So you signed up for a Zumba class! Zumba is known for having its own unique dress code, unlike any other exercise program.
Though you don’t need to rush out and buy the trendy Zumba pants and logo tank tops (unless you want to); wearing the best Zumba shoes are essential to maintain a safety and enjoyable experience.
There are a few things to take into consideration when shopping for your new shoes for Zumba.
One factor is your own fitness level and experience – this is an indication of how strong your feet and legs are, and how much support and shock absorption you will need.
Quick Answer: The 5 Best Zumba Shoes For 2017
- RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe
- ASICS Women’s GEL-Fit Sana Cross-Training Shoe
- Zumba Women’s Impact Max Sneaker
- RYKA Women’s Tenacity Dance Training Sneaker
- Zumba Women’s Flex II Remix High Dance Shoe
First lets take a look at the Zumba shoes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the best pair for you. Here is a feature overview of my top 3 overall picks with full reviews and a buyers guide below.
Best Shoes For Zumba
Zumba Shoe Reviews
If you are looking for comfort, flexibility, cushioning, and support, the Ryka Women’s Influence Cross-training Shoe has it all. The rubber sole reduces the force of the foot strike during intense dance moves that Zumba is known for.
Constructed of a synthetic fabric, the precision-return insole increases the cushioning effect while providing support so you can move in any direction. A breathable mesh upper holds the foot stable while still being comfortable. These lightweight shoes are available in seven different color combinations. The Ryka’s are the best sneakers for zumba.
These lightweight Asics Women’s Gel-fit Sana Cross-training shoes have the right combination of features to make this the perfect shoe for Zumba. The rubber sole is low profile with a gel cushioning at the back, offering just the right amount of shock absorption.
The breathable lightweight fabric is a flexible mono-sock allowing movement in any direction. With a crisscrossed network of fabric around the heel to provide stability, these are the most comfortable Zumba shoes. This Zumba shoe is available in trendy 12 colors, so you are sure to find something that catches your eye.
The Zumba Women’s Impact Max Sneaker is the shoe for Zumba enthusiasts who want a little extra shock absorption and support. The Z-compress energy return system minimizes the impact by reducing the force in a way that defies the laws of physics.
The foot is cradled securely by the Z-brace providing support as well as freedom of movement. The Z-slide sole is uniquely able to slide or grip the floor surface as needed. These shoes do everything but dance for you! They are available in six colors to match the rest of your Zumba wardrobe. One of my top picks for the best shoes for Zumba.
The RYKA Tenacity Zumba shoe is ideal for the dancer who is need of more support around the ankles. The Tenacity shoe is a high top sneaker that provides solid support while looking stylish at the same time.
They are a lightweight shoe with a breathable mesh design that will keep your feet cool and dry while you are dancing up a storm. One feature that I really like about these shoes is the pivot point built into the sole. It really does help you in twisting and turning!
The Velcro strap across the top of the shoe allows you to fine tune the fit of the shoe better than laces alone. The arch support could be better, if you have arch problems you may want to get some extra arch support inserts.
The rubber sole is very durable and the heel padding provides just the right amount of cushioning for comfort with all the dance moves you will be doing when doing a Zumba class.
These are an excellent pair of dance sneakers for Zumba, especially if you need some extra ankle support.
The Zumba Flex II are some of the best Zumba sneakers available and a good option for Zumba dancers who could use some extra ankle support. The high top design with the Velcro strap allows you to tighten them to the exact amount of support you need.
The Flex II are 100% synthetic material, providing a very flexible shoe while being supportive at the same time. The mesh design of the sneakers will allow perspiration to evaporate keeping your feet dry and cool.
These are slightly wider than most Zumba shoes so if you need a bit of extra width you will be happy with these shoes. The soles are designed specifically for Zumba and give you just the right amount of ability to slide and turn allowing you to do all the dance moves.
The Flexx II have a leather strip across the front and back of the sneakers that give them some extra durability in the stress areas of the shoe.
I would have liked to see a little more padding in the shoes to provide some more cushioning but maybe that’s me. In any case if you feel you need the extra cushioning you can always add an extra insert later.
