What To Wear To Barefoot Bowls | A Beginners Guide

  • By: Reece Williams
  • Time to read: 2 min.

Barefoot bowls is a great way to enjoy an evening with your mates. Nothing beats getting the competitive juices flowing over a few beers. However, some first timers get worried about what they should do to prepare for their first time playing.

One of the main questions I get asked is “what do I wear?”. Its no surprise, as many who are not familiar with the game see bowls clubs as stuffy and snobbish. At the end of the day they just don’t want to look silly!

In this guide I’ll take you through the “dos and don’ts” of barefoot bowls attire.

What To Wear To Barefoot Bowls

As a guide, go for “casual”. Barefoot bowls is meant to be played in a relaxed environment, so you should dress as such!

As long as both your top and bottom halves are covered – no going topless on the green, and the less said about not wearing bottoms the better – and you are comfortable you will be good to go.

Something simple like shorts and a t-shirt/shirt is always going to do the trick.

Can you wear shoes to barefoot bowls?

Yes, you can wear shoes to barefoot bowls, just as long as the are flat soled and have no tread on them. This is important as heels, wedges or trainers with tread on them can damage the surface of the green.

Just because it is called “barefoot bowls” doesn’t mean you have to play barefoot.

Here is what The RUC Turner Bowls Club in Canberra suggest:

Although it’s called ‘barefoot bowls’ other flat-soled shoes, such as thongs and sandals, are absolutely acceptable. Please respect our rule that heels and shoes with tread are not to be worn as they will damage the greens.


Just go out there, wear something comfortable on your feet, grab a beer and have fun!

Can you wear socks to barefoot bowls?

Yes, you can wear socks when playing barefoot bowls. Socks will be ideal as they won’t damage the green and can keep your toes warm on a chilly evening.

Can you wear Jewellery to barefoot bowls?

Jewellery is absolutely fine to wear when playing barefoot bowls. Just so long as it doesn’t interfere with your ability to hold the bowl (large rings may be tricky), or your ability to crouch down to deliver the bowl then you will be fine.

Barefoot bowls is all about being comfortable, so wear what you like, and have fun.


As a rule you should wear something casual and practical to barefoot bowls. Shorts and t-shirt/shirts are great as they allow the freedom of movement to play the game.

Even the footwear is relaxed – you can wear shoes or socks if you don’t like the idea of going barefoot. Just be sure they are flat soled so they don’t damage the green for other players.