Look stylish and stay comfortable at your next Zumba class. Find the best shoes for Zumba in our reviews.
Great for various types of exercise but it's not great for people with wide feet
As someone who loves and has studied ballet, tap, and ballroom dancing for years, I’m always intrigued by different genres of dance. Researching information on shoes for Zumba and reviewing top picks have motivated me to find a class. I just need to obtain a pair of Zumba sneakers now …
Can you resist rocking a Latin beat? If not, try Zumba, the dance-inspired exercise program for all ages and levels. Whether a newbie or a pro, you need the best shoes for Zumba to have maximum fun and fitness.
To get the most out of a Zumba workout–moving to an infectious, energetic beat safely–you’ll want high quality, comfortable Zumba shoes.
After researching over 30 of the most popular Zumba sneakers, we narrowed the list down to these top picks.
Expert opinions by trained Zumba instructors as well as reviews by Zumba students–beginners through veterans–helped us winnow down the choices to these nine models.
We tested the shoes out in our studios to have a hands-on review of the shoes quality, feel, fit, and style.
Accuracy is key!
To confirm each shoe’s features, we double-checked the manufacturer specifications of every model.
Why did we go to such great lengths, you ask…?
There are many different types of Zumba shoes out there.
Naturally, we want you rock a fabulous workout. And most importantly, do so sans injury from a bad pair of sneakers.
So, go ahead, treat yo self!
Be a salsa Cinderella and carefully consider Zumba sneaker features to find the right shoe to fit your feet.
Now, let’s get the party started!
To get the most out of your workout, you need shoes dedicated to Zumba for safety and comfort. Consider many different factors when researching models, like flexibility, weight, grip, support, cushioning, and more.
Of course your decision will depend on how often you take Zumba class and your feet’s needs. How much you’re willing to spend will also have an impact, making it tough to pick the best shoes to dance your heart out in.
But, that’s why you’re here.
We know. 😊
Our reviews of various shoes to wear for Zumba will help you step through the plentiful field of styles and put you on the path to dancing like no one’s watching!
Did you know how Zumba came about?
Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez forgot to bring aerobics music to class one day in the mid-1990’s.
Good thing Beto isn’t one to miss out on an opportunity to dance…Improvising, he played Latin music tapes instead, leading students in salsa, rumba, and merengue moves.
Everyone got a great workout in while boogying away. And just like that, Zumba was born.
But that’s just part of the story…
When executing routines with choreography to fast and slow rhythms, people enjoy a full-body aerobic-cardio workout that burns 369 calories in a 39-minute class.
Even more in a longer class!
Zumba strengthens participants’ legs and core, increases agility and flexibility, and lifts moods.
And it’s just so darn fun.
You don’t even notice your burning calories by actually working out.
Here’s an introductory demonstration.
Understandably, novices who just want to dip their toe into Zumba class usually wear whatever sneakers they have, like tennis or running shoes.
Nonetheless, if curiosity and rhythm overtake you, you’ll become hooked on Zumba and should invest in a pair of shoes designed for dance exercise.
Dance is a much different activity from court sports and running.
Any dance-based exercise requires footwear that can handle diverse types of movements.
Also, your feet, ankles, knees, muscles, and back need TLC so you can work your hardest, have the most fun, and cut up the dance floor.
Special shoes for Zumba help you:
Most Zumba classes last about one hour, and depending on how often you attend class, you need shoes that can stand up to all the repeated shaking, sliding, and turning. Zumba instructors and hardcore enthusiasts take three, five, or more classes per week.
Shoes for Zumba should be flexible enough for wearers to execute quick and repetitive movements freely. Try shifting weight, lunging, digging spinning, and more in a stiff shoe–injuries and frustration ensure! Look for shoes made with bendable material for the uppers and the sole.
Speaking of material, a good Zumba shoe’s upper allows plenty of ventilation to release heat and sweat from hard-working feet. Many models use a mesh-like fabric that’s tough but breathes.
One of the top priorities dancers emphasize is the weight of the shoes–they want lightweight, the lighter the better! No one wants to be weighed down by heavy shoes, but move freely and expend energy on cool steps.
