While a cheerleading uniform is a major aspect of a cheerleader’s look at games, pep rallies, competitions, and events, a cheerleader spends most of her time at practice wearing practice wear. Like a gymnast or dancer, cheerleaders shouldn’t wear any clothing to practice. It’s key to wear practice wear made for athletes and cheerleaders. Here’s why: Cheerleading practice wear is specially designed to fit a cheerleader and his/her needs. A cheerleader is a unique type of athlete, in that his/her sport requires dance, gymnastics, stamina, strength, and flexibility. This means a cheerleader needs practice wear that is flexible and easy to move it; form fitting so the coach can more easily see each team member’s movements (small and large); and supportive, to keep a cheerleader moving safely. Regular clothing, like a t-shirt, is likely going to be baggy, stiff, or not as comfortable as a t-shirt designed for practice. Hands and feet can easily get caught in baggy materials, which could cause an accident or injury. The same goes for shorts. Shorts with too wide a leg or not a durable waist band won’t hold up during practice. A basic tank top won’t have the support a practice tank will have, like a built-in shelf bra or stronger fabric to hold up during a rigorous practice. A cheerleader should always look for practice wear designed for cheerleading. Cheer practice wear will focus on durable, breathable fabrics, but still provide a lot of variety, like cotton, Lycra, or sweat-wicking fabrics. And of course we can’t forget about the unique style of cheer practice wear. Whether it’s graphic tees with cheer sayings or metallic-accented racerback tanks, cheer practice wear is much more stylish than your average t-shirt and shorts! So when you’re shopping for practice wear, remember to stock up on the following key items: Tops. We recommend getting a variety of both t-shirts and tank tops in different fabrics. Shorts. Like tops, look for different fabrics and styles so you have variety throughout the seasons. And don’t forget longer options, like capris! Sports bras. Don’t wear a regular bra. A sports bra provides much more support. Socks. Many people easily forget that there are actually socks designed for athletes. These socks are more breathable, which means not-as-smelly shoes and feet. What’s your favorite practice wear? Do you have a favorite style or brand?