Zumba Shoes Comparison Table
|RYKA Women's Influence Cross Training Shoe||Synthetic / Mesh||Rubber sole||Padded tongue and collar with Dual density foam midsole with high impact N-Gage EVA energy return sole to minimize impact||7 colors|
|ASICS Women's GEL-Fit Sana Cross-Training Shoe||Fabric / Mesh||Rubber sole||Stretchable MONO-SOCK fit system for comfort with gel cushioning||5 colors|
|Zumba Women's Impact Max Dance Shoe||Synthetic / Mesh||Synthetic sole||"Z-compress" energy return system compresses to reduce the force of impacts while dancing while Z-brace holds the foot securely for high-energy dance moves||2 colors|
|RYKA Women's Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe||Synthetic / Mesh||Synthetic sole||High top for extra ankle support and Precise-Return insole for cushioning||9 colors|
|Zumba Women's Flex II Remix High Dance Shoe||Synthetic / Mesh||Rubber sole||High top for extra ankle support with Z-slide lets you slide easily on any surface||1 color|
How to Choose the Best Shoes for Zumba
- The Different Types of Shoes
- The Different Types of Soles
- The Material of the Shoe
- Why a good Pair of Zumba Shoes is Important
- Tips on How To Pick a Pair of Zumba Shoes
A major consideration is the type of floor surface where the class is held. Classes held on concrete or tile floors will require a higher level of shock absorption and cushioning for your feet to prevent injury such as shin splints and stress fractures.
- Classes held on carpeting require a smoother sole to prevent your feet from getting stuck in the rug fibers. The ideal floor surface is hardwood, the most common place to find a Zumba classes is at a local recreation center or church, where typically the floor is made of tile or concrete floor. Once you know the location of your class, you can make an informed decision about finding the best shoes for your needs.
- Chose the amount of cushioning and shock absorption according to your needs. An injury early on in your Zumba training, will keep you from returning to class, and may even discourage you from ever returning. Shock absorption is provided by the thickness and type of material used for the sole.
- The material could be rubber, foam, or a combination of the two. Additional cushioning near the insole protects your feet. Pick the level of shock absorption that suits your personal needs. If you are just starting out and not used to exercising regularly, a thicker sole with more shock absorption is the ideal choice.
- There can be a good deal of jumping in a Zumba class combined with an array of fancy footwork. The participants are encouraged to modify, if necessary, and keep the moves at a lower impact, it is best to have shoes that will protect you from potential injury – especially after you get into the “Zumba zone”.
The spicy rhythmic music and enthusiastic instructors can make you forget you are in an exercise class. As you begin to envision yourself in a nightclub, you may feel bold and want to express your stellar dance moves once the “rhythm gets you”.
Even if you chose not to jump, there are moves that require you to “punch” into the floor or “dig” in. An adequate layer of cushioning and shock absorption will make these moves more comfortable.
There is a movement in athletic training shoes toward minimalist shoes. These thin soles encourage strengthening of the muscles and ligaments in the foot and legs, thus improving balance.
The Different Types of Shoes
In these thin-soled shoes, the only cushioning provided is by the insole. Exercisers who jump too quickly into minimalist training shoes typically report an array of muscle soreness in the feet and calves or injury.
If you are new to the world of Zumba, an early injury or painful muscle pain may deter you from a repeat appearance in the class.
Unlike typical sports training shoes, shoes used in dance fitness, including Zumba, typically have a split sole to allow for a higher degree of foot flexibility.
Having a separate sole under the ball of the foot and another sole under the heel, maximizes movement and makes it much easier to point and arch your feet as you move loosely to the exotic Latin beats.
The heel cup securely cups your heel while you dance. This is important for foot stability and keeps you from rolling your ankle when “the rhythm gets you”.
The heel cup should have a V notch in the back for your Achilles. If the heel comes up too high, it can make pointing your foot challenging or even painful.
It may also rub the back of your heel uncomfortably and cause a regretful blistering. When you try on Zumba shoes, be sure to point your foot to experience whether the shoe is comfortable in this area.
The Different Types of Soles
The next important factor to consider is the choice of soles. Zumba has extensive of lateral movement and some quick footwork to match the exhilarating music.
The sole should offer ease of movement on the surface you will be dancing on, but not so much grip that you could climb the walls like an ant or Spiderman.
This factor is why it is important to know the floor surface in the place where you will be having class. There is a dramatic difference between the type shoes you need for safe dancing on a marble floor, versus a carpeted surface.
On a carpeted floor, if the sole has too much grip, your foot might stick and cause you to twist your ankle or knee, or suffer a fall. If you do not have enough grip on a slippery floor, you might land ungracefully on your posterior.
The spin spot is an important feature on dance sneakers for Zumba. It is a spot on the midsole, typically circular, that allows you to spin freely.
This important feature of a Zumba shoe is what seperates them from a typical fitness shoes. If your shoe does not have this feature it is likely you will have TOO much grip and cause your shoe to stick when you are trying to spin or twist.
While having grip is important, having too much grip is probably worse because it will be easy to twist your knee of ankle.