Because dancers pivot, slide, and frequently change direction, they need shoes that don’t stick to the floor. Of course they also don’t want to lose their grip on the floor and fall. Shoes with a light-to-moderate grip do prevent slipping but DON’T hold onto the floor. Imagine executing a turn where your body moves one way but your feet remain stuck in the same spot–ouch! Avoid unintentional twisting of ankles, knees, hips, the back, and more.
You’ll feel most secure grooving when you aren’t tipping over. Different models shoes offer different areas of support. Solid soles offer stability when you bust a lateral (i.e., side-to-side) move. People whose feet tend to pronate–roll inward–or supinate–roll outward–want to look for shoes with rigid midsoles. High-top shoes offer support around the ankle. A shoe with a well-designed heel cup securely holds the back and sides a dancer’s heel.
This high-impact activity has lots of hopping, bouncing, marching, and even jumping, so you’ll need a shoe that offers adequate shock absorbency. You don’t want to slow down just because your body hurts. Look for models with ample cushioning, like padded insoles and EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate) midsole cushioning, as well as rubber soles. In fact, some shoes designed for Zumba shoes feature special cushioning for the ball of the foot or heel. Even if you decide to modify steps and not jump, you’ll still need cushioning for moves like punches or digs to protect your feet, ankles, knees, hips, back, or more. One note: while you may want a thicker sole for greater shock absorbency, remember that the thicker the sole, the less your foot feels the floor. Don’t sacrifice stability and security for mega cushions.
Obviously, everyone’s feet are different, and each foot (even within the same pair) has a unique size and shape. No two people have the same Zumba exercise regime and experience or bring the same weaknesses, strengths, and quirks to class. As a result, we found conflicting opinions for every model shoe.
Our mission is to present a variety of consumer views on the following models when worn during Zumba workouts.
No matter what we found in our research, just remember: you know your feet, body, and exercise requirements better than anyone does.
Only you can decide which shoe best fits your needs.
Some of the shoe models listed below have pivot points and/or split soles.
What’s a pivot point?
A pivot point is a circular patch of rubber on the shoe’s sole–usually located under the ball of the foot and/or under the heel–on which a dancer can twist, turn, and spin with ease. You don’t want your foot to stick to the floor as your upper body rotates … and your ankles, knees, hips, and back bear the brunt of the torsion. Basketball shoes also have pivot points.
What’s does it mean when a sole is “split”?
Commonly worn by experienced dancers or people with strong feet, split soles are composed of two sections–the heel pad and the toe pad–instead of one solid piece that runs along the entire shoe bottom. Dancers love split soles because they offer much flexibility for the foot to point. The downside is that split sole provides no arch support. Split sole shoes are common among advanced ballet and jazz dancers.
Enthusiasts of the PUMA Women’s Riaze Cross-Trainer Shoe gush about the sneaker’s comfort. At least person compares wearing this model to “walking on pillows.” This shoe features the manufacturer’s Cell Technology, which provides much cushioning and shock absorbency for aerobic and cardio activities. Some users find the shoe great for dance exercise class because the collar and tongue padding keep the tops of feet from hurting after class. Heel cushioning prevents post-workout sore heels.
One person who purchased the PUMA Women’s Riaze Cross-Trainer Shoe specifically for a very high-intensity Zumba class reports her feet hurt and her shoes felt “mushed down” after one session. She concedes that while the shoes are comfortable for walking, perhaps they just don’t work for her and Zumba.
But good news …
Nonetheless, reviewers praise other features of the shoe important for successful dance classes: great support and stability, low grip (“don’t stick to the floor”), easy pivoting, and flexibility. The PUMA Women’s Riaze Cross-Trainer Shoe also is lightweight and highly breathable, which leaves wearers free to kick and spin without worrying about excessive weight, heat, and sweat.
Zumba aside, people like the PUMA Women’s Riaze Cross-Trainer Shoe for its stylish appearance and short break-in period. In fact, while some buyers feel the shoe runs small (and recommend ordering up to one size up), others say the shoe may feel tight for the first day or so … but fine afterward.
Again, nearly everyone likes the shoe’s support, although a few said it could provide more support for those with high arches.
