How to Make Bowling Shoes Slide More? 6 Things You Should Try

Last updated on May 26th, 2021

It’s true that in addition to skill, luck has quite a role to play in bowling. Even so, both of these aspects have one common element that can boost them – your bowling shoes. They define the final leg of your approach, so how your bowling shoes slide is beyond vital to your game. 

Bowling shoes that don’t slide properly could break your flow and possibly doom your game. It could be due to their newness, the surface of the lanes, or wear-and-tear. 

Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can try to make your shoes slide more. You need to pick the correct shoes, use a good-quality sliding powder, and tie your laces firmly. In addition to these, shoe sliders and shoes with changeable soles are also helpful.   

If you are on the lookout to find solutions to bowling shoes that slide inadequately, you have stumbled upon the right place. This article will throw some light upon the most effective ways to make your bowling shoes slide more. Dive right in!

6 Things That Can Make Your Bowling Shoes Slide More

Several factors influence the extent of sliding you require for the best results. Whatever your reason is for needing a better slide, these five tips can help:

1. Purchase High-Quality Bowling Shoes That Fit You Ideally

The first step towards achieving the desired slide is to buy shoes that fit you properly. A proper fit establishes the base for the overall performance of the shoes and how they slide. With appropriate bowling shoes, you will feel comfortable as well. 

Comfortable shoes help your feet have a suitable floor grip, making way for an efficient slide. If you wear loose shoes, your floor grip will be unsafe or unstable. 

It will ultimately affect your slide negatively, taking away the degree of control you have over it. You may end up sliding lesser than you intend. 

Once you’ve bought a pair of bowling shoes that feel natural, take your time to break them in. New bowling shoes may not be adequate right from the beginning- that’s why breaking them in is necessary. You can expect them to slide easily after a handful of sessions. 

Make sure you maintain your bowling shoes well. 

How To Break In Brand-New Bowling Shoes

If you are in a hurry and need your shoes to break in quickly and effectively, here are a few tips:

  • Wear your shoes while walking around the house. It will help you break in the stiffness present in the upper portions of the shoes.
  • Run trials with different types of socks to determine which fits best. It will help you cultivate consistent footwork when on the lanes. 
  • Take some trial or practice slides on different approach areas, especially near the fault line and the center.
  • Additionally, take some slides after walking in the absence of a bowling ball. Let the knee of your sliding leg flex slightly to maintain balance and uniformity. 
  • Once you practice near the foul line without a ball, try making a few trial approaches at a slow speed with the ball.
  • Work your way towards a full-speed delivery and check for any problems with the slide as you progress. 

2. Buy Bowling Shoes With Switchable Soles 

Comfort and fit are paramount when purchasing shoes, but so are the design and structure. It will benefit you to invest in bowling shoes that allow you to change their heels and soles. 

It is relatively easy to find this feature in bowling shoes today since they boost their practicality.

Bowling shoes often come with a heavy price tag, and they tend to wear down quickly too. Interchangeable heels and soles help you save up on the time and resources that would otherwise go into buying new shoes. 

Often, bowling shoes with swappable soles already come with various heels equipped to grip different types of approaches. 

Additionally, it is essential to note that different bowling centers have different types of approach areas. Some centers may have lanes with a finish that is thin in certain places. 

The finish of the approach can wear away and deteriorate at the edges as well. Even within a single bowling center, they can differ since more popular lanes experience more friction. 

The approach area can vary even from season to season. The humidity of summer can turn it sticky, causing greater friction and prevent your bowling shoes from sliding more. 

If you buy shoes that allow you to change soles to suit your needs, you can tackle these issues. You can purchase extra soles with different focuses and use them wherever you need to increase the slide of your bowling shoes.

3. Tie Your Shoelaces Firmly And Keep Them Tight

The tightness of your shoelaces contributes to their fit. Loose shoelaces give extra space to your foot to move around and create instability. 

It results in a lesser slide since your feet are not able to grip the floor appropriately. They also struggle to push firmly off it. Thus, it is necessary to tie the laces firmly, ensuring they remain tight throughout the bowling session.

4. Use A Shoe Slider 

One of the simplest and most straightforward ways to make your bowling shoes slide more is to adopt a shoe slider. There are several variations of shoe sliders available to give your shoes additional sliding capabilities. 

The process of attaching a shoe slider to your bowling shoes is quite simple too. Sliders come as a strap-on or elastic retaining band covers that slip onto the shoes’ sliding sole. They are ideal for synthetic approaches or areas where humidity is high. 

5. Apply Sliding Powder On The Soles Of Your Shoes

You must already be familiar with sliding powder. It is the most widely used method to make bowling shoes slide more. A little bit of sliding powder sprinkled on the soles can work wonders on your slide. 

If you are a right-handed bowler, it will be best to apply the powder on the left shoe and vice versa. Here are a few simple steps you need to follow:

  • Sprinkle some sliding powder on the heel and sole.
  • Rub the powder onto the surface of the sole and over the heel as well.
  • Continue patting the powder in till a smooth layer forms over the entire sole.
  • Apply a pinch of the powder near or onto the foul line for extra sliding.
  • Alternatively, you can walk over the lane after applying the powder to dust off excessive amounts while making the lane smoother as well.
  • Make sure you don’t overdo it since it can cause you to slip too much.
  • For best results, apply the powder in installments and check the slide after each application to settle upon an ideal quantity.

It is essential to be considerate when using bowling powder. You must not allow the bowling powder to excessively dribble onto the settee floor or the approach. It can hamper other players’ bowling capabilities and experience while also putting them at the risk of injuries. 

6. Keep A Steel Brush Handy

The soles of your bowling shoes, especially your sliding sole, are bound to flatten over sessions. It is due to the pressure they experience when you bowl. Flat soles tend to create greater friction that affects the extent of your sliding. Your foot may even feel sticky on the approach.

Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem – a steel brush. It will give you more control over your sliding foot. 

With the help of a steel brush, you can lightly scrape your shoes’ sole, going from the toes to the heel. Try to do this right before you begin your bowling session or step onto the lane. A steel brush will make the material of the sole fluffier and better equipped to slide. 

Keep in mind that it is best to scrape only a light amount, so it’s adequate to eliminate some friction. Too much scraping will damage the soles, and you will have to buy new ones. 

To Sum Up

Every successful bowler will stress the importance of how your bowling shoes slide. The keys to a good session are proper run-up and bowling action, both of which you can enhance with a suitable slide. 

With the right pair of bowling shoes paired up with excellent skill and judgment, you can work towards your desired slide. 

Here, you read about six things you should try to increase the slide of your bowling shoes. While these six tips are helpful, the most critical factor lies in how you maintain your bowling shoes. 

You must preserve the quality of your shoes by cleaning them regularly and avoiding carpeted or wet surfaces. 

Remember, the pricier the shoe, the better its performance. If possible, try to invest in a high-quality bowling shoe to last you for a long time.