Shoes are one of the most underrated components of bowling gear. Any good bowling coach will tell you: before you go ahead and buy another bowling ball for your arsenal, get yourself a nice pair of bowling shoes. Why? Well, these shoes aren't just for looks. They help you throw the ball better, maintain your balance, and prevent injuries. With hundreds of different bowling shoes available, we understand how challenging it can be to choose the right pair. That's why we've handpicked our favorite bowling shoes for men and women to check out in 2024! We hope this bowling shoe list and our reviews will help you decide.
Top 5 BowlingLife bowling shoes picks
Don't feel like reading the full review? Here are our top 5 picks for the best bowling shoes to buy in 2024.
Dexter T.H.E C9 KNIT - the best overall bowling shoes for men in 2024
Dexter DexLite Pro BOA Light - the best budget bowling shoes for men in 2024
Dexter SST 8 Power-Frame BOA - the most durable bowling shoes for men in 2024
Dexter T.H.E C9 LAVOY - the best overall bowling shoes for women in 2024
Dexter DexLite Pro BOA Light - the best budget bowling shoes for women in 2024
Why do you need bowling shoes?
Bowling shoes often don't get the attention they deserve, overshadowed by the significant focus on bowling balls. While it's true that a bowling ball is essential for making a strike (unless throwing a shoe at that last stubborn 10th pin is tempting), it's crucial to recognise the importance of good shoes. Quality shoes not only contribute to a consistent throw and balance but also play a role in preventing injuries.
Bowling shoes can be divided into two main types - interchangeable and solid.
Solid bowling shoes feature a fixed slide pad on the front and a non-replaceable rubber heel. When the slide pad or rubber heel wears out, you need to replace the entire shoe pair. Despite this, they are way cheaper.
Meanwhile, bowling shoes with interchangeable soles and heels, as the name implies, can be customised to suit the bowling player's style and the specific conditions of the bowling center. The more you play, the more you'll realize how factors like humidity and the cleanliness of the approach can impact your sliding. The interchangeable slide pads and heels of these bowling shoes can be easily taken off and substituted with others that offer more or less slide. Slide pads are numbered according to the ability to slide - the higher the number, the more slippery the pad is. Usually, numbers 8 to 10 are used most often.
Although shoes with interchangeable slide pads and heels are more expensive, they are made of high-quality materials, and well-maintained shoes of this type can last a long time.
Based on our experience, solid shoes generally endure for about a year before the slide pad wears down, making the shoes ineffective and requiring replacement, leading to the necessity of buying new ones. We suggest solid shoes for beginners or children. It's more enjoyable to have your own pair rather than wearing shoes someone else used just moments ago. If you frequently engage in bowling or strive for better performance, it's advisable to invest in high-quality interchangeable bowling shoes. Owning a reliable pair of bowling shoes can result in future cost savings.
Best bowling shoes 2024 for men
#1 Dexter T.H.E C9 KNIT
It was love at first sight. These shoes represent the pinnacle of Dexter's bowling shoe technology, and they truly live up to the claim. No compromises with cheap materials or loose ends – they're meticulously crafted, featuring a reinforced toe area for extra space, but most importantly, a level of comfort that's hard to match. Seriously, it's like walking on clouds. Whether you're a one-hander or a two-hander, experience consistent motion on the lanes. They come with one removable slide pad (THS7), two heels (H5 Saw Tooth & H2), and a shoe cover. And let's not forget to mention the BOA Fit System disc lacing and their Fit for Life Warranty! If you can drop $200 on a new bowling ball without a second thought, then investing in these bowling shoes to elevate your game is a no-brainer.
#2 Dexter SST 8 Power-Frame BOA
Dexter SST 8's are known for their unparalleled durability and comfort for some time now. Now, they come with an update featuring the new Power Frame KPU overmold in a textured honeycomb cell pattern, reinforcing the shoe fabric for extended life, and with BOA Fit System for instant adjustability and convenience. Dexter SST 8 Power-Frame BOA comes in with removable S8 slide sole and H5 heel, and a shoe cover. We have tested Dexter SST 8's for years now and we can firmly confirm that these are the best bowling shoes for men in terms of durability on the market and they are build to last.
#3 KR Strikeforce Hype TPC
The Hype TPC seamlessly combines a host of top-notch features that any bowler would desire in a pair of high-performance bowling shoes, all wrapped up in a sleek and contemporary design. That's right - ANY bowler, as Hype bowling shoes are unisex, meaning both male and female bowlers can wear them. Engineered for durability and support, the TRI-SOLE Technology ensures resilience against frequent bowling and heavy toe-dragging. We loved that it comes with a variety of interchangeable soles and heels included in the box, eliminating the need for additional expenses. Here's a fun fact: AJ Johnson clinched his first PBA Tour Title in Sweden while wearing these shoes, making them a standout choice. So, you can't go wrong with choosing these!
#4 Dexter DexLite Pro BOA
These bowling shoes are exceptionally comfortable and lightweight for any level bowler. The BOA system helps to tighten and loosen them swiftly when needed, and the interchangeable sole allows you to adjust your footwork in every condition. Even though it does not include interchangeable heel, Dexter DexLite Pro BOA is probably the best pair of bowling shoes you can get for under 150 dollars.