Lightweight and flexible
Good support and stability
May not provide enough cushioning for some very intense Zumba dancers
Made by renowned dance footwear manufacturer, Very Fine Dancesport Shoes, Low Profile Unisex Dance Sneakers are praised by Zumba aficionados for its fine construction. Most users love the soles have just enough grip to prevent slips as well as two pivot points for twists and pirouettes. One dancer comments her knees no longer hurt after dance class because the shoes pivot so smoothly and readily. A few people wish, however, the Low Profile Unisex Dance Sneakers would slide a little better and have less traction.
But wait there’s more,
Speaking of soles, Low Profile Unisex Dance Sneakers have split soles to provide excellent toe-pointing flexibility demanded by Zumba (and jazz) choreography. Dancers also note the shoes are lightweight with breathable, highly flexible uppers.
Mixed opinions …
Low Profile Unisex Dance Sneakers provide ample comfort and support for most people. One dancer notes, however, that these shoes don’t offer enough bottom or side support, leading her feet to roll and hurt after an hour of class. Also, while some users found the shoes to be true to size, a few others suggest ordering up a half size or one whole size. In any case, the manufacturer recommends women order their street size and men order one-and-a-half sizes larger.
Pretty in pink!
The one aspect almost everyone agrees upon is the shoe’s sleek look. Female dancers love the cute pink color, while male dancers can choose from black, red, or white colors if they wish. Hey–the shoe is unisex, so anyone can wear whatever hue her or his heart desires!
Split sole with pivot points
The manufacturer Ryka designs footwear specifically for women, so the RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe has a narrower heel, a roomier forefoot, a higher instep, and a more secure footbed.
The good …
We found overwhelmingly positive feedback on this shoe because of its construction: it is lightweight and flexible–thus great for kicks and jumps–yet stable. Zumba instructors as well as students who attend class at least three times per week love the shoe’s overall support (including arch support and forefoot cushioning) that allows them to bounce and jump without any knee, ankle or hip pain. The absence of pain means these athletes can work harder and progress in Zumba–a win, win for the body and mind! The shoe’s structure also provides ample support for great side-to-side mobility.
Also important is the grip of the RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe’s sole. Great for turning, twisting and pirouetting, the sole moves easily across the floor; many reviewers even point out that they wear these shoes while dancing on carpet. Even better, the sole has pivot point under the ball of the foot, making spinning easy.
The bad …
But we still discovered several users that disagree with some of the positive feedback. Some people commented that they wish the shoes were more flexible (especially the sole), had more support for impact (especially for the ankles), and even more cushioning under the balls of the feet. More than a few wearers complained the RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe does NOT have great glide ability, but grips or sticks to the floor.
The RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe runs true to size for some consumers but others feel it runs a half or whole size too small. Some people like the narrow heel box while others find the toe box too narrow.
The not-so-ugly …
Most wearers agree on the RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe’s attractive appearance. “Sporty”, “energetic”, and “bright but not just obnoxiously fluorescent” were words used to describe the shoe’s array of available colors. The shoe’s breathable mesh upper and stylish design keep the Zumba athletes feeling cool physically and in attitude.
Stable and supportive
Great for turning
A little “grippy” for some users
For a few owners, the sole separated from shoe after few months
Made by the same women’s footwear company, the RYKA Women’s Tenacity Shoe has a narrower heel, roomier forefoot, higher instep, and more sturdy footbed. However, unlike the RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe, the RYKA Women’s Tenacity Shoe is designed for low-impact workouts.
For Zumba participants of all ages, this high top training shoe offers ample ankle support. We discovered, nonetheless, that many reviewers also chose this model for comfort and security. At least one Zumba Gold instructor recommends this model to students. For those unfamiliar with Zumba lingo, Zumba Gold is a low-intensity Zumba class designed for active older adults who want to routines easier on their joints.
RYKA Women’s Tenacity Shoe wearers also like the shoe’s “cheerful” and “youthful” colors as well as its breathable mesh upper. Refreshingly, we discovered that most users report this shoe is true to size or needs to be ordered up at most a half a size.
A few caveats …
No shoe is perfect for everyone, and the RYKA Women’s Tenacity Shoe is no exception. A few consumers comment that this model could provide more support for lateral movements, could slide better, and could have more cushioning for its “thin bottom.” Otherwise, though, we found no other complaints.