Standard fitness shoes will not allow you the freedom of movesment a shoe with a Spin Spot/Pivot Point has.
The Material of the Shoe
The upper of the Zumba sneakers may be constructed of leather or a stretchy mesh fabric. If your feet sweat a lot when you exercise, go for the fabric shoe to allow for maximum air flow. If your feet tend to be cold, you might prefer the leather shoes with less breathability.
The big difference is in the weight. A leather shoe is typically heavier than a shoe constructed with fabric. The lighter the shoe, the longer you can dance.
Look for comfort – a good fit is important. Remember to try on Zumba shoes on with the socks you will be wearing to class. You do not want the shoes to be so tight they hurt or pinch, and not so loose your feet could slide around inside the shoe.
Why a Good Pair of Zumba Shoes is Important
If you have done Zumba before you’re already know that having a good pair of shoes is imperative to get the most out of the workout but also they can help you avoid injuries. Here are a few reasons why you should get a good pair of Zumba shoes.
Get the Best Workout
A good pair of Zumba dance shoes will make it easier to do the routines the instructors are giving you. You may as well get the most out of the workout you can.
Assist in the Routines
A good grip from the soles of your shoes will help you maintain balance and keep you from losing your footing. The frequent stops, turns and spins will e much easier with a good pair of shoes.
A Zumba workout is normally a pretty physical workout with lots of spins, squats lunges etc without a good grip it can be easy to lose your footing and slip and fall. The floor of a studio is not very forgiving and you can avoid a possible serious injury with proper footing.
Look Your Best
Well obviously just looking good is not quite as important as avoid a knee injury but why not look good while you are there? With all they good looking, stylish shoes available why not look you best, it can help you feel better and give you confidence.
Tips on How to Pick the Best Shoes for Your Zumba Workout
Light Weight – Zumba shoes need a combination of light weight and strength that few shoes provide. Extra weight on your feet is going to restrict your movements and make your workout more difficult than it needs to be. What makes a good Zumba shoe is the combination of lightweight while maintain durability to holdup to the intense dance routines of Zumba.
Breathability – Perhaps one of the most important characteristics. A good breathable shoe will help keep you feet cool and dry. Good Zumba shoes are usually a combination of mesh and synthetics to stand up to the moisture.
Having a mesh design of the shoe allows your feet to vent heat and moisture allowing you stay more comfortable for the duration of your dance routine. All of our shoes are made from synthetic material and mesh for this reason.
Comfort – Pretty obvious, a cheap pair of sneakers is not going to protect your feet like a good pair of Ryka Cross Training Shoes. A good pair will provide arch support and support for your ankles. This is especially important if you are already suffering from foot issues.
Durability – Your shoes will need to withstand a lot of abuse for 60 minutes at a time. They need a good combination of breathable mesh and synthetic uppers to hold up. They need to be able to withstand the moisture buildup and be able to dry quickly.
Grip – A good rubber sole is usually best for your shoes. They help you with the dance routines while reducing the shock of the impact with the floor.
Q: Can I use Cross Trainers or other fitness shoes for Zumba?
A: Well you can of course but I would now advise it. A fitness shoe is usually designed for grip especially acceleration. However Zumba has different needs from your shoe in that they need to ability for spin and lateral movents that are part of Zumba.
Q: How long to Zumba shoes last?
A: This is difficult to answer as it depends on two factors: How often you dance and the type of floor. As a general rule of thumb, Zumba shoes will last up to a year before the padding and the tread start ot wear out.
Q: Can you use inserts with Zumba shoes?
A: If you have problems with your feet, then by all means use a quality insert if it makes it easier on your feet. You don’t want to skip class because your feet are achy!
Q: Where do I get a quality pair of Zumba shoes?
A: Most sporting goods stores carry one or two Zumba shoes, however by going online your choice of shoes will be much greater and not limited to the few models they have available. Amazon has almost every Zumba shoe available and allow you to get the exact type of shoe for your needs.
Q: Is there a “break-in” period for Zumab shoes?
A: A quality pair of lightweigh, mesh Zumba shoes will not require a break in period. However, before hitting the dance floor it is advisable you wear them for at least a few hours so they can stretch out an conform to your foot.
Now that you have all of the mechanics out of the way, you can look for something that appeals to you. You may even consider dressing up in the whole Zumba wardrobe.
Many people claim to be more motivated for their workout when they get to wear the Zumba clothing and “look the part”. If you need some more encouragement, here are 9 reasons to try Zumba!
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best shoes for Zumba to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of sneakers I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.
Have fun and enjoy your workout!