Best Cheer Shoes Reviewed & Rated

No matter your cheer standard, whether you are a professional athlete attending multiple competitions annually or just take part as a bit of fun with friends, everyone needs the right footwear. Wearing the right cheer footwear can take those lifts, jumps and flips to the next level.

Cheerleading is a complex and demanding sport. In a fast paced environment involving any combination of dance, stunts, jumps and kicks, having the right foundation is going to make all the difference. But what makes a good cheer shoe and why?

Last Updated: January 20, 2018
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By Ellis Rose Hale:

The recent update reflects the best of 2017s cheer shoes. Covering all features and ability levels to ensure you find the right fit for you. The information provided will help you evaluate the top 10 brands and styles within the cheer market. We have also included featured reccommendations; the top three we love - and we hope you do too!

Featured Recommendations

NFinity Vengeance
  • NFinity Vengeance
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Open mesh
  • Pylon pads
  • Price: See Here
 
New Balance KX624
  • New Balance KX624
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-marking outsole
  • Padded interior
  • Price: See Here
 
Skechers Biker II
  • Skechers Biker II
  • 4.4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Flexible sole
  • Zigzag stitching
  • Price: See Here

Cheer shoes generally follow a few basic rules. The color should be all white, the fabric should be easy to clean, keeping them show perfect, and lastly, it is important to find the right balance between durability and lightweight feel. Additional features such as cushioning and the integrity of the sole will provide additional support and comfort.

There are dozens of brands and styles on the market and when it appears there is so much to consider, choosing a pair can seem a confusing task. However, this comprehensive breakdown of our top ten best cheer shoes will help you decide which is the right fit for you.

 

 

15 Best Cheer Shoes

 

 

 

1. NFinity Vengeance

Durability meets lighter than light. NFinity has used the latest technology to create a cheer shoe that ticks all the right boxes. This feather light shoe effortlessly provides comfort through a sculpted interior and exterior structure whilst still providing a light, barefoot feel. Bubble laces that stay tied coupled with a natural rubber outer sole guarantee support where it counts, meaning so can you.
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Lightweight
Nfinity’s most lightweight cheer shoe to date. Weighing in at an astonishing 3.9 oz, these shoes are guaranteed not to weigh you down, helping you take those jumps and kicks a notch higher.

Support
Specifically designed to fit tight to the foot, an interior and exterior skeleton provide essential support without sacrificing weight, limiting any risk of injury through unwanted ankle movement.

Cost and Value
Despite being half the weight Vengeance is unfortunately not half the price. But despite sitting at the slightly higher end of the price scale, with all their additional features and the added lightweight material it’s definitely worth the extra.
Pros
  • Upper mesh allows easy customization 
  • Three strategically placed pads for durability 
  • Support and tight fit for safety
  • Lightweight at only 3.9 oz
Cons
  • Sizes run small 
  • Tight fit may not be suitable for wider feet

2. New Balance KX624

The perfect choice for beginners. This sneaker provides all of the durability, support and comfort necessary to cheer without breaking the bank. If you’re just getting started in cheer or simply enjoy it as a little bit of fun in the backyard then this all rounder is the one for you.
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Durability
A strong rubber sole and leather outer material, these shoes stand the test of time. The non-marking outer sole gives you stage-ready, perfectly white pumps all year round.

Comfort
Complete with an injection folded midsole, six lace closure and cushioned interior, the KX624 take comfort that one step further. These features coupled with a padded collar and tongue ensure your snug right through those long competition days.

Cost and Value
Durable, comfortable and affordable. Below average in market price, the KX624 is a great choice to begin your cheer career, everything you need but without breaking the bank!
Pros
  • Textile and cushioned lining for extra comfort
  • Stitching perforation allowing feet to breathe
  • Arch support 
  • Long lasting and durability through tough design
Cons
  • Limited flexibility
  • Not specifically a cheer shoe

3. Skechers Biker II

Practicality meets style. Known for their high quality and diversity, Skechers have provided a beautifully fashioned shoe through Biker, without compromising all the flexibility and durability cheer demands. The smooth leather finish with glitter logo will ensure you stand out from the crowd.
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Flexibility
The flexible rubber traction outsole makes bending, pointing and flexing your feet in all directions an easy task. From pointed toes during a pike to preparing for a lift, this minor detail can go a long way.

