Zumba. Maybe you’re asking yourself, what is Zumba? Zumba is a type of exercise that mixes many different types of Latin dances with traditional exercise moves. There are many different sub-types and levels of Zumba classes. This type of dancing is a fun alternative to regular workout routines.
You can get reap all the same benefits of old-fashioned exercise with Zumba and gain a few added bonuses as well:
- Burn calories
- Aerobic and anaerobic advantages
- Provides variety in workouts
- Social benefits
- Increase endurance
- Social interaction opportunity
- Confidence building
In addition, the level of intensity of each class can be adjusted. Beginners can choose lower level intensity classes and more advanced Zumba fanatics can attend classes that incorporate weights and last for extended periods of time. You might even find Zumbathons or fundraising events that last for up to two hours, all filled with amazing dancing. You can even choose an aqua Zumba class if you need something non-weight bearing! The one piece of equipment any Zumba dancer needs (believe it or not even for aqua classes) is shoes!
Since Zumba involves many different types of dance moves, there are shoes designed for optimum Zumba performance. Choosing the right shoes can keep you safe from injury and looking stylish during your workout. The next question you may ask is, what is the best type of shoe for Zumba?
Zumba dancing is a unique sport, and it puts a lot of stress on the ball of one’s foot. Additionally, you need to be able to slide across the floor when you’re dancing. We need to consider those factors as well as others when we’re looking for the best shoes for Zumba.
Quick Look: Our Top Picks
Are they comfy?
First and foremost, your dancing shoes need to be comfortable. They need to fit appropriately, especially in the toe box. Dancing typically uses your toes a lot, and a shoe with an improper fit in the toe box can lead to numbness and potentially, an injury. The best shoes for Zumba should also be somewhat lightweight. Big and bulky shoes don’t lend easily to dancing. You might also consider the type of material the shoe is made of. Is it a breathable mesh or leathery and stiff?
Do they have support?
Not only should your Zumba shoes fit, but they should have appropriate support in the arches as well as the ankle area. Zumba dancers perform all types of moves, including jumping. Dancers should pick a shoe with a good across-the-board support.
Without proper support, dancers are at risk for injuries such as
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Stress fractures
- Numbness and tingling in the feet
Chronic or acute exercise-related injuries can be devastating, leaving one out of the dancing or exercising game for an extended period of time. Taking just a little precaution and selecting the best shoes for Zumba is the easiest way to help prevent injury.
Dancers can also cause injury by overexerting themselves as they try to keep up with advanced classes. Beginners can work out at home with videos and advance to expert level classes. Dancers with a competitive nature can also play Zumba games on many gaming systems. These games are usually played with a belt that is equipped with a sensor. You could outperform your competitors and get the highest scores by wearing the best shoes for Zumba.
The one last thing a dancer could injure is their ego. It can sometimes be intimidating to attend a class and try to keep up with an advanced instructor. Even the most skilled of dancers make the occasional embarrassing wrong hand or foot movement that draws unwanted attention. If you’re prepared by wearing the best Zumba shoes you can find, it could definitely help protect an ego!
Can they slide?
Athletic shoes designed to help you stay in place or stick, like the ones you wear in basketball, would not be the best choice for Zumba. Dancers need to be able to move freely and slide when dancing. Shoes that don’t slide easily could cause injury. They need to be able to pivot as you do. It is common for many athletic running shoes to have large rubber soles. These large soles may lend themselves great for distance running but have the opposite effect for dancing. There are many more options for regular athletic shoes. Choosing the best shoes for Zumba will require inspecting the bottom of the shoes for large and cumbersome rubber soles.
For some, choosing style over comfort is no big deal. If you happen to be lucky enough to fall into this category, the world is your oyster. There are thousands of brands, styles, and colors of Zumba shoes to choose from. Many of the official Zumba gear and shoes come in bright and bold colors.
Can I dance in my regular sneakers?
Absolutely! This would actually be the most ideal and economical scenario. How amazing would it be to dance in shoes that you already own? If your everyday sneakers meet all of the above requirements, then dance away!
Let us consider some of the best shoes for Zumba and dancing:
- Arch support
- Allow for pivot
- Many color options
- Not suited for those with wide feet
The Zumba Women’s Fly seems to be an outstanding choice for Zumba footwear. Dancers enjoy a lightweight and comfortable fit. They provide needed support and allow dancers to twirl!
They are available in many color options for the trendsetting dancers out there. The only real drawback is this shoe is manufactured with narrow footed dancers in mind. Seems if you have a wide foot, this is not your shoe.
- Provides stability
- Split sole feature allows increased flexibility
- Comes in 3 colors
- Split sole takes getting used to
- Lack cushion for some
This is another moderately-priced Zumba shoe that provides stability and comfort when dancing. The split sole design allows for increased flexibility when dancing. One drawback is that while the split sole design was created with an enhancement in mind, it may take some getting used to how it feels. If you have super sensitive feet, they might not get over the different feeling of a split sole.
- Higher top design provides extra ankle support
- Pivot-point design for turning
- Cushioned for comfort
- Only come in one color
- Not great if you’re prone to plantar fasciitis
This shoe seems like the perfect way to dance in style. The high-top design is not only trendy, but it provides additional ankle support for dancing. If your budget allows, investing in a quality shoe that is both trendy and stylish this could be an option for you.
- Cross train design allows pivot
- Less stability
- Sizes vary (store vs. online)
Many Zumba dancers prefer a cross-training type sneaker to dance. The cross-training shoe allows versatile use and can be used to dance or perform other exercises. The shoe is lightweight and affordable. While it allows for pivoting, it may not provide enough support for aggressive dancing. As a runner, the most appealing aspect of this shoe is that one could also run in them.
- Has a midfoot saddle for extra support
- Cross train design for pivot
- Extra support can be bulky
- May run a little small
- Somewhat stiff
The Puma Women’s Tazon is another cross-trainer shoe that would be suitable for dancing and running. It has extra midfoot support and pivot design. The one drawback is that the extra support can be a bit bulkier than needed for dancing. The versatile nature of Zumba dancing could be prohibited with a bulkier shoe.
The Best Zumba Shoe for Your Money
So, which shoe is best for Zumba dancing? If you are a runner at heart and dabble in dancing, then the Nike Flex Supreme may be your shoe. It is like a two-for-one. You get an affordable shoe that allows you to dance and run! If your loyalty is strict to dancing, then you may be better suited to avoid a cross-train shoe and opt for one of the first three shoes.
If you find that you simply can’t bail on your running shoes for dancing, they do make a tiny sleeve that can slip on the toe of your shoe to give you all the twirling power you will ever need to dance.
Dancers that want to take care of their feet and joints, and ensure a long dancing career should consider doing a little research before purchasing Zumba shoes. Dancers can consider which features are most important to their lifestyle and shop accordingly.
Choosing a fun alternative to traditional exercise can be a great way to add a little variety to any workout routine. Coming to class prepared to dance in the best shoes for Zumba can ensure a safe transition into dancing.