If you’ve been around for the last twenty years or so, you’ve more than likely heard of Zumba. This fitness program was created in the nineties by Alberto “Beto” Perez, a Colombian dancer and choreographer. Zumba has since become an international phenomenon, reaching people in at least 110 countries.
Zumba fitness is a cardiovascular dance workout that incorporates Latin inspired dance steps, which are choreographed with Latin American and other upbeat music from different genres around the world. The Zumba program was designed to get your heart pumping in a fun, relaxed, dance party atmosphere.
Whether you have done Zumba before, want to try it out, or you practice it regularly, you will need to find the best shoes for Zumba that you can. Since you are moving around and performing fast footwork for the duration of the workout, having the right shoes for Zumba will help protect you from injury and allow you to move with ease.
The Top 10 Best Shoes for Zumba
1. Ryka Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe
Cross training shoes are great shoes for Zumba, because they are designed for a variety of dynamic workouts, not any one specific type of exercise, such as running. The Ryka Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe is a low-top cross training shoe that provides excellent comfort, energy return, and support for Zumba fitness training.
The shoe’s synthetic upper features Flexfoil and direct-fuse layers, which provide flexible support. Breathable mesh adds comfort and ventilation to the Ryka Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe during Zumba’s high intensity, sweaty workouts. The inner textile lining, padded collar, and padded tongue allow the shoe to sit comfortably against your foot.
The sole of this shoe is designed with supporting your body’s anatomy and energy in mind. The midsole of Ryka’s Influence Cross Training Shoe is constructed from dual density EVA foam, which is designed to keep its’ shape. N-Gage high impact energy return technology cushions your feet and joints upon impact. On top of it (literally, on top of the midsole) the bouncy insole also provides precision energy return, along with anatomical arch support, helping to prevent foot fatigue.
The outsole is made for excellent traction, with a footprint design, as well as a pivot point at the ball of the foot, for smooth twisting and turning while you dance. The pivot point protects you from injury, as the sole moves with you in a spin, rather than gripping, so you aren’t twisting your knee or ankle joints.
The Influence Cross Training Shoe by Ryka is available in ten attractive and colorful options. These are great shoes for Zumba thanks to their support, comfort, and anti-fatigue technology, all at a mid-range price point.
2. ASICS Women’s Gel-Fit Sana 2 Fitness Shoe
ASICS’s Women’s Gel-Fit Sana 2 Fitness Shoes are an excellent choice for shoes for Zumba if you are used to working out in bare feet, such as in yoga or with at-home workouts. It is always recommended to don proper footwear when participating in exercises, especially ones like Zumba where you are moving your feet like crazy.
The geometry of the Gel-Fit Sana 2’s sole is designed to support your foot during physical activity. The shoe’s upper is constructed with ASICS’s fluid fit technology, so the shoe responds to every little movement of your foot, supporting it without any uncomfortable rubbing.
Unlike many standard sports shoes, the mono-sock tongue of this shoe is fully attached to rest of the shoe’s upper, so you pull it on like you would a sock. Some customers have complained that the shoe is difficult to get on, but say that it is comfortable once it is on. This design makes the shoe fit like a glove (more accurately in this case, like a sock), and is meant to provide support around the entire length of your foot, from the heel to the forefoot.
The highly cushioned, lightweight, high abrasion resistant sole incorporates rearfoot gel with a flexible midsole for added comfort. The toe box is wider, allowing your toes to spread out and receive more input from the ground underneath your feet, which is very important for keeping your balance while performing fancy footwork.
These shoes for Zumba are a great option for a comfortable barefoot feel, but may be a bit lacking in traction and underfoot support. Sometimes, less traction is desirable for Zumba, as long as you aren’t performing other movements that require a lot of traction to keep you stable.
The ASICS Women’s Gel-Fit Sana 2 Fitness shoe comes in four bright colors. It is a lace-up shoe that fits closely and comfortably to the foot like a sock, for all-over support. These shoes come at an affordable price, so you don’t have to invest a lot if you are trying to find shoes for Zumba, but aren’t sure if the workout is for you, yet.
3. Zumba Women’s Fly Fusion Athletic Dance Workout Sneakers
As the name suggests, the Zumba Women’s Fly Fusion Athletic Dance Workout Sneakers were designed to be the ideal shoes for Zumba. These shoes are meant to feel weightless, while supporting you throughout your fast action dance party workout.
The shoe’s upper features soft textile with breathable mesh, for superior foot ventilation and supreme flexibility. The compressed EVA midsole provides lightweight comfort and support, but lacks sufficient arch support. The sole is also shock-absorbing, which is a very important feature in shoes for Zumba.
Z-slide technology is meant to allow these shoes to glide across a studio dance floor, which can be more gentle on your joints while dancing. However, if you are taking a Zumba class that incorporates other exercises, like burpees, into the routine, these shoes might not provide enough traction for you to safely perform such jumpy movements.
The Fly Fusion Athletic Dance Workout Sneaker by Zumba comes in two variations of gray. One option is solid gray with pink and lime accents. The other color option is a gray and white pattern with purple and lime accents. The shoe is available at a medium price point and would work best for Zumba workouts performed on a dance studio floor.
4. Nfinity Vengeance Cheer Shoe
While the Nfinity Vengeance Cheer Shoes were designed for the sport of cheerleading, they work as shoes for Zumba, too. This is because they are incredibly lightweight, extremely breathable, and provide traction without restricting your movement while dancing.
