BEST SHOES FOR ZUMBA

Zumba, an exercise program combining Latin music or popular tracks and fast-paced dance moves, is a massively popular form of fitness. Approximately 15 million people across 180 countries regularly participate in the hit exercise trend that incorporates interval and resistance training into dance. Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. explains that participating in Zumba, when done properly, can count towards the required exercise standard for healthy living. Because Zumba is a unique combination of aerobic exercise and dance, neither average sneakers nor typical dance shoes will provide all of the features that are needed in good footwear for Zumba participation.  Find the best shoes for zumba and detailed reviews.

Good shoes for Zumba: Does it really matter?

Yes! It is extremely important to find the right footwear for Zumba participation! Because Zumba incorporates high-impact cardio movements with the fast, often inconsistent, speeds of Latin or pop tracks, having stable, supportive shoes is crucial to get the most out of the experience and to avoid injury. Wearing the right footwear for Zumba will safely help promote mobility and flexibility, reduce unnecessary pain and soreness, and prevent short-term or long-term damage and injury.

Take a breath, and find shoes that breathe.

Having breathable or permeable shoes is extremely important when you’re engaging in any strenuous cardiovascular exercise. Wearing breathable shoes for Zumba allows air circulation in your footwear as you dance, which prevents sweat buildup on your feet and can contribute to your overall comfort as you exercise. Allowing excess moisture to develop and stay on the feet can cause foot irritation, blisters, fungus, and odor.PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe

Sweaty feet can be especially inconvenient when enjoying Zumba because the sweat decreases the stability of the foot within the shoe and may cause the shoe to lose a sturdy fit if the foot slides around excessively when dancing. If your foot is sliding inside your shoe while dancing, your body will also become tense to maintain balance and control while moving, which can increase post-workout soreness.

Lightweight shoes can be a load off your feet.

Because of the fast and complex lower body movement required when participating in Zumba, finding the perfect lightweight shoes for Zumba is important. Wearing heavy sneakers to Zumba class will make you feel tired much faster, preventing you from fully engaging in the entirety of the experience. Lightweight shoes will boost your performance, will prevent early onset muscle fatigue while dancing, and will decrease the intensity of post-workout soreness.

On the other end of the shoe weight spectrum, you also want to make sure that your Zumba shoes aren’t too light. Getting shoes that are too lightweight usually suggests that the shoes may not be constructed in a way that will provide adequate foot protection when you’re jumping, turning, or spinning while doing Zumba. You should choose lightweight Zumba shoes with stability and should ensure that the other characteristics of the shoe hold up to scrutiny.

Your foot is the foundation of your dance.

Your feet support your body as you move, which is why proper foot support when participating in Zumba is a must. For individuals with flat feet or lacking in natural foot arch, support will need to be provided by the shoe or insole to prevent injury. It’s generally a good idea to opt for a shoe with less built-in cushion because the longevity of the shoe will be greatly decreased if you have to replace the pair each time the cushion is worn down from use. Shoes with less built-in cushion can be made more supportive through the use of purchased insoles that can be replaced quickly and easily once they have been worn down.

According to Zumba experts, the type of dance floor should also be a factor in determining what kind of support your shoe needs. If you’re Zumba dancing on polished or hardwood floors, you will need to wear shoes with more support and cushion than if you’re doing Zumba in your carpeted living room. If you Zumba at different locations, you may also want to have separate pairs of shoes or removable inserts for each.flat feet vs normal feet

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) encourages people to carefully consider their natural foot arch before investing in additional arch support. Not everyone needs additional arch support and adding insoles that aren’t needed to shoes will force the foot into unnatural shapes and positions, potentially causing long-term damage to overall foot function.

Get a grip on the soles of your shoes.

Having adequate grip – but not too much – is vital to perform the moves used in Zumba. Having too much grip on the bottom of your footwear, however, could lead to injuries associated with spin resistance, ankle injuries, and knee injuries caused when your body attempts to pivot and your feet stay in place.

zumba knee injury

Some individuals experienced with Zumba recommend selecting a shoe with a built-in pivot point. The pivot point of a shoe is generally a feature on the fall of the foot that allows for the foot to turn smoothly when dancing. When considering pivot points on the soles of your shoes, you should again think about where Zumba will be done. These mobility-enhancing shoe features could potentially be too slippery on polished gym floors but would be essential for avoiding injury on carpet. Not using pivot point shoes when you should could cause joint stress on your hips, ankles, and knees.

