Best Cheerleader Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
If there’s one thing you need to watch with your cheer shoes, it’s its weight. The best cheer shoe needs to be light as a feather because frankly, you have enough working against you when it comes to pulling off those stunts. From the wind to gravity, to your own body weight, you need as many loads lightened as you can if you’re going to pull off some of the stunts asked of you to pull off in this sport.
Do not doubt this, the weight of your cheer shoes is going to impact whether or not you actually pull off the tricks you’re trying to perform in a big way. In the world of sports, you’ll be looking for different things from your shoes depending on what sport you’re actually performing. And in cheerleading’s case, you’re looking for a shoe that’s light as a feather.
If you’re about to do a twirling jump, or about to tumble out of a finished formation, then there’s one thing you desperately need, and that’s flexibility. You need a flexible pair of shoes to not only ensure your feet move correctly when in those positions, but also to reduce potential injury by giving your feet more breathing room. The last thing you want to do is restrict your foot’s movements, because then you leave yourself vulnerable to a menagerie of injuries, which you can suffer through anything from a stunt gone wrong, to pulling off the stunt perfectly, but landing in just the wrong way.
A flexible shoe is a shoe that you have more control over. And thus, it’s a shoe that you’re just generally safer when using. Now, what helps to determine flexibility? Simple, the outsole of the shoe. And there is one type of outsole you should absolutely search for, and one type you should absolutely avoid: EVA and heavy rubber.
Let’s start with the good side of this spectrum; EVA outsoles. EVA outsoles will give you an amazing sense of flexibility, especially if they have a shallow outsole at the shoe’s front end. A show with an EVA outsole will flex and move along with you as you move, completely seamless. With an EVA outsole, you can position the movement of your foot from completely flat on the ground to on the tips of your toes, and you’ll barely even register a difference when doing so. Having a more rigid midsole is a good way to throw yourself off balance at critical moments. Speaking of which,
Let’s move on to heavy rubber soles, which if you’re a cheerleader, should be avoided at all costs. You’re looking for a sole that’s as light and as flexible as possible, and heavy rubber just won’t give you that. For one, rubber is stretchy, yes, but it’s also incredibly stiff and determined to remain in its base state or snap in two trying. And when you add enough mass to the rubber to make it nice and heavy, then it’s even harder to move around with. And while it will give you a lot of traction and grip, the added weight will vastly outweigh those benefits in this instance.
High-quality shoes tend to cost quite a bit, especially shoes meant to be used for sports. And if you want a really good shoe, like the ones offered by Nfinity, then get ready to break out the checkbook because you’re going to be spending a lot. Thankfully, most cheer shoes, particularly the ones on this list, are more than worth the price.
10 Best Cheerleader Shoes
1. The Champion Gusto
Starting off our list right with an old favorite. At #1 we have the Champion Gusto, made by the venerable Champion. Champion has been making high-quality athletic gear for many years, and the Gusto is one of their all-time best. What makes it that way? Well, let’s take a look.
Memory Foam Insole
Inside this shoe is a soft cushioned lining, topped off with a super soft memory foam insole. This absorbs a tremendous amount of shock from landings. That shock is what will trip you up the most when performing a cheer, as it will hinder your ability to move at precisely the right time because you’re still reeling from the landing.
Breathable mesh lining
You won’t find quite this much mesh on other sports shoes, because in football or baseball, durability is the name of the game. But with cheerleading shoes, endurance and balance are the focus, and what helps endurance is having shoes that breathe. And no shoe breathes quite like the Gusto.
Cost and Value
These shoes are priced very leniently, especially considering the highs that shoes can reach in terms of price. But the prices you’ll typically find these cheerleading shoes in? Actually, rather fair.
2. Skechers Biker II
In our 2nd place, we have the venerable Skechers with their Biker II model of cheerleader shoe. This shoe is the perfect marriage of style and practicality. Skechers are already known for the diversity in functionality in their lineup, but the Biker II accentuates that better than almost anyone else.
Flexible rubber outsole
The interior of this sneaker is made from a flexible rubber traction material that makes it easier to point, bend, and flex your feet in any direction you need to in order to make that flip or kick perfectly. If you’re pulling off a pike or preparing a lift, then you’re going to need every minor advantage that you can get your hands on.
Whereas other shoes would go for a mesh coating for their shoes when they want to add a degree of breathability to their shoe, this shoe instead opts for a set of micro-perforated leather panels that make their shoe far more breathable than other shoes. All the while retaining the shoe’s durability.
