What is the Difference Between Bowling Shoes and Sneakers?

What is the Difference Between Bowling Shoes and Sneakers?

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Olyvia Smith

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Different shoes come with several purposes. While the main aim of the shoes is to cover and protect our feet, some are specifically designed to make our activities a lot more efficient.

The same is the case with sneakers and bowling shoes. They might have a similar design, but they are pretty different. The problem with bowling shoes that most people face is the heavy rentals and awkward fit.

So, can you replace them with sneakers? What is the difference between bowling shoes and sneakers? Keep on reading to find answers to all your questions.

Bowling Shoes vs. Sneakers

There are different types of bowling shoes and sneakers, and each is different according to the purpose they serve. Let’s talk about what you should know about bowling shoes vs. breathable sneakers in the upcoming sections.

Do You Really Need Separate Bowling Shoes?

Yes, having separate bowling shoes can instantly increase your performance in the alley. These shoes keep the player safe while walking on the smooth floor. In addition, they do not have any added friction, so the bowler won't get stuck or trip with the bowling bowl.

These shoes help you glide smoothly on the floor and are for indoor use only. You can also use a pair of breathable sneakers with friction-less soles. However, if your bowling has a strict policy against any other footwear than bowling shoes, you need to invest in a pair of high-quality bowling shoes.

If you decide to buy a separate pair of bowling shoes but find them expensive, you can purchase high-quality shoes in installments.

Bowling Shoes Care Guide

It is essential to take proper care of your bowling shoes to increase their longevity. Here is how you can do that:

  1. Take a clean damp cloth and clean the exterior of your shoes. Make sure to wipe the soles as well.
  2. Undo the laces and let the shoes air out for 15 minutes.
  3. Next, make a mixture of detergent and water and clean your shoes using a toothbrush or scouring pad. This step is necessary only if you have prominent stains on the shoes.
  4. Wipe the shoes with a dry towel and let them air dry.
  5. You can also apply bowling shoe polish for extra shine.
  6. Lastly, put the laces back on, and your shoes are ready to wear.
  7. Make sure to wash your shoes after every 4 to 5 uses to avoid permanent damage.

Sneakers Care Guide

Neglecting primary care of your sneakers can shorten their life. So here's how you can take care of them:

  1. With a dry towel, clean all the dust and dirt off your sneakers. Include your soles in this step as well.
  2. Undo the laces and remove them from their designated holes.
  3. Let the shoe air out for at least 15 minutes. Even if you have breathable sneakers, this step is important.
  4. Now, prepare a detergent mixture and water to clean the sole of your shoes using a toothbrush or scouring pad. Since sneakers mostly have a white sole, it is important to keep them clean.
  5. With a damp towel, wipe off the soapy mixture and let your shoes dry.
  6. If the upper part of your sneakers is dirty, you can machine wash your shoes. However, make sure to read the instructions before popping them into the washer.
  7. Allow them to dry completely before wearing them again.
  8. Put the laces back in the holes, and they are ready to use.


What Are Bowling Shoes?

Bowling shoes are specialty shoes designed to be used on slick bowling alley floors. They are made up of high-quality rubber and leather. These shoes are meant to provide glide and stability on the floor.

Types of Bowling Shoes

Here are the six different kinds of bowling shoes:

1.   Right Handed

 Right Handed Bowling shoes

With right-handed bowling shoes, you get a thicker right sole and a thinner left sole. The thicker sole is usually made of an adhesive material that works as a brake on the slippery floor. It helps create momentum while playing and provides safety to the wearer.

It helps the wearer stay steady and apply force to the ball through their body. However, walking in right-handed shoes can require a little bit of practice.

So, don’t just jump on the ground right after buying these shoes without practicing to walk in them at home. Or else, you may suffer injuries.

Also read:  Simple Steps on How to Get Creases Out of Shoes


2.   Left Handed

 Left Handed Bowling shoes

Left-handed shoes serve the same purpose as right-handed shoes. They are used as a break and a force to create momentum. The only difference is that it has a thicker sole on the left side.

However, there are fewer left-handed shoes available in the market or bowling alleys because there are fewer left-handed bowlers than right-handed ones.