Average running sneakers will not be constructed with pivot points and will likely have too much grip for full Zumba participating. You want to avoid ever exercising in socks or shoes lacking in sufficient grip, however, because having no grip will cause you to slip and slide while exercising, decreasing health benefits of the workout and increasing your odds of being hurt.

Soles are the soul of Zumba.

In addition to grip, choosing the type of sole – full sole or split sole – shoe you want will be an important decision. Split sole shoes allow for more advanced foot articulation and adjustment when moving. They are highly recommended for people who are starting Zumba after having experience with other foot-strengthening exercises such as professional dancers, athletes, hikers, and individuals accustomed to walking barefoot. This is because the movement allowed for by split sole shoes is due to their midsole and flexibility, but they do lack some of the more structured arch support seem in full sole shoes.

Full sole shoes don’t allow for full articulation of the toes, which is especially important during training exercises and for beginners in the Zumba world, but full sole shoes provide additional support and structure. The best way for those interested in Zumba to choose between full sole or split sole shoes would likely be to speak to a medical professional, seek the advice of a shoe sales representative, or ask the Zumba instructor if you’ve attended the same sessions for a length of time.

zumba class

Comfortable shoes will ease the mind and the body.

There’s nothing worse than dreading having to put on uncomfortable shoes and then going to the gym for an intense workout. A healthy lifestyle begins before you even leave your house; it begins as soon as you put on your shoes. Because you’ll be on your feet for the duration of a Zumba session, comfortable shoes should be your first concern when determining what footwear to select for your dancing.

Making sure that the shoe has enough cushion and shock absorption to protect your feet, ankles, and knees during jumping and fast, high impact movements is pivotal. You’ll also want to make sure that the Zumba shoe has a wide toe box to accommodate toe movement and extension during dance to support the moves while maintaining stability and balance. The toe box shouldn’t be too wide, however, because having the shoe be too big in any single area will allow for unstable foot movements and blisters. The shoes shouldn’t be too tight either; you’ll need to ensure maximum circulation to your lower extremities when engaged in aerobic exercise.

Having comfortable shoes for Zumba will allow the workouts to last longer, allow you to participate more fully, and will decrease the chance of developing blisters, feeling sore, and injuring yourself when working out.

Flexibility and Mobility: Keeping up with Zumba

You’ll want to make sure any potential Zumba shoes are flexible and allow foot mobility while maintaining the support needed to stabilize your foot during movements. More flexible shoes are generally constructed with additional cushioning to act as shock absorption for high-impact activities. The shock absorption is important, however, you should remember that you have the option of purchasing insoles for cushion and support as needed and replacing these when they are worn out. You can’t necessarily replace the cushioning built into the shoe.

Shoes that are constructed to support your foot while allowing for mobility will bend naturally at the same points as your foot. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) explains that the shoe should crease at the ball of the foot where the toes naturally bend when stepping. If, when testing the shoe, it bends further behind or in front of the toes, you have not achieved a proper fit and the shoe is too big or too small. Wearing shoes that are not properly sized for your foot, or have the features of flexibility and mobility but lacking support structure, can increase the stress on your ankles, knees, and hips. It can also lead to long-term injury or pain. It is crucial to find a flexible shoe that offers both mobility and support.

It’s also about how you move with the shoes.

While having good Zumba shoes is essential, you must also pay attention to how you move your body while wearing the shoes. Not focusing on executing Zumba moves correctly and safely can lead to soreness and injury. Zumba fitness instructors remind potential Zumba participants that focusing on the muscles they use during certain moves is important.

For example, online research into safe Zumba practices will reveal a wealth of information on how to move your body, including the fact that safe dancing pivots require you to move your entire leg, not just your knee first. Moving from hip to toe instead of with your knee will decrease the likelihood of dislocation of the knee or knee injuries over time. When jumping, landing with the impact primarily in your core will protect the joints in the hips, knees, and ankles.

Experts also remind gym-goers that Zumba provides a great cardio workout that should be supplemented with strength training, weight lifting, lunges, and squats to provide maximum results and to build strength and health over time.

