Zumba, a workout routine based on Latin dance, is one of the most popular forms of modern exercise. It’s both fun and effective, a winning combination that keeps all but the most reluctant exercisers coming back for more week after week. Yet it can be incredibly draining and even lead to serious injury if you’re not careful. Wearing proper footwear is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid injury.
So what makes a good shoe for Zumba?
A good pair of Zumba shoes combines the intensive support of running shoes with the flexibility of dancing shoes. They should also have light, breathable fabric uppers so your feet won’t be soaked in sweat halfway through your workout. Lightweight fabrics and soles will also help you move more freely while you’re dancing, making the whole experience more fun.
The other important thing is that Zumba shoes should not have excessive grip. You will need to be able to slide and turn efficiently. Shoes with intensive grip will slow your movement down and make ankle injuries far more likely.
Of course, the most important factor is your own personal comfort. This article will tell you what types of shoes to look for and there are plenty of useful zumba shoe buying guides online, but the only way to pick the right shoes is by going to a physical store and actually trying them on. Practice a few simple turns and walk up and down the aisle in them a few times to get a feel for them. And even then, you won’t really know until you start dancing how well they’ll get you through a workout.
Several companies do sell shoes specifically for Zumba now but these tend to be overpriced and many people are better off buying dance sneakers, cross trainers or regular athletic shoes.
Minimal grip allows you to easily make beautiful and bold movements in these shoes. They have incredible support that will allow you to comfortably dance for extended periods of time and perform the more vigorous movements required for Zumba. Some dance sneakers also have pivot points on the toe to make turns even easier.
Unfortunately, the grip on these shoes is so minimal that they aren’t really suited to other activities. Still, if you do Zumba more than once a week or you like other forms of dance these shoes are definitely a worthwhile investment.
These really are the ultimate Zumba shoes. Cross trainers have just the right amount of traction to make them suitable for a wide variety of activities without taking away your ability to turn comfortably.
Designed for people training with the highly intense Cross Fit exercise program, cross trainers also provide an incredible amount of support. Most are made with highly durable synthetic mesh uppers.
A good pair of cross trainers may be more expensive than the other options on this list but there really are no other drawbacks. These are some of the best shoes around for any type of exercise but they’re particularly great for Zumba.
Regular athletic shoes
If you already have a pair of lightweight athletic shoes/sneakers they might be surprisingly good shoes for Zumba. The best way to figure out whether or not your shoes will actually be good for Zumba is to test them out, ideally with a few moves at home so you don’t have to get through an entire hour long lesson wearing shoes that aren’t supportive or flexible enough.
Yes, a devoted pair of dancing shoes will always be easier to dance in than a pair of regular athletic shoes, but as long as your shoes are lightweight and supportive they’re perfectly fine to dance in. If you really enjoy Zumba you should eventually invest in a separate pair of shoes but there’s absolutely no need to rush out and do so right away.
The one type of shoe you should never wear to Zumba class is running shoes.
Running shoes have way too much grip on the bottom and will make it extremely difficult to perform the turns and slides required for Zumba. Many running shoes are also too heavy to comfortably complete a Zumba class in.
This is why it’s so important to test out a few moves at home in your shoes before you actually take them to a class.
What about special conditions?
Most athletic companies are now developing entire lines of shoes for people with flat feet and other conditions. A great many athletic shoes also have removable soles or have room for inserts so you can make them more comfortable for your specific feet.
- Capezio – Capezio is one of the most well loved brands for dance shoes and other athletic footwear.
- Bloch – Bloch has been creating some of the best dance shoes for decades and they have several excellent dance sneakers for you to choose from.
- New Balance – New Balance is primarily a sportswear brand but they produce some excellent dance sneakers and some of their other athletic shoes are great for Zumba as well.
My favourite shoes for Zumba
So here they are – my favourite Zumba shoes: Bloch Modern Dance Shoes:
- 524 Criss Cross Dance Sneaker from leading brand Bloch
- Versatile split sole dance sneaker with built in arch support. Contoured, flexible non marking outsole with functional TPU spin spot. Breathable mesh...
- Sizes - 1 to 9 Large, including half sizes
- Colour - Red, Yellow, Purple, Pink and Black
A quick note about Zumba shoes
You can also buy shoes designed specifically from Zumba, both from the Zumba brand and from several of other popular footwear brands. Many people swear by these shoes but others consider them overpriced when compared to other options on this list. In the end only you can decide whether or not these shoes are a worthwhile investment.
To sum it up…
Which are the best shoes for Zumba?
Shoes for Zumba should be lightweight to ensure you don’t get tired quickly, supportive to protect your feet from injury and flexible enough to let you dance comfortably.
They should also be breathable – nothing’s worse than stuffy, sweat-soaked shoes when you are working out.
Are sneakers and cross trainers good for Zumba?
Yes, they are. In fact, we recommend trainers and sneakers for most people over Zumba shoes. Shoes specifically designed for Zumba are expensive and ideal mostly for professional dancers.
A good quality pair of sneakers or cross trainers is perfect for Zumba. Just make sure they are well-fitting, supportive and breathable.
Are running shoes good for Zumba?
No, they are not. Running shoes are designed for maximum traction, which is a bad thing when dancing.
They grip the floor too tightly, which prevents you from making flowing dance moves and can cause injury.
Get trainers or sneakers instead.