Close this search box.

How To Clean Bowling Shoes?


Bowling shoes are not only an essential piece of equipment for any avid bowler but also require regular maintenance to keep them in top condition. In this article, we will delve deep into the methods and techniques on how to clean bowling shoes effectively.

Not only do they provide comfort and support during the game, but they also play a crucial role in maintaining the optimal performance of the bowler.

Over time, however, these shoes can accumulate dirt, bacteria, and grime that may negatively impact the wearer’s game, making it necessary to clean them regularly. This article will discuss some essential tips and techniques for effectively cleaning these specialized footwear to help keep them in top condition.

Firstly, it is essential to understand the various slide soles of bowling shoes and the composition of different shoe parts and unique features, as different materials and designs may require specific care.

Bowling shoes typically consist of a synthetic or leather upper, sliding soles, and rubber heels, each of which necessitates dedicated attention to ensure longevity and maintain optimal performance. The slide soles, in particular, are crucial to the bowler’s glide and precise footwork, and they often demand extra attention.

In addressing cleaning techniques, it is vital to differentiate between various approaches, such as deep cleaning, spot cleaning, or general maintenance. Each method serves a unique purpose, targeting distinct areas of concern to ensure that the shoes remain in prime condition for the long haul.

Why Clean Bowling Shoes?

Cleaning bowling shoes is essential for maintaining their best performance and increasing their lifespan. Over time, dirt, oil, and other debris can accumulate on the soles and heels, affecting the traction offered by the shoes.

Good traction is crucial for a bowler’s control and ability to maneuver on the bowling lane. If a bowler’s shoes have poor traction, it can result in a lack of stability, leading to inconsistency in their game. Furthermore, a bowler’s shoes play a vital role in their approach and release, which directly impacts their performance.

Regular maintenance of bowling shoes not only improves a bowler’s game but also reduces the risk of injury. Worn down or damaged bowling shoes may cause slips or falls, contributing to accidents during gameplay.

To sum up, cleaning bowling shoes ensures:

  • Consistent traction for better control and stability
  • Improved performance and a more fluid game
  • Longer lifespan of the footwear, saving money on replacements
  • Minimized risk of injury due to slips or falls

Supplies Needed for Cleaning

When cleaning bowling shoes, gather the necessary supplies for an effective and thorough bowling shoe cleaning:

  • A bucket: Required to hold cleaning solution, such as warm water mixed with dish soap.
  • Cleaning solution: Dish soap is a suitable cleaning solution. Alternatively, a specially formulated shoe cleaner can also be used.
  • Soft cloth/brush: A soft cloth or a shoe brush is ideal for cleaning the exterior of the shoes. A toothbrush can be used for hard-to-reach areas and for scrubbing the soles.
  • Disinfectant spray: A shoe disinfectant spray can be applied after cleaning to kill any remaining germs and bacteria.
  • Cleaner spray: A cleaner spray specifically designed for shoes can be used in place of a cleaning solution if preferred.

Steps for Cleaning Bowling Shoes

Prepare the pair of shoes for the wash and cleaning by removing the laces. These pair can be washed separately in a laundry machine or hand-washed using a mild detergent.

Supplies Needed for Cleaning - Bowlingview

Start by dampening the soft cloth or shoe brush with the cleaning solution. Gently clean the exterior of the pair of shoes, paying attention to any stained or dirty areas. For stubborn dirt or grime, use the toothbrush to scrub more vigorously. Be sure to clean any crevices or seams on the shoes as well.

For the soles, use the toothbrush to meticulously scrub and wipe away any dirt or built-up residue. If the soles are heavily soiled or wet, consider using a more aggressive brush to get them clean.

Once the shoes are clean, use a towel to pat them dry. It’s important not to use direct heat or place them in direct sunlight, as this may damage the materials. Re-lace the shoes once they are completely dry.

Ensure that the shoes are thoroughly disinfected by applying a shoe disinfectant spray according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

By following these steps and using the appropriate supplies, your bowling shoes will be clean and ready for your next bowl game.

Cleaning Process

Preparing the Shoes

Before starting the cleaning process, make sure to remove any loose dirt or debris from the bowling shoes. Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to gently brush away any grime or dirt from the surface. If the bowling shoes have removable insoles or slide strips, take them out to clean separately. This will make the cleaning process more effective.