In addition to strength training, taking care of your muscles and allowing your body to heal is important. You should stretch before and after working out, keeping in mind that the goal of stretching is not to hurt the muscles but to prepare them or to stabilize them. Some experts suggest getting occasional massages, using foam rollers, or starting Yamuna.

Foam rollers

are log-like foam devices that can be used to self-massage the back, sore muscles, and pressure points.

woman on foam roller

The appropriate use of foam rollers over time has been shown to drastically increase flexibility, improve blood circulation, and break down scar tissue.

Yamuna is a process of stretching and massaging the muscles and tendons of the body in yoga-like style using three foam balls and different poses. The primary difference between Yumana and foam rollers, as explained by experts in the exercise, is that the foam roller treats the entire body as a whole while the three balls used in Yumana allow for areas of the body to be highlighted and managed individually and in and around the joints.

While having the best footwear is the foundation for Zumba success, moving safely, allowing your body to heal, stretching, seeking occasional massages, and considering shoe modifiers are all simple ways to ensure long-term health and injury prevention.

Modifying can make our shoes even better!

If you’ve found a shoe that you love and decided is appropriate for Zumba, but would like to enhance or add some extra features to make your dancing better, trying shoe modifiers is the way to go. Shoe modifiers are also a good idea for beginners who may not have decided on a pair of Zumba shoes or for people who engage in Zumba in different locations and don’t have shoes for each place. Each kind of shoe modifier has a different function, so it’s important to know what you need.

Tirante Sliders are glider devices attached to a shoe with a heel strap designed to make dance movement with shoes on carpet and rubber floors smoother and more seamless. The gliders stay in place on the shoe and allow the dancer to pivot and slide within reason to prevent injury from having too much traction when dancing. Because the devices are removable, they allow you to participate in Zumba safely on a variety of surfaces. They also come in various colors and sizes.

Smooth Dancers also allow for movement in sneakers. While their design is similar to Tirante Sliders, they are not secured to the shoe with a heel strap.

With the help of shoe modifiers, your current athletic shoes can be made more suitable and safe for Zumba. You can also take your time to determine what shoes you need and ask advice of your Zumba instructor while participating in Zumba with the modifiers.

With so many footwear options on the market, it is more important to focus on functionality and features than to seek out particular shoe brands for Zumba. Finding shoes that make you comfortable, offer breathability, allow for flexibility and mobility, provide stability, are lightweight, and can keep up with you on the Zumba dance floor will make your Zumba experience that much more fun and beneficial for you!

Best Shoes For Zumba

1. Zumba Women’s Fly Print Dance Shoe

Zumba Women’s Fly Print Dance Shoe

Zumba Women’s Fly Print Dance Shoe

Pros

  • Straight from the Zumba brand
  • Variety of fun colors and styles
  • Specifically designed to do Zumba; lightweight

Cons

  • Some say the need more padding in the ball of the shoe
  • Because the outsole grips so tight, can be hard to turn
  • Cheap nylon, doesn’t “breathe”

Summary

Here you have it: a true Zumba shoe made exactly from the same people who created the dance workout. This shoe comes in tons of fun prints and styles, like cheetah print, zebra print, as well as mesh, in black, purple, electric yellow, etc. It is incredibly lightweight and like wearing no shoes at all. Some found that because the grip on the outsole was so great that it made it hard to dance and turn. Also, they found the nylon to suffocate their feet and cause them to sweat even more because it didn’t breath. They are at a great price, however and are specifically designed for Zumba.

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2. RYKA Women’s Tenacity Dance Training Sneaker

RYKA Women’s Tenacity Dance Training Sneaker

RYKA Women’s Tenacity Dance Training Sneaker

Pros

  • Retro yet futuristic design, available in many colors
  • Specifically designed for dance
  • Precise-Return insole for optimal cushioning

Cons

  • The design may be too much; not simple
  • The shoe fits up the ankle, may be awkward and too bulky for dance
  • Several holes to lace up and straps

Summary

The RYKA Women’s Tenacity Dance Trainer sneaker looks out of this world – it almost looks like an alien or astronaut shoe! You are either going to love it or hate this design. If you love it, there are tons of beautiful colors for you to choose from. As part of the space looking design, it has straps and shoelaces galore that lace up to the top of the ankle and then have straps overtop. This ensures the foot is secure, but it may be a pain to have to tie and then untie and take off your shoes. However, since this shoe is specifically designed for dance it is probably going to be great for a Zumba class, modern dance class, etc. and best of all, it’s super comfortable with it’s Precise-Return insole for optimal cushioning.