Shock Absorption
Biker shoes make those landings a little easier and a little softer through a shock absorbing midsole. Meaning you can push higher and land lighter.

Cost and Value
Skechers known for their affordability, average at price competition within the market. But providing not only a suitable cheer shoe but also a fashion piece, you’re getting 2-in-1 deal.
Pros
  • Micro-perforated leather panels for breathability
  • Flexible rubber outsole
  • Long-lasting, non marking outsole 
  • Stylish finish and glitter logo
  • Shock absorbing midsole
Cons
  • Easy slip on may compromise shoes stability
  • Narrow design may not be suitable for wider feet

4. New Balance WX623v3

4. New Balance WX623v3
Improved breathability, durability and comfort with this new model; the WX623v3 is the new and revised. Created with the latest technology, the WX623v3 provides the utmost shock absorption and support through its EVA footbed, ABZORB crash pad and AMEVA midsole. A shoe you can rely on to support you!
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Absorption
New and improved ABZORB crash pad heel to improve cushioning and force absorption make the WX623v3 the perfect jumping shoe. You’ll even feel a little spring in your step as you strut your stuff as they are super bouncy.

Support
The combination of the AMEVA midsole, EVA footbed and strong arch make the WX623v3 easy on the ankles, knees and back, washing away any aches and pains from previous injuries and actively reducing the risk of new ones!

Cost and Value
With all that new technology you’d think these would be made payable in gold plates, but hitting just slightly above average in our Top 10s price range, the WX623v3’s are an absolute steal.
Pros
  • EVA footbed for extra flexibility
  • Non-marking outsole making them easy to keep fresh
  • Springy crash pad making jumping and landing a breeze
  • Very supportive, making them great for people with previous injuries 
Cons
  • Sizes run short in the toes
  • Quite chunky, may be more of a walking shoe

5. NFinity Evolution

5. NFinity Evolution
Watch your cheer performance evolve with NFinitys Evolution Cheer shoe. A “slipper-esque” fit, these shoes are not designed to fit like a normal shoe. Lightweight at just 6.5 oz these ultra flexible, high-performance competition shoes are designed for those serious athletes. Strategically placed rubber outsole pods ensure durability with compromising your cheer goals.
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“Slipper-esque” fit
Designed to fit like a slipper, the Evolutions provide enhanced cushioning through ergonomically designed insoles that will have you light on your toes with superior flexibility and comfort.

Support
AnkleLoc Technology enhancing the heel fit around the ankle and NFiniFit in the forefoot, combined with the interlocking bubble lace system means this super light shoe packs a punch in ankle stability.

Cost and Value
Priced at less than our leading contender, the Vengeance, the Evolution provides all the latest technology at lesser the cost with only an extra 2.6 oz per foot in return, what more could you ask for?
Pros
  • Ergonomically designed insole for comfort, arch support and enhanced cushioning
  • Tight fit and bubble laces ensure a secure fit to prevent injury 
  • AnkleLoc technology enhances fit there increasing performance 
  • Combo of leather and sateen balances support with breathability
Cons
  • Tight fit causes show to run small, sizing may be hard to judge
  • Competition shoe, less durable

6. Fila Memory

6. Fila Memory
Solid and sturdy, this classic has a twist. A memory foam layer gives a heavenly cushiony feel, perfect for those long hours of practice. Leather and synthetic materials with strategically placed overlays provide that essential structural integrity for support without compromising breathability. Fila combines quality material, durability and support with a sleek finish.
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Slip resistant
This shoe prides itself on its stability. A slip during a stunt can mean the whole squad suffers but the Fila Memory has an anti-slip rubber outsole cut in all directions for added grip.

Comfort
A combination of an EVA midsole and memory foam sock liner the Fila Memory is easy on those arches, providing a memorable and long-lasting comfort.

Cost and Value
With the added bonus of memory foam without the added cost, these shoes still fall in below average on our price scale.
Pros
  • Cushion through a memory foam sock liner
  • Rubber outsole with proven durability
  • EVA midsole for extra comfort
  • Full leather upper providing additional support
Cons
  • Not specifically a cheer shoe
  • Flexibility may be limited

7. RYKA Intent XT 2 SR

7. RYKA Intent XT 2 SR
Specifically designed for women (sorry chaps you're out of this one), the Intent XT 2 combines a more narrom heel, foot area that's wider, and a more well fitted footbed to perfectly complement the shape of your foot. The result? A high-performance shoe with not only comfort but control.
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Traction
Providing slip-resistant rubber coverage for extra grip during those challenging stunts and perfectly balanced kicks the Intent XT 2 can be relied upon.