Great ankle support
Brought to you by the company that develops, leads, and licenses Zumba instruction, the Zumba Women’s Flex II Remix High Dance Shoe is designed specifically for this type of exercise. Dancers rave about this shoe, naming it the “perfect” shoe for Zumba–comfortable, flexible, light, and tough for high-impact moves.
Here’s the deal:
Veterans of hour-long and multiple consecutive classes, even those with wide feet, report their feet don’t hurt after marathon workouts. The molded split-sole provides flexibility and stability to bust out impressive moves. In addition to soft cushioning, this high-top shoe offers excellent support and stability. Ample arch and ankle supports guide dancers securely as they execute high-impact steps full-out. In fact, one user comments that she feels confident moving, burning more calories, and progressing in choreography because the shoes have great support. An added bonus is the front ankle strap for even more stability.
Wearers of the Zumba Women’s Flex II Remix High Dance Shoe love that the shoes slide smoothly, allowing freedom of movement during class without sore ankles, knees and hips after class. The heel’s pivot point and the pivot pad under the ball of the foot increase a dancer’s maneuverability for twists and turns. Finally, the beautiful and hot purple breathable mesh lets out heat and sweat during intense sessions.
We found a few consumers with minor complaints: one user feels the shoes lack sufficient padding under the foot and another thinks the shoe’s sole is too flat for dance.
Excellent sliding action
A second shoe designed by the mother company is the Zumba Women’s Street Boss Dance Shoe. You truly will look like a boss with this commanding high-top sneaker with its shiny, metallic leather and polyurethane upper. In fact, this shoe’s appearance is exactly what attracts people (after its functionality and fit, of course). Dancers love to rock this fashionable and great-looking shoe in class.
The right stuff
For hardcore Zumba practitioners, this shoe stands up to at least five workout sessions per week, including back-to-back classes. These dancers wouldn’t be able to make it unless they wear a shoe with such a comfortable design and strong ankle support.
In addition to providing great support, the Zumba Women’s Street Boss Dance Shoe has just the right amount of grip for pulling off intricate Zumba steps. Dancers love that the shoe’s sole has two pivot circles, one under the heel and one under the ball of the foot.
A bit mixed
While some people feel the shoe is lightweight, at least one user thinks the shoe is a little heavy. What’s more, while dancers praise the shoe’s awesome look, a few noted the shoe model looks a bit big and long. The Zumba Women’s Street Boss Dance Shoe runs true to size for most buyers, although those with wide feet advise to order a half or whole size larger.
Strong support, especially around the ankle
Great grip and two pivot circles
Renowned in the dance world, the Capezio brand brings the Capezio Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker to Zumba class. Several reviewers report switching to this well-padded yet lightweight and flexible sneaker in order to avoid pain. In fact, previous aches and strains disappeared once they started wearing this model.
Even Zumba instructors state the Capezio Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker facilitates easy turning and pivoting without sacrificing stability. The shoe is excellent for changing direction, rotating, and executing lateral movements. Its overall high-quality design and construction–including a strong arch support as well as a padded collar and tongue–give dancers the security they require. People like the cushioned, removable EVA footbed and a few note they can fit their orthotics in the shoes if needed.
Here’s the sole of the matter
The Capezio Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker’s sole is split and flexible for maximum foot articulation and pointing. It has a welcome spin spot under the ball of the foot. Some users like the amount of grip of this shoe’s sole (even for performing Zumba on carpeting) while others find it a bit slippery for lunges, squats, and on non-carpeted floors.
A few complaints
Two people report the EVA footbed inadvertently popped out while they were dancing. Many reviewers can’t understand why the shoes’ laces are so long! People with wide feet find the Capezio Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker a bit narrow and recommend ordering a half or whole size larger. Finally, a few buyers were frustrated after the seam stitching at toe and heel started to come apart after just a few months.
Great for rotating
Poor seam quality for a few users
Although the NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe wasn’t specifically designed for studio exercise, dancers like this shoe because it’s comfortable, light, and easy to move in.
