What Your Cheerleading Shoes Need to Do
In a word, cheerleading shoes need to do everything. You'll be running, jumping, flipping and dancing. You need shoes that will offer comfort and support going forward, backward and side-to-side. They need to absorb shock so when you do your front handsprings and your feet hit the ground, the rest of your body doesn't feel the jolt.
The Makings of a Good Cheer Shoe
First, there's the price. You won't be destined for sore feet and ankles just because you didn't buy the $75 pair, but you do want to do your homework. There are cheerleading shoes out there for $20, but this doesn't mean they're just as good as any other.
Unless you can afford some of the higher priced cheer shoes, try to stay within the middle range (generally $40-50). You do get what you pay for. That goes for comfort, fit and how long they last.
You won't look like your pretty, spunky self out on the field or in the gymnasium if you've got no support and/or a big nasty blister on your heel. Cheerleading is about smiling--not cringing with every movement.
Do thorough testing before you buy, if possible. If you order online, make sure you analyze the fit and comfort well before you step out onto the grass or gym floor.
Treat them like any other athletic shoe. Be picky. Scrutinize them.
Another big thing that isn't always the case with all athletic shoes is the weight. You want something as light as possible so your jumps and flips aren't hindered by extra weight on your feet.
Brands to Try
Most cheer shoes are alike in style. Almost all cheerleading shoes are white with colored inserts to match those of your team.
Which brands work for you will be different from the ones that work best for your best friend or team captain. However, it will normally be based on fit, comfort, weight and overall feel.
Here are some brands to consider:
Where to Shop
Cheerleading.com has a decent sized selection of Asics, Kaepa and Zephz. Since this company specializes in cheerleading shoes, you're not likely to be led astray by other shoes that look good, but aren't the best for cheering. Cheerleading.com also offers cheer apparel, accessories and more.
Dick's Sporting Goods, with both online and live store locations, offers cheerleading shoes as well. Choose from the biggest brands in the cheer shoe industry and get them at reasonable prices.
Team Cheer is another one of those stores specializing in one sport: cheerleading. Their cheerleading shoes list includes quite a wide variety of names, including Adidas, Asics, Converse, Reebok, Saucony, Nfinity and New Balance.