Fit
The latest technology and research have formulated the perfectly fit for the female foot. The Intent XT 2 provides support without losing durability.

Cost and Value
Well within the affordable range, these shoes are a safe haven for your wallet. Filled with female specific features, you can rest assure that your money is being spent on something specific for you!
Pros
  • Slip resistant
  • Compression moulded EVA for extra support
  • Water & stain repellent with Scotchgard protector
  • Designed specifically for women (A pro if you’re a woman)
Cons
  • Designed for women only (A con if you're not a woman)
  • Slightly stiff meaning flexibility may be compromised

8. Nike Sideline III

8. Nike Sideline III
A sleek design of synthetic leather and mesh uppers for dynamic support and enhanced durability. Non-marking rubber outsoles with medial pivot points allow for your best performance on any surface. Meaning the Sideline III is not just a competition shoe reserved for spring floors, but also a fully equipped practice shoe compatible with both the gym floor and the asphalt fields.
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Style
Nike know how to design a beautiful shoe, but with an extra feature which may take the money in style for the Sideline, cue the colour slide cards. Easily interchangeable for your own team’s colour customisation!

Performance
Not only does the Sideline provide non-marking rubber soles, they have gone a step further in providing medial pivot points. Enhancing your ability to slide, jump, kick and twist on any surface!

Cost and Value
There is a jump in price between the different sizes, so their cost will really depend on you. But considering the Sideline III has complete versatility and will be the only cheer shoe you’ll need from practice to show day, you’re really getting an all-in-one deal.
Pros
  • Comfort through the pylon midsole
  • Internal flex groove for flexibility
  • Customise options through colour side cards - Add your teams colours!
  • Medial pivot points allow performance on multiple surfaces
Cons
  • Snug fit mean sizes run small
  • Narrow fit may not suit wider feet

9. Nike Unite

9. Nike Unite
Looking for flexibility with a lightweight cushion? Look no further, the Nike Unite’s combination of internal flex grooves and Nike’s signature medial pivot points make this shoe ideal for dynamic durability and enhanced performance on any surface. A full white surface of synthetic leather make these cheer shoes fantastically durable.
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Flexibility
“Point those toes” is a term you will hear all too often in cheer, but the Unite’s make this an easy task with internal flex grooves to naturally follow and enhance the flexibility of your arches.

Cushion
A double lasted Phylon midsole provides ample cushion against their carefully balanced lightweight feel. Being not only comfortable but completely versatile may give them an advantage over cheaper brands.

Cost and Value
Unlike their sideline sister, the prices of the Nike Unites do not fluctuate depending on sizing, they unitedly sit at the higher end of the price range.
Pros
  • Enhanced flexibility through internal flex grooves 
  • Synthetic leather provides durability 
  • Double lasted Phylon midsole 
  • Enhanced performance through medial pivot point
Cons
  • Arch support may be lacking for those who need it
  • As with most, sizes run small so order up!

10. Puma Soleil V2

10. Puma Soleil V2
A super-comfy, super-sporty, dance-inspired shoe comes equipped with all the features necessary. Durable synthetic leather finish with perforations for breathability, snug lace up fit and strategically placed pivot points on a sturdy rubber sole allow quick and easy rotation during routines. Extra padding ensures comfort isn't compromised in this easy to go to shoe.
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Design
Puma have created a fashion-sport hybrid with the Soleil V2. A clean and simple design with two PUMA cat logos, a sporty finish to match your sport lifestyle.

Comfort
The extra padded footbed and sockliner make the Soleil V2 an extremely wearable and danceable shoe. Additionally, the pivot point allows for easy rotation during routines, taking the stress away from the ankle joint.

