What Shoe for You?

Age old question – what are the best shoes to wear for Zumba?

There is no simple answer since preferences, feet, instructors, intensity level, floor surfaces -even the humidity of a climate is going to change things. Throw in affordability, how hot your feet get, yes and style…..
well how is one to decide?

For both support and pivoting, I usually tell people to give dance fitness (also called studio) shoes a try, identified easily by a circular pivot pattern in the tread. However, sole technology has diversified to offer a much wider variety of options that meet the support/pivot criteria. Check out some of these models that other Zumba instructors love (derived unscientifically from online forums):

  • Reebok Zigs are THE most talked about shoe.  Colorful, cushy, good for pivoting, comfortable on knees.  Described as clunky by some and unflattering by others.  Mostly very positive comments though.  Furthermore, children’s sizes are apparently cheaper and you can substitute if you wear size 8 or less.
  • Nike Musique – about 50% like them and 50% didn’t.  Many opinions on these, probably because they are widely available.  Several other Nike styles were mentioned – Air Max 90, Free, and Huarache Dance came up a few times.  Otherwise I also saw: Cheer, Lunarfly, Eclipse, Free XT Quick fit, Livestrong Free, Air Mogan all among various people’s favorites.
  • Rykas – you KNOW I’m a fan, having worn almost exclusively for the past couple years. All the Ryka studio models were mentioned favorably : Sync, Studio D, Transition.
  • Asics Gel Enthrall – never seen them in person myself but they look great!
  • K-Swiss Tubes – along the same lines as the Zigs
  • Then there’s the Dance sneakers:  Bloch, Capezio, Sansha.  These split soles are perfect for some, but not supportive enough for others.  I find they are not supportive enough for my style of working out but if you do not pound too hard, maybe they’ll work for you.  You’ll definitely like pivoting in them.  I see them on many of my students each week and their knees are happy.
  • Glaglas – like color?  Got hot feet?  Check these out . Like the dance sneakers, comments say they they are lightweight and great for pivoting but may not be supportive enough for some.
  • Adidas Climacool Oscillation

A couple of other opinions echoed by many instructors:

  • Zumba class is no place for Skecher Shape-ups or other rounded sole walking shoes.  Zumba class is also no place for bare feet or socks. I know some of you insist and it works for you. I just ask that if you ever start feeling discomfort to pay attention to it! The official Zumba recommendation is cross-trainers,
  • Inserts can make all the difference – Spenco, Superfeet, Walkfit, Birkenstock, etc – all not to be found at the drug store.  Try outdoor store, larger sports store, running shoe store etc.
  • Replace your shoes – every few months, every year, every couple years (and not much longer than that).  Just because they don’t have holes in them doesn’t mean they are still doing a good job supporting and cushioning your feet.   If you notice you’ve been losing a spring in your step, especially if you see wrinkling along the sides of your soles, it’s time.

Hope this helps you find your perfect Zumba Shoes!  Keep in mind you are probably going to have to go online to try most of these out.  Google Shopping, Amazon, and Zappos are good places to start.  Happy Hunting!