I have long admired the look of multi-colored bowling shoes and thought they would make a good fashion item. When my friend Bryan showed up with his size 10 bowling shoes last week I was interested right away.
He says he got his at a thrift store but that many young people acquire a pair by wearing some old shoes to a bowling alley where they turn in one shoe and rent their bowling shoes. After the game they simply leave in them, leaving one old shoe behind. According to a 2001 article in Bowling Digest, “In the cycle of fashion trends, bowling shoes become a staple every few years or so. However, this time around the shoes are hot more because they are, literally, stolen right out of centers than because of how they look--and that trend isn't pleasing proprietors.”
There are plenty of legitimate Websites where new (unworn!) bowling shoes can be purchased but to me the whole grungy appeal of bowling shoes is that they are shared with fellow amateur bowlers.