Which bowling shoes for women are best?

Believe it or not, bowling is one of the most popular sports in the United States. Sure, you won’t find tens of thousands of fans lined up outside of a Professional Bowling Association tournament. What gives bowling its popularity is the sheer number of leagues throughout the country and the people who take part in them. Not only is it a fun hobby, but it’s also a great way to meet people. If that sounds like something that interests you, a pair of bowling shoes, like the Pyramid Path Lite, eventually pay for themselves.

What to know before you buy bowling shoes for women

Slip and slide

Obviously, bowling shoes are made to slide. If you’re used to renting shoes, the quality of the shoes (and their maintenance) may vary from place to place. You may find you’re able to slide better and control your slide more precisely with your own pair of shoes. It may take a bit of getting used to if these are the first bowling shoes you’ve purchased.

How often are you playing? How competitive are you?

Bowling shoes range in price and quality from the beginners to the pros. If you play in a league and enjoy it, you may want to start thinking about getting a good pair to make yourself more competitive. You likely already have your own bowling ball — why not your own shoes? If you just enjoy the camaraderie of it all, an entry-level pair will make bowling more enjoyable, save you some money, and maybe get a few extra pins to fall each game.

Style and construction

Many modern bowling shoes don’t look like the ones you may be used to renting. If you think the shoes you rent look like clown shoes, you’ll welcome this change. If you like the classic bowling alley look, there are leather pairs out there closer to that style.

What to look for in quality bowling shoes for women


The bowling shoes you purchase often have more padding than the rentals. Depending on how you like your shoes to fit and how connected to the ground you want to feel, this may be a good or bad thing. Granted, if you were to buy BSI shoes (which is likely the brand of shoe you rent), you may get something closer to what you’re used to.


Besides the complaints that rental shoes are bulky, they’re heavy. Now, if you’ve always rented, you won’t notice their weight. However, when you try on a newer, modern pair with a knit or mesh upper, you’ll notice a difference.

Lacing systems

When renting, you’re at the mercy of whatever lacing system the shoes in your size have. If you buy your own, you can choose your lacing system. Whether you like a traditional lace-up, a hook-and-loop strap or one you slip on, you’ll find something you’re comfortable with and enjoy wearing.

How much you can expect to spend on bowling shoes for women

Bowling shoes cost $30-$270 but most amateurs will be fine hovering around a $60 shoe.

Bowling shoes for women FAQ

Does having your own bowling shoes really make a difference?

A. Yes. No matter your level of interest in bowling, they do. For serious competitors, a good shoe gives you a more consistent glide and can propel you to higher scores. If you aren’t particularly competitive, the difference is still there, but you’ll mostly appreciate the difference in price. A cheaper pair of bowling shoes can pay for themselves in only a few games.

Do you need to break in bowling shoes?

A. Usually, yes. While this will depend somewhat on the material of the upper, playing a few games helps your shoes slide a bit better and more consistently. If you have a rigid or leather upper, you’ll want to break that in as well.

What are the best bowling shoes for women to buy?

Top bowling shoes for women

Pyramid Path Lite

Pyramid Path Lite

What you need to know: These light shoes have a breathable upper and won’t break the bank.

What you’ll love: Gone are the days of uncomfortable bowling shoes. With a lightweight knit upper, these could pass for a pair of cross-training shoes. Break-in time with these is minimal.

What you should consider: Some users felt these ran a bit narrow. If you want a highly padded shoe, you may feel these are a bit uncomfortable.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bowling shoes for women for the money

Dexter Groove IV

Dexter Groove IV

What you need to know: If you like the look of the classic bowling shoe but want upgraded performance, this is your pair.

What you’ll love: These shoes have an understated but classic nubuck style. The outsole is raised a bit, with added height in the heel allowing you to get into a good position on your follow-through.

What you should consider: Users who require arch support felt these shoes didn’t provide enough support.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Brunswick Karma

Brunswick Karma

What you need to know: One of the most trusted names in bowling brings you a shoe you can actually enjoy wearing.

What you’ll love: These fit the fashion-forward bill. Bowling isn’t exactly a fashion show, but these shoes offer a handful of great color options. They don’t just look good; they’re also on the lighter end of the competition.

What you should consider: Some users found these run a half size large. The lacing system ends lower on the foot, so you may have some issues securing them to your liking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Joe Coleman writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.