If you’re wondering whether or not you should buy your own bowling shoes and ball, we won’t make you wait—the answer is a definitive “YES!” If you’re interested in why you should purchase your own bowling gear instead of continuing to rent bowling shoes and use the bowling alley balls, keep reading. We’ll give you the inside scoop from the bowling pros at Richmond 40 Bowl.
Renting shoes doesn’t cost much at most bowling alleys—just $3 here at Richmond 40 Bowl—but over time, all of those little charges add up! If you’ve ever cut out a Starbucks or McDonalds habit for a few months, you will have noticed that even cutting small costs here and there can add up to a nice chunk of change. You don’t have to be a hardcore, multiple-times-per-week bowler for it to matter, either. With plenty of bowling shoe options in the $30 to $50 range, even a casual bowler will make back the initial cost fairly quickly. (Here, for example, a $30 bowling shoe will pay for itself in just 10 games.)
Rented bowling shoes are worn by hundreds of people, and while they are sanitized between bowlers, that alone is enough reason for some folks to prefer their own pair. However, buying your own bowling shoes also means that you can get a better fit, higher quality, and more comfort, which can impact how well you bowl. Rental shoes are typically bare bones models because they get worn out so quickly. Shopping for bowling shoes means you can have some control over the style, find a fit that is comfortable for you, and they’ll be in much better condition if you’re the only person putting wear and tear on them.
This also goes for bowling balls. Don’t waste time searching the racks for your favorite ball (which might be in use anyway) or trying different balls to see which one fits your grip. When you buy your own bowling ball, you can have it custom drilled to fit your hand.
Every ball and every pair of bowling shoes is different, so getting your own bowling gear allows you to get a feel for them and know how they’ll respond. That in turn allows you to focus on your technique, instead of trying to figure out the dynamics of a new ball each time, or altering your approach due to differences in the traction of your shoes.
If you get really into bowling, you’ll eventually learn how to optimize your game by choosing performance shoes tailored to which hand you bowl with. You may also want multiple balls to deal with different oil conditions on the lanes. Using your own gear can even reduce your risk of injury.
We’re always happy to discuss our favorite sport, so if you have any questions, just ask next time you’re bowling with us!