Cost and Value
Like a lot of shoes, you’ll see on this list, this one varies in size depending on the size of shoe you get. And while the price goes reasonably high, this is Skechers, who are known for their quality and affordability, so you shouldn’t end up spending a lot.
3. Nike Cheer Unite
Finishing up our top 3, we have the Nike Cheer Unite. If there is any name out there more synonymous with sports footwear than Nike, we haven’t found it yet. Brands like Adidas and Skechers have definitely come close, but as the Cheer Unite shall demonstrate, close is still no cigar.
Internal flex grooves
One term you’re going to hear a lot of, long past the point of the words getting power washed into your mind, are “point those toes.” Luckily, the Unite will at least make the act itself painless, by using a series of internal flex grooves that naturally follow and aid in the flexibility of your arches. Making “point those toes” a trivial task.
Paired with the carefully balanced lightweight feel of this cheer shoe is a double lasted Phylon midsole. What does that mean when you look past the jargon? It means that this shoe doesn’t have to give up the balance or the lightweight in order to achieve cushioning for your foot. Now your foot has the cushioning that it needs in order to make those landings and move comfortably to the next position.
Cost and Value
Unlike a lot of its brethren, this shoe actually doesn’t change its price as you differ in size. These shoes stay at the higher end of the price spectrum no matter what size shoe you get.
4. Kaepa Touch Ups
In our #4 spot, we have arguably the king of cheer apparel and footwear; Kaepa, here represented by their Kaepa Touch Ups. Kaepa do cheer footwear like no other, so it’s no surprise that they got this high on the list. So, what precisely got them this far up? Well, let’s take a good look and find out.
Not everyone can deal with the same insole as everyone else. Some women may need custom orthotics because of an injury or other physical condition. Kaepa are aware of this, and so a lot of their footwear, the Touch Ups included, have a removable insole that you can swap out with whatever new insole you need instead.
Arch support is something that you’re going to need a lot of, especially if you’re light on your feet by nature (i.e., high arches). Luckily, this shoe has got you covered, as, through the use of a torsional outsole bridge, which amplifies arch support by a considerable margin, your arches get all the support they need.
Cost and Value
Once more, we’re back to prices ranging by size, but thankfully the price range on this shoe is actually very forgiving. With the majority of retailers, you’ll find this shoe sold at, the price range will stretch by about $20 or so from smallest to largest.
5. Nfinity Vengeance
In the #5 spot, we have the one and only Nfinity, showcasing the Nfinity Vengeance. Now if there’s one thing Nfinity are known for, it’s making the best footwear they can with the latest technology and techniques that they can get their hands and copyrights on. So, what did Nfinity’s antic produce this time around? Let’s find out.
Light and comfy
Nfinity makes lightweight shoes as it is, and they could’ve gotten away with implementing what always worked before. But then, playing it safe is a fast track to getting left off of this list. Nfinity, instead, opted to make their lightest shoe yet, weighing in at a whopping 3.9 oz. Practically light as a feather compared to other shoes on this list. You will never have to worry about these shoes weighing you down.
Interior and exterior skeleton
This shoe comes equipped with both an interior and exterior skeleton. This provides essential support for your foot without sacrificing any weight. This limits any unwanted ankle movements, thus keeping you from injuring yourself due to an unplanned tumble during rehearsals. And to make sure that your foot is going anywhere when inside this shoe, the tip of the shoe is specially designed to fit nice and snug onto the toes. You put these shoes on, your foot isn’t going anywhere you don’t want it to.
Cost and Value
It may be half the weight, but it sure isn’t half the price. While the price range is likely the tightest on this list, the small and large areas are both exceedingly high, so it doesn’t really matter what size you pick. It’s just another flavor of expensive.
6. Nfinity Evolution
Staying with Nfinity for our #6 spot, we have the Nfinity Evolution. Once more Nfinity shows the competition how it’s really done with another trend-setting, fittingly titled, “evolution” of cheer shoes. What’s so great to make us go so gaga over this pair of shoes? It’s quite simple, really.
Putting on these shoes may invoke a very familiar feeling for you. Yes, these shoes were specially designed to feel like slipping your foot into a nice, cozy slipper at night. This is due to the enhanced cushioning that these shoes were outfitted with, combined with the ergonomically designed insoles. These insoles then give your toes supreme amounts of comfort, while not hindering flexibility at all.
But your toes aren’t the only parts of your foot that are getting a nice snug fit. Your ankles are getting a ton of support as well, thanks to the Ankleloc technology. This is essentially a fancy term for enhancing the shoe’s fit around your heels, to make moving around in it easier and more natural. And it works like a charm.
