To Rent or Buy? What is the Right Choice When it Comes to Bowling Shoes?

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A Brief History

In 1960, the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) was founded as the first professional women’s bowling association.  Today, one of the biggest choices that bowlers have to make is to either buy or rent their bowling shoes. When a person goes bowling, they pay a couple of dollars to rent shoes for a couple of games; however, it may be challenging to find the perfect shoes, especially if you have never bought any bowling shoes.

Most people do not see a point in buying shoes because they can conveniently rent the shoes from the bowling alley. If you’re facing this dilemma, here are a few facts that will help you make a choice.

Digging Deeper


The first thing that you need to see is how clean the shoes at the bowling alley are. These alleys say that they keep their shoes as clean as possible, but honestly, how clean can you keep shoes that are worn by several people throughout the day?

All things said, some studies have shown that most people with foot diseases will get it from sharing footwear with other people who have these diseases.

With your own shoes, you will be the only one who wears them, and you will never doubt the cleanliness of the shoes. It is, therefore, better that you have your own pair in order to keep yourself from contracting or passing diseases to other people. There are numerous places where you can get a good pair of bowling shoes for women.

Fewer Chances of Tripping

At the bowling alley, it is not always easy to find the perfect fit for your feet. You may have to wear a bigger or smaller pair when your size is not available. Because of this improper fit, your feet will hurt, and you may even trip. Tripping while bowling can cause severe or minor injuries, but it’s a risk you can avoid. While these alleys will say that they have different sizes, how accurate are these numbers?

Hundreds of people have worn some of these shoes for many years. If someone with a bigger foot wore a smaller fit, there is a chance they will expand the fabric and make the shoe slightly bigger than its original size. This will be an inconvenience to other bowlers who wear the same shoe.

That is why you must buy your own pair of bowling shoes. These will be a better fit, and you will never hurt your feet or trip. You need to conduct thorough research to figure out the right fit for you. Remember to always leave about 1 inch of space for your big toe. This space will prevent it from rubbing against the edge of the shoe as you walk. When buying online, you need to check the manufacturer’s size chart so that you don’t buy a bowling shoe that does not fit.

Eliminate Inconveniences

When you have your own pair, you will dive right into the game. You will not have to get into the long queues looking for shoes to wear for the game. If the queues are long, you may be spending minutes trying to get a show so you can enjoy the game. By the time you do get them, you may not feel as excited about the game as you should.

When buying the shoe, you may have to try out three or four pairs to find one that fits comfortably and allows you a wide range of motion. This will be the only inconvenience you suffer. It will also be a one-off issue to deal with because the shoe will last for long, depending on how often you go for bowling.

Monetary Benefit

Most centers will charge between $4 and $5 for renting the shoes. If you recount the number of times you go bowling in a year, you may discover that you could be spending hundreds of dollars on shoes that you actually don’t own. If you check like bowling shoes amazon, you will notice some are less than 40 dollars. These are good shoes that will last for years without showing signs of wear.


Whether you choose to rent or buy, you need to look at the long term costs rather than the short term ones. This way, you will make the right decision for your finances and your health.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Forrest, A.J. and Lisa Iannucci.  Bowling For Dummies.  For Dummies, 2010.

The featured image in this article, a photograph of a woman bowling, circa 1950, is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.  This image was originally posted to Flickr by Center for Jewish History, NYC at It was reviewed on 2017-08-03 20:42:21 by FlickreviewR, who found it to be licensed under the terms of the No known copyright restrictions, which is compatible with the Commons.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland