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Bowling Shoes Buyer Guide

The Perfect, Easiest, and Fastest Bowling Shoes Buyer’s Guide: The First Guide On The Internet Made To Help You Find The Perfect Combo of Price, Comfort, Performance, Style, Design, and Durability For Your or Your Kid’s Next Pair of Bowling Shoes

Let me guess…

You want the cheapest pair of bowling shoes but you don’t want a pair that’s:

• ugly

• gives you blisters

• and you only wear once.

Am I right?

Good, cause I got you covered.

You might already know about how my daughters and my passion for bowling inspired me to create a line of products for women bowlers.

I saw a poorly served segment of the bowling market and wanted to do something about it.

That’s also why I wanted to write this article and help you quickly find a pair of bowling shoes, in any price range and all styles.

And after you read this, you’ll be able to do two things:

First, you’re going to find the best pair of bowling shoes for you, which means you don’t have to deal with returns or, in case you wanted a refund, you don’t have to wait for your credit card company to credit you back.

And second, more importantly, you’ll be happier with the pair of bowling shoes you buy because they’ll perform exactly the way you expected.

In just 2 or 3 minutes of your time, you’ll not only get the convenience of having this article narrow down your choices based on what matters most to you…

But you’ll buy the right pair of shoes without going over your budget.

How cool is that?

This way you can stay in your budget without sacrificing everything else that matters to you, like bowling shoe design, performance, durability, and comfort.

The Cheapest Bowling Shoes

If you came here to find the cheapest pair of bowling shoes, I’m not going to stop you.

But if you want to get the best pair for you while still saving a lot of money, let’s first look at the four questions most people ask when selecting their bowling footwear.

4 FAQs To Help You Make The Most of This Bowling Shoe Buyer Guide

1. Exactly how much do new bowling shoes cost?

A good pair of new bowling shoes can cost anywhere from twenty to forty bucks for a pair of Returned Bowling Shoes or a pair from the Deep Discounted Bowling Shoes pages.

Huge name brands, like Dexter, sometimes cost over two-hundred dollars.

And because of this huge price range, this article will help you narrow down your choices.

2. Why Bowling Shoes?

There are no official USBC rules against wearing sneakers. However, bowlers are required to wear bowling shoes if the center’s policy says so.

And one reason bowling centers have a policy against non-bowling shoes is because regular sneakers track dirt onto the approach, or worse, destroy it.

So, think of your investment into bowling shoes as a way for bowling centers to keep their overall costs down.

Because if they had to clean and repair the approach more often, the cost of bowling would go up.

This answer usually leads people asking…

3. What’s the difference between regular shoes (or sneakers) and proper bowling shoes?

Can you bowl in a regular pair of sneakers if you strictly use them to bowl (and don’t wear them out in the street)?

Let me answer this question with my own question:

Would you play roller hockey in steel-toed construction boots?

No, you’ll play like garbage. It’s the same thing with bowling shoes.

Technically you could wear sneakers (again, check your bowling center’s policies), but it’s still a bad idea because they’ve got too much traction and won’t give you a smooth slide.

Do you know what happens if you can’t slide your leg out of the way?

You’ll wonk your whole release and your game will be a mess.

Don’t wear construction boots to play roller hockey and don’t wear regular sneakers to bowl.

And, finally…

4. How do you choose which bowling shoes to buy?

The rest of this article goes on to describe the biggest factors you should consider when buying a new pair of bowling shoes.

By far, the most important factor is your bowling skill level. That’s why it’s the first factor I dive into.

The other factors are not in any order.

Your Skill Level

The reason why your skill level is the top factor is because it tells you two key things:

One, it tells you how committed you are to the sport.

If you’re committed and you bowl league or tournaments to win money (or want to), then you should set a higher budget (or no budget at all) because you want to invest in bowling footwear that’ll give you a higher chance for a return on your money.

And secondly, your skill level tells you how committed you’ve been.

These two reasons sound similar but the difference is, the first reason sets the expectation for how often your bowling shoes need to work for you…

And the second reason proves your commitment. It’s basically a way to check that you’re not kidding yourself, because I’d hate for you to spend your hard earned money on something like the Brunswick Mens Punisher Black and Neon Green Bowling Shoes and you wear them once.

