Every year the new season kicks of with brand new shoes. Most of the teams choose white shoes, although a few are now looking at black to compliment uniforms. Cheer shoes are specially made to be lightweight so cheerleaders get the best bounce and don’t have “drag” to slow them down when tumbling. Special shoes require special care.
No matter the color, all cheer shoes have one thing in common: Very lightweight soles. These shoes are clearly not made to stand up to the friction caused by walking across rough surfaces. If you think about it, all the mats and floors in the cheer gyms are smooth and clean. This helps preserve the shoe soles.
Keeping your cheer shoes in great shape for running, jumping and tumbling starts with the soles. And the more you tumble, the less tread / traction the soles have. The soles assure that athletes get the best grip on the floor when launching into a tumbling run. Soles that have worn down from too much “street wear” don’t have as much traction. Street wear also causes holes in the soles. That’s why athletes are encouraged not to walk outside wearing cheer shoes.
Another safety concern with cheer shoes is stunting. When lifting cheerleaders in the air, clean shoes are better for 2 reasons. First, there is less chance that debris from the street will come off the shoe and fall in the bases’ eyes. Second, clean shoes with good tread are easier to grip so the flyer is safer.
Cheer shoes need to be specially cared for. When they are, they contribute to the safety and performance of the athletes. They also look great for judges.
Here’s how to keep your shoes in great shape all season long:
- Keep your shoes in a bag when not being worn. This will prevent your shoes from getting anything on them when left out. Accidental spills and becoming a chew toy for the new pet dog are never in the plans. Bags help.
- Don’t squish your shoes under other things or in tight spaces. This will ruin the shape of the shoe and make them more prone to develop tears or separation between the sole and uppers.
- Your shoes will last much longer if you limit the amount of time you wear them so only wear them for practice and at competitions.
- Carrying extra shoes around can be a pain. Cheer shoe covers will allow you to wear your cheer shoes back and forth to practice, allow you to walk across parking lots and streets without putting wear on the cheer shoes. The inside of cheer shoe covers has a smooth vinyl surface that doesn’t put extra wear on the sensitive soles of your cheer shoes so they last longer.
- If you’ve got white cheer shoes, keeping them looking bright is also important. You can clean cheer shoes with a “magic eraser” cleaning sponge. Using cheer shoe covers when wearing them outside will also help keep them looking clean and white.
- Washing cheer shoes is NOT recommended because the chemicals in detergents can make the fabric / leather in cheer shoes break down easier so they won’t last as long. And never put them in the drier. It melts the bonding glue holding the sole to the uppers.
- Once your shoes begin to wear out, it’s time to replace them for safety reasons. The stability of the shoe becomes compromised with tears and sole degradation. If the shoes are unstable it can cause slipping during tumbling or flying.
Taking care of your cheer shoes is important. They provide great stability in jumping, running, tumbling and stunting. And, since cheer shoes aren’t cheap, taking extra care will save money as well.