Once you arrive at the bowling alley, you must have bowling shoes to play the game. While it might seem like a waste of money or a useless regulation, it is actually necessary for many reasons.
Bowling shoes are made to assist the players in their game performance, but they are also necessary to prevent injuries during the game. But this is not all. There are many more benefits to renting bowling shoes.
This article goes over all the benefits of renting bowling shoes.
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Why Do You Have To Wear Bowling Shoes?
- game performance
- safety reasons
- keep the integrity of the bowling lane
Players often wonder why they can’t play using their sneakers or shoes, and some might even argue at the bowling alley about the necessity to change their shoes and rent a proper pair of bowling shoes.
Some have even argued that the rule of wearing bowling shoes, which is present in all bowling alleys, is there to increase the facility’s revenue. But there are other reasons for bowlers having to wear bowling shows.
The main reason for wearing bowling shows are:
- Game Performance
Every game or sport has peculiarities and requires the proper tools and equipment. To make a fair comparison, nobody wonders why a soccer player has to wear soccer shoes.
While playing soccer with tennis shoes or other shoes is possible, the performance and results are not the same.
Bowling shoes are designed to aid the players during the game. One of the two shoes is made with a sliding plate on the sole, while the other shoe is made with non-sliding materials to help the player to stop when required.
This particular design of the two bowling shoes is vital in a game. The essential moves a player should be able to perform well is to get smoothly up the line and stop before crossing it. Therefore, the player needs to know how and when to slide and stop.
Bowling shoes are also made of rubber, so players can stop the glide when the ball has been released to prevent crossing the line and get any of the points gained disallowed.
- Safety Reasons
The game performance is one of many reasons for the necessity of bowling shoes. However, there is also a safety concern to take into account. Using bowling shoes can prevent injuries to the player and also damages to the bowling lane.
Bowling shoes help considerably in releasing the ball at the correct time. However, using different shoes can impede the ability to slide and stop, with players losing their balance and falling or even dropping the ball on their feet.
- Keep The Integrity Of The Bowling Lane
Bowling shoes are essential to protect the integrity of the bowling lane surface. Other types of shoes can leave marks and traces on the bowling lane, which is supposed to stay perfectly smooth.
If the lane is perfectly smooth, it can allow players to perform correctly in the coming shots.
Top Benefits Of Renting Bowling Shoes
- it is fast and easy
- it can be cheaper for some players
- prevent injuries
- they have cleaner soles
- it makes a difference in the game
- no worries about losing the shoes
Renting bowling shoes can benefit frequent players and those who play occasionally. Regular shoes with their soles do not allow players to slide and stop properly, affecting the throw, which might not come as intended.
Renting is a good solution and has the following benefits:
- It Is Fast And Easy
Renting is an easy solution. Players do not have to try to figure out their bowling shoes or do a lot of preparation before. Instead, they can show up at the bowling alley and rent their shoes. Even those who forget to bring their shoes can still play by renting them before starting the game.
- It Can Be Cheaper For Some Players
Players who are not professionals or not used to bowling might find it beneficial to rent their bowling shoes. It is because renting shoes once in a while is less expensive than getting a new pair.
However, this is not true for those who need custom-made shoes and compete in bowling leagues.
Professional bowlers require their own shoes and will also economize on renting money.
- Prevent Injuries
While it is still possible to play without bowling shoes, although it is not allowed in the bowling alley, it makes the game way more complicated. In addition, inexperienced players that do not use appropriate shoes may lose their balance, drop the ball on their feet, or get other injuries during the game.
Regular shoes typically have rubber soles that prevent sliding. Normal shoes cause the player to stick, causing an accident and making the game unsafe. It is also true for those bowlers that do not slide but that plant their feet. With bowling shoes, it is easier to do that and safer.
- They Have Cleaner Soles
Renting bowling shoes also guarantees to have cleaner soles while playing on the lane. All rented shoes are strictly used on the lane and inside the bowling alley, so their soles are way cleaner when compared to regular shoes.