3.   Universal

 Universal Bowling shoes

If you are a recreational bowler who likes to play the sport occasionally, universal shoes are the option for you. They are cheaper and can fit both left-handed and right-handed bowlers.

The only drawback to these shoes is that they don't have a brake sole. Instead, both the soles are sliding soles which can be troublesome while playing professionally.

4.   Athletic

 Athletic Bowling shoes

The athletic bowling shoes are designed for serious bowlers who play the sport more frequently. They have a better drip and slide sole to improve their performance during the game. In addition, these shoes feature premium quality material and come with a higher price tag.

Athletic shoes also have a better appearance and your feet ideally. You can also find universal athletic shoes if you don't want the grip feature in your footwear.

5.   Performance

 Performance Bowling shoes

Performance bowling shoes are the supreme kind of bowling shoes. Their design provides the ultimate slide and grip without compromising on comfort.

These shoes are pretty expensive but are worth the investment if you are a professional bowler. They have a plain appearance as compared to other types of bowling shoes.

6.   Adjustable

 Adjustable Bowling shoes

The adjustable shoes have different brake and slide shoes that you can change depending on the intensity of slide and brake you want. In addition, the removable sole makes them ideal for different kinds of lanes.

These bowling shoes are for professional bowlers who cannot compromise on the quality of their footwear. They last you a long time and serve the purpose of various bowling shoe types.

What Are Sneakers?

Sneakers are multi-purpose sports shoes known as trainers, kicks, runners, athletic shoes, or tennis shoes. They are usually made of canvas or synthetic material to provide stability and durability.

Types of Sneakers

Here are the five main types of sneakers:

1.   High Top

 Hightop sneakers

High-top sneakers go slightly above the ankles. The laces of this shoe also go above the ankles, giving it the classic basketball shoe appearance. They are different from the mid-top sneakers that end right on the ankle.

You can find high-top sneakers with velcro, laces, and slip-on options. In addition, they come in a variety of colors and designs to match your preference.

2.   Plimsoll

 Plimsoll sneakers

Plimsolls are classic sneakers that have a canvas top and rubber sole. They are called plimsolls because they resemble the waterline on a ship.

If the water is till the rubber sole of the shoes, the wearer's feet are protected. However, if the water reaches above the sole, their feet can get wet.

3.   Slip-On

 Slip on Sneakers

The slip-on sneakers do not have lace, zip, or velcro closure. They are commonly worn on a daily basis and have a padded or elastic opening. They are also popular as casual loafers or laceless shoes.

These breathable sneakers have a synthetic fabric upper and a rubber sole. In short, they are the laceless version of the traditional plimsoll.

4.   Athletic

 Athletic sneakers

Athletic sneakers are everyday sneakers but with a sporty touch. They have more rigid soles, higher friction, and a more snug grip on your feet. In addition, most athletic sneakers only come with a lace closure because of their durability.

You can use athletic shoes, like Loom waterproof sneakers, for sports, running, gymming, hiking, or a casual day around town. There are countless affordable athletic sneakers available in the market that you can start your collection with.

Step Up Your Athletic Game: Loom Sneakers with Superior Breathability and Flexibility

5.   Velcro

 velcro sneakers

Velcro, also known as the hook and loop fastener, is used as a quick closure for common sneakers. Velcro sneakers are common among kids or trendy individuals who wear pop culture-inspired shoes.

You can find velcro sneakers in different colors and materials depending on the current trends. They are also quite affordable as compared to other sneaker types.


Whether you decide to get bowling shoes or sneakers depends on the kind of usage. However, if you want to choose just one, breathable sneakers with slick soles are the best option.

If you want to get special bowling shoes, it is better to invest in a pair that fits nicely on your feet instead of paying a hefty fee for the uneasy rental shoes.

Investing in the right kind of shoe will not only improve the performance of your game but also keep your feet comfortable during playtime. No matter your skill level, it can be hard to give your best if your gear is not perfect. So, choose your shoes wisely.

You may also like: The Best Cruelty-Free Men’s Shoes 2022 According to Expert

 Loom Athletics Shoes

Olyvia Smith


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