Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes: What To Look For And How To Choose

What Are Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes?

Gymnastic trampoline shoes are specially designed for flexibility and grip on a trampoline.  Using these shoes means that you are less likely to slip whilst performing tricks, flips and tumbles, whilst still having the flexibility of bare feet.

When used for trampoline competitions, the Fédération Internationale De Gymnastique rules say the shoes should be a regulation white, or the same color as the pants the athlete is wearing.

So even though you shouldn’t wear regular shoes on a trampoline, you often need to wear trampoline shoes when you are competing or training as an athlete.

What Are Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes Made Of?

Gymnastic trampoline shoes are made of a flexible canvas or leather upper, and have a knurled rubber grip on the sole.

The rubber sole can be either a single long thin strip of rubber, or a double rubber sole with a patch of rubber at the toe and another at the heel.

There is often a elastic strip at the top of the shoe (called the throat) that holds the shoe tightly in place, and slightly elasticized heel. Unlike ballet shoes, there is no elastic string that can be pulled tight.

What Is Knurled Rubber On Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes?

Knurled rubber is the pattern that is imprinted on rubber to give it more grip. It is typically angled lines or crossed lines, which mean that you have ridges or bumps in the rubber.

These are able to provide more grip on the trampoline mat.

Your double mini trampoline (and backyard trampoline) mats are generally made of black polyethylene.

These black polyethylene mats can get slippery, particularly if they are indoors, or if your feet are very clean, or even if there’s a good deal of gymnastic chalk around.

Competition trampolines are made of a ‘two-string’ mat. These still benefit from being jumped on with trampoline shoes.

The knurled rubber helps prevent that slipperiness on trampoline mats.

Do I Want A Leather Upper Or Canvas Upper on My Trampoline Shoes?

Gymnastic trampoline shoes have an upper that might be made of either leather or canvas.

It’s really a matter of personal preference.

True gymnastic shoes are more likely to be of leather, and true trampoline shoes are more likely to be of canvas. However, there are now so many ‘hybrid’ gymnastic trampoline shoes, and these can be made of either.

Leather uppers can become marginally more supple and flexible over time. They also stretch slightly with wear. However, canvas uppers are easier to wash and keep clean.

What Are The Inside Sole Pads Made Of In Trampoline Shoes?

There is generally a very thin layer of poly foam added to the inside of gymnastic trampoline shoes.

This is added for comfort.

Should I Get One Rubber Strip or Two Smaller Rubber Patches?

True trampoline shoes have one long rubber strip. True gymnastics shoes generally have two separated patches of rubber, one at the toe and one at the heel.

Again, this is a matter of personal preference. However, given how flexible the rubber is these days, I’d recommend the single strip of rubber. This will give you the most grip at any point in time on the trampoline, which is important as you learn to jump higher and have the potential to land at various angles.

How Many Pairs Of Trampoline Shoes Do I Need?

If you are a serious trampoline athlete, you would have at least two pairs at any given time. A ‘training pair’ and a ‘competition pair’.

The first is a pair of training shoes. These are the pair that you wear to your trampoline training sessions four times a week for hours on end. You will wear these until they break.

Even when they have the first small holes wearing through, you would keep wearing them. You can get another week (or two or three) out of them!

You would also then have a second pair of shoes for competitions. These are the same brand, but they are new and beautiful! You might wear these for a couple of competitions. It’s best to get the same brand so that you know it fits.

As your training shoes wear through, you would then move your current competition shoes to become your new training shoes.

You would then buy a new pair of ‘competition shoes’ to keep for good.

How To Care For Your Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes

Keep your toenails cut short, so that they are less likely to wear through at the toes.

You typically wear these shoes without socks. It is possible to wear them from the car to the gym, although even then, it’s better to wear sheepskin Ugg boots over them. You would never wear them walking down the street or out to the mall.

When you wear them for training, they do have the tendency to get a bit skanky and smelly. Read below for how to clean them.

To Clean Your Canvas Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes

You can put the canvas type into the washing machine on the ‘delicates’ cycle. Just be sure to add some sanitizing wash, such as Lysol wash, to keep smelly bacteria and fungus to a minimum.

You can also leave them in a soaking solution of bleach with some detergent overnight. Be sure to dilute the bleach sufficiently, so that you don’t corrode the stitching too quickly.

To Clean Your Leather Gymnastic Trampoline Shoes

It’s best not to put leather shoes of any sort through the wash, nor to use regular domestic bleach. You want to avoid having them dry in such a way that the shape is distorted.

If your leather gymnastic trampoline shoes get dirty, you can clean them by sponging the leather with a sponge and warm mild detergent. If that doesn’t work, you can use oxalic acid as a bleach.

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