Cheerleading is one of the most physiologically and psychologically daunting sports out there. It can take a heavy toll on your body and mind. Therefore, as a beginner, it is especially necessary to do all that you can to make the process easier for yourself. This includes proper dieting, exercising, maintaining a healthy daily schedule, and using proper cheer gear for practices and events. Today we will talk about choosing the right cheer shoes in particular, for a beginner cheerleader.
Cheer shoes as you might already know can have a great impact on both your health and performance. Wearing the wrong kind of shoe would not only hamper your performance but also worsen the condition of your feet after long periods of daily strenuous practice.
What is the best shoe for high school cheer? Chassé Apex Cheerleading Shoes is surely the best. It checks all the boxes in regards to beginner cheerleading. The breathable fabric helps you stay comfortable and confident.
Wearing just any kind of cheer shoe is not enough – your needs as a person just starting out at this sport at high school are going to be different from a well-seasoned cheerleader.
I have worked hard to prepare a list of the best cheer shoes for beginners after considering all brands out there. Before we dive in, let us address some frequently asked questions on this topic.
What Makes Cheer Shoes Different?
As a beginner or a cheerleading enthusiast in high school, it must have occurred to you if you can just wear a normal pair of sneakers or sports shoes in cheerleading. The answer is no. Cheerleading needs to be done in cheer shoes – no other kind of shoe is allowed.
But what is it that makes cheer shoes different? The answer lies in its weight and structure. Cheer shoes are characteristically lighter which makes them ideal for stunting and tumbling.
It is structurally constructed with cushioning soles and sides, finger grips, padding, rubber outsoles, and lace-locking system or bubble laces, which protect the feet while providing stability, precision, and comfort.
Because of these same reasons, most basic cheer shoes are usually less durable compared to other heavier athletic shoes. This is why you need to know which particular shoes to buy.
Best Cheer Shoes for Beginners – Suggestions based on the Cheerleading position
The position that you take in your cheerleading squad plays a very vital role in the kind of shoes that you must wear during the activity. Different positions in the squad like base, back-spot, and flyer have different kinds of requirements as far as the shoes are concerned.
Now without any further delay, let us get straight into some of the best beginner-friendly cheer shoes available in the market.
The Base or Back-Spot Position
The base plays a very important role in any cheerleading stunt. The base acts as the main support of the cheerleading pyramid. The base lifts the flyer, throws him/her as per the stunt sequence, and then catches him/her back. Bases are stronger, taller and most often heavier than the rest of the squad.
The back-spot does not need to be as strong as the base, but he is the person that controls the stunt. He/she is responsible for keeping count of the steps while the other members maintain the rhythm. The back-spot also needs to catch the flyer first while he/she comes down from the air. The catch should be clean so that the bases can then provide the required cushion and prevent any injury to the flyer.
As a result, the type of shoes that the base or back-spot needs to wear is quite different than what the other team members need. The cheer shoes for the bases need to have good arch support to prevent injury while having a superior grip to reduce slipping. You can choose one of the two shoes given below if you are a base.
If you are a base player or a beginner who needs reasonably priced shoes with good arch support, the Nike Cheer Sideline IV Shoes are a good choice for you. These are specifically made for cheerleading since they don’t include any unnecessary accessories that might hold you back.
Although they would stretch out after some time due to wear and tear, they are extremely light on your feet and fit true to size. Because of how these shoes are made, they would remain comfortable on your feet even after long hours of wear. In order to provide flexibility and easy cleaning, the Nike Cheer Unite Sneakers feature synthetic leather uppers.
These shoes would not restrict your movement and provide your ankles a full range-of-motion, since they are low-cut. The phylon midsole prevents your feet from sliding. And the non-marking rubber outsole provides a solid grip on both indoor and outdoor surfaces.
Probably the only downside to these shoes is that there are no mesh panels, so they are not very breathable. Apart from that, they are quite the deal for you.
Check out the Nike Women’s Cheer Sideline IV Shoes on Amazon.
Keeping in mind the price and features it comes with, the DADAWEN Sports Training Cheerleading Shoes are a great option for novice cheerleaders, as it offers them a chance to experience a cheer shoe and practice their moves before they can transition to a more high-end shoe made for skilled cheerleaders.
This shoe is generously padded on the inside which adds to the weight but also helps in shock absorption. Being heavier than normal cheer shoes, this model is ideal for bases. It is durable and easy to clean thanks to synthetic leather uppers.
Your feet will stay fresh and cool in these shoes since the tongue is made of mesh and also because of the presence of ventilation holes that lets air circulate through the shoe.
One of the best features of the DADAWEN Sports Training Cheerleading Shoes is the antimicrobial lining that doesn’t let odor build-up, so your feet would not stink at the end of the day. These shoes are made to be used on indoor surfaces since they feature non-slip outsoles for better traction on smooth surfaces. All in all, it is a great choice for a bases.