Cost and Value
These shoes are extremely affordable, making them a perfect practice or beginners shoe. However as they are not a completely white finish, you may have to double check if they are shoe suitable!
Pros
  • Durable synthetic leather material
  • Rubber sole enhancing stability
  • Pivot point allowing for quick rotation
  • Extra padded footbed & sockliner for additional cushion
Cons
  • Not completely white finish
  • Not specifically a cheer shoe

11. Zephz Tumble

11. Zephz Tumble
All Zephz shoe lines are made with one sport in mind. The Zephz Tumble is literally designed for cheerleading. With research heading to the people who know it best, cheerleaders have helped their shoes become some of the most technologically advanced on the market. Offering a stunt heel, triple air mesh, a stitched toe, and heel wedge, these cheer shoes will make you lighter on your feet and perform at the top level through all practices and events. Take a few moments and look at the key features of the Zephz Tumble and find the cheer shoes you have been looking for.
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ZephzLite Heel Wedge Paired with Stunt Heel
Let’s start with the ZephzLite Heel Wedge, which gives you the extra cushion and impact absorption extreme stunts and tumbling need. This added cushion in the heel is important to keep your ankles and feet feeling great and if this feature isn’t awesome enough, add to it the rounded stunt heel. You will find the rounded edge gives you superior control during those tricky stunts. Not only will you gain control you will also find that the stitched design gives these cheer shoes extreme durability. Shoes aren’t made like they used to be. The use of stitching provides superior strength and gives you a pair of shoes you can rely on to stay strong through all the high flying activity that is involved in cheerleading.

Triple Air Mesh
Easy to clean and super breathable uppers are part of why we love the Zephz tumble. Keeping your feet cool and dry in those always stuffy gyms and convention centers is no longer an impossibility. Paired with the right socks, these shoes will stand up to the job. Allowing air to easily pass through the shoe, these cheer shoes will help keep your feet dry. This aids in the prevention of blisters, bacterial or fungal growth, odor, and other common problems associated with active feet. The triple air mesh is also very light. Keeping your active shoes light helps keep your muscles and joints feeling great through the most arduous practices and activities.

Cost and Value
These truly top of the line cheer shoes are average in price and above average everywhere else. They will easily fit into most budgets and will last for seasons to come. Great structure, support, bounce, and comfort is what you will find in these shoes. Keep it light and keep the price in a range not shocking to the buyer, two boxes you can check off your list. Among many others, you have found in all the amazing features of these cheer shoes.
Pros
  • Good Flexibility for Tumbling
  • Comes with Variety of Lace Colors
  • Added Support Systems
  • EVA Midsole
  • Durable Stitched Outsole
Cons
  • Sizing Runs Small

12. FootMates Cheer 3

12. FootMates Cheer 3
Specializing in footwear for over 50 years, FootMates offers a timeless look not found in many cheer shoes. The easy to clean leather upper paired with rubber outsole for superior traction are two reasons parents love this shoe. Looking good is only part of what is important, these cheer shoes also offer optional fit options, support, and the flexibility needed to stand out as part of the best. It is important to note, these shoes also offer a roomy toe box and adequate arch support, which is needed for growing feet.
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Custom Fit System
All feet are shaped slightly differently and come in a variety of widths. It can be very difficult to find great cheer shoes that offer any type of customization in fit. Inevitably this is going to be a problem for at least one person on your team. This is not only frustrating for you but also the parent and child. Shoes that don’t fit properly can lead to pain, blisters, and possible injuries. The FootMates Cheer 3 comes with two sets of insoles. One for medium and one for wide width feet. Interchangeable insoles are not only awesome for giving that customized feet, they allow you to continue to use the shoes after the insole has seen better days or when it is time for the next child to use them.

Roomy Toe Box
Proper foot development requires wearing shoes that allow the toes to move. Splaying, or spreading, the toes are only part of the reason the toe box is important. As we grow, our feet help us learn to balance and they grip the ground when needed. To do this correctly, our toes must be looked after during the growing phases of life. Allowing the toes to move naturally helps to keep them dry, comfortable, and moving as they are intended to. This all adds to overall foot health and comfort.

