Cheerleaders today participate in a demanding team sport. Whether they partake in a school cheerleading team to support athletic programs such as football or basketball, or they join a competitive cheerleading club, they should stand ready to commit fully to their sport. This includes rigorous practices, putting the team's goals ahead of their own, and acquiring the necessary uniforms and equipment needed to keep the entire team safe and looking sharp.
When considering the gear required for cheerleading, whether for practice, sidelines or competition, shoes typically stand out as one of the most important items. Shoes can make or break tumbling acts or the perfect stunt. The right cheer shoes provide safety not only for the individual cheerleader but also for the entire team. This article focuses on the attributes of ideal shoes for cheerleaders and Nike cheer shoes in particular.
MANY FACTORS PLAY INTO THE RIGHT SHOE CHOICE
You might think choosing a good cheer shoe is as simple as considering comfort, durability and appearance, but it is more complicated than that. With constant advances in knowledge and technology, manufacturing shoes for every sport has become an exact science. Most serious runners, for example, own multiple pairs of shoes. They may need different shoes for different surfaces, distances and uses. They most likely will not wear the same pair of shoes for training as for the actual race. If they work out daily, most runners like to give their shoes a rest and therefore never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row.
In the same way, you will need to consider multiple aspects when choosing the best pair of cheer shoes for your needs. Manufacturers continually develop new features to improve the design of cheerleading shoes. They work diligently to add safety features, improve comfort and balance and reduce the weight of the shoes.
Keep in mind that you will probably need more than one pair of shoes. This becomes especially important if you have an overall budget for your cheerleading gear. You will want to choose the best value possible to stretch your dollars among several pairs of shoes. Here's a review of the most important considerations for choosing cheerleading shoes, whether you look at Nike cheer shoes or some other brands.
SAFETY SHOULD TOP THE LIST
Whenever you evaluate any cheer shoes, look for features that protect the safety of the wearer and the entire team. Specifically, you want soles that offer a firm grip and prevent slipping and sliding. This is important for tumbling, stunts and quick starts and stops. You may also need different shoes for various surfaces, such as damp grass or slippery gym floors. Other safety features might include outsoles with handgrips, extra cushioning in the soles to help lessen the shock of hard landings, and some type of lace locking system to keep the shoelaces tight.
Make sure you follow the guidelines for your shoes. Never wear indoor-only shoes if you are going to perform cheers outdoors. You always want to stay safe and avoid sprains and other injuries if possible.
YOUR POSITION ON THE TEAM INFLUENCES THE SHOES YOU NEED
If you are part of a team that performs complex stunts, your position definitely determines the type of cheer shoes you need. If you are one of the bases responsible for lifting the flyer into the air and getting her safely back, the grip of your shoe soles provides vital safety and support. If you are the flyer, you will want to wear shoes that are lightweight, easy to grip—perhaps with finger grooves—and provide excellent support for the bases to hold.
Tumblers need lightweight shoes that enhance stops, starts and bounces. You might also want to think about high-top shoes that come above the ankle if you will be doing a lot of tumbling stunts. The extra ankle support improves performance and protects from twists and sprains.
If you sideline cheer for outdoor sports, you will need durable shoes that stand up through rigorous performances. You will also need to consider the variable outside weather conditions and make sure to choose shoes that will hold up and keep you safe no matter what the weather throws at you.
START WITH A GOOD PAIR OF PRACTICE SHOES
Although practice shoes need to encompass the same qualities as performance shoes, they should typically emphasize durability to get you through the season. Long practices often involve repetitive moves and stunts, and teams often experiment with moving members around in different positions and performing various gymnastic routines. Good practice shoes endure extended workouts without sacrificing safety and performance.
GAME-TIME SHOES FOR THE SIDELINES AND FIELD
If your cheerleading squad supports an outside sport such as football, you carefully need to consider the shoes you will wear. The weather is likely to be quite different at the beginning of the season than at the end. Depending on your location, you may have to endure rainy weather or even early snows. Keep in mind that you won't always be cheering on your home turf. Other schools may have quite different surfaces, so be prepared. Typically, cheer shoes designed for outdoor use will boast extra tread to give you a better grip, especially on damp grass.
