Bacterial cell shape is a key trait governing the extracellular and intracellular factors of bacterial life. Rod-like cell shape appears to be original which implies that the cell wall, division, and rod-like shape came together in ancient bacteria and that the myriad of shapes observed in extant bacteria have evolved from this ancestral shape. In order to understand its evolution, we must first understand how this trait is actively maintained through the construction and maintenance of the peptidoglycan cell wall. The proteins that are primarily responsible for cell shape are therefore the elements of the bacterial cytoskeleton, principally FtsZ, MreB, and the penicillin-binding proteins. MreB is particularly relevant in the transition between rod-like and spherical cell shape as it is often (but not always) lost early in the process. Here we will highlight what is known of this particular transition in cell shape and how it affects fitness before giving a brief perspective on what will be required in order to progress the field of cell shape evolution from a purely mechanistic discipline to one that has the perspective to both propose and to test reasonable hypotheses regarding the ecological drivers of cell shape change.