Not that how you spend your money is any of my business but I’d rather know I gave you my best advice above anything else.

With that said, let me share my top 5 bowling shoes for serious bowlers not on a budget.

After that, I’ll share my top 5 list of bowling shoes for serious bowlers on a budget, and then I’ll have another list for casual bowlers. I’ll have separate lists for men and women.

Best-Selling Bowling Shoes for Serious Bowlers NOT on a Budget

These are on the high-end because of their durability, style, performance (to match your skill level), and design.

You buy these if you want to look good and bowl good because this is my “treat yourself” bowling shoes.

They’re all made by top industry brands, and so they’re all backed by reputable companies and guaranteed against any defects.


1. KR Strikeforce Men's Rage Gunmetal Black for right-handed bowlers

There’s nothing bad to say about these…

They look great, they’re comfortable because of the Ortholite 3D Deluxe Insole, and you’ll perform well on any lane because inside the box comes multiple microfiber slide pads.

Here’s a link to the wide width version.

2. Dexter Mens THE C9 Lazer Black (Right or Left Hand) Bowling Shoes

These Dexter’s have a modern look with it’s Lazer Cut leather material, which also increases your comfort because of better breathability (on top of the heavenly “Dexter Cloud9” EVA midsole).

Not only is this one of my favorite bowling shoes for pros and serious bowlers, but it’s got to be one of the most convenient shoes out there.

And it’s because with Dexter’s BOA lacing system, you don’t have to worry about tying your laces.

Here’s a link to the wide width version.

3. The 3G Mens Tour Ultra Black (Left Hand) bowling shoes offer the classic on “pro bowler on tour” look (obviously).

I have them for in the right hand version, too.

This is made from superior kangaroo leather and so the flexibility and durability are supreme.

There’s a rubber traction sole for ideal push-off, plus two more interchangeable soles and heels so you can dominate with the 3G Men’s Tour Ultra Black bowling shoes under any circumstance.


1. KR Strikeforce Women’s Maui Grey Bowling Shoes are feather light and one of the most comfortable shoes in the market. They are also available in black/plum.

2. Dexter Women's Ultra Black Abstract Bowling Shoes will have you making a statement on the lanes with their vibrant color. They also glow under blacklight. 

Down below I’ll have a section where I talk more about women’s bowling shoes, including my own line called SaVi.

Right now though, I’m going to show you what I think are the best bowling shoes for serious and pro bowlers on a budget.

Best-Selling Bowling Shoes for Serious Bowlers on a Budget

1. Hammer Rogue Black Carbon Bowling Shoes are a high end bowling shoe that will not break the bank. The left slide shoe has interchangeable soles that you can swap to your liking. We also carry the other KR slide sole options.

2. Brunswick Punisher Bowling Shoes are available in two different color options and are packed with extra slide soles and heels. (4 soles and 3 extra heels). The soles/heels alone are over a $60 value.

Best-Selling Bowling Shoes for Casual Bowlers (Or If You Don’t Know How Often You’ll Bowl)

Now let’s look at bowling shoes for the casual (or recreational) bowler.


1. You’re new to bowling,

2. You do not plan on bowling more than once a month, and,

3. You just want the cheapest bowling shoes that look cool (nothing like rented bowling alley shoes)…

…then here’s my top 5 pairs for you.


1. These are the KR Mens Flyer Mesh Black Steel bowling shoes and they’re under $40.

If you want bowling shoes that offer performance and comfort with a breathable mesh man-made upper, then this is one of the best casual bowling shoes you’ll find.

The contrast of the charcoal grey and black colors, along with the white Strikeforce logo on the tongue of the shoe, look amazing.

This is a great men’s bowling shoe if only bowling two to three times a month.

2. The Dexter Men's Drew Black and Red bowling shoes are on sale (at the time of writing this) for under $35 (originally $52.95).

If you want bowling shoes that look like sneakers (and feel just as comfortable), these are perfect for you.

They have a “Blucher pattern” (or “derby” style pattern, as some call it) which means the lacing style is open and unrestrictive.