Check out DADAWEN Sport Training Cheerleading Shoes on Amazon.
The Flyer Position
The flyer is the face of any cheerleading team. The flyers get the crowd involved by doing various stunts, jumping and tumbling in the air while fully trusting the bases. Flyers are usually shorter and lighter members of the cheerleading team.
The shoes that the flyer wears needs to light in weight as the foremost criteria. They also need to be breathable for proper comfort during the stunts. The shoes for flyers need to look good as well as they are quite visible when the flyer does the stunts in the air. Like any other cheerleading shoes, the shoes for flyers need to have good grip as well.
Based on my interaction with experienced flyers I have shortlisted three cheer shoes for flyers. You can buy one of them based on your budget.
The Nfinity Vengeance is a very popular and loved cheer shoe among cheerleaders. Because of their specialized structure, they are the ideal shoes for beginner flyers. But they are not a great choice for bases and spotters since they lack cushioning and support in the heels.
But the positive points far outweigh any cons it might have. For example, its uppers are made with breathable transparent mesh and feature synthetic overlays for support, which also promote airflow, keeping your feet sweat-free and cool even after long hours of wear.
The bottom half of these shoes, are equipped with outsole grace EVA and pylon pads for durability. There is no movement inside the shoe since it fits very tight. This makes sure that there are no unforeseen painful injuries during stunts and dances. This model is ideal for beginners who have an acrobatic role in the squad.
Check out Nfinity Vengeance Cheer Shoe on Amazon.
Since these shoes come in the youth sizes 1 to 13 and fit well because of the secure-fit system, the Kaepa Youth Stellarlyte cheer shoes are the best cheer shoes for younger cheerleaders who are just starting out.
What the secure-fit system does is, it adjusts the interior of the shoe according to the foot arch and shape, thus providing superior support. These shoes last long and do exceptionally well in tumbling and jumping moves because of the EVA outsole.
The shoes are cushioned in a way that protects your heel from spurs and other injuries by absorbing the shock during jumping, flipping, and landing in cheerleading. The Kaepa Youth Stellarlyte cheer shoes have a breathable anti-microbial lining that allows airflow and keeps your feet bacteria-free, thus avoiding diseases like athlete’s foot.
It is made of leather and fabric on the outside which helps it last longer and makes it easy to clean. It is an affordable buying option with all the basic features that would get you going in the field of cheerleading.
Check out Kaepa Youth Stellarlyte Cheer Shoe on Amazon.
Best Cheer Shoes Overall
If you are starting out and are not much specific about the position in which you will participate, then you need to choose a cheerleading shoe that is good overall and has some basic qualities. It needs to be anti-slip, needs to have decent arch support, and needs to be breathable in order to prevent the feet from getting sweaty.
If you are searching for cheer shoes for wide feet, you may have a look at this specific article on cheer shoes for wide fit here.
I have made your choice easy with just two cheerleading shoes that are well suited to the purpose and are decent overall for beginners.
The Chassé Apex shoes are an amazing pair of cheer shoes for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much on their first cheer shoes. They are mid-range, affordable, and loaded with cool features.
Made of lightweight synthetic leather, these shoes do not stretch much, which means you will need to get the correct sizing when you buy these. It also means that they will not become too loose with time.
They have a low cut allowing for maximum ankle movement and air circulation. The mesh tongue keeps your feet sweat-free, cool, and aerated. The rubber soles are durable and provide maximum traction on indoor surfaces.
Difficult stunts and multiple cheer routines will not damage these shoes. They feature bubble laces that will stay tied through complex routines and stunts and will not wear out easily. They restrict unnecessary movements and protect the feet from blisters and hot spots.
Check out Chassé Apex Cheerleading Shoes on Amazon.
The Kaepa Cheerful Cheer Shoes are one of those unique, versatile cheer shoes that work on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. The synthetic leather uppers provide ease of cleaning but take away from its breathability.
These shoes are so flexible that both flyers and bases can use them. The low-profile design makes them lightweight for flying and flexible for base support. The Kaepa Cheerful Cheer Shoes feature EVA midsole and insole in the interior for added cushioning, support, and comfort.
They also allow you to insert your own orthotic footbeds or insoles if required. They have a slightly raised foot arch which gives you more control and grip during jumping and dancing. The most fun feature of the Kaepa Cheerful Cheer Shoes is the color change Snap Logo available in 15 different colors, allowing 120 different color combinations.
You can match these shoes with the main colors of your cheer uniform for a more coherent look. These shoes pack a ton of features for the cheap price it is selling at.
Check out Kaepa Cheerful Cheer Shoes on Amazon.
Best Cheerleading Shoe for Kids
The Nfinity Youth Evolution Cheer Shoe is a high-performance competition shoe for kids and novice cheerleaders. It is available in all kid’s sizes for quite reasonable prices. Made of 100% leather, its form-fitting design provides a “slipper-sequel”, ultra-lightweight feel.
