Ready? OK! Here is All The Cheer Gear Your Team Needs
9/3/2020 by Kyle Greco
Whether you’re a flyer, a base, a coach, or a parent, it’s important to know what kind of gear cheerleaders need. It goes way beyond the uniform. Use this guide to make your own checklist before tryouts start!
Practice gear is crucial for every cheerleader. Because you just can’t do a routine full-out in street clothes, and uniforms are not for practice.
At the very least, your cheerleader needs both short and long sleeve tees. Short sleeve tees are ideal for conditioning sessions and other indoor practices, while long sleeves are great for blustery outdoor practices. Both are comfortable enough to get those much-needed reps in, and those made of moisture-wicking fabrics will help keep them cool and dry.
They’ll also need a good pair of cheer shoes. These shouldn’t be the same ones that your cheerleader performs in. Presentation is important in cheerleading, whether that’s on the sidelines of the game or at a cheering competition. It’s probably best to have one pair just for practice, and another pair just for performances.
There are brands out there selling position-specific cheer shoes for bases, back spots, and flyers. But if your cheerleader is new to the sport, they might not know what position they’ll be asked to take up. In that case, parents should look for sneakers that are supportive and comfortable enough to jump, dance, and perform aerobic moves in.
These shoes should also offer good grip on the soles, in order to prevent slipping during routines– particularly the stunting and tumbling portions.
How to know if a pair of shoes will work for cheering
– They’re in the cheerleader’s proper size. Not sure of their size? Now is a good time for them to get a professional fitting.
-They’re supportive. A cheer routine isn’t perfect until it’s been practiced again and again– and again. All that repetition can take a toll on the feet, but supportive shoes can soften the blow.
– They’re flexible, lightweight, and breathable. Heavy shoes are uncomfortable and hard to be nimble in.
Lastly, they’ll need a sturdy training bag to put everything in. This bag should easily fit a uniform, a pair of socks and shoes, a change of clothes, and any warm-up gear they may not want to wear on the way to the performance.
Gameday and Pep Rally Cheer gear
This portion of the guide is for the coaches or equipment managers for cheerleading teams. There are several different routes you can go when picking out uniforms, so it’s important to first know what your team or school’s guidelines do and don’t allow before ordering. You don’t want to break the dress code!
There are two main components of a cheer uniform. Tops tend to be sleeveless or long-sleeved, and can come in a variety of torso lengths. Bottoms are usually either pleated skirts or spandex shorts, though sometimes leggings are used, particularly in colder climates. When paired with a pristine pair of cheer shoes, these different parts should create a clean, neat look.
It seems like such a simple thing, but cheer socks are actually a super important part of your performance attire. They should be comfortable and moisture-wicking to keep feet dry and cool when it’s time to perform.
The last thing a cheerleader should do is go into their routine cold. That means the warm-up period is crucial, but so is what they wear during that time. Warm ups like jackets, hoodies, and other sweats are necessities. If the squad will be performing in the cold, hats, scarves, gloves, and fleeces are also a good idea.
The warm ups are the perfect opportunity to give each squad member a little extra shine with personalization. They’ll be more likely to wear it before and after the performance if it has their name on it. The benefits are twofold: they get the extra shot of confidence that comes with wearing something with their name on it, and are less likely to get injured by being properly insulated.
Team spirit gear
Caps and visors are a quintessential part of coach style. Cheer coaches would look pretty weird if they dressed up in the same uniform as their squad, baseball style.
(To be honest, it’s still a little weird that baseball managers still do it. You’re 60, dude.)
But coaches still want to show their team spirit. Seeing just how much the coach believes in them can give squad members that extra boost of confidence to really nail all their marks in the clutch.
Headwear is perfect for this. It goes with pretty much anything a coach might wear on the sidelines. Whether that’s a hat or visor is all a matter of personal taste.
Many coaches of competitive teams will center the season around a “theme.” This is usually a word or slogan that unites the squad. Aside from helping everyone keep their eyes on the prize, this slogan probably looks great on a shirt, making it the perfect item to boost team spirit.
These slogan shirts can be part of the squad’s practice look, or they can be a casual pregame look suited for school halls.
Short of that, bows are kind of the classic way female cheerleaders show their team spirit. They’re so ubiquitous in the cheerleading community that companies have made some really neat innovations that make them easier to wear. Look for ones attached to an elastic hair band for an easy look that stays in place, no bobby pins required.
About the Author
Kyle Greco Kyle Greco is the resident writer at RushOrderTees, where he blends word nerdery with his love for T-shirts. A graduate of The College of New Jersey, he is interested in exploring the intersection of clothing and culture. In his spare time, he makes music, builds guitars, and cooks with his wife. He enjoys hot dogs, sports, and collecting too many hats.