Having clean soles is essential to control the shot and the player’s movements on the lane because even tiny debris can cause significant damage to the lane, to the performance, and even create injuries.
- It Makes A Difference In The Game
Bowling shoes make a difference in the game. In the beginning, it can feel strange to walk in them, but once a person gets used to it, they are essential in controlling the ball and maintaining proper form before the release.
- No Worries About Losing The Shoes
If you are used to renting bowling shoes, you do not have to worry about carrying your own, losing them, or even about other people stealing them. Instead, you can just show up and play.
Are Rented Bowling Shoes A Risk To Your Health?
Renting bowling shows could pose a risk of getting in contact with some microorganisms, such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Still, the chances of getting a problem from renting bowling shoes are pretty low.
Not wearing socks can increase the possibility of an infection after using rented bowling shoes, especially if there are open sores or blisters. However, the socks’ presence can reduce the possibility of infections even more.
Players can take precautions and take advantage of all the benefits of renting bowling shows.
Here are some excellent precautions one can take when renting bowling shoes:
- Make sure always to wear socks (with no holes in them)
- Ask for another pair of shoes if the ones you get are wet, damp, or smelly
- You can use a shoe sanitizer if you want to feel safe
Generally, fungi like to reside in dark and moist environments. Therefore, it is often enough to ensure that the rental shoes are dry and do not have glaring worrying signs such as a bad smell.
You can also inquire about how the facility is cleaning the shoes and choose the best bowling alley to sanitize their rental shoes.
Generally, bowling alleys sanitize bowling shoes between uses, using a spray disinfectant or even UV lights to get rid of bacteria.
What Are The Advantages Of Wearing Bowling Shoes?
Occasional bowlers might complain about having to change their shoes to be able to play the game. Although it is annoying to have to change shoes, there are many advantages to doing so:
- People using rented bowling shoes do not have to worry about ruining their regular shoes. Instead, they can safely play with the rented bowling shoes and do all the necessary games and moves.
- Bowling shoes allow playing correctly and support better ball control.
- Bowling shoes can prevent an unnecessary accident on the lane.
With time and experience using bowling shoes, the benefit becomes more evident.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Wearing Bowling Shoes?
There are also a few negative aspects of having to wear bowling shoes. Here are the main drawbacks:
- Sometimes it isn’t easy to find the proper size. Although most bowling alleys have a lot of sizes ready to accommodate everyone, it is not always possible to find the correct width or comfortable shoes.
- Renting bowling shoes cost money, so buying a pair of them to use when going bowling is expensive.
- Bowling shoes are made to be slippery; those who are new to using them could lose balance and fall.
Should I Still Buy My Own Bowling Shoes?
Depending on the circumstances, buying your own bowling shoes could be more convenient. It is particularly true for professional players who like to play a lot.
Paying for renting, if done often, can add up to a significant amount of money.
For frequent players, owning a pair of bowling shoes is the best option because they can search for a suitable model that fits them better. In addition, owning a pair of bowling shoes can be essential for those who want to change or control their sliding; it is enough to change the soles to get different results.
Bowling shoes come with the standard “sliding sole” (the left foot for the right-handers, and vice versa for the lefties), but if you rent them at the bowling alleys, it is common to find a sliding sole of both shoes so that righties or lefties can use them.
Players buying their shoes can precisely get what they want. They can choose shoes with a better fit, better materials, and higher quality. As a result, players can make a more comfortable choice so they can get better results out of their games.
In addition, players that use the same shoes can focus more on their game since they know the traction they can for what they wear instead of having to readjust each time.
Do I Always Need To Rent Or Buy Bowling Shoes?
Generally, bowling alleys do not allow people on the lane without bowling shoes. People are required to have their own or to rent them.
In some specific cases, players can argue with the personnel at the bowling facility and have permission to use other types of shoes, providing they are clean.
