Bowling Buyers Guide

Delivering Value Since 1937


Finding the right bowling equipment is important for your game. Learn more about bowling balls and shoes here.


Bowling Buyers Guide


Bowling Balls

Shopping for Proper Weight:

  • Average adult male usually bowls with a: 15-16 lb. ball
  • Average adult female usually bowls with a: 10-12 lb. ball
  • Juniors: 1lb. of weight per year of child’s age, i.e. 8 yrs old = 8-lb. ball
  • Buy the heaviest ball that you can comfortably hold/control, since heavier balls knock down more pins; Note: better to have a ball that’s too light than too heavy
  • Be cautious of exceptions in size and physical ability. If you are larger/heavier than average, go up in weight. If you are smaller or have limiting physical features, stay lower in ball weight


Shopping by Composition:

Polyester and plastic balls

  • Recommended for beginners and entry-level players
  • Roll straight with little hook
  • Good for dry conditions
  • Ideal if you roll a straight ball
  • More forgiving

Urethane balls

  • Recommended for more skilled players
  • Roll with more controlled hook
  • Tend to hit pins so pins remain low and mix with each other, offering more opportunity for strikes
  • Usually sold with sanded finish; This assists with hooking, especially if lanes are oiled

Resin balls

  • Yield similar benefits as urethane balls, but offer a sharper hook with more abrupt power
  • Allow bowlers to achieve greater entry angle than plastic or urethane balls
  • Offer greatest strike potential of all kinds of balls

Drilling the finger holes:

  • Bowling balls need to be drilled unless otherwise specified
  • Be sure to take your bowling ball to a qualified professional when getting it drilled
  • Professional drilling allows you to customize the placement and size of the finger holes
  • You can find out where to get a ball drilled at your local bowling alley

Bowling Shoes

  • Bowling shoes vary in width
  • Fit to your exact size; Too tight will cause blistering, too loose will throw off your balance
  • Look for padded collars, cushioned insoles, and padded linings; Not only do they cushion and support, they minimize movement in the shoe for better stability, balance, and performance
  • High-performance shoes are constructed differently for left and right-handed bowlers; These shoes have one shoe with a leather sole (used on sliding foot for smooth stop at delivery) and the other shoe with a rubber sole (worn on the swing-side foot for traction for forward momentum to help with balance)