FIND THE BEST SHOES FOR COMPETITION WEAR
Finally, if your team enters competitions, you may want to consider special shoes just for those events. Manufactured to lightweight specifications, competition shoes scarcely feel as if you have any shoes on at all. This special footwear also features extreme flexibility to enable exacting performances. When it comes to closely scored competitions, the right shoes can definitely give you an edge.
NIKE OFFERS A CLASSIC LOOK WITH HIGH DURABILITY
With a long history of manufacturing special sports footwear that dates back to 1964, the Nike Corporation has built an excellent reputation for providing athletes with the best equipment for outstanding performances. Nike cheer shoes come in a variety of styles with multiple tread options for different purposes. Most Nike cheer shoes fall in a medium price point, but if you are on a budget, Nike also offers some styles on the lower end of the price range. Here is a sampling of some of the Nike cheer shoes on the market.
Priced in the area of $, these synthetic and mesh cheer shoes offer style and comfort. The rubber outsole will not mark floors, and the circular tread pattern offers good durability and grip. These shoes include 12 color card inserts in a rainbow of options so the cheer team can match various outfits if desired. Be aware that some buyers found these shoes to run a little smaller and tighter than the size indicates, so you may want to order a size larger.
Reasonably priced at around $70, this cheer shoe features a mesh upper with a durable skin overlay. The midfoot and heel are constructed of synthetic leather with perforations on the midfoot to enhance breathability. The outsole features a unique grip design to enable outstanding stunt performances. The drop-in midsole supplies superior flexibility and cushioning for extended routines.
These pure white synthetic and mesh cheer shoes ring up at approximately $. The mesh offers enhanced breathability and lightness while the design places synthetic leather in key areas for extra support. The natural motion of this unique design affords the competition cheerleader with great flexibility combined with perfect support and lightweight control for stunning performances. The unique design of the outsole features rubber in just the right places for crucial traction.
The eminently breathable construction of these shoes can keep your feet cool and comfortable while performing the most rigorous of stunts. Priced at approximately $, this flexible shoe with synthetic layers responds perfectly to every move. Bubble laces keep everything tight and locked down no matter how high you jump. The innovative tread design of the sole ensures no slipups.
These top-of-the-line Nike cheer shoes, priced at approximately $$, offer great style, support and durability whether you are doing sideline cheering or participating in competitions. The stylish low-profile synthetic leather shoes complement any uniform style, and the rubber non-marking outsole ensures high jumps and smooth moves. The phylon midsole and lightweight cushioning keep you comfortable and confident through the most demanding routines.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR NIKE CHEER SHOES
While the right pair of cheer shoes can definitely enhance your cheerleading style and performance, even the best cheer shoes will not save a sloppy, poorly performed routine. Here are just a few reminders of how to make your shoes work for you.
USE YOUR SHOES FOR THE PURPOSE INTENDED.
Read the labels and online descriptions of your shoes carefully. If you do outdoor sideline cheering, make sure you wear shoes designed for that. Outdoor shoes not only enhance your performance on turf, but they also keep you safe.
PRACTICE YOUR ROUTINES FAITHFULLY AND CAREFULLY.
A prepared cheerleader is a safe cheerleader. Never forget that cheerleading is a team sport, and you have a responsibility to attend every practice and work hard. When game time arrives, you will be ready and an asset to your team.
MAKE SURE TO BREAK IN NEW SHOES BEFORE A GAME OR COMPETITION
It only makes good sense to wear your shoes ahead of time; confirm that they fit properly and try out your moves with your new shoes on. When the time comes to perform your routine, you and your shoes should be ready.
Choose your Nike cheer shoes carefully with your team position and use in mind, and you should experience many hours of stellar performances. The perfect pair of cheer shoes it out there for you. You just have to invest a little thought and time to find them.