Everyone who’s ever bowled has experienced that moment at the rental counter. They don’t have the shoes in your size, and the ones they do have look like they pre-date the Eisenhower administration. The person behind the counter lightly sprays into the shoes and hands them to you. It’s not a matter of being a germaphobe, but having to cram your feet into bowling shoes a size too small that look like a biology experiment gone wrong is unpleasant. This drives many women and men interested in bowling to buy their own bowling shoes. Fact of the matter is, that when it comes to serious bowlers, men are more common than women (though the numbers are equalizing) this means there is a better market for men’s bowling shoes.
Now it can be hard to find men’s bowling shoes, you can find tennis and basketball shoes in shoe stores and sometimes even soccer/football cleats, but not bowling shoes. This is because let’s be honest no one wears bowling shoes to just hang out, where as basketball shoes are worn for just walking around more than for playing basketball. Men’s bowling shoes don’t have the soles or support for daily use. A better comparison for bowling shoes would actually be boxing or wrestling. A specialized foot wear for a sport that doesn’t have a constant influx of yearly high school athletes buying supplies in vast numbers (wrestling is a bit of an exception but even at that the shoes can be hard to find) to keep them in markets.
Buying shoes online can be a bit tricky. One of the best things to do is to find a place with good discounts and a good return policy. Unless you’ve put the shoe on you won’t know how it fits till you get it. The best bet is to try a shoe on in your local pro-shop at the bowling alley, and then order it off of the internet. Usually for a considerable discount since the online store won’t have the overhead the pro-shop does. Once you’ve found a brand you like though your life is easier. If you have the misfortune of wearing through shoes very quickly once you know that brand fits you can keep yourself well supplied on men’s bowling shoes for the long term future.
If you’re in a league and want your team to look more uniform, using the internet to order identical men’s bowling shoes can add some fun to team building. Most people bowl for fun, not for a professional pay check, and it’s worth remembering that the goal is to have fun. It’s a lot more fun to bowl in shoes that fit well and are clean than bowling in the fungus factory.