By Kim Terrell-Kearney
USBC Coaching Specialist
You routinely visit different centers to bowl leagues and tournaments, so you already know the value of shoes with interchangeable soles and heels. The only question for you is which pair to buy. This simply comes down to conducting a little bit of research.
Browse the product catalogs of the various manufacturers, and ask the pro shop professional if he or she has heard any feedback, positive or negative, about the shoes you're considering. It's also wise to ask fellow bowlers what they've seen, heard and experienced. You'll find most of them more than willing to tell you what they liked or did not like about a particular pair of shoes.
If you strictly bowl amateur events, you are ready to pull out your money and make your selection; however, if you have designs on bowling in a PBA event, you'll want to take a moment to make sure your shoes are made by a manufacturer that participates in the PBA's product registration program. If you buy a pair of shoes made by a company that is not product registered, you will not be able to wear them during PBA play.
Lastly, once your new shoes arrive, be sure to spend some practice time trying out the different sole-heel combinations at your disposal. Determine your favorite combination, and then try to find one or two that offer you more slide and one or two that offer you less slide. That way, you'll know exactly what you're in store for when it's time to make a change.
Remember, your feet are the foundation for every good delivery. Don't take your shoes lightly. Take your time selecting the right pair, and break them in during practice to make sure you are using them effectively. That will keep you on balance and bowling your best at all times.