The strategically located rubber outsole pods improve durability in performances that involve high wear stunts. Just 6.5 oz in weight, the shoe has light-as-feather laces that provide a superb fit. The outer leather and sateen make the shoe breathable and provides excellent support.
The rubber outsole helps perform on the spring floor and the specially designed insoles give excellent arch support with its enhanced cushioning. Proper fit around the toes and impact area provides the shoes the best fit and confidence while performing. The Nfinity Youth Evolution Cheer Shoes are ideal for a kid who has just started cheerleading.
Check out Nfinity Youth Evolution Cheer Shoes on Amazon.
Cheer Shoes for Wide Feet
The shoe criteria for wide feet is completely different from that of a standard shoe. Over-arching problems can seem overwhelming in a sport like cheerleading. Having proper arch support. These kind of cheer shoes should fit you snugly while allowing room for the free movement of toes.
After detailed discussions with shoe experts and pro-cheerleaders, I have shortlisted Nike Women’s Cheer Compete Training Shoes to be the best cheer shoes for wide feet. I you would like to have a detailed read on the various issues and solutions with respect to the wide feet cheer shoes, you may have a look at this article here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know My Foot Size?
Before you rush and get yourself a new pair of cheer shoes, make sure you have got your accurate foot size. As obvious as it sounds, getting the foot size wrong is one of the most common mistakes people make that leads to a plethora of issues.
All you need to do is trace your foot on a flat piece of paper, make two marks behind your heel and in front of your longest toe each, measure the distance, and voila! You have your feet size. If you know your feet size in inches or centimeters you can easily tally that up with the size chart of any brand.
To know how to measure your foot size in detail read this in-depth article here.
Do You Need Cheer Shoes for Tryouts?
Your tryouts are when you are about to make your first impression on the coach. Although performance will always be the topmost priority, your attire comes next. It says a lot about your discipline and dedication to the sport.
The ideal attire for cheer tryouts is a basic t-shirt, cheer shorts and cheer shoes. Although you are allowed to wear athletic or any other kind of running shoes, it is advisable to get some cheer shoes for tryouts, since it gives you the best traction for your performance.
What is the Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Cheer Shoes?
As a beginner, it is important to know the difference between indoor and outdoor cheer shoes. Contrary to what you might think, not all cheer shoes are made to be used both indoors and outdoors. The difference lies in how the shoe is made.
Cheer shoes made for outdoor use will have more tread which allows greater and firmer traction on grass and other outdoor surfaces. They would be much easier to clean and would be tougher and more durable than normal cheer shoes.
While those made for indoor use, on surfaces like cheer mats and the like, will have different kinds of treads. They usually have smoother outsoles and a durable toe area. There are some versatile shoes, however, which crossover as both indoor and outdoor cheer shoes. You need to decide which type of shoe to buy based on where your squad usually performs as well as your squad’s skill level.
How Do You Break in Cheer Shoes?
This is a classic problem with all beginners. Even though a brand new pair of shoes can be a delight, they can soon turn into a pain when you go on to wear them for your cheer performance.
New shoes are often too stiff and tight and can even cause blisters, other than a general discomfort when you first go on to wear them. And this is especially bothersome when you are new to cheerleading and are not used to cheer shoes yet.
To prevent this issue from becoming a serious burden on your health and performance, let us take a look at some useful tips to break-in cheer shoes.
- Wear the shoes around the house or go for a walk or run in them. Just keep them on your feet and keep moving.
- Gently bend and twist them in multiple directions with your hands, every now and then.
- Tie a rubber band around them in the bent position and keep them like that for a couple of hours (depends on the material of the shoe).
- Do some foot exercises while wearing them.
- Use special oils and shoe conditioners if available.
- Dip the bottom of hard shoes in warm water.
- Use a hairdryer to make the material more flexible.
- Take them to a cobbler for necessary alterations.
What Can You Do With Old Cheer Shoes?
When you have significantly worn out your cheer shoes and think it is time to get new ones, do not just throw away the old ones you have. You can give them to a donation center that accepts old shoes. These shoes are usually recycled from there.
Conversely, if your shoes are not in such bad shape but you want to change them anyway, you can sell them at a thrift shop or give them to someone who might need it. It is best to keep the environment and others well being in mind and do the right thing.
What Shoe Brands are the Best for Beginner Cheerleaders?
You should know about some of the all-time best brands for beginner cheerleaders before you start shopping. Let us take a quick glance. However, Nike cheer shoes are obviously the best, taking into consideration the comfort and agility it provides. You may have a look at this article covering Nike cheer shoes.
- New Balance
Make The Choice
In this article, I have tried my best to present some of the best cheer shoes for beginners after considering all brands in the market right now. In the list above, you will find that the shoes cover all possible features that a new cheerleader might need, available at different price points and size ranges.
But at the end of the day, you know best which features you will need and which shoe you should buy according to your budget. I hope this guide has been helpful in assisting you to make the right choice for any budding cheerleader.