Cost and Value
These cheer shoes will give you an adorable, comfortable, made with young feet in mind solution to your shoe need. They will also cost you quite a bit. One of the most expensive pairs of cheer shoes in our guide, these may not fit into everyone’s budget easily. The investment is worth consideration, with amazing features that give durable, ground-gripping traction, room for toes, and support in all the right places, these cheer shoes really are a step above the rest.
Pros
  • Real Leather
  • Classic Look
  • Made for Growing Feet
  • Customizable Fit
  • Sturdy
Cons
  • May Need to Order 1/2 Size Down
  • Cost

13. Hobibear Breathable Knit

13. Hobibear Breathable Knit
When dealing with growing feet you need to take several things into consideration when choosing a great pair of cheer shoes. First, is there room in the toe box for the toes to splay naturally? Next, is the support correct for your child’s ankle and insole? Lastly, look into the overall flexibility and weight of the shoe. The Hobibear Breathable Knit Sneakers are durable, breathable and easy to clean. The strap across the top gives extra support and the outsole provides a great cushion, traction, and bounce for all of the new routines.
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Strong Heel Support
During Cheer practice and events, your heels take some serious impact. Jumping, running, dancing, tumbling, and honestly all of the pieces of cheerleading lead to heel striking. A strong heel with added cushion will not only absorb the shock of your landings but will help disperse it, keeping your feet, ankles, and knees feeling great. The young members of your cheer squad will appreciate the added protection in the heel of the Hobibear Breathable Knit Sneakers and be able to work hard every time because of continued comfort and support.

EVA Midsole
Supportive, comfortable, and flexible the EVA Midsole is sure to help your feet feel great. Used in the most advanced shoes because of its lightness and flexibility, EVA midsoles are built for comfort. Cheer shoes need to be very flexible because of the variety of tasks that your feet will find themselves in during a normal session. The midsole plays a large role in keeping the shoe flexible. Comfort and support are equally important and the tried and trusted EVA midsole matches its flexibility with its comfort and support. This midsole will continue to work hard, as long as you are.

Cost and Value
Finding cheer shoes that are affordable for everyone on the team can be a tall order, especially when talking one that is made for young cheerleaders. This shoe will fit into almost everyone’s budget. High performance and durability also help the affordability factor. If you are in need of a great pair of cheer shoes and a good price is non-negotiable, the Hobibear Breathable Knit Sneakers might be just what you have been looking for.
Pros
  • Easy On Easy Off
  • No Worrying About Untied Laces
  • Durable
  • Easy to Clean 
  • Snug Supportive Fit
  • Runs True to Size
Cons
  • Bulky
  • Heavier Than Other Cheer Shoes

14. SmartFit Sizzle

14. SmartFit Sizzle
SmartFit has stuck to its tested and trusted roots throughout their time as a company. What does this mean for us? It means we will get a high-quality shoe developed with growing feet in mind that offer support, comfort, durability, and flexibility. Easy for your young cheerleader to take on and off she will love these cheer shoes on and off the court.
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Skid Resistant Outsole
Whether it’s your first time at practice or you are learning advanced tumbling and lifting patterns, making sure your feet stay under you is important. Gym and practice floors can vary and you may find yourself running through carpeted hallways, down concrete or steel steps and the last thing you want is for your foot to lose traction and cause a fall that could lead to serious injury. The skid-resistant outsole of the SmartFit Sizzle will help give you great traction and control for perfect tumbling passes with a well-stuck landing.

Lightweight + Roomy Toe Box
Sometimes, when looking for a toe box that allows room for developing fee, what you get is a lot of added weight. Keeping your cheer shoes ultra lightweight is imperative to performance. Heavy shoes affect take off and overall jump height as well as how fatigued your muscles feel after long tumbling sessions or even just through a long cheer practice. Keeping your shoes super light while still giving your feet the comfort, support, and room for growth required of young cheerleaders can be found. The SmartFit Sizzle will look great and meet all the requirements of a stellar cheer shoe.

Cost and Value
Growing feet can cost a fortune to keep in high-quality footwear. Especially, in the area of a specialized pair of cheer shoes, built for performance and comfort. The SmartFit Sizzle keeps your child’s growing feet and your budget in mind by offering a very affordable pair of cheer shoes that will hold up through the toughest seasons. You can rely on SmartFit to offer a high-quality product at a price anyone can afford and know happy feet will be the outcome.
Pros
  • Good for Practice and Competition
  • Perfect Price
  • Room for Growth
  • Fast Break In Time
  • Hold Up Through Inclement Weather
Cons
  • Not for Narrow Feet
  • Run Large

