Are You Allowed To Bowl With A Boot On?

Bowling is a sport that requires movement, strategy, and stability. So, footwear is key to good bowling.

Boots or other footwear are not allowed or recommended for bowling. This sport has its own rules and special shoes designed for the comfort and protection of the players. These give the players proper ergonomics for good technique. 

Can You Bowl With A Walking Boot? Is It Allowed?

After an injury, it is recommended to wear walking boots. But you must not and are not allowed to use it for bowling. The rules of this sport specify that you can only play with bowling shoes. These shoes are designed so that you can play comfortably and safely.

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If you need to wear orthopedic shoes or walking shoes, ideally, you should wait to heal from your injury before playing again. But if you feel that you cannot wait to return to play, then you should first consult with an orthopedic doctor or a physical therapist for their recommendation in that case. They may tell you to rest, but if you decide to ignore this, the other option would be to make custom bowling shoes until you recover from the condition.

Why Are Players Required To Wear Bowling Shoes?

“Bowling shoes are specialized footwear designed for use with either the wooden or synthetic approaches in a bowling center.” The use of bowling shoes by customers while bowling is a requirement that all center owners enforce to take care of each player’s health and safety.

Wearing “street shoes” like boots or regular sneakers at bowling alleys can cause damage, scratch, or mark the floor and may also bring in dirt and moisture from the outside. If a bowler steps on it, he could fall and fracture himself. Moisture or any other slippery or sticky substance on the sole of a shoe can cause a fall and severe injury.

Bowling centers seek to avoid accidents and avoid dangers for customers by taking safety measures. Whether owned or rented, bowling shoes are designed to slide effortlessly across the floor and will not damage wooden or synthetic accesses. In the same way, these are free of dirt and debris that street shoes will have on them.

How Bowling Shoes Help Bowlers?

The first thing to know about the subject is that bowling shoes are usually made of leather and rubber. Their soles look a lot like bowling alleys themselves, meaning they’re both made to be super slippery.

Wearing this unique shoe helps you slide while bowling. This is extremely important because it allows you to achieve a smoother movement. But conversely, if you stay glued to the ground while throwing your bowling ball, you may not have as much control as you normally would. But bowling shoes not only help you with your technique, but they can also help prevent bowler injuries by allowing proper body movement after a ball is rolled down a lane. Getting stuck instead of sliding could result in a knee, ankle, or foot injury.

Without a stop mechanism, bowlers could continue to slide down. For this reason, the heels of the shoes are usually made of rubber, which helps you stop sliding after you throw the ball.

How to choose the right bowling shoes?

It is essential to know that a good pair of bowling shoes should offer great support and comfort. And if you wear the same shoe every time you go bowling, it will constantly slip during each game.

Bowling shoes should be designed for bowlers who play with the left or right hand. This means that the soles have similar characteristics on both sides of the shoe. That is why each shoe has a rubber heel that prevents the bowler from sliding completely down the lane. But some more experienced players have to make their own custom pairs of shoes because they only throw with one of their hands.

Bowlers are always looking for a balance between power, balance, and traction. Many performance shoes can be upgraded. This means that you can easily change the leather sole on any shoe to modify the length of its glide. Modifications are recommended if you enjoy bowling at different bowling alleys because each approach is different.

Another thing to keep in mind is that bowling shoes should not fit too tight or too loose. It is very likely that if the footwear does not provide you wiggle room, you will have balance problems on the approach.

For your bowling shoe to provide you with the stability and support you need during a game, you must ensure that both the linings and collars of your shoe are padded. For added comfort, it is also recommended to choose a shoe that has a cushioned insole.

Bowling shoes are designed like traditional shoes, so you can find one that fits you perfectly at any bowling shoe store.

What Happens If You Do Not Wear Proper Shoes For Bowling?

Dirt and debris from your street shoes can dirty the lanes and make them less slippery, affecting your game and requiring more clean-up time by bowling alley staff. This debris could even scratch the surface of the lane of the bowling centers, which could cost them extra because it is very difficult to repair. This could also increase the cost to play, which is not good for customers either.

Common Injuries From Bowling With The Wrong Shoes

The main injuries that could result from bowling in the wrong shoes are sprained ankles and fractures. If you wear your regular shoes, with which you go to work or run, you could cause one of these injuries. These shoes, not designed for bowling, can slip more than necessary or could otherwise cause them to get stuck on the lane.

Also, your arm and your back can be affected by wearing the wrong shoes. If you don’t throw the ball correctly, you could even tear a muscle. A repetitive movement that is done incorrectly can affect both tendons and muscles.

How Long Does It Take To Heal Foot Injuries?

If we are talking about mild to moderate injuries, it will take 2-4 weeks to fully heal. However, more serious injuries, such as those that require a cast or splint, will take much longer to heal. We are talking about 6 or 8 weeks. But those injuries that require surgical intervention to rebuild bones and for ligaments to heal can take 6 to 8 months for your full recovery. In the same way, therapy will be needed to maintain mobility and strength in the limb.

The Importance Of Wearing The Correct Bowling Shoe

Aside from their sleek design, bowling shoes are designed so that they can slide down the lanes with a much smoother motion. This must be taken into account if what you want is to throw a good ball. A normal shoe would stick to the lanes, which could cause an accident due to sudden stops, and would also prevent you from making the correct sliding motion.

Aside from safety, bowling shoes also protect the lanes. If they allowed people to play in their normal walking shoes on the street, they would dirty and damage the lanes.

This means that using bowling shoes, which, apart from helping you play better, also protects you and others from possible accidents and injuries.

Some Popular Bowling Shoe Brands

  • Linds bowling shoes: Although not as stylish as other brands, Linds Classic designs various bowling shoes for women and unique bowling shoes for men. These shoes are also more affordable, so they do not have interchangeable features.
  • Dexter bowling shoes: These are very popular shoes among bowlers. This company manufactures athletic and high-performance footwear for casual and professional bowlers.
  • Brunswick Warrior shoes: This is a renowned company that designs bowling shoes for men, women, children, and bowling balls.


It does not matter if you are a new player, amateur, or professional. It is essential to know that to play bowling, you need to use specialized footwear. A good pair of bowling shoes will help you slide across the hardwood floor, giving you good support and balance at the same time.

To avoid any type of injury or fracture and to be able to enjoy this sport, you must know what the characteristics that bowling shoes should have are. One of them is the rubber soles. These, as we already know, prevent you from sliding until you fall.

Never dare to wear your boots or any other type of footwear for the street in a bowling match so that you avoid an accident. You must take care of yourself and the other bowlers.

You have to think about the other players and the bowling centers that need to take care of each of their clients. So for safety and protection, buy some good ergonomic and tailored bowling shoes. Not only will you play better, but you will also avoid injuries and accidents.

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