Footwear - Trainers
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Nfinity Vengeance"
As seen on TV
In the Cheer world, in terms of brand recognition Nfinity is like Nike. You know them. You've seen them. You may or may not own them. You probably want them. You even speak of them in the same way, as in "Let me grab my Nfinitys and then we can go". It is a very well-known name and in the UK where supplies of Cheer products are limited, they have a firm foot in the door of the shoe market. There are various sub brands within the Nfinity range, but the shoes I have are Nfinity Vengeance.This is my second pair of Cheer shoes, and they could not be more different from my previous Zephz - reviewed here if you're interested
http://sports.ciao.co.uk/Zephz_Butterfly_Classic_Trainer__Review_6008671However, I bought my Vengeance for the same reason as my Zephz: because they are an animal cruelty free product, containing no leather. This is what marks them apart from other Nfinity shoes such as the Evolution (or "Evo"). I previously wanted the Phoenix shoe, but they were discontinued, so I ended up with the latest offering on the market last autumn, these Vengeance.
The problem with new products is that there are often no reviews available if they're only just hitting the market. The problem with cheer products is that there are often no reviews available because it's quite an obscure area (to you...I live and breathe the thing). So I had to buy these shoes based on their marketing blurb rather than personal recommendation or the say so of strangers online.So, what do they say? Nfinity boast that these are the lightest shoes on the market, weighing in at under 4 oz. I dread to think how much my previous Zephz (now affectionately called Clown Shoes) weighed, and the next closest in the Nfinisty range is 6 oz. You might think 2 ounces would make little difference when strapped on to someone who weighs the 100 to 140 lbs I would estimate most Cheerios weigh, but you'd be surprised. In a sport where height is key, whether in stunting, jumping or tumbling, you don't want anything weighing you down. I showed the Boy my shoes the first time I stayed at his after training, and he was surprised by how ridiculously light they are, especially because he knew how much they cost. In the Cheer shoe world, the maxim you get what you pay for doesn't really fit. Instead you don't get what you pay for, so in this case I've paid more for a lighter almost not-there shoe. Go figure.
The next claim is that the shoes have "comfort fit cushions in the heel" to keep the shoe cozy. These shoes felt really strange when I first put them on, because of the shape of the shoe and the arch in them, and because there's so little to them you can feel the ground as you walk. And yet...they were never uncomfortable. They never rubbed, even when brand new (important as the white stains easily so you don't want blood on them from heel blisters... read on for the other things that do stain)The next claim I would disagree with. They say they have a "cutting-edge look" and an open mesh upper so you can customize your look by wearing a coloured sock underneath. Lots of cheer shoes have side panel inserts so you can slip in disks of your team colours, and I suppose that is their alternative to that. I would say, however, that the coloured sock thing is nonsense as although you get a shade coming through, it's muted by the mesh and doesn't look like the colour you think it will. Also my team colours are black and gold. We would never wear black socks in comp (the standard is white) and even if I wanted to, I'm not sure I could find gold ones bright enough to show any resemblance of that colour through the mesh. As for the design, these look silly. They really do. They are a mix of pot-marked holes, different bands of fabric to shape the shoe, and the Nfinity symbol, all of which make it look cluttered rather than streamlined, and are in contrast to the actual performance of the shoe. I like them because I know people recognise what make and model they are when they see them on my feet, not because they look cool. They just don't.