#5 3G Tour Black
This shoe delivers an excellent grip, afit the foot just right and is feels comfortable. Comes in with four interchangeable soles and three heels for adjustable slide, this pair of men's bowling shoes meet the highest quality standards as 3G is one of the best bowling shoe manufacturers in the world. The moment you put them on, you'll feel the difference. That is why many best bowling players, including Jason Belmonte, choose 3G footwear. You can be one of them - conquer the lanes with 3G men's bowling shoes!
Best bowling shoes 2024 for women
#1 Dexter SST 8 Power Frame BOA
Dexter SST 8 Power Frame BOA women's bowling shoes presents a range of high-performance features. The BOA® Fit System with disc lacing allows you to bid farewell to those clumsy shoe laces that everyone stumbles over at least once, while the new Power Frame KPU overmold ensures shoe longevity. The SST 8 Power Frame BOA women's bowling shoes are extremely comfortable and come with a removable S8 slide sole and H5 saw-tooth heel, along with a shoe cover. Available in various sizes and configurations, these bowling shoes will serve you well for a long time.
#2 KR Strikeforce Dream
Introducing the KR Strikeforce Dream White/Purple Bowling Shoes, designed to elevate your bowling experience with a perfect blend of style, comfort, and performance. Soft and durable microfiber upper ensures durability, while STA-DRY™ Open Mesh tongue and collar will provide breathability, keeping your feet cool during intense bowling sessions. These shoes are extremelly flexible, ensuring smooth movements and optimal performance on the lanes. Comes in with 3 different soles and heels for maximum adjustment to your needs without spending another dime. Our testers found these bowling shoes both fitting their game, as well as their style, as it is as beautiful as in pictures.
#3 Dexter DexLite Pro BOA
Dexter DexLite Pro BOA Women's bowling shoes offer exceptional comfort and lightness, suitable for bowlers of all skill levels. The BOA system facilitates quick adjustments, while the interchangeable sole allows you to customize your footwork in various conditions. Considered among the finest options, Dexter DexLite Pro BOA is an excellent choice for your bowling shoe update. Bear in mind that the soles are not interchangeable.
#4 Dexter T.H.E C9 Lavoy
Meet the Dexter Women's THE C9 Lavoy BOA performance shoe – your game-changer on the lanes! We can say with confidence that these bowling shoes are the best ones to buy to this date in terms of comfort, durability, and overall looks. The winning combo of patented Toehold Hyperflex Engineering (T.H.E) technology and Cloud9 energy-return midsole ensures that your feet will feel absolutely fantastic even after long hours on the lanes. Designed with your comfort in mind, this shoe features the BOA Fit System with disc lacing as well, providing instant adjustability tailored to your perfect fit. Last but not least - it looks as good as in pictures, so you will definitely bring attention when stepping up on a lanes. The Dexter T.H.E C9 Lavoy takes your bowling experience to a whole new level!
#5 KR Strikeforce Hype TPC
The Hype TPC effortlessly integrates a range of premium features that every bowler would seek in high-performance bowling shoes, all presented in a stylish and modern design. These Hype bowling shoes are unisex, catering to both male and female bowlers. Designed for durability and support, the TRI-SOLE Technology guarantees resilience against frequent bowling and substantial toe-dragging. What stood out for us is the inclusion of various interchangeable soles and heels in the package, saving you from incurring additional expenses.
PRO TIP: as a foot swell over time, choose a slightly larger shoe size for perfect fit.
How to choose the right bowling shoes for you?
Bowling shoes are a top-notch product crafted for serious bowling enthusiasts. It's crucial for every bowler to kick off their bowling gear collection with high-quality and long-lasting bowling shoes. When picking the right pair, it's essential to understand your needs and how often you plan to hit the bowling alley. If you're aiming for a casual bowling night once or twice a month with friends or family, you might not need high-performance shoes. There's a range of beginner-friendly and occasional bowler shoes to choose from.
However, if you're a dedicated bowler, frequently engaging in practices, league games, and tournaments, high-performance bowling shoes with interchangeable soles and heels are your ideal choice. They offer greater durability, enhanced comfort, and, most importantly, can be customized to suit your specific game conditions.
How do we choose the best bowling shoes?
To assist our readers in making well-informed decisions when selecting bowling shoes, BowlingLife relies on thorough testing for all our recommendations. We firmly believe that an unbiased opinion about each bowling shoe pair can only be formulated after our team has personally tried it out.
We strive for our bowling shoe reviews to find a middle ground between being casual and informative. We constantly update the links in the article so you can find reviewed bowling shoes easily. Please note that certain links provided might be affiliate links. It's crucial to emphasize that, regardless of the review's tone, it is still a subjective opinion. Just because we found certain bowling shoes comfortable doesn't necessarily mean it will fit you perfect as well. Nevertheless, rest assured that our reviews are carried out with fairness, consistency, objectivity, and honesty, guided by bowlers for bowlers.
We trust that this bowling shoe review has assisted you in finding the perfect pair to meet your needs. And while you're at it, be sure to take a look at essential bowling accessories for a complete upgrade to your bowling gear!