This is a topic that I have addressed in my class a few times, so I thought I would make a post to give you all more information and help you choose the right Zumba shoes for you.
When I started taking Zumba classes it didn’t even cross my mind that I might need special shoes. As an avid exerciser, I had many pairs of running shoes to pick from, so that is what I wore to Zumba class.
At some point I ran into an article online that mentioned that you should use special shoes to do Zumba, and they obviously recommended the ones that Zumba sells in their website, so I took it to be a marketing technique for them to sell more shoes. So I stuck with my running shoes.
Eventually I began feeling some discomfort on my knees when dancing Zumba, and after a bit of research I realized that I did need special shoes if I didn’t want to injure myself.
There is a right kind of grip, and a wrong kind of grip. Most people, when they buy shoes for exercising, buy a trainer shoe with the most grip possible. For dance, this is absolutely the wrong approach. For Zumba, the best kind of grip is one that will let you slide your foot gently across the floor, but if you put your body weight down, will not move. Zumba is a dance exercise of agility and quick moves. If you try to move your leg too fast, and your body weight is not positioned correctly, you could injure your tendons or joints. This is how twisted ankles commonly occur.
Dance shoes and the best shoes for Zumba are made specifically with the right type of grip in mind. For indoor use only, they have a specific type of tread that is softer than cross trainers, but will not grip should you need to slide your foot or spin.
So basically, when you pick your shoes for Zumba, you want to get shoes that have little to no tread at the bottom. Here is an example of a shoe you DON’T want to wear:
There are plenty of different shoes out there that are good for Zumba, and in the end it is up to your preference which ones you choose.
I currently own two pairs from two different brands, and though I like them both, one just blows the other one out of the park, not because it’s better, but because it’s better for me.
“Designed for quick-pace dancing, common in hip-hop and freestyle, the Nike Musique IV Women’s Dance Shoe delivers support and flexibility for spins, side-to-side moves and everything in between.”
Though they are great shoes and they are very good for Zumba, beware if you have wider feet! They are very narrow and using them for a long time when you have wide feet might rub in some places and make your feet a bit numb… They are very well designed, comfortable and they have great support, though.
They come in black, gray, white and a few more different colors, so you are sure to find a pair that will fit your personal style!
“The one-piece, low-profile outsole features GEL® Cushioning in the heel, while the midfoot straps support the hardcore dance enthusiast. Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition to midstance.”
At first, this shoe might not seem as great as the Nike Musique, but as soon as I put them on I knew they were my new favorite. The fact that they are made of mesh makes them more flexible and they adapt better for different widths and types of feet, and they are so comfortable I could dance all day!
They come in silver/gray and black/pink. Not much variety, I wish they had more, but it is a very good shoe for Zumba!
“Amplify your moves in the durable, ultra-lightweight Z-Kickz shoe, nylon Ripstop upper shell for increased durability and EVA rubber sole for maximum comfort and mobility.”
Though I do not own a pair of official Zumba shoes yet, I have seen and heard plenty about them. They are durable, obviously ideal to dance Zumba, and they offer good support, though some people rather put dance insoles in them for extra comfort.
They come in Aspen, Lollipop and Green. Amazing colors to match your Zumba clothes and keep you partying for hours!
To summarize, there are plenty of options out there to find the ideal shoes for you; they come in all prices, colors and shapes, and most of the time it is just a matter of seeing what works best for your body.
If you are not regularly going to Zumba and feel like you don’t want to invest in appropriate shoes just yet (trust me, Zumba is too much fun I can almost guarantee you will become a regular…) try wearing older running shoes where the bottom tread has rubbed off and they don’t have as much grip as they used to.
I hope this post is helpful. Feel free to come up to me in class or contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or need any help finding Zumba shoes that will work for you.