The Best Bowling Shoes

Brunswick Flyer Bowling Shoes

Our Top Pick for 2016: Brunswick Flyer Bowling Shoes
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $39.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

The art of bowling has been traced all the way back to Ancient Egyptian times, as far back as the year 3200 BC. As one of humanity’s oldest forms of competition, much time has been invested into understanding the factors that can contribute to the highest level of play. Alongside the bowler’s form and the bowling ball itself, bowling shoes are one of these vital factors that can’t be ignored.

Bowling shoes are slippery to help you glide along the surface of the lane more easily, but their convenience for the wearer doesn’t end there; comfort and stability are even more important. The following bowling shoes have been rated as some of the most reliable and highest-quality shoes on the market for pro-bowlers and casual bowlers alike.

Table of contents

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Defined Heel
Synthetic
Lace-to-toe Upper Pattern
Fully Fabric Lined
Soft Durable Man-made Upper
Extra-long S8 Microfiber Slide Soles
S8 Microfiber Slide Soles
Padded Tongue And Collar
Synthetic
Rubber
Non-marking Rubber Outsole
Fully Fabric-lined
Non-marking Rubber Outsole
Microfiber Slide Pad On Both Feet
Defined Horseshoe Heel

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Brunswick Flyer Bowling Shoes

Brunswick Flyer Bowling Shoes Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $39.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerBrunswick Flyer bowling shoes are manufactured with a soft, durable man-made upper. The uniquely ergonomic construction of the shoes is billed as Komfort Fit, which preserves their durability while accommodating the wearer’s foot with optimized comfort. The tongue and collar of the shoes add to the comfort of the shoe, as they’re padded and lined with ergonomic textile.

The outsoles of the shoes are made of rubber and designed to be non-marking, giving the wearer a base of traction that is both flexible and stable at the same time. Because the outsole is non-marking, the wearer won’t need to worry about accidentally leaving ugly friction stains on the floor while they bowl.

The sides of the shoes have been specially designed to increase the fluidity and effectiveness of the bowler’s form. With FlexSlide Technology implementation, the shoes have been outfitted with microfiber slide pads on both feet. The microfiber slide pads can assist users who may still need to work on building up proper momentum in their steps before they release the bowling ball down the lane.

Since the shoes are run in true size, they fit right on the average users’ foot just as easily as would normally be expected from a casual shoe worn in day-to-day life. Customers should be advised to compare the size of these bowling shoes to the standard men and women’s shoe sizes in order to select the best possible fit.

The shoes are specially designed so that they can be used with equal effectiveness by both right-handed and left-handed users alike. Vegan customers can purchase the shoes with the assurance that they are non-leather and completely free of any animal materials in their construction. All of the materials making up these bowling shoes are completely man-made.

The majority of customers have testified that the shoes are a perfectly comfortable fit. When buying the shoes in a size that corresponds to their normal shoe size for everyday wear, customers commonly find that the interior of the shoes are even roomier than they initially anticipated.

While many bowling shoes ordered online can give customers a nasty surprise of not matching the advertised size, people who have reviewed the Brunswick Flyer shoes have found the shoe size specifications to be reliable and a great bang for their buck.

One bowler testified that they found the shoes to be especially high in value when compared to the shoe selection that was available in their local sporting goods stores. The bowler ordered their shoes in a size 12, and they were very happy to find that they were an exact fit. In their experience, they had often found that ordering shoes online resulted in getting shoes from countries with different size chart standards.

Another owner testified that they were also impressed by what a comfortable fit the shoes were. The owner found that the Brunswick Flyer shoes were actually a fair bit more comfortable than the other bowling shoes that they’d given a try in the past. They were initially a bit uncertain about whether or not they’d have enough time to break in the shoes in time for an upcoming competition, but the shoes were delivered swiftly and their natural fit was perfectly satisfying.

In another testimony, a customer testified that they had purchased the shoes in a size 13 for her husband. She reported that her husband found them slightly snug and yet still comfortable at the same time when he first put them on, and in time, the shoe stretched out into an absolutely perfect fit.

These Flyer bowling shoes are available in sizes 6 to 14, and each size can be bought in either a US or non-US variation. The price range of all different sizes of the shoe, from smallest to largest, is between $27.95 and $57.95. The shoes may either be purchased in a black color scheme or a white color scheme.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Dexter Ricky III Bowling Shoes

Dexter Ricky III Bowling Shoes

View it on Amazon for $39.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerDexter Men’s Ricky III bowling shoes feature upper construction that’s made for both softness and durability. The outsole of the shoes has a tough and flexible rubber composition that won’t leave any marks on the lane that the wearer bowls on. To make the shoes even more stable, the outsole has a defined heel.

