Have you ever wondered about the real need to wear bowling shoes? Not only are these shoes costly, but the shoes themselves are quite unappealing such that people often think of bowling with their own regular shoes. Regardless of the skill set of the bowler, bowling shoes are a must-have to perform the game properly and effectively and without sustaining injury.
Special shoes for bowling are needed for safety first and performances. These shoes should be clean with a smooth sole so you can walk up toward the pins and swing your ball into the lane without tripping or sticking on anything. Regular shoes won’t do this.
Bowling shoes are usually made of leather and rubber. Their outsoles serve like the bowling lanes themselves. The shoes are also designed to be pretty slick, which is important as it allows you to move smoothly. Sticking to the floor when you’re about to throw the ball means that you will not have the much-needed leverage for the best performance.
Good bowling shoes also help to avoid injuries as they enhance sufficient body movement after the ball is thrown down the lane. If the bowler sticks rather than sliding, their knees, ankles, or leg could get hurt.
As mentioned before, bowling shoes’ soles are made to be super smooth. However, the heels are mostly made of rubber, which prevents you from sliding after you throw the ball. In absence of these mechanisms, the bowler could start sliding until they fall. With this comparative slick, seamless sole design, bowling shoes enable your legs to slide just a little.
Are Vans Shoes Good For Bowling?
Founded in Anaheim, California, Vans is an American manufacturer of skateboarding shoes and related clothing. The company is operated by VF corporation: a group that also supports snowboarding and BMX, surfing, and motocross squads. Unfortunately, Vans, with their rubber soles are all like the direct inverse of bowling shoes.
Vans are designed for grasping the top of a skateboard. That means Vans shoes cannot be used for bowling unless you change the sole first. As in the case of most wood or synthetic approaches, you’ll require a sole that slides comfortably on the approach to prevent injury or harm from occurring.
Also, while this is really critical, you might want to ask the bowling alley instructor if it is appropriate before you decide to use Vans for bowling. Chances are they won’t approve it and you don’t want to be humiliated by stopping the game and asking your and your team to leave.
What Type of Shoes Are Ideal for Bowling?
Similar to most other sports, bowling allows you to wear a special pair of shoes. Sneakers or tennis shoes are very sticky and will often make you hesitate when you reach the foul line. At this point, you’ll be at risk of injuries and since the shoes leave away scuff marks, mud, and other unwanted debris, other bowlers will also be at risk. That’s why good bowling shoes are made with gliding/sliding motion in consideration.
Bowling shoes usually come in three styles: Rented shoes, Athletic shoes, and Performance shoes.
Rented shoes are quite unappealing such that bowlers rent and then return them at the end of the session. These shoes can be a great idea especially if you’re only bowling once or twice a year. However, if you’re planning to go more regularly, or to join a team, then you’ll have to invest in a set of your own shoes.
Rental shoes usually cost about $4 every time you head to the bowling alley. That means if you go bowling seven times, you’ll end up spending $28- enough to purchase a cheaper pair of bowling shoes.
Performance bowling shoes are made with various soles styles on each foot, depending on whether you’re left or right-handed. One foot is designed to brake (your primary foot) and the other one is a slipping shoe (on the opposite foot).
For example, if you have a bowl on your right side, the sliding shoe would be on your left foot. The benefits of wearing a brake shoe are that it enhances stability and helps to balance your body during a performance. In other terms, performance bowling shoes feature interchangeable soles so that the slide complements your skills as well as the bowling ground.
Athletic bowling shoes are designed for both beginners and advanced bowlers. In fact, these shoes look more like regular sneakers. They even feature the regular sliding/gliding sole. Athletic bowling shoes are ideal for bowlers who normally bowl almost every week in a bowling alley without modifying their approach.
These shoes also provide greater leverage over your playing, as opposed to rented shoes that often differ in consistency and fit.
While league bowling sessions can seem like a really long night, especially if your legs are not relaxed, athletic bowling shoes are meant to subside some of the pressure and exhaustion on your legs. For those who bowl more than once a week at different bowling alleys, athletic shoes might be a great consideration. They are much more precisely designed for your bowl style and engineered to fit different approaches.
The Bottom Line
The main difference between bowling shoes and regular Vans sneakers stems from the sole. With bowling shoes, there are sliding soles on each side to accommodate a left or right-handed bowler. Bowling shoes’ soles are also soft and have no heels as opposed to typical sneakers, which can be slippery.
However, in case you have a hard-to-fit foot, or are looking for more trendy, exclusive footwear, you can count on just about any regular shoe for bowling. You can choose from styles like shoes with zippers, laces or straps, shoes with customizable soles, or heels to accommodate any number of lane approach conditions. Also, subject to your needs, you can opt for shoes that match both right and left-handed bowlers.