What You Need to Know About Your Lawn Bowling Shoes
If you’re on the hunt for lawn bowling shoes, you might be wondering what kind of brands will tick all the boxes. Often, the top-tier brands are actually known as “Bowls Australia Approved”, indicating they match certain official criteria for the field. Given how relaxed Aussies are, and the way barefoot variations of the sport have taken off in the last decade, why would players even need an “approved” shoe?
Footwear codes are common in sport – for example, squash courts won’t allow black-soled footwear on the court, as they mark the floor. There are also strict requirements around the types of lawn bowl shoes allowed on the greens in most countries – for a very simple reason.
Lawn bowling shoes are utilised when playing on a smooth surface made of grass or synthetic turf. The green is usually meticulously maintained to ensure the bowl can travel smoothly when a player releases it.
Because of this, Bowls Australia – our national association for the sport – sets standards for this type of footwear.
Note: Barefoot versions are a great form of social sport that makes the most of the laidback Aussie lifestyle and terrific climate.
Approved footwear for lawn bowl shoes is based on whether it could damage the surface overall. They need to have flat, non-slip soles without grip.
The Bowls Australia website has more detail about how they assess footwear to decide if they’re suitable. You’ll see they prefer to look at aspects such as the heel, contour of the sole, and whether there are any obvious ripples or obstructions.
While each club has its own dress rules, competitive leagues have specific requirements for uniform and footwear attire. These are based on regulations set by state and territory associations and include the types of shoe bowlers can compete in.
At The Bowler’s Barn, we cater to the spectrum of players across casual to competitive leagues. All of our options are also BA-approved.
Before you buy, think about whether you’re playing socially, regularly, in a pennant or aiming for Commonwealth gold. This will help you narrow down your choices so you can aim for the best pair of shoes that matches your needs, within your budget.
Regardless of whether you’re playing for fun, fitness or future glory, it’s important to invest in the best-quality pair you can afford.
Research finds that good footwear in any sport helps prevent injuries like slips and falls. Investing in the right pair of shoes is not just good for your game, it will prevent unwanted accidents.
Look at options that are flexible, feature good cushioning and provide plenty of support. Given how many hours you’ll be on the green, you want them to be made from “breathable” material that lets your feet air, limits moisture and stops blisters from forming.
They don’t have to be clunky or look like you’re working in a factory to comply with safety standards, either.
We stock a range of trendy designs from manufacturers who customise options for all types of players. OOFOS Recovery shoes are currently flying out of our online carts. This popular brand features “OOfoam technology” that mixes the comfort of a Croc with the stability of a sneaker.
The bottom line is that the approved label is a bit different to a “SunSmart” label on a hat, in that it is mandatory for competitions, not just a guideline. But for casual players, just like SunSmart guidance, it’s designed to help, not harm. If this is all starting to sound complicated, ask the friendly team at The Bowler’s Barn, or your local club.