If bowling is one of your hobbies, you should consider buying your own bowling shoes rather than using rental bowling shoes each time. If you were a golfer or a runner you probably wouldn't hesitate to buy golf shoes or running shoes, so your bowling shoes should be no different. Even for the casual bowler, bowling shoes can make the game more enjoyable. You can actually score higher in games when you're wearing the right pair of shoes and you have less risk of injury because you'll achieve the proper balance and the right amount of slide with proper bowling shoes.
You'll also have a pair of bowling shoes that are comfortable, which is the most important reason for spending the extra money. Those rental bowling shoes are hit and miss, and even if you find a pair you love, the odds are against you being able to rent the same pair next time. And consider, when's the last time the attendant asked you if you were left- or right-handed when you were choosing rental bowling shoes? Bowling shoes for lefties and righties are different, with the tackier sole and the slicker sole on the opposite foot, allowing for the proper slide and the proper braking as you release the ball.
Of course the bowling alley has mens bowling shoes and womens bowling shoes…don't they? The only difference you're likely to find between men's and women's rental bowling shoes is in how they're sized. But if you purchase your own bowling shoes you'll see there are vast differences between them. And while the alley will have kids bowling shoes available for the smaller set, it's probably a good idea to buy bowling shoes for the little ones, too, even though they'll outgrow them and need a new pair regularly. At least you'll be sure their bowling shoes are comfortable and fit properly.
One more important consideration: Be sure to buy bowling supplies like foot spray to keep your shoes clean and disinfected.
The best way to find comfortable bowling shoes is to try on several pairs. You might be tempted to choose a cheaper pair of bowling shoes made in a tennis shoe style; but while these are great for kids bowling shoes because they'll outgrow them before they wear out, slightly more expensive leather mens bowling shoes and womens bowling shoes are probably the best option. They're very comfortable, especially once you've worn them a little, and they'll last much longer than cloth bowling shoes.