As cheerleading routines are getting more and more athletic, the demand for a good pair of shoes is increasing. A comfortable pair of shoes not only enhances the performance of a cheerleader, but also reduces pain and prevents injuries during practice and performances. Coming home after a cheer practice with blisters or even worse, a sprain ankle is definitely not a pleasant experience! These excruciating injuries can be all avoided with quality cheerleading shoes.
So what is the best type of footwear for cheerleading? Cheerleading shoes of course!
Evolution of Cheerleading Shoes
In the early days when cheerleading was mainly for cheering other sports teams on the sidelines, the types of footwear were not really emphasized. Usually, cheerleaders were only required to wear saddle shoes or flat canvas sneakers paired with knee length socks. Since then, cheerleading has drastically evolved and is now recognized as a sport! Cheerleading shoes were born around 1960 with brands such as Keds, Varsity and Nfinity to cater to this demand.
Durable, durable, durable
Cheerleaders are required to perform a physically intense routine with stunts, tumbling and jumps. Cheerleading shoes that have excellent quality should be able to sustain the wear and tear of the toughest cheer practices. Moreover, the inside of the cheer shoe has a smooth vinyl surface that helps your cheer shoes last longer. The last thing a cheerleader wants is their shoe to split open during practices or on performance day itself!
Most shoes that are geared for cheerleading are lightweight, so that the cheerleader does not feel weighed down by the shoes. This main feature gives the cheerleader a sense of weightlessness while jumping and performing tumbling passes. The soles in most cheer shoes assure that athletes get the best grip on the floor when launching into a tumbling pass.
Far too often, cheerleaders find it difficult to execute their tumbling skills with clunky footwear, therefore it is quite important for them to practice with proper footwear before performing on competitions or performances. Imagine being able to jump and tumble without feeling much weight on your feet, at the same time knowing they are protected.
Secondly, comfort is another main factor of a pair of quality cheerleading shoes. Unlike most athletic footwear, cheerleading shoes often include soft padding in the soles of the shoes to reduce impact on the feet while performing. Most cheerleading shoes are also designed to fit the natural contours of the foot, allowing seamless transitions between sections of the routine and energetic dance moves!
Ergonomics, by definition, is about how efficiently humans work within the environment. In this case how cheer shoes can help cheerleaders perform at their very best! As cheerleading is a contact sport, cheerleading shoes make it easier for bases to grip the flyer’s feet. Cheer shoes fit the natural contours of the foot so a more secure grip can be achieved and making stunts easier and more stable! Comparing that feeling to other types of shoes, where their design features do not necessarily fit the foot contour, bases have difficulties in gripping the feet of the flyer during a stunt, while the flyers feel less secure because they don’t feel they are being “held”.
To conclude, proper footwear is essential to perform better in any sport, and cheerleading is no exception. To all cheerleaders out there, invest in a good pair of cheerleading shoes to support you in a comfy and enjoyable cheerleading journey!