Fashion On The Field: Do College Cheerleaders Wear Tights?

College cheerleaders outfits can be quite involved with all the different pieces available. But do college cheerleaders wear tights?

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Do college cheerleaders wear tights?

College cheerleaders may or may not wear tights. The decision is ultimately left up to the individual and or team. Cheerleaders may wear tights because they may keep the cheerleader’s legs warm or may add style to the outfit. 

As a fan and supporter of college cheerleading, I’ve seen many different cheerleader outfits and how they are put together. 

Lots of cheerleaders like to be unique while also wanting to stay looking like a member of the team. The balance can be tough, so let’s get into what cheerleaders can and cannot wear.

Do Cheerleaders Wear Tights?

You may see some cheerleaders wearing tights during a game. The main reason you may see cheerleaders wearing tights is because it keeps their legs warm during cold games. 

Cheerleaders often perform outside, so when the game occurs outside, temperatures during winter season games can drop into the teens. 

This cold weather forces some cheerleaders to wear tights in order to keep warm. Cheerleaders often wear other warm items such as gloves and headbands which can stay secure while they perform stunts and flips. 

There are a special type of tights cheerleaders can wear called dance tights that allow cheerleaders to perform stunts while not doing damage to the material they are wearing. 

Some cheerleaders need  to wear tights to cover their tattoos.

So yes, cheerleaders sometimes wear tights in order to stay warm during cold, seasoned, outdoor, games. 

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The Parts Of A Cheerleaders Uniform

There are a couple different parts to a cheerleaders uniform. The first part of a cheerleaders uniform is a top

A top usually has the team’s logo on it. The top is usually form fitting and designed to be comfortable and secure during high energy movements. 

The second piece of a cheerleader’s uniform is the skirt or shorts. Skirts or shorts are usually the same color as the top, and some cheerleaders wear footless tights for added coverage. 

The next part of a cheerleader’s outfits are the shoes

The shoes a cheerleader wears are designed for high energy movements and they may have a rubber sole and a flexible upper, and they are often decorated with the team’s colors. 

Next part of the college cheerleading uniform are the dancing socks

Dancing socks are usually knee high and can help keep the cheerleaders legs warm during the cold seasoned games. 

The next part of the uniform, and possibly the most important, are the pom poms

Pom poms are decorative balls of fluffy material, typically made of tissue paper or synthetic fibers, that are used as props in cheerleading, dance, and gymnastics routines. 

And lastly, hair accessories are a part of a cheerleaders outfit. 

Cheerleaders’ hair uniformity is very important, since hair can get in the way during difficult turns and flips, so having hair accessories worn to tame wild hair can be a huge positive to cheerleading girls and guys.

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Do NFL Cheerleaders wear tights?

Some NFL cheerleaders do wear tights. It’s made mandatory by the team that the NFL cheerleading team wear uniform tights. 

Many teams enforce the dance tights rule to all their girls, such as the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys. 

The rule differs for NBA dancers. NBA dancers don’t typically wear tights since they mainly wear shorts and perform inside where it’s warm and there’s no need to stay warm.  

Tights are considered a hindrance by some cheerleaders, since they can easily rip and tear during extremely difficult stunts.

Wearing pantyhose during cheer practice is also considered a hindrance but not as much since moves can be stifled during practice and don’t have to be all out. 

Capezio tights are often considered as an alternative to regular tights since they are a little thicker and don’t rip as often.

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When a team of cheerleaders choose to wear uniforms they are often doing so as a group together so they can match on the field.

Without matching, the synchronicity of the movements are lost. 

Therefore, when all the girls on the team choose to wear tights, it’s usually a team decision that all the cheerleaders have to individually go out and purchase Capezio tights or footed tights. 

Sometimes the cheerleaders have to wear pants underneath their shorts, often called warm ups. 


Cheerleading is a great sport to get into at a young age. 

Professional cheerleaders mostly have started at a young age. Most cheerleaders have had the cheer uniform since grade school. 

The uniforms in grade school have the cheerleaders wear leggings and tights. The training for young cheerleaders includes jumping jacks, running, and routine practice. 

Professional cheerleaders today wear tights or warm ups some of the time. The tights are hard to see, since it just looks like the cheerleaders have odd skin tones. But rest assured it’s just the tights, not the skin tone.  

During game days, cheerleaders in lower levels may or may not wear tights, it’s really up to the individual. 

But at the professional level, the uniform must be synchromatic across all members of the cheer squad.

Cheerleading is a wonderful sport to get into since it teaches teamwork and friendship, along with the importance of being there to support your team mates.

Missing a cue could mean you miss a chance to support a team member, which can be valuable life advice. As well, cheerleading comes with being a part of a team. Learning how to be a team member is an important skill in life, no matter where you come from.

If you are the best cheerleader in the world, but can’t work in a team, you can be deemed quite useless, so it’s important to learn how to become a team player.

It’s also a way to practice performance. 

Performance is key in life, because if you can do something 100 times alone, but can’t in front of your boss, once again, you’ll be thought of as useless. 

Therefore, cheering teaches you how to do high end stunts in front of a huge audience, making you feel comfortable performing and enhancing your performance skills.

Cheering is a sport, there is no doubt about that. Cheerleading is a high end sport with high impact and great return on athleticism, so once you get into a regular cheering routine, you’ll be able to stay physically in shape. 

In total, cheering is a great sport that teaches teamwork, performance, and leadership. Most cheerleaders start at a young age and spend a lifetime dedicated to the sport. 

The next time you see a cheerleader, give them the respect they’ve earned since it’s a difficult sport to get into and maintain. 

Key Takeaways

  • Some college cheerleaders wear tights to keep warm during cold games. 
  • There are a few parts to a cheerleaders outfit.
  • Some NFL cheerleaders wear tights. 
  • Cheerleaders usually start cheering at a young age.
  • Cheerleading is a great sport to get into. 

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