Proper Bowling Attire

If you want to go bowling, it's important to have proper bowling attire. Even though bowling isn't a sport with a strict dress code, wearing the wrong clothes and shoes to a bowling alley may hurt your bowling game, or even prevent you from bowling at all.

  1. Bowling shoes. Having bowling shoes is essential to proper bowling attire. First, bowling alleys require you to wear bowling shoes, since regular sneakers and other street shoes can damage the bowling lanes. Second, bowling shoes are designed to help you throw the ball properly: the right shoe has a hard sole, to help you brake, while the left shoe has a soft sole, to help you slide into your throw. (Vice versa for lefties.) Bowling lanes usually offer shoes to rent, but if you're serious about bowling, it's best to buy your own shoes so you get used to how they feel.
  2. Loose clothing. Remember that bowling is a physical sport, so you'll need to wear clothing that allows you to move freely. Avoid tight-fitting pants that make it difficult to walk, baggy pants that might fall down on your approach or low-cut shirts that may let you "pop" out. Proper bowling attire should involve comfortable, loose-fitting pants and breathable cotton shirts.
  3. Dress code. There is no single dress code of proper bowling attire, but some bowling clubs and tournaments prohibit casual-looking clothing like jeans, T-shirts and hats. If you're not sure of the dress code, play it safe with a pair of nice khaki pants and a polo shirt.
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