How to Clean Cheerleading Shoes: Step-by-Step Guide

Cheerleading shoes are an essential part of a cheerleader’s uniform. They provide support, comfort, and grip for various stunts and routines. When you practice, perform, or compete, they can get dirty, sweaty, and smelly. Cleaning them well keeps them looking good, makes them last longer, and stays comfy. This guide will show you how to clean cheerleading shoes so they are fresh for your next performance.

Why Cleaning Cheerleading Shoes Is Important

Cleaning your cheer shoes is more than just about aesthetics. Here are some reasons why regular cleaning is essential:

  • Appearance: It keeps them looking nice.
  • Grip: Clean shoes help prevent slipping.
  • Comfort: They feel better when clean.
  • Odor: Cleaning removes bad smells.
  • Longevity: Makes them last longer.
  • Health: Removes bacteria and germs.

Materials Needed

Before you begin cleaning your cheerleading shoes, gather the following materials:

  • Mild detergent or soap
  • Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Water
  • Baking soda (for odor removal)
  • White vinegar (for odor removal)
  • Crumpled paper

How to Clean Cheerleading Shoes: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Clean Cheerleading Shoes

Now, Let’s dive into the steps for cleaning your cheerleading shoes.

Step 1: Removing Surface Dirt

  • Remove Laces: Start by removing the shoelaces from your shoes. This will allow you to clean the entire surface thoroughly.
  • Shake Off Excess Dirt: Take your shoes outside and gently shake them to remove any loose dirt or debris.

Step 2: Cleaning the Exterior

  • Prepare Cleaning Solution: Mix a small amount of mild detergent or soap with water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Scrub the Shoes: Dip a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush into the cleaning solution and scrub the exterior of the shoes. Pay extra attention to areas with stubborn stains or dirt.
  • Wipe with a Damp Cloth: Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to wipe away the soap residue and dirt. Repeat this process until the shoes are clean.
  • Rinse: If possible, rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any remaining soap.

Step 3: Dealing with Odors

  • Sprinkle with Baking Soda: For odors, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda inside each shoe. Leave it overnight to absorb any unwanted smells.
  • Use White Vinegar: If the odor persists, dampen a cloth with white vinegar and wipe the interior of the shoes. Vinegar helps neutralize odors naturally.

Step 4: Shoe Drying

  • Air Dry: Allow your cheer shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or using heat sources, as this can damage the materials.
  • Stuff with Paper: To help maintain their shape as they dry, stuff the shoes with crumpled paper or a shoe tree.

Maintaining Cheerleading Shoes

Regular cleaning schedule

Make it a habit to clean your cheerleading shoes after every practice or performance. This will prevent dirt and sweat from building up and becoming harder to remove.

Proper storage

When not in use, store your cheerleading shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid leaving them in damp or humid environments, as this can promote the growth of mold and mildew.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the common mistakes to avoid when cleaning cheerleading shoes, explained in simple and brief sentences:

1. Using Harsh Chemicals: Don’t use strong chemicals or bleach as they can harm your shoes.

2. Skipping Drying Steps: Always make sure your shoes are completely dry before wearing them again to prevent mold.

3. Overlooking Insoles: Remember to clean or change the insoles too, as they can hold onto smells and germs.


In the conclusion, we summarize why it’s important to clean cheerleading shoes. By following the steps in the guide, your shoes will last longer and stay fresh. Keeping them clean also prevents odors and maintains comfort during performances. Remember, a well-maintained shoe is crucial for safety and appearance. So, make sure how to clean cheerleading shoes regularly for a better cheerleading experience!


1. How do I remove tough stains from my cheerleading shoes?

  • For tough stains, create a paste using baking soda and water. Apply it to the stained area, let it sit for a few hours, then scrub with a soft brush and rinse.

2. Can I machine wash my cheer shoes?

  • It’s not recommended to machine wash cheer shoes, as the agitation and heat can damage them. Stick to hand cleaning methods for best results.

3. My cheer shoes have lost their grip. How can I restore it?

  • You can restore the grip by rubbing the soles with fine-grit sandpaper. This helps roughen the surface slightly, improving traction.

4. Are there specific cleaners made for cheerleading shoes?

  • Yes, there are cleaners designed specifically for cheer shoes. These can be found at specialty cheerleading stores or online.

5. How long do cheerleading shoes typically last?

  • The lifespan of cheer shoes varies depending on usage and care. On average, they can last anywhere from 6 months to a year with proper maintenance.

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