Do you like to go bowling? We sure do! In fact, we get so excited at the prospect of bowling that it's like we're walking on pins and needles! OK…so that was a bad joke, but we couldn't help ourselves.

Bowling is a fun sport the whole family can enjoy. There's nothing quite like heading to your local bowling alley and tossing a few balls down the lanes at those pins just waiting to be scattered by the perfect roll of the ball.

There are so many fun things related to going bowling. Picking out the perfect ball just for you, practicing your addition skills by keeping score, combining your knowledge of geometry and physics to guide the ball down the lane and into the pins…these are just a few examples.

But we're forgetting something super-fun, aren't we? If you've ever been to a bowling alley, you know what we're talking about: bowling shoes! Bowling alleys don't allow you to wear just any old shoes on their super-slick lanes.

Bowling alleys offer their very own bowling shoes for rental as soon as you walk in the door. Before you bowl, you're asked for your shoe size, so that you can be issued a pair of bowling shoes to use during your games.

Although they're probably not the most attractive shoes you've ever worn, bowling shoes do serve an important purpose. Usually made of a combination of leather and rubber, bowling shoes feature slippery soles.

The slippery surface of bowling shoes allows you to slide easily along the polished wood surface of the bowling lanes. As you approach the lane to release the ball toward the pins, it's important to be able to move very smoothly, so that your release is as controlled as possible.

The heels of bowling shoes are usually made of rubber to make it easy to brake your slide as soon as you release the ball. People who bowl often might even have their own custom bowling shoes that have rubber soles on their non-sliding foot and a slippery sole on their sliding foot.

Renting shoes to bowlers also allows bowling alleys to keep their wooden lane surfaces in tip-top shape. It would be much harder to keep playing surfaces in good condition if all sorts of different shoes were worn regularly — including shoes that might track in dirt, rocks, and other items that could scratch the lanes.

No one knows for sure when bowling shoes were invented, but historians believe a leather bowling shoe may have been introduced in the United States as early as 1888.

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