As a gymnast and a dancer, what you’ve got on your feet is going to be a huge game changer (no pun intended) for your performance. That’s why I’ve come up with this list of what to consider when choosing a pair, so that you’ll leave competitions feeling like an all-star.
Consider Foot Shape & Ankle Strength
Regardless of your position, if you’re wearing the wrong shoe for your foot’s shape, chances are, you’re going to be miserable on the mats and may increase the likelihood of injury. Invest some time into learning about your feet (high arch, normal, flat feet) and if you’re prone to supination or over pronation (the turning in or out of the foot, based on arch shape). Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis? Have you ever had any ankle injuries?
Consider these factors when choosing your shoes. While some may look more attractive or have features you like, they may not necessarily be the most compatible and supportive pair for your specific needs. After suffering several ankle injuries (I over pronate) choosing shoes for any type of activity has become an increasingly involved process. However, since changing up the way I purchased shoes and learning about the designs that would best protect my ankles, I haven’t experienced any injuries.
Remember, you need your feet for life, not just this season. So if you’re uncomfortable or you’re getting hurt, it’s time to reevaluate and seek out a better pair of cheer shoes.
Choose the Right Shoe for Your Position
Always take into consideration where you’re going to be spending most of your time on a cheer squad. Maybe you need shoes specifically designed for dance and tumbling, as that’s your squad’s focus. Whether you’re a flyer, a base, or a spotter, your needs will be different. The shoes may also differentiate depending on whether or not you’re using them for competition. Each category will call for different shoes, as each position or purpose is different.
If you’re heading to competitions, you’re going to want something compatible with the mats, and your main consideration will be how much they weigh. You want something light but durable, with a great grip. As an added perk, many of these can also double as sideline shoes.
If you’re a flyer, you’re going to want to stick with something lightweight and non-slip, with hand grips or some other kind of feature that your base can hold onto. The last thing you’d want is for your shoe to slip off while you’re doing stunts or you’re being tossed, and you’re also going to want something with great grip for tumbling.
Spotter’s or bases can seek out something a little heavier, (although not too heavy – you still want to move around quickly!) and grip is going to be key component to look for. You want to be as stable and secure as possible, as you’re going to be the foundation for your team. Similar to flyers, seek out something non-slip that you can really trust.
In essence, do your research and use the shoes that make sense for you. Sometimes they won’t be the most glamorous (or cheapest), but there’s something to be said for your feet being comfortable when you’re doing something strenuous. Go get ‘em, tiger!
Chris Phipps is a content writer for http://www.testfacts.com/ and is passionate about fashion, with a keen eye for bargains and great deals to be had.