Bowling Shoes
When shopping for bowling shoes, you’ll find there are two primary types to choose from: performance bowling shoes and athletic bowling shoes. Let’s have a look at each:
- Performance Bowling Shoes
Performance bowling shoes are made for professional or avid league players and typically cost more than athletic bowling shoes. In addition to featuring one rubber braking shoe and one sliding shoe, many offer the ability to remove and replace the soles according to your liking as well.
While they’re designed for enhanced performance, these high-end bowling shoes are often uncomfortable for beginner bowlers to use. It simply takes a little time to adjust to having one braking and one sliding shoe.
- Athletic Bowling Shoes
Athletic bowling shoes are less expensive and ideally suited for beginners and recreational players. Most look and fit just like regular athletic sneakers. They also have slides on both soles, so any pair will work for both left- and right-handed players.
In addition to providing comfort, support, durability, and a lower price point, athletic bowling shoes often look much better than performance bowling shoes. The wide-range of styles available with athletic bowling shoes makes them a popular option for fashion-conscious bowlers as well.
What are Slides?
Slides are special soles on the bottom of bowling shoes that allow bowlers to slide smoothly into their release of the ball. Professional bowlers generally have a longer slide, while beginner and recreational bowlers tend to have a shorter slide. Before you begin the process of choosing the best bowling shoes for you, ask yourself what kind of bowler you are and how much sliding you plan doing.
If you plan on only using a slight slide upon release, then an athletic bowling shoe with a flatter bottom would be ideal. Raised heels allow you to slide more, so even if you’re not a professional bowler and interested in a performance bowling shoe, the length of the heel should be an important consideration.
Other important factors to consider when shopping for the right pair of bowling shoes are comfort, craftsmanship, fit, and style.
How to Determine the Perfect Size and Fit
Having best lawn bowling shoes that fit your feet well is extremely important. If you know your shoe size, you can simply pick out bowling shoes the same size and pray for the best. If you’re not quite sure of your shoe size or want to ensure you pick the right size the first time, you should have your feet sized by a professional or learn how to measure them yourself.
An easy way to do this is to sit in a chair and place your foot flatly on a piece of paper you have taped to the floor. Then, using a pencil, mark the end of your longest toe and the back of your heel. Next, measure the distance between the two points in inches and simply refer to a shoe size chart to determine your right size.
If you have a wide foot, a wide-width bowling shoe is also a wise choice. Although athletic bowling shoes are often more comfortable and accommodating for wider feet, there are special wide-width shoes available for anyone requiring an EE or EEE.
Ultimately, a bowling shoe should feel comfortable and give your foot the stability and support it needs. However, as is the case with all shoes, size and fit differ by brand. So, short of trying them on, comprehensive and unbiased reviews like ours can be a great resource to determine how a specific pair will feel on your feet.
Bowling shoes are a smart investment for bowlers of all skill levels. Recreational and novice bowlers will spend less on shoe rentals at the alley and improve their performance with quality athletic bowling shoes. Avid bowlers, meanwhile, will benefit from improved sliding, stopping, and scores.
When searching for a quality bowling shoe, make sure to read the reviews and pick out the right size for an ideal fit. By shopping online, you’ll have the ability to browse comprehensive reviews like ours and choose from a wide selection of styles and sizes at prices that simply can’t be beat!