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Up your alley?

Shoes to bowl you over

Prada shoes
The 1950s bowler look is experiencing a resurgence -- Italian designer Prada has created a retro shoe that sells for about $330  

September 13, 2000
Web posted at: 3:40 p.m. EDT (1940 GMT)

(CNN) -- You won't find many fashion gurus hanging out at bowling alleys -- the sport isn't known for its sartorial refinery.

But that's changing. Bowling shoes are among the hippest must-haves this fall.

"Sales are very brisk," says Dan Bearden of Bowlers Aid Pro Shops.

The shoes have retro appeal. Shoppers today are trying to emulate the '50s vintage bowling look, from shirt to shoes.

This is not lost on top designers. They're creating new styles that cost far more than the average alley shoe, which retails for at least $50.

bowling alley
Real bowlers are mystified by the bowling-fashion trend  

Italy's House of Prada has created a retro shoe -- complete with faux aged leathers, split toes, long laces and bright colors -- that sells for about $330. Not exactly spare change.

Put off by the high price, some fashion followers are taking a more direct -- and more dishonest -- route.

"That is one of the reasons we have to charge rental," said Dennis Lockhart, a bowling alley manager. "We have to replace the shoes when people walk out with them."

The trend strikes out among real bowlers.

"I would never wear my shoes outside," said bowler Lewis Clemons III. "If you wear your shoes outside, the rocks and gravel will tear up the surface of the bottom of the bowling shoe."



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Prada (Web site coming soon)

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