Finding the perfect equipment for any sport can be difficult, and bowling is no exception, especially for those who are serious about it. Most who bowl use house equipment, but if renting someone else’s shoes doesn’t do it for you, you can get your own pair from numerous sources.
Shopping online has become the way to go, and finding bowling shoes is no exception. Every major bowling alley and corporation has a website, and most also have a brand of equipment that can be ordered off said site. Brunswick has its own line of balls, shoes, braces, and other equipment that can be bought from its website, and the same applies to many smaller corporations. Many sites advertise that they have cheap shoes, the best prices, and the best deals, but make sure you see a picture of the shoes you’re buying so you know their color and condition. Also, make sure the site has a return policy; bowling shoes don’t always adhere to regular footwear sizes.
Bowling shoes themselves come in plenty of varieties. Colors vary, so if you’re on a league or team, you can order them to match your shirt or your teammates. Some bowling shoes have laces and others have Velcro, so you have to decide on the style you want. You’ll never trip over Velcro, but the laces give the shoe a classic look.
In-store purchases can be made for everything from balls to shoes to bowling bags. Most bowling alleys, especially those that are a part of a franchise (Brunswick, AMF) have their shop right in the alley, complete with catalogs, order forms, and a repair shop. The shoes they offer have their insignia on them, but tend to be very good quality shoes. Often times, the shoes will even come with a warranty. Buying shoes through an in-store shop has its disadvantages, the largest of which being that they tend to have a higher price tag. Also, you generally have to wait for the shoes (or other merchandise) to be ordered and shipped since the shops don’t carry a large stock.
Sport supply and equipment stores may or may not offer bowling shoes, so call ahead or check their website before you make the trip. Sports Authority and similar stores normally sell bowling accessories, but keep in mind that the selection will be minimal. Bowling isn’t considered a mainstream sport, so they may only carry a couple varieties, and may not have your size. If you luck out and find the perfect shoe there, not only can you try them on for comfort, you can take them home that day, at a reasonable price.