Why Do Bowling Shoes Have No Grip? (We Find Out)

Anyone who played bowling knows how slippery bowling shoes are, which can cause some tumbles.  While the no-grip soles of the shoes are a simple concept, they affect how you play the game. Understanding shoe behavior is critical to be on our game. 

Bowling shoes have no grip so players can generate a smooth slide at the end of their approach to deliver their shot. Momentum and consistent speed are crucial to controlling and delivering the bowling ball with accuracy and force. No-grip bowling shoes also prevent permanent damage on bowling lanes. 

If you are wondering how no-grip bowling shoes can help your game, keep reading as we have the answer.

Why Do Bowling Shoes Have No Grip?

  • Bowling shoes should allow you to glide smoothly
  • Slick shoes keep bowling lanes in pristine condition

If you have ever gone to bowling alleys, you may notice that they do not allow people to walk on bowling lanes using regular shoes. Instead, players need to change into bowling shoes that do not grip the floor at all. Here are the reasons why those shoes have no grip:

Bowling Shoes Should Allow You To Glide On Lanes

The bottom of bowling shoes has slick soles that prevent them from sticking to surfaces. This way, players can glide on wooden surfaces as they approach the bowling lane. With the bowling shoes allowing you to slide smoothly, you can find your perfect form while controlling how you release the ball.

Additionally, using no-grip shoes when bowling helps you gain momentum and speed. If your shoes are sticking to the floor as you slide, you will focus on how to move your body rather than delivering the ball. 

On the other hand, you can focus your strength on throwing the ball when you wear no-grip shoes. It increases your chances of hitting the target. (source)

Slick Shoes Keep The Pristine Condition Of Bowling Lanes

Bowling lanes have to be smooth and polished at all times. Regular shoes have dirt and particles stuck on their soles, which can leave permanent damage, like scuffs on the wooden floors of bowling lanes. 

Bowling shoes should not have a grip to prevent damage on the bowling lanes. The soles of bowling shoes do not leave marks and scratches on floors, no matter how much you slide on them.

How Do I Make My Bowling Shoes Less Slippery?

Bowlers can make their shoes less slippery by using these methods:

  • Use a shoe brush
  • Opt for bowling shoes with interchangeable soles

The more a bowler slides to the foul line, the greater momentum and force they can exert in throwing the ball. Wearing no-grip shoes is crucial for bowlers. 

However, it is equally essential that players are not sliding too far. When bowling shoes prompt a player to slide without any grip, they may cross over the foul line, invalidating the score they may get. For this reason, bowlers need to know how they can make their bowling shoes slide less.

Use A Shoe Brush

Constant pressure from wearing your bowling shoes can flatten their soles after some time. It results in the shoes sliding too much, making it difficult to control your movement. It would help if you scuffed the soles to make the shoes less slippery. You can use nylon or wire brush for better results. 

The shoe brush will create tiny scratches on the soles of your bowling shoes. These scratches will make the shoes less slippery, thus allowing you to play with better traction. Besides making your shoes slide less, brushing their soles will also remove any dirt on their surface.

The same goes if your bowling shoes have microfiber soles. As you use the shoes, the microfibers on the soles compress. It makes the shoes slide more than they should. 

To create more friction, brush the shoes’ microfibers in the opposite direction. This way, the fibers will fluff up, creating more friction as they slide against the bowling lane. (source)

Opt For Bowling Shoes With Interchangeable Soles

Investing in your own bowling shoes is ideal if you are a regular in bowling alleys. And if too much sliding is your problem when bowling, a pair of bowling shoes with interchangeable soles from my review could be an excellent option.

Bowling shoes with interchangeable soles allow you to customize how much slide or traction you need for a game. These shoes come with removable soles, which provide different levels of slides. This way, you can pick soles depending on how much traction you want the shoes to have.

Making Bowling Shoes More Slippery

While some bowling shoes lack grip, some also have too much. Too much traction can ruin your game by preventing you from moving correctly. Fortunately, you can make your bowling shoes more slippery. 

One way to increase the sliding power of your bowling shoes is to rub the soles with bowling powder. The powder prevents bowling shoes from sticking to the bowling lane while you are approaching to take a strike. The more friction your bowling shoes have, the more powder you need to make them slippery. 

If you do not want to use bowling powder on your shoes, another method you can try is to wear them tightly. Loose bowling shoes allow your feet to wiggle, preventing you from putting firm pressure on the shoes as you slide. Tightening your shoelaces removes the unnecessary looseness of the shoes, allowing you to slide better. (source)

Summing Things Up

Why do bowling shoes have no grip? Bowling shoes need to slide on bowling lanes to help you move smoothly. You can position your body and throw the ball without your feet sticking on the lane. 

In addition, bowling lanes are delicate. They must always stay polished, and wearing no-grip bowling shoes is the best way to prevent scratches on these lanes. 

The right pair of no-grip shoes combined with a bit of traction can ensure that you can always knock down the bowling pins. 

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