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| Bowling , Tips & Tricks

What’s with bowling shoes?

Ever wondered what’s up with those quirky tenpin bowling shoes? They look like something your eccentric uncle would rock at a family barbecue, and they aren’t exactly as comfy as your trusty Uggs… And frankly, their two-tone style might be more to Julia Fox’s fashion tastes. But trust us: there’s method to the sartorial madness! So, why the heck do we need these peculiar shoes for a game of tenpin bowling? 

In defence of funky footwear 

Bowling shoes are kind of like the secret handshake of the bowling alley. You’re only ‘in’ when they’re ‘on’. Trying to bowl without them would be like attempting rock climbing in thongs or busting a pirouette in sneakers: chaos. Besides, they’re as much of a mood as the sound of falling pins on the bowling alley: how better to attempt a celebratory soft-shoe shuffle than in a pair of bespoke bowling shoes? (We’re all wearing them, anyway, so you won’t stand out much.) 

The right approach 

Bowling shoes are about more than appearances, though. Getting the holy grail score of 300 in tenpin bowling is all about the approach. Think of it like a dance – you need momentum and grace to nail it. You glide up to the lane, release the ball in one slick move, and boom, you’ve got a strike! And for that perfect, smooth approach, you need those special kicks. 

And here’s a nifty tidbit for your next tenpin bowling night out with your mates – the shoe sizes! Men’s bowling shoes are normal UK sizes, but women’s bowling shoes are a full two sizes smaller than your regular shoes, so make sure you pick the right pair. 

Safety dance 

Wearing bowling shoes on the lanes is also about safety. Normal shoes tend to stick on the lanes due to too much friction, really slowing your roll, and that’s a recipe for twisted ankles, wrists, and backs. Ouch, think of bowling with regular shoes as like trying to drive a go-kart on a muddy road – not pretty. 

Bowling alley couture 

We hate to break it to you, but: Zone Bowling alleys have their own fashion code. (Read: shoe code.) So, those colourful bowling shoes are compulsory – they don’t just keep you safe, but also keep the bowling alley clean. What happens in the alley stays in the alley, so no outside dirt or stones from the car park can get in and mess up that super slippery and spotless bowling lane! 

Keeping it fresh 

Worried about hygiene? No problem – every pair of bowling shoes at Zone Bowling is pampered and spritzed with good ol’ Glen20 after each use. And once a pair gets too worn out, they retire gracefully to the Great Bowling Alley in the sky, making way for a shiny new pair of shoes.  

Add some swagger 

If you’re planning to be a regular tenpin bowling superstar, why not invest in your very own pair of bowling shoes? There are options for every budget, from cheaper to a bit more splurge-y. And the best part? They don’t have to be the classic two-toned look. Nowadays, you can snag stylish bowling shoes that could easily pass as your everyday sneakers.  

You’ll either be getting a pair that have sliding soles on both shoes, or if you’re looking at a professional set, you’ll be after a pair with one sliding sole and one non-slip sole (just remember the sliding sole should be on the opposite side of the hand you use to bowl).  

Bowling shoes are the second most important piece of equipment after the ball itself, so if you’re serious about tenpin bowling, you can pick up a pair of shoes from a Zone Bowling shop or a specialised retailer. 


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