The 10 Most Popular Foam Hands and Their Meanings (Aside From the #1 Foam Fingers)

10 Most Popular Foam Hands and Their Meanings

All of the foam hand signs below are related to sporting events with positive references only. 

Foam fingers have become a staple at most big sports games. You’ll find them at most football, soccer, and baseball games. They’ve also made their way to volleyball tennis matches.

When most people think of foam fingers, the classic #1 foam finger comes to mind. You can get it so many different sizes ranging from the mini foam fingers all the way up to 36″ #1 foam fingers.

But there are many more custom foam hands from which to choose. And what is the meaning of each of these foam hands? Below, you’ll find the meanings of these hand gestures and a brief history of their origins. Nearly any type of hand gesture you want is available as a stock shape. And if it’s not, we can create custom-shaped foam hands for you, starting at only a 250 piece minimum.

Browse through our stock shaped foam hands below to see if any of these popular choices is a good fit for your team. If you’ve been buying #1 foam fingers over the past few years, maybe it’s time for a changeup! It will most likely help increase the sales of your foam hands at your games.

Hang Loose Shaka Foam Hands

The shaka hand sign was derived from Hawaiian culture to show others the “Aloha Spirit” of understanding, friendship, and compassion. Since this  hand symbol was born in Hawaii, it was quickly adopted by surfers in California to mean “Hang Loose” or “Awesome.” Now the shaka (or hang loose) hand sign is a common gesture in the U.S. to show respect for a job well-done. In the sports world, the large shaka foam hands are used by the fans to celebrate an awesome play or to cheer after a score. Smaller shaka foam hands are also available.

High Five Foam Hands

High fives have been a part of the U.S. culture since the late 1970’s. In fact, it’s origin actually stems back to a sporting event on October 2, 1977. Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers exchanged a high five after Baker hit his 30th home run of the season, making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four players with 30 home runs or more in the same season. From there, the high five become a standard exchange within the sports world, and eventually outside the sports world, to celebrate anything good. The high five foam hands have become a popular display at games to celebrate great plays and cheer after scoring.

W (Win) Foam Hands

With sports teams, players and coaches always want a win with every game. The same is true with the fans. They want a win. Every time. That’s why they are loyally devoted their time, energy, and money into cheering on “their” team. Loyal fans take ownership and expect a win. W is for WIN. W Foam Hands are their way of cheering on their team for the WIN. Even against the biggest and toughest opponents, true fans believe their team will win. That’s the spirit of true fans. They believe in their team.

Hook 'Em Horns Foam Hands

In the sports world, I don’t think there’s any doubt where this hand sign originated. It was the University of Texas at Austin who began using this hand symbol to represent the shape of the horns of their mascot, the Texas Longhorn (Bevo). However, in history, the “sign of the horns” dates way back to early Hinduism and is synonymous with the expulsion of demons and removal of sickness. In the late 1970’s, Ronnie James Dio of the metal band Black Sabbath began using the sign of the horns gesture at his concerts. Back to sports, there are quite a few middle schools and high schools with a Longhorn as their mascot, so using the Hook ‘Em Horns Foam Hands are a perfect fit!

Love Sign Foam Hands

The “I Love You” (ILY) hand sign stems from American Sign Language, which combines the letters of “I”, “L”, and “Y” to mean “I Love You.” While there are mainstream uses prior to the mid to late 1970s, Richard Dawson (host of Family Feud from 1976-1985) used the I Love You hand sign as a way to end each episode, giving this hand gesture significant media exposure. With the Love Foam Hands, they are frequently used by fans to show their love for their team, coach, or often a specific player on the team. These are great to show love for a player who is retiring from a professional sports team or a college player who is graduating. They are often used to show love for a coach who is retiring after a long career at a school. Showing love is never bad and these foam hands are a great way to show it in a large crowd.

Peace/Victory Foam Hands

This hand gesture can have several different meanings depending on the context and which way the palm is facing. When the palm is facing out (away from the signer) it is the number “2” in American Sign Language, as well as an offensive gesture in the UK, Austrailia, and other countries. With the palm facing toward the signer, it can also mean the number 2, victory, peace, or the letter “V” in American Sign Language. This hand sign was commonly used in the 1940’s to represent “Victory” during the Second World War. In the 1960’s, the sign was used to promote peace during the American Peace Movement. These are used as Peace Foam Hands are commonly for peaceful protests and at sports events, they are also used as Victory Foam Hands to promote victory over an opponent.

Thumbs Up Foam Hands

The Thumbs Up Foam Hands are used to show approval. However, with a simple rotation of the wrist, they can be also used as a Thumbs Down Foam Hand to show disapproval. At events at which the crowd will be voting, these thumbs up foam hands can be used for the crowd to show whether they are in favor or not during the vote. In sports, these foam hands are commonly used to show approval or disapproval of calls made by the referees or plays and behaviors by players. The thumbs up and thumbs down hand signs have likely been used since the 1st Century in Ancient Roman times to use for voting whether or not a defeated gladiator should be condemned to death.

Wildcats (WC) Foam Hands



There are over two dozen college teams with Wildcat mascots. There are hundreds of middle schools and high schools using the Wildcats as their mascot. This hand sign of curving your index finger and thumb into the shape of a “C” and extending your other 3 fingers makes a “WC” sign to indicate “Wildcats.” Because there are so many Wildcat teams, that makes the WC Foam Hands extremely popular.

Okay Foam Hands

In the United States, the OKAY or the A-OK hand sign denotes approval or agreement. It’s a quick way to say, “I’m good.” This hand gesture has been used in Yoga for centuries to indicate “the seal of consciousness.” The Okay Foam Hands have become popular team spirit items to show approval of the team, a player, or a coach. If there is something you want to show approval of regarding your team, the OK Foam Hands are a great way to do it!

Paw Shaped Foam Hands

While Paw-Shaped Foam Hands don’t have a universal meaning, they do symbol the paw print of the team mascot. Since thousands of teams have mascots which are wildcats, cougars, panthers, tigers, lions, bears, wolves, bulldogs, coyotes, badgers, and many other animal mascots, these paw print foam hands are a great way to symbolize their mascot. Because the outline of the paw is printed on the foam hands, it can be altered to better fit the paw print and nails of your team mascot. 

Custom foam hands are perhaps the most iconic of team spirit items for the fans. These oversized hands seem to unleash the shyness allowing fans to get loud and rowdy to cheer on their team. Each school, team, and stadium has its own unique atmosphere to lend itself better to a specific foam hand sign. Find the perfect foam hand symbol for your team so your fans will reach their maximum cheering potential to encourage your team. If none of our stock hand signs is a good fit for your team, we can create custom shaped foam hands for your team.

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