1. The 3G Women's Kicks Black and Pink bowling shoes look great and can be used by right and left handed women bowlers.

These are almost entirely made with synthetic leather and the inside has full fabric padding, so you know these are as comfortable as they are beautiful.

2. These are the KR Women's Chill Mauve Bowling Shoes that actually look like a cute pair of sneakers rather than bowling shoes.

They’re perfect lightweight women’s bowling shoes and they comes in a mauve color.

But don’t worry about these looking dirty…

The KR Women’s Chill bowling shoe are easy to clean and maintain because of the KR Kanvas™ uppers they’re made from.

Now, I’m going to show you some of the most comfortable bowling shoes.

Some of the shoes may overlap with some of the ones I’ve already talked about but most will not.

Most Comfortable Bowling Shoes

Bowling shoe manufacturers know that bowlers don’t want soles so thin that they feel everything they walk on. They also know bowlers don’t want shoes with backs that rub against the back of your ankle and cut you. And they know that you want bowling shoes that your feet can breathe in.

Some shoes are made with cheap materials and do that to you, unfortunately. Therefore, comfort is a big selling point and priced accordingly when made with high quality materials.

When it comes to the most comfortable bowling shoes, you want to forget you’re wearing them.

The downside to that is, it means comfort can be kind of expensive.

However, I’m going to show you the best of both worlds – I know some under-the-radar bowling shoes that are super comfortable and priced well.

Most Comfortable Men’s Bowling Shoes

1. Made from their softest leather ever, the Dexter Men's T.H.E. 9 bowling shoes are the most comfortable bowling shoes for men.

T.H.E. stands for Toehold Hyperflex Engineering and is Dexter’s advanced patented technology design which allows the outer sole to flex better than any other bowling shoe without cracking.

So, not only are these the most comfortable shoe for your foot but Dexter’s designed the sole in a way no other bowling shoe manufacturer can.

The Dexter Men’s T.H.E. 9 also feature a raised heel which lifts the middle of the sole off the floor, reducing sagging.

These are just under $200 and are perfect for any serious bowler who’s focus is on winning league and tournaments.

I’ve got the women's Dexter THE 9 bowling shoes in grey with blue and pink colors that pop, too, but more on that in just a bit.

2. Sticking with the Dexter brand, I think the Dexter Men's Ricky IV in Black with Alloy Trim are worthy of consideration. Especially since they sell for less than $40.

The reason these are one of the most comfortable bowling shoes is because they’re from Dexter’s “New DexLite Collection", which means they’re made with lightweight insoles and outsoles.

Another reason these are one of the most comfortable pairs of bowling shoes is because of the midsole stabilizer.

The midsole stabilizer provides lateral stability and keeps your ankle aligned throughout your approach and release.

Think of this as a “motion control” feature.

I’ve also got them in wide width for men.

Most Comfortable Women’s Bowling Shoes

1. For just under $55, the Dexter Women's Kathy in White and Silver bowling shoes are a steal from the New DexLite Collection by Dexter.

They’ve got an open-lace Blucher pattern matched with breathable, knit fabric for complete flexibility. These look like running sneakers so they’re athletic looking.

The Women’s Kathy bowling shoe also features the DexLite EVA outsole and a rubber horseshoe heel, giving this shoe 360-degree cloud-like comfort.

2. Also under $55 is the Savannah from my SaVi Women's bowling shoe collection.

It’s not just the beautiful pink and grey design patterns you’ll feel comfortable wearing…

The Savannah feature a brand new Jacquard mesh upper for super lightweight cushioning and a low-profile CMEVA outsole that’s 40% lighter than comparable rubber outsoles.

So while I created this unique line of women’s bowling shoes and accessories to look beautiful, they’re also designed to support you and your feet at the lanes.

These run on the smaller side so I recommend you order a half size larger than your normal sneaker size.

There’s more to the SaVi collection for women but I’ll talk more about that in the Women’s Bowling Shoes section below because I want to highlight one more pair of comfortable bowling shoes for women.

3. And that’s the women's Dexter THE 9 bowling shoes in grey popping with blue and pink colors.

They’re the same price as the men’s version – $189.95 – with the same technologies used in the shoe design and construction.

