Bowling Shoes for Sliding: Fun Way to Try for Beginners

If you’re just getting started in the world of bowling, there’s a good chance you’ve been wondering about those funky-looking shoes everyone seems to be sliding around in – yes, we’re talking about bowling shoes! While they might seem a tad odd to the uninitiated, they play a crucial role in the game, and especially in mastering the art of the slide.


What Is Sliding In Bowling?

It’s that smooth, almost dance-like step you see experienced bowlers take right before they release the ball. This final step, executed with your non-dominant foot, is called the ‘slide’. Sliding helps in maintaining balance and controlling the speed and direction of your throw.

How to Make a Good Slide in Bowling

Perfecting your slide in bowling is key to improving your game. Here are a few steps to get you started:

  1. Positioning: Begin by standing at the start of the approach area. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and stay relaxed.
  2. Approach: Start your approach by stepping forward with your non-dominant foot. Take a total of four or five steps toward the foul line, depending on what is comfortable for you.
  3. Slide: On your last step, slide your foot smoothly along the surface instead of stepping down. This should be your non-dominant foot, and it should coincide with the release of the ball.
  4. Balance: As you slide, keep your balance by extending your dominant leg behind you. This acts as a counterbalance and helps stabilize your body during the slide and release.

Are There Bowling Shoes That Improve Sliding?

Indeed, there are!

These shoes are specially designed with a leather or synthetic sole that allows for a smooth, controlled slide:

Athletic bowling shoes are similar to regular sneakers and are a great choice for casual bowlers or beginners. They’re comfortable and will give a consistent slide on various bowling surfaces.

Performance bowling shoes: With different soles on each shoe, they provide a better slide and more control. The sliding foot shoe has a slick leather sole, while the other shoe has a rubber sole for braking and stability.

Where to Buy Bowling Shoes for Sliding?

When you’re ready to make the leap and purchase your own pair of bowling shoes, there are various places, both online and offline, where you can find the perfect pair to boost your slide game:

Specialty sporting goods stores

They often carry a wide range of bowling equipment, including shoes. These stores are a great place to start as they often have knowledgeable staff who can help you find the right fit and style for your needs.

Online platforms

They offer an extensive variety of bowling shoes to cater to different skill levels and preferences. Ensure to read reviews and compare prices before making a purchase.

The Price of Bowling Shoes for Sliding

For those just starting off, athletic bowling shoes are typically more affordable, with prices usually beginning around $30 to $40.

As you advance in your bowling journey, you might want to consider investing in performance bowling shoes. These often come with a heftier price tag due to their specialized design and materials, typically ranging from $70 to well over $200.

Do Bowling Shoes for Sliding Cost More?

Yes! Bowling shoes designed specifically for sliding tend to cost more than standard bowling shoes.

The main reason for this is the specialized materials and design that go into making them. They often feature a leather or synthetic sole on one shoe to facilitate a smooth slide, with a rubber sole on the other shoe for braking – a combination that regular bowling shoes do not offer.

Tips to Take Care of Your Bowling Shoes for Sliding

Because these Bowling shoes will cost you more, here are some tips to help you extend the lifespan of your valuable sliding shoes:

  1. Chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents when cleaning your bowling shoes. Instead, opt for a mild soap and warm water. Utilize a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the soles and the uppers of the shoes.
  2. Drying: Never expose your bowling shoes to direct heat to dry them. This can cause the glue to weaken and the soles to warp. Let them air dry at room temperature.
  3. Storage: Store your shoes in a cool, dry place and maintain them in a bowling shoe cover when not in use to protect them from dirt and dust.
  4. Extra Sole Care: The sole of your bowling shoe is crucial for a good slide. Keep it clean and smooth by regularly brushing with a soft shoe brush. Use a sliding stone to remove any debris and maintain optimal performance. If detachable, consider having an extra set of soles for easy replacement. Ensure they’re dry before storing to prevent moisture damage.

Should Beginners Practice To Slide In Bowling

Yes, beginners should definitely try to slide in bowling.

Sliding helps maintain balance during the release of the ball, controlling both the speed and direction of your throw. Just make sure to start off slow and steady, and with time, you’ll find your comfort zone.

Should Beginners Buy Their Own Sliding Shoes

While it isn’t necessary for beginners to invest in their own sliding bowling shoes immediately, but we highly recommended to purchase your own regular bowling shoes.

Owning your own bowling shoes is more cost-effective than renting them every time. It guarantees a comfortable and consistent fit, which is crucial for refining your technique. Beginners can practice and improve their technique with regular bowling shoes that offer adequate slide. As you progress, you may want to invest in specialized sliding bowling shoes for enhanced slide and control.


Perfecting your slide in bowling can significantly enhance your game, and the right pair of bowling shoes can make all the difference.

Whether you’re a beginner just dipping your toes into the fascinating world of bowling or an experienced player seeking to step up your game, investing in good quality bowling shoes designed for sliding can prove to be a game-changer. Remember, everyone’s bowling journey is unique, and it’s all about finding the right balance between comfort, control, and style.


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