It can happen because some bowlers do not slide; thus, they do not need the typical bowling shoes. For example, some players use the method of “planting and shooting.” This type of play is where the player slams the foot on the floor and throws the ball.
It is a way of playing that puts a lot of strain on the knees and ankles, but some players still use it, and instead of wearing the typical bowling shoes, they wear tennis shoes or similar. Another circumstance in which bowling shoes are not required is when small children play.
Children do not slide and tend to throw the ball at the end of the line. If you do not want to use bowling shoes for whatever reason, the bowling center may allow you to do it if you can show that whatever you use will not damage the floor.
What Are Bowling Shoes Made Of?
The most common materials for bowling shoes are leather and rubber, while the laces are synthetic. Leather is a durable material, so bowling shoes can last long.
Bowling shoes have a sliding sole under them to help players slide and maintain a fluid motion. In addition, the heels are made of rubber, and while the leather is slippery, the rubber is used to create friction and help stop the motion after the ball’s release.
Low-quality shoes are made of faux leather, while athletic and performance bowling shoes are better quality and made with genuine leather.
What Types Of Bowling Shoes Are There?
- rental bowling shoes
- athletic bowling shoes
- performance shoes
- adjustable soles
- right or left-handed bowling shoes
There are many types of bowling shoes a player can use. Based on the characteristics of the shoes, a player can choose the one that better fits the playing style.
Here are the most common types of bowling shoes:
Universal bowling shoes have no brake sole and two sliding soles instead. They are perfect for players that use both hands or have ready in case one doesn’t know which hand the player will use.
One can always get a pair of universal shoes if one plans to share the shoes with one or more persons. Moreover, since the two sliding soles make breaking difficult, universal shoes are suitable for beginners or inexperienced players.
- Rental Bowling Shoes
Rental bowling shoes can be of any type, but most commonly, bowling centers buy them in bulk and are cheap. Generally, it is easier to find universal bowling shoes available in bowling alleys since they suit perfectly to recreational players, regardless if they are left-handed or right-handed.
The quality of rental shoes is low since they are intended for people that play infrequently and just to have fun. Rental bowling shoes are also made with shiny colors, making them easy to spot by bowling center personnel and preventing people from stealing them.
- Athletic Bowling Shoes
Athletic bowling shoes are of better quality when compared to rental shoes. Beginners and routine players typically use them. They are good quality shoes and have a better appearance than rental shoes.
It means that the sliding sole can last longer, have better arch support, and are generally more comfortable.
- Performance Shoes
Performance bowling shoes are specifically designed to support a player during a game, which means superior sliding soles, better breaks, and more comfort. As a result, those types of shoes are primarily used by professional and frequent players.
They are built with quality materials and are more expensive than universal or athletic shoes.
- Adjustable Soles
Bowling shoes with adjustable soles are perfect for players who want to customize how much they need to slide during the game and the intensity of the break. They are perfect for professional players.
- Right Or Left Handed Bowling Shoes
Bowling shoes are made for left-handed or right-handed people. The right-handed shoes have a sliding sole on the left shoe and a broken sole on the other shoe.
It is the opposite in the case of left-handed shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Worth It To Buy Bowling Shoes?
It is worth buying bowling shoes in case of frequent or professional players. Going to the bowling place occasionally doesn’t require a player to buy his own shoes. But if the games start to become regular, getting a pair of shoes is more convenient than renting them.
Are Rented Bowling Shoes Clean?
Generally, the personnel at the bowling center keep rented bowling shoes clean and sanitized. Bowlers can inspect the shoes they get for foul odors or other apparent problems to ensure they are in good condition.
What Is The Rental Cost Of Bowling Shoes?
Bowling shoes can be rented for a few dollars. Generally, renting a pair of bowling shoes can cost between $3 and $4. Some bowling places can charge more for rent. For frequent players, it is better to own at least a pair of bowling shoes to save on the renting costs.