The tongue and the collar of the shoe have been fully lined with padding to make them as comfortable as possible while the wearer goes through their game. The combination of strength and comfort creates a shoe that the user can count on to be consistently supportive for as long as it’s needed.

Both sides of the shoes are built with slide pads that help the wearer have more flow and glide on the lane when they’re building up momentum for their next roll. The slides are not made of leather, and neither are any of the other materials used in the construction of the shoe. All materials making up the shoe are 100% man-made, which should please those who don’t like using any animal-based products.

One customer testified that anyone who’s thinking about buying bowling shoes should first think about the price that they’re usually paying for renting out shoes at the alley. Even if the price is only $3 or $4, the customer stated that investing in a pair of reliable bowling shoes like the Ricky III’s is an intelligent investment even if the owner only goes bowling a few times a year.

The customer particularly liked how the Ricky III shoes look so similar to casual street shoes with their semi-skateboarder style. The customer found that the shoes actually felt like casual sneakers just as much as they looked like casual sneakers. The customer stated that a good friend of theirs decided to get the Ricky III’s in white, and they were so comfortable that he nearly forgot to take them off before leaving the alley.

Overall, the customer found that Dexter builds a shoe that can be counted for strong stitching and reliably sturdy materials. While the customer believes the slip-away pads may wear away with time, they had yet to see any signs of it happening at the time of their review. Due to being advised by experienced bowlers that wear-and-tear is natural aspect of the average bowling shoe’s lifespan, they were happy that Dexter sells replacement slip pads just in case.

The customer suggested that any owners like he and his friend, who both highly value appearance and comfort, would be more than pleased with the Ricky III’s. After owning them for a year, he reported that he had no regrets and couldn’t imagine bowling without them before.

These shoes are available between sizes 6 and 15, with “Wide” variations available for certain size variations. The range in prices for all of the different sizes of the shoes is between $28.95 and $46.94. The shoes can either be purchased in a black/red color variation or a white/black color variation.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Dexter Jack Bowling Shoes

Dexter Jack Bowling Shoes

View it on Amazon for $44.95*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardDexter Jack bowling shoes are made with universal soles that keep the wearer perfectly grounded while they’re bowling. The shoes are constructed with a soft yet durable upper, giving the wearer a full range of motion and support for the entire duration of their bowling session.

The outsole of the shoe is made with non-marking rubber, and the heel of the shoe has been crafted with a defined Horseshoe shape to provide optimal support at all times. The soles of both shoes are made in the S8 microfiber slide style, ensuring that the user always has a smooth glide when they’re prepping for their next roll.

The lace-to-toe design gives the wearer a decent amount of leeway to customize the fit to their exact specifications. To make the shoes a comfortable fit, the collar and tongue have been fully padded and lined with soft fabric. Every piece of the shoe is synthetically man-made, without any leather or animal-based materials used in any part of the manufacturing process.

One customer testified that they had become interested in bowling just two years prior to trying out the Dexter Jack bowling shoes for the first time. Bowling quickly became the customer’s new favorite hobby. After renting out many different pairs of shoes from their local bowling alley, they decided that investing in their own pair would be a wise way to save money in the long term.

The customer stated that they generally weren’t the type of person who always rushes to buy the top-of-the-line product as their first choice, and the Dexter Jack bowling shoes appealed to them due to their humbleness and affordability. The customer very much enjoyed how the shoes were aesthetically pleasing without being too flashy or obnoxiously colorful.

At the moment that they put the Dexter Jack bowling shoes on for the first time, they were immediately pleased at how comfortable they were. The customer quickly realized that the comfort of the shoes was very much beyond what they had been led to expect from any other bowling shoes within the same price range. The customer even went as far as saying that the Dexter Jack bowling shoes were quite possibly even more comfortable than the normal street shoes they wore on a regular basis.

The only drawback that the customer mentioned was the fact that the microfiber soles of the bowling shoes have potential to wear out slightly faster than what some bowler’s might be accustomed to; this, however, was not such a severe problem to be a deal-breaker. The customer found that the price and comfort of the shoes made them confident enough to buy multiple pairs and recommend them to any recreational bowlers who need good shoes for light to moderate use.

Dexter Jack bowling shoes are available between sizes 6 US and 15 US, and price range for all of the shoes is between $37.45 and $54.99. The shoes are exclusively available in a black/white color scheme, and at US-standardized sizes.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Pyramid Ram Black Bowling Shoes

Pyramid Ram Black Bowling Shoes

View it on Amazon for $34.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickPyramid Ram Black bowling shoes are made with an easy break-in universal sole that allows users to achieve a very smooth slide in their form. The shoes are equally usable by both right-handed and left-handed bowlers alike. The classic styling appeals to users who like to have shoes with an understated yet uniquely attractive aesthetic.

