I do have to laugh!
My girlfriend just started and wanted to buy her own shoes. She was using a pair of my DeadEye Regulars and liked them. So she went shoe shopping to buy her own.
She bought some without me knowing it and they turned out to be Clydesdales. Anyway, I pitched them and here's what I did which is what I've always done with other shoes. You name them and I've pitched them, even the Vipers!
I took the pair of Clydecdales and Ted Allens and pitched them against each other. Guess what, No difference in ringer percentage. Which is why I say it's not the shoe but the way you pitch the shoe. Sure there are physical differences but overall they are the same and will do the same.
By the way, girlfriend said she didn't like the Clydesdales and picked up another set of my Clydesdales and said she liked them better. (LOL) So here's what I did. I started pitching hers just for fun and then switched to my other pair. Girlfriend came along and wanted to pitch so I said here's my shoes you liked. She proceeded to pitch and liked them so much better than the ones she purchased.
I had a good laugh when I told her they were the shoes she purchased that she said she didn't like before.
Trust me, that part is all mental.
So pick up a set and pitch the best you can and along the way you will develop to a shoe you prefer. So if you're just starting, purchase the shoe you can afford and worry about hitting the pit for now and control how the shoe opens when it nears the stake. More Ringers will come with time.
It is very important that you control the shoe
and not let it do what it's going to do if you just throw it.
After all that, here's my take on purchasing a good shoe.
Always, always, buy Drop Forged steel. They can be welded where a cast shoe can not be! Very important issue there!
I'll be here if needed.
FYI: I'm 47 and have been pitching on and off since I was 12. Have thrown the 1 3/4 & 1 1/4 turn since started and used to cry that I would never be able to play this game!!. (P.S. I will hurt you if you ever tell that to anyone!! J/K)
TX JR State champ 3 years in 70's. pitching up to 80%.
Currently pitching 40' About 45% with high game 75% in league on down to 20%.
Yes you can laugh!
Sometimes the darn shoes just don't want to go around the stake. That's when I have to say, it's just not meant to be!!!!!
I can tell you why and can correct sometimes but if you can help everyone solve that problem we could get rich!!!
Hope you've enjoyed this response.