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3. RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe

RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe

RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe

Pros

  • Multiple colors and styles to choose from
  • Ultra lightweight; comfortable
  • Padded tongue and collar for optimal support and cushion

Cons

  • A bit too gray and drab looking
  • The collar of the shoe sits a bit too high up
  • Needs more cushioning for some wearers

Summary

RYKA generally has great athletic shoes, and the Influence Cross Training shoe is no exception. This shoe comes in a variety of colors (but almost all of them have hints of gray, which can be slightly boring and ugly – depends on your taste) and is ultra-lightweight and very comfortable. One person found that the insole needed more padding, but this can be easily corrected to your taste by inserting an insole. The collar of the shoe was also found to be too high up, but again this can be solved by not tying the shoes all the way up to the top. Despite these minor issues, RYKA Influence Cross Training shoes make a great athletic shoe for a variety of things – especially Zumba.

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4. ASICS Women’s Rhythmic 2 Cross Training Shoe

ASICS Women’s Rhythmic 2 Cross Training Shoe

ASICS Women’s Rhythmic 2 Cross Training Shoe

Pros

  • Pivot point on the outsole specifically designed for sance and turning
  • Full length EVA foam midsole
  • Extremely light weight

Cons

  • Kind of expensive at nearly $65
  • Only available in black, onyx; no other colors
  • Some found the shoe to be wide and big for their size

Summary

Having a great grip on the floor is important, but sometimes it can make turning, pivoting, and moving your feet a pain because of all the traction on the floor. Fortunately, this shoe has came up with a solution: the ASICS Rhythmic 2 Cross Training shoe actually has a disk placed in the outsole that helps you twist and turn to your heart’s desire. Also, they shoes are slightly expensive at $63, but the quality you get for the price is pretty reasonable. Unfortunately, they are only available in black but the design is so good and neutral that it appeals to many people. However, some others found the size to run a bit wide and big for them. But, the EVA foam on the inside really makes up for any minor setbacks.

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5. PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe

PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe

PUMA Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoe

Pros

  • Breathable mesh with faux leather accents
  • The variety of colors that are available is awesome; designed well
  • Cushioned midsole and heel for easier impact on the joints

Cons

  • Made of faux leather rather than the real thing; cheap
  • Slightly overpriced at $52 and up
  • Heavier shoe, not as light as other options

Summary

The Puma Women’s Cell Riaze Cross-Training shoe is great for the everyday women who needs a pair of shoes for the gym, zumba class, yoga, etc. It has breathable material so they sweat your produce in your feet can easily be evaporated. Additionally, the midsole and the heel are padded in order to prevent pain and joint discomfort. Also, the design is loved by many and there are five options to choose from. But, if you are a serious athlete the shoe’s weight may be an issue for you as it is heavier compared to other shoes. Also, for its quality, it seems to be slightly overpriced at $52, especially because it is using faux materials in the shoe. Overall though, if you need just a basic athletic shoe, this does the trick.

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6. New Balance Women’s WX867 Cross-Training Shoe

New Balance Women’s WX867 Cross-Training Shoe

New Balance Women’s WX867 Cross-Training Shoe

Pros

  • Breathable mesh, releases sweat
  • Pivot point on both the balls of the feet and the heel for easy turning and dancing
  • Padded tongue and collar for extra support and comfort

Cons

  • Slightly bulky with the padded tongue
  • The grip on the outsole is not that great, may slip
  • Only comes in black with hot pink accents; not other colors

Summary

Yet another great dance shoe. The pivot points on shoes have been really advancing in popularity as people are finding them really easy to use and enhance their dancing and exercise routines. This has not just one, but two pivot points, so you can use one or the other depending on where your weight is shifted. It comes in breathable material for when you’re working up a sweat in your Zumba class or yoga class, and has a great padded tongue and collar that adds to the comfort of the shoe. Despite the padded tongue making it more comfortable, it also makes it more bulky and the shoe looks rather large and fat. Also, the grip outside of the pivot points isn’t very strong looking, and it only comes in black with hot pink accents, so there aren’t a lot of options to choose from. However, this is still a great shoe because of the double pivot points it has.

