What should you look for in shoes for Zumba? Zumba Fitness teachers are instructed to cross-training or aerobic dance shoes. These shoe styles have shallow treads, and no ridges on the outsole, allowing for easy sliding and pivoting. Running shoes can cause injury, because they are designed for forward motion, and the side-to-side movements of Zumba can cause injury to the leg joints or feet.
Dance sneakers are lightweight shoes with rubber soles at the front and back of the shoe. The arch area of the shoe does not have a rubber sole, which gives the sneaker superb flexibility, enabling the foot to point and flex with no restrictions. If you have problems with arches and need shoes with good arch support, dance sneakers probably are not for you, as high-impact moves will support your heel and front of the foot, but will not support your arch.
People with high insteps might find that dance sneakers are ideal for their feet, because they are usually made of a stretchy neoprene, which will not bind or restrict a foot with a high instep.
Cross trainers are bulkier than dance sneakers, and are designed for people who do a variety of different workouts (hence the name). They offer support for forward motion, as well as the side-to-side motions of Zumba. These offer better all-over support for the foot, but they are typically heavier than the light dance sneakers. If you run or do weight training in addition to Zumba, or if you simply prefer a more rigid shoe, cross trainers are for you.
How to Choose the Best Shoes for Zumba
Visit an athletic shoe store in the late afternoon, when your feet are more swollen than they are in the morning. This will ensure a better-fitting shoe for your Zumba workout. Try on a variety of both types of shoes (dance sneaker and cross-trainer). After trying on several pairs, narrow your selection down to your top three or four pairs. Try these on again, and do a few Zumba moves in them, to see how they support your feet and allow for movement.
Don’t be shy about doing this; your Zumba shoes are an investment, and you need to be sure that your footwear will keep your feet protected and moveable. If you do Zumba at home with DVDs, and your home is carpeted, move to a section of the store that has carpet and try some moves there, to get a feel for how your shoes will work at home.
For more about shoes for Zumba, see Review of Nike Musique Shoes for Zumba.