Cleaning the Uppers

To clean the uppers of the bowling shoes, use a mixture of mild detergent and water. Create a soapy solution by combining a few drops of mild detergent with a small amount of water. Dip a soft cleaning towel or sponge into the solution and gently scrub the uppers of the bowling shoes, paying particular attention to any areas with noticeable dirt or stains.

Do Use mild detergent and water to clean the uppers
Don’t Use harsh chemicals or abrasive materials

After cleaning the uppers with dry cloth, use another wet cloth or damp towel to the slide sole to remove any soap residue and ensure the shoes are properly rinsed.

Cleaning the Soles and Slide Strips

The soles and slide strips of bowling shoes require special attention, as they directly affect your performance when bowling. To maintain accurate stoppage and smooth glide, cleaning the bowling shoe soles and slide strips is essential.

To clean the soles and slide strips, follow these steps:

  1. Use a clean, slightly damp cloth to wipe away any dust or dirt from the soles.
  2. If the dirt is stubborn, use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush to gently scrub the area.
  3. If necessary, apply a small amount of mild detergent to help with the cleaning process.
  4. Rinse the soles and slide strips with a damp cloth to remove any soap residue.

Drying and Reassembly

Once the cleaning process is complete, it is important to air dry the shoes thoroughly before reassembling them. Place the shoes, soles, and slide strips in a well-ventilated area to allow them to dry completely.

  • For faster drying, consider using a fan or placing the shoes under a ceiling fan.
  • Avoid using direct heating sources like hair dryers, radiators, or direct sunlight, as these may cause damage or shrinkage to the shoes.

After the bowling shoes and components are fully dry, reassemble the shoes neatly with insoles and slide strips as needed. Your bowling shoes should now be clean, shining, and ready for your next game.

Maintaining Your Bowling Shoes

Regular Maintenance

To keep care of your bowling shoes in top condition, regular maintenance is essential. Leather shoes require more care than rubber-soled ones. Here are some tips for maintaining your bowling shoes clean:

  • Use a wire brush to clean the soles and maintain friction. This helps the shoe last longer and provides a better grip on the approach area.
  • Invest in a spray cleaner designed specifically for bowling shoes. Apply it regularly to keep the shoes smelling fresh and free of bacteria.
  • Shoe covers can protect the shoes from dirt and moisture when not in use or when walking outside the bowling area.

For more information, watch the video – Shoe Maintenance & Understanding Interchangeable Soles!

Interchangeable Soles and Slide Strips

For those with interchangeable soles, it is important to regularly inspect them for wear, as worn soles can impact your slide and safety. To maintain them, follow these suggestions:

  • Check the soles and slide strips for wear and replace when necessary.
  • Keep track of any changes in slide or friction, as this could signal the need for replacement.
  • Store extra soles and slide strips properly to prevent damage, and avoid exposing them to extreme heat or cold.

Proper Storage

Proper storage of bowling shoes can help extend their lifespan, especially for leather shoes. Here are some points to consider when storing your shoes:

  • When not in use, store shoes in a cool, dry place, away from extreme temperatures.
  • Invest in a quality shoe bag, which allows for proper ventilation and prevents damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

In most cases, insoles can be removed and washed separately. Hand wash them with mild detergent and let them air dry before reinserting them into the shoes.

Using a steel wire brush, gently clean off any dirt or debris. If necessary, you can use a damp cloth with mild soap to also clean dirt from the exterior. Avoid using harsh chemicals or soaking the shoes.

Accordion ConMake sure to follow any specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. In general, gently clean exterior with a brush and damp cloth. Avoid soaking the shoes or exposing them to extreme heat.tent

No, wearing bowling shoes outside the bowling, can damage the sliding sole and reduce its effectiveness, impacting your sliding action on the alley.

Using a bowling shoe brush or alley shoe covers can help protect your bowling shoes from dirt, debris, and liquids. Shoe covers are a valuable piece of bowling equipment to protect your investment.

Regularly clean your sliding sole with a brush or cloth, and avoid wearing your shoes outside the alley to maintain your sliding action. Some professional bowlers, may also use a specialized sliding sole conditioner.