This is the reason
The NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe has foam pods in its collar to improve fit around the heel and prevent hold the heel in. It also has a dual-layer foam mid-sole and out-sole to create what users describe as cozy and durable cushioning. The cushioning provides not only comfort, but also support for diverse activities, including Zumba, walking, yoga, weights, squats, biking, and Pilates.
The NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe is versatile for use during many different types of exercise because it is flexible and breathable. Consumers demand freedom of movement and that’s what they get with this shoe.
Amazingly, the NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe is the only model we encountered that most people say runs true to size!
The few people who suggest ordering up a half or one whole size admit that they have wide feet. In fact, the main complaint is these shoes are best for narrow and regular feet only.
A few reviewers who found the shoes tight at first advise giving them a day or two to stretch out and loosen up.
For more information on the NIKE Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Training Shoe, watch this detailed video.
Easy to move in
One reviewer describes wearing the ASICS Women’s Gel-Fit Sana 3 Cross-Trainer Shoe as “walking on baby clouds.” Another person compares slipping on these shoes to feet “wearing a sweatshirt.” What better endorsements of comfort can you ask than that?
Slip on, slip off
The shoe’s Mono-Sock design with an elastic internal sleeve that replaces a traditional tongue makes the shoe easy to slip on and slip off–a quality that users love. A few people, however, point out that this construction can make keeping heels in the shoe difficult during squats and similar moves.
Not just a pretty face
While wearers describe the ASICS Women’s Gel-Fit Sana 3 Cross-Trainer Shoe as “cute” and “stylish”, they also praise it for being cozy and lightweight. Ideal for low-impact activities like Zumba Gold and walking, they provide flexibility for comfortable freedom of movement. One reviewer comments that perhaps the shoes provide a bit too much flexibility for controlling lateral movements.
Aye, there’s the rub
Many reviewers state the ASICS Women’s Gel-Fit Sana 3 Cross-Trainer Shoe doesn’t provide enough support for high-impact activities, like regular Zumba. The shoe’s arch support and side support are lacking. As for sizing, we discovered opinions all over the board: some people think it is true to size, some people feel it runs large, and others state it runs a half or one whole size small.
As we mentioned, no two people have the same feet. If you’re aware you have special issues, like high or low arches, wide or narrow feet, etc., you’re already ahead of the game when selecting a shoe.
If you have:
Besides choosing the perfect shoes for Zumba, how else can you prepare for Zumba class?
Whether you’re just trying it out or already a Zumba regular, hopefully you’ll find the following tips and reminders helpful:
If you have an urge to jump but want a forgiving surface, try bouncing on a trampoline. See Bestazy’s review of the best trampolines for adults. Your joints will thank you.
Consult your doctor before starting this intense cardio-aerobic activity, especially if you have any questions and/or preexisting heart, blood pressure, orthopedic, etc. conditions.
When most people hear “Zumba”, they think of the high-impact, fast-paced Latin dance exercise. And then some people are intimidated from trying …
But there truly is a Zumba class for everyone–every age from infants to senior citizens, for concentrating on specific body parts, low-impact and more. Visit this page to see a listing of all the different types of Zumba classes out there. Some classes, like Aqua Zumba, obviously don’t require footwear. Ones that do include:
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving and grooving to the beat!
The PUMA Women’s Riaze Cross-Trainer Shoe checks off all the boxes required for fine Zumba footwear: comfort, cushioning for shock absorbency, great support and stability, low grip, easy pivot action, and flexibility.
Most wearers agree on the RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe’s attractive appearance. “Sporty”, “energetic”, and “bright but not just obnoxiously fluorescent” were words used to describe the shoe’s array of available colors.
So, what do you think? Any Zumba experts, veterans, and instructors, please let us know if you agree or disagree with our selections–or if you have any suggestions of your own. Spread the joy of movement and see you in dance class!
For reasons we listed earlier, running shoes are not ideal for Zumba class. Running shoes have traction suited for gripping roads and moving forward, not sliding and pivoting on floors. Also, running shoes offer little support for lateral movements in Zumba.
Of course the answer depends how often you dance and on what type of floor. For some people, Zumba shoes might last only several months to a year. Others may get up to two years out of their shoes. In any case, change shoes when the padding and tread start to wear out–your body may tell you before you even need to look. Also, wear your Zumba shoes only in class and not outside.