What To Wear for Bowling

A woman wearingbowling shoes and leggings while playing bowling.

So, you’ve decided to go bowling with a couple of friends? If you are unsure about what you should wear to the bowling alley, then this article will be an insightful read for you!

For a long time now, bowling has been a favorite pastime for me. My enthusiasm for the sport has become so much that I have become the go-to guy whenever a friend wants to try their hand at bowling. I have become astute in all matters bowling and I’m therefore well placed to offer advice on the same.

Over the years, I have realized that newbies usually have a problem with how to dress on a trip to the bowling alley. So if you are such a person and are unsure about what you should wear for bowling, fear not. I have curated a list of what you should wear whenever you plan on going bowling.

When you go bowling, you need to ensure that you wear comfortable clothing that isn’t binding so that your movement isn’t restricted in any way. You also have to wear special bowling shoes designed just for that purpose.

Quite a lot of people are unaware of bowling costumes. Most of them even have no bowling outfit ideas. In the end, this spells out trouble for them. If you fall in this category, then relax and read on. We are going to discuss in detail the dress code you should stick to when you go bowling, for both ladies and gents.

That said, here are some ideas for what you should wear during your next trip to the bowling alley. Sit tight and read on to get the scoop!

1. Bowling Pants

An old man wearing khaki pants while playing bowling.

You need the best bowling pants when you plan for your next trip to the bowling alley. The pants should be comfortable to wear as well as flexible. You can choose to wear jeans or khakis that are not too restrictive.

For the ladies, stretchy pants are a good choice. You can wear athletic or yoga style pants, leggings, or even tights. All these will allow you to move freely when bowling. If you decide to go with jeans, you need to ensure that you have a full range of motion whenever you are bowling.

You don’t want to wear jeans that are so tight that you can’t slide and break during your bowling ball approach and release. Ladies should opt for jeans that aren’t low-rise style. This is because it’s easy to get distracted by pulling your pants up or shirt down instead of focusing on the bowling game.

Loose and comfortable regular or relaxed fixed jeans would be good options if you decide to wear jeans when going bowling.

Ladies can also wear skirts to the bowling alley. The catch is that it shouldn’t be short enough that you are being exposed while bowling. The best skirt length that you could wear when going bowling would be knee-length. This will ensure that you are fully covered while at the same time your range of motion when bowling shouldn’t be inhibited.

It’s also possible to wear shorts provided they aren’t too short! They should be loose, mid-length, and comfortable.

2. Bowling Shirt/Top

Hilton Bowling Retro Gm Legend (Pink_Black) (XL)
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On your next trip to the bowling alley, it’s essential that you have a shirt or top on. This, however, should not just be any shirt or top.

Your choice of shirt should not block your moves. The fabric used to make it should also be made from cotton so that it can absorb sweat and give you a comfortable feel. Half-sleeve shirts are the best for this purpose. It’s also possible to wear a T-shirt provided you are certain you will be comfortable enough to go bowling in it.

Ladies also need to be specific on the choice of shirt or top as well. Experts recommend wearing a short-sleeved top.

When bowling, you may get hot and uncomfortable. So a short-sleeved shirt or top is probably the best choice to provide a sense of relief.

3. Bowling Shoes

Three pairs of bowling shoes with bowling balls.

Before you ask the question, yes! You will have to wear those clown-looking shoes when you go bowling. Shoes are the most important outfit for a bowling game. Your choice of bowling shoes can harm your performance. To smoothly run over the bowling zone, you will need a certain set of shoes. Not all shoes are suitable for bowling alleys.

You, therefore, have to wear shoes that are specially designed for bowling. There are 3 different types of bowling shoes. These are rented, performance, and athletic bowling shoes.

Rented shoes are the unattractive ones we all know, that you rent for your time at the lane and return them afterward.

Performance bowling shoes have one shoe that’s designed to brake and the other shoe intended to slide. These are worn by bowling aficionados and are on the expensive side.

Athletic-style bowling shoes are a comfortable choice whenever you go bowling. They help alleviate the pain and fatigue associated with long hours of bowling.

The choice for women’s bowling shoes isn’t so much different. You can find them in rented, athletic, and performance styles as well.

All in all, your choice of bowling shoes should be comfortable, breathable, and durable. One thing to keep in mind with your bowling shoes is that they shouldn’t be too loose. A loose shoe will throw you off balance. They should be comfortable and snug enough. And one more thing, boots, and heels aren’t allowed in the bowling alley!

4. Socks

ARAD Novelty Bowling Socks for Men and Women, Crazy Sport-Themed Apparel (3-Pack)
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If you love bowling, then you need to have a pair of socks with you. Socks play a role in preventing the development of germs, especially if you use rented bowling shoes that are used by other people. It is very unhygienic to rent bowling shoes and not wear socks with them.

Some people bring a second pair of socks to change into when they put their own shoes back on instead of wearing the socks that were used when bowling.

You should also mind the accessories you wear. Things such as wristwatches and bangles may come out of your hand when bowling. So it’s better not to have them on when bowling.


To sum up, when going bowling, make sure you prioritize wearing comfortably. Your choice of attire shouldn’t be too binding or restrict your movement. Follow the tips in this guide and you’ll be good to go!

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