These shoes come in a black Nfinity case which is where I still keep mine, and how I carry them around. They are delicate little things and for the price I don't want to risk damaging them. Perhaps because they are so thin and fragile, I am not that impressed by their durability. I am on three cheerleading teams, and train about 35 hours a month, always wearing these. As is the rule in my gym, I keep them for indoor training use and never wear them outside, but in the almost 9 months since I got them, they've definitely started to show signs of wear. The toes are getting scuffed and though the result is still white against an original white, you can see the difference in texture as they're no longer smooth. A tiny bit of stitching has come away and while it's not pulled into a bigger hole yet, I feel the potential is there. Some might argue this is down to the material more than the construction, but buying a leather shoe isn't an option for me, so I have to make do and mend (or make do and moan as the case may be).In addition to scuffing, these shoes are a magnet for stains, and you can definitely tell the difference between brand new ones and ones that have a few months of training behind them. Mine look white enough until you put them next to newer ones, and then you can certainly see the greyish tinge. Additionally, some people have vague orange stripes on theirs from their flyers' fake tan (no, really!) If you wore these outside on grass or even on the pavement, I think they would look even older, even quicker.
Speaking of flyers, tanned or otherwise, as a base I quite like these shoes on the feet I'm holding. Sometimes with tiny (as in size 3) feet they can be a bit tricky as there's far less to hold on to than with a bulkier design, but the flip side is that you can really feel the foot and grip it properly, and flyers can tell how tight you have hold of them which can be reassuring. In libs (a one foot stunt) where you have 4 hands on one foot it can be a bit overwhelming, but you can get around this with the side base supporting the main base's hands, cupping those rather than the flyer's foot directly if there's nothing left of the foot to hold.These shoes come with Nfinity's signature bubble laces "for laces that stay tied" and the definitely do this. In fact I can't remember the last time I tied them (whoops!) as I tend to pull them on and off without undoing the laces. This is in contrast to my regular gym trainers which I treat the same, but which regularly become untied at inopportune moments (namely during stair runs in Circuits class). My Vengeance laces are not especially long and I did wonder whether I would struggle to tie them securely, but they've been ok and I've always been able to get them into a double bow with long enough loops to slip down the sides neatly as I can't stand flopping bows.
These shoes really flex with your foot, almost approaching the flexibility of jazz shoes or split soled ballet shoes. You can really point your toes in them ( in an almost unheard of move, we got a comment of "Great pointed toes on Pikes" on our recent Nationals score sheet) and when you tumble it's easy to push through your toes the way you should, but which some bulkier shoes inhibit you doing. These are supposed to feel like you're barely wearing shoes, but I definitely prefer tumbling in these to tumbling bare foot as I have to do when I go to gymnastics. Although they are light, they definitely support your ankle and I feel more secure going for running tumbles in these than I do when I have nothing on my feet (that'll be there patented Ankle LocTM Technology, of course). As a former gymnast I spent a decade training in bare feet, so it just goes to show you quickly get used to something new and then wonder how you ever did it the old way.There is all sorts of science mumbo-jumbo on the Nfinity website. For example "The supportive and naturally aligning midsole features sequenced cushioning to keep the foot in an ergonomic performance enhancing position. BioniQTM addresses the typically more pronounced Q-Angle in females." I take this to mean there is some (pseudo) science behind the shoes which they use to justify the price. Because these aren't the cheapest. I paid £65 for mine, making them the most expensive footwear I owned at that point (before I said hello to some snowboard boots).
Overall, I do think the Vengeance is a good shoe but I don't like the combo of high price and low durability. At the same time, my hands (feet?) are tied because I don't wear leather which limits my choice massively. These are a good shoe for all aspects of cheer, and they are comfy to wear, but the way they do wear down quite quickly means they have to lose a star in the rating.I bought my shoes through one of my Cheer gyms, who are an authorized distributor and sell at the same price as other stockists but without you having to pay postage. For my friends who got these elsewhere, the main supplier is Excel
http://www.excelcheer.co.uk/You can also look on eBay but personally, based on my experience, I wouldn't bother going for a second hand version of this shoe as it will probably be on its way out. You might find one bought in the wrong size and never worn if you're lucky (they use US sizing AND fit weird which is a confusing combination) but just keep this in mind.
Product Information : Nfinity Vengeance
Manufacturer's product descriptionFootwear - Trainers
Footwear Type: Trainers
Listed on Ciao since: 28/10/2013