Rental Shoes: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Working at a bowling center there’s a few questions that you get asked repeatedly. Some of them make sense, some of them don’t. So we’ll try and shed some light on the more common ones.

  1. Why are these shoes so ugly? Rental bowling shoes are made ugly on purpose. Really. There’s a few reasons for this, first of all it’s so no one steals them. It might be on purpose, it might be accidental, but since there so ugly it’s easy to spot bright two-tone shoes as someone is walking out the door. It’s also easier to see from the counter if someone is bowling without shoes when they really SHOULD have shoes on. This brings us to #2.
  2. Do I REALLY have to wear bowling shoes? YES, you really do! No we’re not just making this up. The wood part of the lane you walk on when your bowling (the approach) is a soft kind of wood. If you go bowling in regular shoes you could have small rocks stuck in the bottom, dirt all over them, and the bottoms will leave black marks all over it. This will severely damage the approach and it will need repair. The bottom of bowling shoes are made of felt, this allows the shoes to slide on the approach smoothly. Regular shoes will not slide and you will end up following your ball right down the lane.
  3. Did you clean my shoes? Yes of course! Every time our shoes are rented they get sprayed down with industrial strength disinfectant. Every time a customer returns a pair of shoes they get sprayed inside. If you ask us we’ll be more than happy to spray them again for you, the downside is they might be a little damp inside when you put them on because they haven’t had time to dry.
  4. Do you take my shoes? No, not here. Some bowling centers still take one or both of a customers shoes to make sure you don’t walk out with their rental shoes. We trust our customers, and again the shoes are pretty ugly so who really wants to rock them out to the grocery store?

So that’s the story with ugly rental shoes at a bowling center. If anyone has any other pressing issues or questions you would like to know more about leave us a comment. We’ll try to get another blog post written up about it. Until then don’t forget your shoes!

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