Cost and Value
While priced less than our leading contender, it isn’t by a very wide margin. Although it does continue the Nfinity tradition of having a very tight price range, it’s still pretty expensive all things considered. Though with a shoe of this high quality, that’s to be expected.
7. Nfinity Titan
More fun with Nfinity, as we head into our 7th placeholder, the Nfinity Titan. Not only is this another excellent showcase from the great Nfinity, but it’s also the first showing of a high-top shoe on a list about cheerleading shoes. And trust us, this was no mistake. Not by a longshot.
High top support
You ever actually ask yourself why high-top shoes exist? Well, they were originally created to help basketball players, but they actually serve cheerleaders for pretty much the same reasons. When you’re tumbling around, you’re putting a lot of strain on your ankles. Ask any pro, stadium performing, big-time cheerleader what part of them hurts the most after a show. If ankles aren’t at the top, then they’ll be in the top 5. But the high-top design of this shoe is actually great for combating ankle strain, taking an immense amount of strain off of your ankles.
Tumble without fear
The other thing protecting your tumble from causing you undue harm? An ultra-powerful upper and heel. These two parts of your foot are protected and supported with reinforced design, meaning that when you tumble, the parts of your foot that would otherwise be in danger, are now completely protected.
Cost and Value
The biggest problem with this is the price. It’s a very pricey shoe, and even the price range is a bit longer stretching than previous Nfinity entries. However, considering the quality of the product you’re getting, we say it’s more than worth it.
8. Nfinity Defiance
Starting off our final 3, we have the Nfinity Defiance at #8, bringing us to the final Nfinity entry. And defiance is an apt term for this shoe because it truly did defy all the odds to get on this list. For one, it’s highly recommended you keep this shoe to indoor practicing and nowhere else. That is a big point against a sports shoe, but it had just enough going for it to be worth it.
Likely one of the things getting in the way of this shoe’s ability to be used outdoors is the fact that the outsole is a bit too ergonomically designed for it to be worth it. However, when it comes to stunting, this is about as perfect a shoe that you can get your hands on. The rounded sole makes tumbling and stunting a breeze.
Perfect competition shoes
When we say that these shoes aren’t meant for the great outdoors, we mean that you should never go jogging with them, that will destroy them nice and fast. However, when it comes to strictly using these things in the stadium during the actual show, they will serve you rather nicely. These are probably the best cheerleading shoes when it comes to sheer competition shoes.
Cost and Value
As our #4 pick, this is one shoe that is the same price across the board, no matter what size you pick. And that price isn’t all that bad, all things considered.
9. Kaepa Stellarstyle
Coming in at the 2nd to the last slot, we have the Kaepa Stellarstyle at #9. As we said before, no one really does it quite like Kaepa, and this shoe is the prime example of that fact. Sure, the fact that it’s all the way down here proves that it’s nothing like it’s leading cousin. But that doesn’t mean it has no place on this list. As a matter of fact, far from it.
Secure fit system
The best part about this shoe is the secure fit system. While, yes, you won’t be using this shoe outside because of it, when used indoors or during competitions, it has a superior grip on the foot, particularly around the heel, with a special notch inside that makes the heel practically slot into place like it was always meant to go there.
Supreme stunt control
One big part of any cheerleading stunt is controlling your feet, and that means you need to be able to grab onto them. No problem for any halfway decent cheerleader, as being limber is in the job description. However, holding onto a smooth leather shoe is kind of hard. Thankfully, stunt control is permanently improved with the finger grooves strategically placed all throughout the shoes.
Cost and Value
Now that we’re away from Nfinity, we’re also away from their exorbitant prices, as this cheerleader shoe is actually very fairly priced, regardless of what size you choose to buy it in.
10. Asics Cheer 7
Finishing up our list, we have the Asics Cheer 7. These shoes are great if you’re not looking for anything too fancy. If all you need is a good, comfy, workable shoe that fits nice and doesn’t get in your way as you do your thing. If you’re just that dang confident in your abilities as a cheerleader, then this is the perfect shoe for you.
Indoor and outdoor
Thankfully, this shoe breaks the chain of the previous two entries by being perfectly usable both indoors and out. That mostly has to do with this being more of an all-rounder shoe, but it’s definitely preferable to the more competition focused shoe that falls apart the minute you try taking it for a jog.
Low profile midsole
The midsole of this shoe is very low profile, which provides just enough arch support, while also being great for people who don’t need arch support. A great in-between option for those who don’t really like choosing.
Cost and Value
The best part about this shoe is the price, which is easily the cheapest entry on this list. You’ll rarely find these shoes for more than $50, making it a great starting shoe for the girl just getting into cheerleading.