10 Nike Gear Essentials for Cheerleaders
Tumble, toss and catch with confidence, using the best cheerleading gear from Nike.
In a cheerleading competition or on the sidelines of a thrilling game, cheerleaders are tasked with captivating the crowd while performing intense athleticism. This combination of skills calls for high-performance gear to help athletes excel on the mat, court or pitch.
Complete your cheerleading gear collection—or find the perfect gift for a cheerleader in your life—with these essential Nike items for athletes of all ages.
(Related: The Top 9 Nike Gift Ideas for Dancers)
The Best Cheerleading Gear From Nike
1. Compression Shorts
Distraction-free, sweat-wicking compression gear is a must-have for cheerleaders. Nike Pro Shorts, for example, feature stretchy and supportive fabric that stays put through tumbles, kicks and jumps.
The best compression shorts for cheerleading also contain Nike Dri-FIT Technology to wick away sweat, helping keep athletes cool and dry during intense movement.
2. Training Shoes
The best shoes for cheerleading feature soft, responsive cushioning underfoot and multi-directional traction in the sole to support the wide range of cheerleaders' movements.
Nike SuperRep and Nike Metcon sneakers are both designed to provide stability for the feet during quick, active movements in multiple directions, making them a good fit for the demands of cheerleading.
For youth cheerleaders who may want a versatile shoe that works for multiple sports, consider wearing a tennis shoe or multi-purpose gym sneaker, like the Nike Omni Multi-Court, made for a range of surfaces and activities.
3. Hair Bows, Hair Bands and Scrunchies
Hair bows and scrunchies are often a key piece of cheerleading kit. Choose from a wide range of fabrics, patterns and hues to match the squad's signature look.
4. Duffel Bag
Available in a wide range of colours, Nike duffel bags are a necessary accessory for cheerleaders, especially those who travel to competitions and games.
The Nike Gym Club Training Duffel Bag, for example, holds up to 24 litres of cheerleading gear, such as training shoes, accessories, kit staples and snacks. Nike duffels feature durable fabric that resists abrasions and tears, helping make sure it lasts for multiple seasons.
5. Water Bottle
Nike water bottles come in a variety of sizes and spout types. From 64 ounce (approx. 2 litres) jugs for long training sessions and all-day competitions to lightweight, 22-ounce (approx. 0.5 litre) containers, a reusable water bottle is an essential to help keep cheerleaders hydrated.
6. Sports Bras
There isn't one style of Nike sports bra that works for all cheerleaders. Some athletes prefer a light-support sports bra to gently hug the body, while others might prefer a medium- or high-support bra to reduce breast movement and offer more compression.
There's a Nike sports bra to fit a wide array of preferences. Shop for light-, medium- and high-support styles in both adult and kid sizes.
7. Recovery and Strength-training Tools
After long sessions on the mat, Nike recovery tools—including foam rollers, massage balls and massage sticks—can help give hard-working muscles some extra TLC. You'll also find resistance-based tools, like push-up bars and resistance bands, to assist in strength training off the mat.
8. Training Tops
From tight compression tops to loose-fitting, cotton T-shirts, Nike cheerleading training tops are made for a variety of style and fit preferences. The key to a great cheerleading top, regardless of style, is Nike Dri-FIT, a high-performance fabric that helps sweat dry quickly.
9. Matching Sets
Keep warm late in the season with a cosy matching set that aligns with the squad's colours. Nike Sportswear Club Fleece matching sets feature crew-neck jumpers and joggers in a wide range of colours—all with a fluffy, insulative fleece lining to wear during warm-ups and cool-downs.
10. Training Jackets and Gilets
For cold games or competition days, suit up in a Nike jacket designed for sport. Nike training jackets and gilets are made from light, sweat-resistant fabrics and are stretchy and non-restrictive, so you can practice routines seamlessly even while bundled up.
Words by Julia Sullivan