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7. Nike Women’s TR Fit 4 5 Cross Training Shoes Print


Nike Women’s TR Fit 4 5 Cross Training Shoes Print

Nike Women’s TR Fit 4 5 Cross Training Shoes Print

Pros

  • Extremely stylish and fashionable; brand power of Nike
  • Mesh design is both fashionable and releases sweat from feet
  • Not too high on the ankles so it doesn’t rub against and case blisters

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Pushes the foot forward; may cramp toes
  • May find too tight and narrow

Summary

You can never go wrong with Nike! Nike’s are the epitome of what an athletic shoe should be! If you go to the gym, attend a Zumba class, practice yoga, or any other activity then this shoe is going to give you a great foundation to do so. The collar is just high enough to where it’s supportive but not too high to where it blisters your ankle and causes chafing. Also the mesh of the shoe releases sweat and cools the foot down. Nike does tend to be on the expensive side, but as it’s said – you get what you pay for.

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8. Capezio Women’s DS19 Web Dansneaker

Capezio Women’s DS19 Web Dansneaker

Capezio Women’s DS19 Web Dansneaker

Pros

  • Fun design with a web of hot pink lines
  • Made of mesh so that the foot can breathe and avoid sweating
  • Boxed toe for toe stands when dancing

Cons

  • The grip on the shoes is not strong enough; prone to slips
  • Sized slightly small and narrow for some of the shoe wearers
  • Laces too long

Summary

Capezio has invented the ultimate shoe – specifically designed for dance. The front of the shoe is boxy intentionally, as many dancers perform to stands. So this is great and will assist you with your balance when doing that.It’s made of a breathable mesh material, perfect for when you’re working up a sweat and want your feet to cool off. Also the design is super unique with a bunch of crazy lines bursting on the sides of the shoe. Some things that people have had some concerns about is that the laces are too long and it makes tying them kind of annoying (although you can always replace the laces or double knot). Many also found the shoe to be too narrow, and a big concern was that the grip was not strong enough on the floor, causing many slips. SO at the end of the day, this is a great shoe as far as the style, but the functionality is slightly lacking.

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9. Reebok Women’s Dance UR Lead Shoe

Reebok Women’s Dance UR Lead Shoe

Reebok Women’s Dance UR Lead Shoe

Pros

  • Designed well with a bright, vintage color and style
  • Great for dancing and performing, specifically designed for that
  • Has a pivot circle for easier movement

Cons

  • Only comes in one blue, teal color
  • Quite pricey
  • Loose Grip on the outsole

Summary

The Reebok Dance UR Lead Shoe is really a good dance shoe; especially considering it was designed with dance in the forefront of its mind. It is a really bright colored turquoise or teal colored shoe (the only color offered on Amazon, unfortunately, of this style) that has a pivot circle on the bottom of the shoe for superior movement. This shoe is pretty spendy online, but hopefully it will be worth it for you while you’re shaking it in your Zumba class!

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10. Bloch Women’s Boost Dance Sneaker

Bloch Women’s Boost Dance Sneaker

Bloch Women’s Boost Dance Sneaker

Pros

  • Specifically intended for dancing, so great for your Zumba class
  • Has a pivot circle on the outsole for easy turning and pivots
  • Well designed, very unique; mesh to release sweat

Cons

  • Only about half of the people who ordered this shoe online said it fit them as they expected
  • The split sole may cause aches and pains in some people
  • Fits slightly large

Summary

This shoe by Bloch looks super cool! In fact, it looks like you’re walking on two blocks because the midsection of the outsole is missing (which, for some may be uncomfortable and cause pains, for others is just fine). This shoe is specifically designed for a dance or fitness class where you need to spin and turn frequently. The pivot circles on the outsole make it incredibly easy to do so. However, this shoe has some serious drawbacks you need to consider before purchasing it: about half of the people who ordered the shoe online said that is did not fit as expected, a pretty significant portion!

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