15. Kaepa Stellarlyte

15. Kaepa Stellarlyte
Top quality, performance-driven, competition shoes are what we see when we look at the Kaepa Stellarlyte cheer shoes. Built with springy surfaces in mind these super lightweight cheer shoes will help you jump to heights unseen. They also provide a notched heel for added trick support and a flexible slim construction to promote great tumbling passes. These cheer shoes will keep your feet cool, and comfortable with easy to clean mesh panels that promote breathability. It is important to note these shoes are intended for indoor use and should be put on when you arrive at practice or your competition.
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Injected EVA Outsole
This type of outsole is made for specialized spring flooring and blue mat covered floors. They will give you superior bounce and comfort while being truly lightweight. You will see better take-offs, higher bounce, and faster rotation during tumbling passes. You will also note improvement in stunts. Supremely flexible and light the injected EVA Outsole paired with a breathable upper is sure to take your squad to the next level.

Finger Groove System + Heel Notch
If you find yourself flying through the air, you will not only appreciate the increased grip your base will find on these cheer shoes but so will the one holding you. Cheer shoes that are too bulky can be hard to grip. Bulkiness is not the only problem, a poorly thought out tread pattern can be painful to the base’s hand and this can lead to unnecessary falls or injury. The bottom of the Kaepa Stellarlyte has a hand-friendly design and a notch in the heel. This will help structure, support, comfort, and safety for all involved in the stunt at hand.

Cost and Value
These high flying cheer shoes are also at the higher end of our price range. If you need to boost your performance and add new levels to your stunts you may have to stretch a little farther than normal with your budget. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for with these indoor cheer shoes. Great flexibility, grip for base and flyer, structure, and support is what you will find with these shoes and the slightly higher price tag is understandable.
Pros
  • Great for Competition
  • Run True to Size
  • Good Arch Support
  • Recommended by Cheer Coaches
  • Adjust Well to Narrow, Medium, and Wide Widths
Cons
  • Durability Issues
  • Indoor Use Only

To conclude, choosing the perfect cheer shoe is similar to choosing the perfect stunt partner. Yes, some are better than others, but ultimately they need to match your needs and your ability. Deciding which shoe is right for you needs to be as strategically placed against your demands as the shoes durable rubber pads. Do you need increased arch support? Are you a flyer and need extra side grips without the additional weight? Do you need enhanced grip through tough rubber soles?

The more expensive cheer shoes are designed for cheer athletes with additional features that can make all the difference at regional and national competitions. However, these differences would be negligible if cheering for fun for your local football team or in the park with friends and you could save yourself a pretty penny going for the more basic, all-rounder. Whichever you decide, it ultimately always comes down to safety and support, a solid foundation on which you can build; exactly like the base of the pyramid.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Cheer Shoes

Weight

We have mentioned keeping it light throughout this guide and there is a very real reason why. The weight of your cheer shoes impacts every part of your performance. From tumbling to tricks and stunts your overall height, sharpness, and landing will all be impacted by the weight of your shoes. Different shoes are good for different things in the world of sports, some are universal and can cross into many categories. Lightweight can mean a variety of things depending on the use of the shoe and for cheerleading you want something supremely light. Let’s take a look at what you want and what to avoid to keep your cheer shoes truly light:

Look For
Be Careful Of
Avoid
  • Low Profile
  • Many Mesh Panels
  • Streamline Construction
  • Blown Rubber Outsole
  • Synthetic or EVA Outsole
  • Lightly Padded Tongue
  • All Leather Upper
  • Square Shape to Heel or Toe
  • Minimalist Shoes – Can Lead to Injury
  • Standard Athletic Shoes
  • Bulky Build
  • Over Cushioning
  • Thick Rubber Soles

In the category of watch out for these features, we have added an all leather upper. The reason for this is because they can be difficult to clean and do not breathe as well as other materials. This can lead to hot sweaty feet and problems with blisters or bacterial/fungal growth. For younger wearers, an all leather upper will be just fine but as you get older you may want to avoid them. You may also want to avoid square shapes. Rounded toes and heels help you do tricks and tumble without getting caught up on the edge of your shoe. It is also easier, if you are a flyer, for your base to grip your foot while in a hold. Beware of minimalist shoes, there are cheer shoes that are little more than straps of material with little rubber grips on the bottom. While it might feel best to not wear shoes, you can cause your muscles and joints a lot of pain and unneeded pressure from hard landings by wearing a quality pair of cheer shoes.

