Last time you went shopping for a new piece of cheerleading apparel, you might have asked yourself, “How do these sport and cheer clothing companies come up with all the new styles and designs?” But novelty and perfection is what drives most manufacturing businesses out there—cheerleading apparel included.

Cheerleading apparel definitely offers quite a bit of challenge for novelty and design. Cheer attire companies are typically looking at combining several aspects into their outfits:

Cheerleaders work hard and play hard in both practice and performance. And justifiably, they expect their apparel to be of high quality and durability. This includes using sturdy, but still comfortable, materials and precise manufacturing. No cheerleader wants the stiches on her pants coming apart after a few cartwheels.

Cheerleading apparel, and specifically shoes, also needs to promote the athlete’s safety. Good foot and ankle support is necessary for more than just comfort. A single slip or twist can quickly ruin the team’s championship hopes as well as the individual’s ability to practice and perform in the weeks to come.

There is a reason why football players don’t play in tuxedos and cheerleaders don’t perform in prom dresses or diving suits. Materials need to be light and breathable, offering enough form-fitting and support, but still be durable enough to endure the strenuous exercise routine.

Cheerleading outfits must be unique … but not too unique. A cheerleading squad is defined by its exclusive uniforms and the ladies want to look attractive and different. At the same time, judges expect a certain level of consistency and a somewhat traditional look. Showing up for a cheerleading competition in snowsuits might be unique, but would not necessarily impress.