That means no more flappy soles or having to take the time to break in new bowling shoes because these beauties have interchangeable interlocking soles – Dexter calls it T.H.E. (Toehold Hyperflex Engineering) 9.

That’s true long-term comfort and a true investment in your bowling shoe.

Durable Bowling Shoes

I know you want bowling shoes that last a long time. So, while comfort’s important, let’s think long-term and talk about durable bowling shoes for men and women.

You must be careful buying cheap bowling shoes (which is different than inexpensive bowling shoes).

What can happen if you buy a pair of cheap pair of bowling shoes instead of durable bowling shoes?

Here are some examples:

1. Shoelace eyelets rip

2. “Chatty Shoe Syndrome”, aka the shoe upper pulls away from the outer soles and your bowling shoes start talking more than the team that’s beating you

3. Slides aren’t controllable

Durable bowling shoes make sure your dollar goes farther.

I like to think about the cost per game for my bowling shoes.

What I mean is, it’s much more economical to pay $100 for a pair of bowling shoes instead if $60 if I get double the number of games out of the $100.

And if the materials used to make the shoe are higher quality and more durable, than they should last longer than.

And one more thing: Customer service.

Almost without exception, companies who make cheap quality bowling shoes usually have similar customer service.

So if something’s wrong with your purchase and you contact customer service, you might not hear back. If you do, they might not resolve your issue. And if they want to resolve your issue, they probably want you to pay to ship the shoes back.

I don’t sell cheap quality on but I do offer inexpensive bowling shoes that are extremely durable from all the reputable brands (see, I told you “cheap” and “inexpensive” are different).

So here’s what I’ve done for men’s and women’s durable bowling shoes:

I’ve put a list together – one for each gender – of the most durable bowling shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort nor break the bank.

Here they are…

1. The Brunswick Men's Vapor in white and black are under $45 and are a performance bowling shoe, which means the soles will slide the way you need them to, but they won’t break off the shoe either.

This next shoe is a big step up in price point and I’ll tell you why…

2. Here’s another version of the Dexter Men's T.H.E. 9 Stealth ST in black.

This shoe was built for durability and can last you 10 years even if you drag your toes when you bowl (which a lot of people do).

If you bowl at least two nights a week or you’re a tournament bowler, and you drag your toes when you bowl, then it’s cheaper for you to buy something like Dexter T.H.E. bowling shoes and replace the soles every once in a while than it is to buy new bowling shoes.

These are under $165 and for a shoe you don’t have to replace, that’s damn durable.

It doesn’t get better than that.

Another durability factor that only Dexter T.H.E. technology has is Hyperflex Channels. Hyperflex Channels let the front of the outer sole flex and stretch, minimizing cracking, and, as a bonus, increasing flexibility and comfort.

3. This is a Dexter Women's Raquel V in black and pink and it’s under $40.

I’ve rated these high in durability for three reasons:

One, because of the seamless toe design that prevents this shoe from cracking.

Two, because of the soft yet durable man-made uppers and…

Finally, reason number three, the Blucher lace pattern which is more resistant to cracking as you bend your foot because this kind of lace pattern stretches (unlike a U-throat pattern).

4. These Storm Men's Bill in black have the same crack-resistant Blucher lace pattern and seamless toe design making this shoe a good bet to still be cheering you on the next four or five times you raise your average.

These are less than $50 but they pack a lot of value because on top of what I just described, they also come with removable footbeds (“footbed” is another name for insole).

The wonderful thing about bowling shoes with removable footbeds is that you can “refresh” your bowling shoes for as little as $15 with new insoles.

Wide Width Bowling Shoes

Your feet can swell 10% to 15% in a day. So if your bowling shoes feel great all the time at the start of the day but get sore a couple hours later, your shoes might be too narrow.

I suggest you try a pair of wide bowling shoes.

You’ll see I’ve got over 40 styles of men’s and women’s wide width bowling shoes, from all brands, in stock.

And no matter what your budget or skill level is, you’ll find something you like.