Avoiding, bulky athletic shoes for a more streamlined cheer shoe will reduce the weight and add to your overall performance. The same goes for too much cushioning and thick rubber soles. These types of materials weigh a lot and they will weigh you down when it matters most. Keep it light and avoid these types of materials in your cheer shoes.

Flexibility

Preparing for a jump or a tumbling pass, as well as landing, requires a flexible pair of shoes to ensure your foot moves correctly to deal with that type of movement. Rigid shoes have their place in the world but it is not for cheerleading. The more flexible your cheer shoes are the easier it will be to point your toes and make every movement with your feet look sharp and clean.

EVA midsoles give great flexibility as does a shallow outsole at the front of the shoe. Position movement from flat to on your toes will be seamless when you find shoes that move and flex with you. A more rigid midsole or front of your cheer shoes can lead to unbalanced movement and possible falls that will lose points and cause embarrassment.

Heavy rubber outsoles should also be avoided for this purpose. While rubber is flexible, it is not nearly as flexible as other materials. Rubber will give you great traction and grip but it will add unneeded weight and lessen the flexibility overall in the shoe.

Cheerleaders feet do a lot of the work and need the right system behind them to ensure those movements are crisp, clean, and competition ready. Bulky shoes will make it difficult to point your toes. Stiff leather can also make it difficult to bend and flex your foot. Soft materials paired with flexible outsoles will give you what you need to keep your performance a 10 while keeping your feet feeling like a 10.

Grip

The grip of your cheer shoes does not only have to do with you but also with your base if you are a flyer. We will take a moment and look at each piece of that statement individually. This will ensure you see the importance of grip not only for your overall performance but also your teammates.

  • Individual Performance – Gripping the ground gives you many benefits during practice, competition, and sideline cheerleading. Grip increases your control and helps make sure you will stick your landing. The surface you find yourself cheering on can vary from fake grass to spring-loaded floors; a lack of grip could send you flying onto the field or stepping out of bounds for a point reduction. Either of these outcomes can be devastating. Finding cheer shoes with solid grip and traction can really lead you to new levels. Tread depth and pattern both play their role. Keep in mind that it needs to stay light and super deep tread is not only heavier but also unnecessary to get good grip; you aren’t hiking a trail after all.

grip bottom best cheer shoes

  • Team Performance –  For all the flyers out there, please take the time to look at your tread pattern and find out what will work best. The person throwing you into the air and catching you will appreciate it. Cheer shoes are not all created equal and some, like the Kaepa Stellarlyte, stand out in a class of their own. Kaepa has built the bottom of their cheer shoe with hands in mind, providing great places to grip and a notched heel for added stability. Keeping a firm, stable grip on a flyer’s ankle and shoe helps maintain safety going into, during, and coming out of the stunt. Falls can lead to pain, sprains, and possible breaks that could leave both base and flyer out for the foreseeable future.

As you can see, the grip of your cheer shoes plays a big role in performance. Not only for you, if you’re a flyer, but also to your teammates. Double check that the tread patterns rounded and won’t cause places that dig into your teammate’s hands while supporting you. Also, make sure they offer enough tread and grip to stick that landing, after every tumbling pass.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Q: What is the difference between my daughter’s athletic sneakers and cheer shoes?

A: The answer to this question could end up being quite lengthy, so we will do our best to keep it to the keynotes. First, the overall construction of a cheer shoe is made with things like tumbling, stunting, jumping, and dancing in mind. Standard athletic shoes tend to be heavier and bulkier for durability. Cheer shoes must be light.

Next, cheer shoes should have a low profile to increase flexibility and movement with your feet. An athletic shoe can be seen in a variety of profile heights. A high top sneaker would really restrict movement and make pointing your toes difficult. Low profile shoes also tend to have a sleeker design which is typically sought after in cheer shoes.

Cheer shoes also have specific impact protection areas. The heel of the shoe is typically built up and offers extra cushioning where it is needed to keep heel striking from causing pain. Heel striking, which is seen in many athletic avenues, can lead to pain and inflammation in the athlete’s feet and joints. Keeping the impact moving and dispersing through the shoe can cut down on the shock taken by the wearer and keep their feet feeling great.

