What's with bowling shoes?

Bowling shoes in a circle

Aside from looking like something your weird uncle might wear to a family barbeque, what's with bowling shoes?

They're not quite as comfy as your slippers at home and the two-tone colours will please only those with similar fashion tastes to Lady Gaga.

So why do we need them exactly?

Bowling shoes are as much a part of a bowling alley as the pins themselves and playing without them would be like rock climbing in thongs or performing a pirouette in sneakers.

If you want to get the best score possible then you need to nail down the approach - this is the most important part of your game. It takes momentum to get that strike and means you need to smoothly approach the lane and release the ball in one swift motion.

Safety is also an important reason behind pulling on a pair of bowling shoes. Normal shoes on the lanes would stick to the floor which can cause injuries as your built-up momentum quickly brings you to a stop. This kind of accident causes sprained ankles, wrists and backs as well as an array of other injuries.

The shoes are also compulsory as they 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 alleyway!

Using the 'house' shoes

No need to worry about cleanliness - every pair is lovingly cleaned after use and freshened with good old Glen20. Once a pair becomes too tatty for use, they're simply replaced with a shiny new set.

Here's a fun fact to impress your mates - all shoes are normal men's UK  sizes, however girls' are a full two sizes smaller than their normal shoe size.

If you're bowling regularly, or plan to, then it's a great idea to invest in a pair of your own shoes. You can spend little or a lot, so it's totally up to you how much you want to fork out.

They don't have to be the two-toned kind either, as there are plenty of new options available - some of which even look like regular sneakers.

You'll either be getting a pair that have sliding soles on both shoes, or if you're looking at a really 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).

As the second most important piece of equipment after the ball itself, you can pick up a pair of shoes from an AMF Pro Shop or a specialised retailer.