Earlier in this article, I showed you some links for wide width bowling shoes, but I wanted to highlight some of the best pairs I’ve got in stock. So I’ll do that right now.

1. I’m a high-performance bowler so I want to show you the Dexter Men's DexLite Pro BOA Black (Right Hand) WIDE bowling shoes first.

These are under $90 and feature the BOA® Disc lacing system.

The BOA® Disc lacing system uses wire laces which helps bowlers who wear wide width bowling shoes tremendously because the wire can give you a snug fit in the shoe without extra pressure on your foot.

It’s a benefit that almost no one talks about and the fact there’s wide width bowling shoes with this lacing system is amazing.

2. One of my best sellers is the Brunswick Women's Bliss wide width in white and black and are on sale now for less than $20.

Want to look at more women’s wide bowling shoes?

Moving on…

Women’s Bowling Shoes

Almost three years ago, my second daughter was born…

And so was the name for the women’s bowling line I created to help our women bowlers when I combined both of my daughters’ names to create…

SaVi Bowling Shoes

After selling bowling products online, I noticed how women bowlers felt about the poor styles of bowling shoes, bags, and accessories so I decided to do something about it.

And so I’m going to start this list of women’s bowling shoes off with styles from my SaVi collection since they are the most beautiful bowling shoes on the planet and, yes, they perform great on the lanes.

1. This is the SaVi Women's Red Roses in red, black, and white and they’re less than $60.

Ladies, you are going to love wearing these.

They’re super comfortable with an EVA lightweight midsole and a raised heel (for performance) on the outsole.

2. The SaVi Women's Vienna Hearts in pink, black, and white are made the same exact way (for the same price).

The only difference is the heart design on these man-made Komfort-Fit uppers.

If you order any of these two models, I recommend you order a half size larger than your sneaker size because I designed these to be a tight fit.

If you like tight fitting bowling shoes, then order your usual size.

3. I want to share one more shoe from the SaVi brand, SaVi Women's Classic in purple and black.

These are less than $40 and are super comfortable and breathable – the soles are 40% lighter than comparable rubber outsoles.

The thing I love about my brand is it gives women the styles and colors that bowling has never seen before.

The SaVi Women’s Classic also comes in a Pink and black, too.

There’s much more to the SaVi brand than shoes.  Feel free to check it out.

4. KR Strikeforce Women's Maui in grey are a really comfortable women’s bowling shoe.

These almost feel like a comfortable walking shoe until you realize they’ve got #8 white microfiber slide pads on both shoes and you’re throwing strikes.

These are under $40 and are a great casual athletic bowling shoe with performance upgrades built right in.

Kid’s Bowling Shoes

Of course I’ve got bowling shoes for boys and girls, too.

1. For less than $34, you can’t go wrong with these BSI Boy's Youth Black Bowling shoes which feature a microfiber sliding sole for performance.

These are great because you don’t have to worry about cleaning them so much. All black means they’ll stay sharper for longer, which is good when it comes to kid’s bowling shoes.

2. For just a few dollars more, and still under $40, the Brunswick Boy's Renegade With Black and Neon Green bowling shoes look awesome.

But there’s more to it than just looks…

The Renegade have microfiber slide soles on both feet, too, but included are extras like:

• Performance synthetic uppers for added comfort when your kid’s feet bend the shoes

• Neon green foam-padded collar and shoe tongue for style and comfort

• Extra-light molded EVA outer sole for a lighter shoe that maintains shape

We also have shoes for the up-and-coming little lady bowlers.

One of the best pairs are the Dexter Girl's Raquel V Jr. White Blue bowling shoes.

These have a comfortable man-made upper that is durable, too.

Want to see every pair of kid’s bowling shoes I have in stock?


That about raps it up for this bowling shoe guide.

I’ve shown you the best bowling shoes for pro bowlers, casual bowlers…

I’ve shown you high, mid, and low price points for all budgets and tastes.

I’ve gone through my entire stock to show you what’s most comfortable and what shoes are made with long-lasting materials.

I hoped you found this to be the perfect guide for buying bowling shoes on the internet because that’s what I tried to do.

-- Justin McNally, Owner and Operator of and creator of SaVi Bowling Products.

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