These are just a few of the differences in cheer shoes, there are also advanced features like hand-hold systems and light as a feather flyer shoes. All in all every sport has a specialized type of shoe that can aid in the player giving a top performance. Take some time, figure out if cheerleading is going to be a continuous thing or just this season thing. If in it for the long haul, the investment in high-quality cheer shoes will be needed. Not sure what it will be? That’s OK too, we have offered a variety of options to fit every budget and every level of cheer enthusiast.

Q: Is there a difference between the shoes a flyer wears as compared to a base?

A: The answer to this question is a little bit yes and a little bit no. Typically, you will see a team wearing all the same shoe. This makes the uniform complete and helps the team look, indeed, like a team. The shoes a flyer and base wear should be the same but they should be well thought out. Some teams put their flyers in one type of shoe and their bases in another due to the different needs of each position.

The base needs to be just that, a strong base. Their shoe may have a wider sole and greater traction and gripping strength. Their shoes may also be a bit bulkier because of these features. They need to be able to move with precision and sticking that foot when it’s needed requires a great grip. For a base to do their job, they also need to have a flyer wearing a shoe they can really get a handle on. Supporting the flyer’s ankle and foot by gripping the shoe is best done with a shoe that is sleek and streamlined. One that is lacking bumps and painful grooves.

The flyer will need a shoe that offers good grip not only for their base but also for themselves. Frequently, you see cheerleaders holding their own feed for single leg tricks and this requires the cheerleader to grab and hold their own foot. The flyer’s shoe must not slip and the addition of well thought out notches can add to the performance going perfectly. While these positions typically wear the same type of shoe, it really depends on what your coach decides is best. Reach out and talk with the coach and find out what they suggest you buy to make sure you are purchasing the correct footwear for that team.

Q: Is there an easy way to clean the mesh on my cheer shoes?

A: Before cleaning any shoe you want to determine what type of material it is made of. An all leather upper will need a completely different cleaning method as compared to other types of shoe materials.  Most cheer shoes are made of vinyl or synthetic uppers that are much easier to clean. The mesh panels those can be difficult no matter the makeup of the rest of your shoe.

If the rest of your shoe is OK to handle soap and water, our suggestion is a soft-bristled toothbrush and good old-fashioned soap and water. Yellowing may be more difficult and you may need whitening agents and stain removers if your feet sweat a lot. The soft bristles will be able to get into the small weave of the mesh, which is especially important near the edges where it is difficult to clean. Scrub the mesh in a circular pattern first with soap and water and then follow several times with just water. You may need to wipe away excess soap and water in between rinses. A few rounds of this and the mesh on your cheer shoes should be looking brand new. It is important to note, you want to give your shoes plenty of time to dry before your next wearing otherwise, you may end up with rubbing, increased odor, and other common wet foot problems.

Q: Should I wear my competition shoes to practice?

A: There are arguments on both sides of this question. Ultimately, you may not have a choice, as many cheer coaches tell you what to put on your feet for practice and for competition. If you are the one deciding, ideally you will own two pairs of the same cheer shoes, one for practice and one for events.

Wearing the same shoe for practice as for competition ensures you will know how the shoes feel to perform in. This can help in sticking tricky moves and making sure your tumbling pass is flawless. However, the practice can lead to a lot of scuff marks and decrease the durability of your shoes because of the constant pounding they are taking. They may feel more broken in and comfortable but lose some of that crisp clean quality that newer shoes have.

Wearing a different pair of shoes in practice can lead to an unsteady performance. If one pair has a significantly different build you will need to adjust to different feel and flexibility which can be difficult when transitioning quickly from practice to competition. If it is not a difficult transition and you prefer a more padded shoe while practicing then different pairs by different manufacturers may work out fine.

As previously stated, ideally you will have two pairs of cheer shoes. One for practice, where you get the real feel of your competition shoes and the same performance. It won’t matter as much how they look because they are simply for practice. The second pair, of course, would be your competition shoes. You will know just what they feel like during high flying stunts and difficult tricks and tumbling passes but they will be sharp and new looking. The look is important in cheerleading and dingy shoes can really bring everyone’s look down. Finding a high-quality pair of cheer shoes that you can afford two pairs of may lead to the best season you or your cheerleader sees yet.

Sources

  1. Zephz, Zephz Technology,
  2. Omni Cheer, The Importance of a Good Cheer Shoe,
  3. Q Miller Passion Blog, Cheerleading Shoes,
  4. Valorie Delp, Cheer Shoes,

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