Customers testify that the shoes are far more comfortable than what’s typically available for rental at the bowling alley. One customer was particularly pleased at how the shoestrings can draw the tongue closed without feeling the top of the shoe pinch their foot, which was something that always bothered them with various other types of other footwear. The customer found that while the shoes were quite slippery, the traction on the soles steadily improved as they continued to bowl with them on a regular basis.

Pyramid Ram Black bowling shoes are available in US-standardized sizes between 7 and 13. Every size of the shoe can be purchased for the price of $34.99. All Ram Black bowling shoes can be purchased with a 2- year warranty, with eco-friendly packaging that doesn’t include a shoe box.


Pre-purchase considerations

Ergonomic fit

No matter how accurate your bowling normally is, a bowling shoe that painfully constricts your foot every time that you go for another roll can seriously hurt your score. You’ll want to consider whether or not the bowling shoe that you’re interested in can be expected to gradually adjust to the unique contour of your foot over time. It’s unlikely that the shoe will perfectly match the shape of your foot right out of the box, but after enough consistent use, you’ll find that the higher-quality shoes almost feel like a natural extension of your body.

Construction durability

In addition to actually fitting the contour of your foot, the ideal bowling shoe should be made of the kind of material that’s strong enough to meet the test of time. If you want to make sure that your bowling shoe isn’t going to rip apart at the seams the next time you go for a hard roll, then it would be very wise to make sure that the shoe has a reputation for being able to withstand frequent punishment. The testimonies of other owners of the shoe will generally provide you with enough insight into the durability of the material during extended games.

Tongue and collar

While they may seem inconsequential at a glance, the tongue and collar of bowling shoes play a role in the overall comfort of the wearing experience. Even if the majority of the shoe’s interior is cozy enough, if the tongue and the collar aren’t ergonomic enough, your performance could be subtly worsened by the cumulative discomfort over time. You’ll generally be the most comfortable with a bowling shoe that covers all of its ergonomic bases with a padded tongue and collar.

Upper material

Depending on the manufacturer, certain shoe manufacturers may construct the upper material of the shoe out of material that is more soft and pliable than other bowling shoes. The most effective upper material of bowling shoes will usually give you an optimum balance between flexibility and stability. You want the shoe’s upper to be soft enough to flex alongside the arch of your step, but at the same time, it should be tough enough to keep from tearing after repeated tension.

Outsole material

The outsole is easily one of the most vital aspects of any athletic shoe, and bowling shoes are no exception. Many high-quality bowling shoes will be made with a rubber or universal outsole. The outsole should provide you with enough traction to have the necessary stability in your bowling form, while mitigating the chances of creating unsightly marks on the bowling lane.

Heel definition

At a crucial point in many serious bowler’s rolls, they’ll have to pivot in a manner that puts the majority of their weight onto the heel. Even if the space of time in which the pressure is allocated to the heel is brief, it’s still a critical aspect of getting the perfect roll. Depending on your particular bowling style, the exact degree of importance for heel support may or may not be as high as others, but it will still be impossible to ignore; therefore, it would be wise to make sure that the bowling shoe you decide on has a strong, defined heel that can absorb all of the pressure place on it during play.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Bowling shoes are much more than just mandatory, colorful decoration pieces for your feet while you’re on the lane. The right or wrong choice on bowling shoes matters, whether you’re a professional or just a casual bowler who wants to enjoy the game comfortably. Many factors play into just how much a bowling shoe can improve or hinder your performance at a critical moment during the game.

Ensure the new footwear you choose have the right combination of durability and pliability to make them equally flexible with tough against repeated pressure. The heel, outsole, upper surface, collar, tongue, and general construction material will all play into the performance of the shoe in their own way. The right bowling shoes will not only be a comfortable fit, but also ergonomically adaptable to the natural contour of your feet over time.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Dori Pinkerton, Why are bowling shoes necessary, LiveHealthy.com, October 5, 2013
  2. Wonderopolis contributors, Why are bowling shoes slippery, Wonderopolois.org, October 7, 2013
  3. Bowling Museum contributors, History of bowling, BowlingMuseum.com, January 30, 2015
  4. About Sports contributors, Why do you have to wear bowling shoes, Bowling.About.com, May 9, 2016
  5. Encyclopedia contributors, Bowling, Encyclopedia.com, January 1, 2005
  6. Pin Chasers contributors, Bowling’s fun facts, Pinchasers.net, February 23, 2015

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