The company and customers both say that the sizing runs small. It is recommended that you order at least a size up for women, and at least 2 sizes up for men. Some customers say that they have to order up a few sizes. Further, the shoe is sculpted to fit almost like a ballet slipper, for a barefoot look.
The company tells you outright that the shoes are only designed to last three to six months. However, they are made to perform very well during their period of use. If you are a Zumba instructor, or a fan, these shoes for Zumba might be worth the investment, especially if you haven’t had luck with other athletic shoes.
The shoe’s upper is is constructed of see-through open mesh material. This provides superior ventilation for your feet as your body temperatures rises during Zumba workouts. Further, it allows you to have some fun customizing this all white shoe by wearing colored and patterned socks.
The soles of Nfinity’s Vengeance Cheer Shoes offer great flexibility. Rubber pads are placed on the bottom of the outsole in areas of high wear. This helps to extend the life of the shoe and provide traction for moves that require it, without restricting sliding actions common in Zumba combinations.
These are good shoes for Zumba workouts that incorporate other exercises, like squats, lunges, and burpees, as they are made to support both the acrobatic and dance movements of cheerleading. Nfinity’s signature bubble laces ensure that your shoes won’t come untied and trip you mid-workout.
5. Capezio Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker
Salvatore Capezio built his shoe business with consistent and direct input from dancers. He opened his first shoe store in 1887 in New York City, across from the Metropolitan Opera House, and quickly became the go-to cobbler for dancers of all genres. Today, the company continues to adhere to high standards with the needs of dancers at the forefront of their designs.
Capezio’s Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker combine the best characteristics of a classical dance shoe with an athletic shoe. Mesh, suede, and synthetic material make up the shoe’s highly ventilated upper. The arch of the shoe is perforated for extra breathability.
The tongues and the collars of the DS24 Rockit Dance Sneakers by Capezio are padded for extra comfort against the feet. A removable, contoured and cushioned EVA footbed lends comfort and support. The speed looped lacing system is designed to give your shoes a closer fit, with the lacing coming out further to the side than those found on regular athletic shoes.
Although this shoe has the look of a sneaker, it will not restrict your feet and ankles from flexing and moving. Maximum flexibility is provided by the Achilles notch at the back of the shoe, and by the split sole.
The PU outsoles of this style of shoe from Capezio make them ideal shoes for Zumba. They are lightweight, non-marking, and abrasion resistant. The outsoles also feature patented built-in flex points, as well as a spin spot near the toes. The toe of the shoe itself is a flat, boxed style, which is perfect for moves like toe stands.
Capezio’s Women’s DS24 Rockit Dance Sneaker is only available in black, but it comes at a very affordable price for the quality of construction. These shoes for Zumba are an excellent option for anyone, but especially for serious fanatics that have been practicing Zumba for awhile.
6. Ryka Women’s Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe
The Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoes for Zumba are another solid option from Ryka. These high top kicks have all the right features to keep you focused on your dance moves, without having to worry so much about injuries, like twists and sprains.
The shaft of this shoe measures about four inches from the arch, for a more supportive fit that laces higher up around the ankle. The padded tongue and collar make this high top style comfortable against your skin as you move, even when the laces are pulled tight for a snug fit.
The shoes’ uppers do have many areas of mesh for ventilation. However, the Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe by Ryka may not breath as well as other styles of shoes for Zumba, because there is also a lot of plastic-like synthetic material covering the uppers.
Some of this material makes up a mid-foot hook and loop strap, for added support, which is a decent trade off for a little less ventilation. Further, an I.H.G. molded heel reinforcement feature helps to keep your heel in place, even when you are quickly and constantly changing directions while you move.
The insole of the Tenacity cross-trainer has the same precision energy return technology as Ryka’s Influence cross-trainer style, mentioned above. This insole offers comfortable cushioning that returns energy to the foot, helping to prevent foot fatigue.
The midsole is made from molded N-Gage EVA foam for shock absorption. The outsole is designed to provide traction, but it has a pivot point at the ball of the sole so that you can perform turns and slides without getting stuck on the floor.
The Ryka Women’s Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe combines the styles of gym shoes and street shoes, for a fashionable look with the support that shoes for Zumba need. It comes in three diverse colors, which are black, metallic silver, and leopard print. These shoes for Zumba are available at a mid-range price point.
7. Reebok Women’s Hayasu Track Shoe
Reebok was originally known for designing shoes to help athletes run faster. Now, they cater to the needs of athletes who engage in all kinds of activities, and they have some excellent shoes for Zumba. Reebok’s Hayasu Track Shoe for women is stylish and has a bunch of features to support your fiercest footwork.
The seamless neoprene upper of the Hayasu Track Shoe, in which the tongue is fully attached, makes for a slip on bootie style shoe that fits against your foot like a sock. It is very flexible and offers a snug fit that is free of irritation. There are notches cut out around the ankle bones to provide further comfort and flexibility.
Inside this shoe there is a removable Ortholite sock liner, which adapts to your unique foot shape. The midsole is constructed from 3D Ultralite foam, which is lightweight and extends the life of the shoe’s cushioning. The multi-surface outsole has a soft rubber midfoot insert and a rubber turning point for controlled movement while dancing on a variety of surfaces.
The Hayasu Track shoe by Reebok comes in nine colors schemes, featuring a variety of textures and patterns. Customers say that they find the shoe to look very attractive on the foot. This shoe comes from a reputable brand at a mid-range price point.
8. Zumba Women’s Impact Max Dance Shoe
Ultimately your want your shoes for Zumba to keep you moving during your workouts, not slow you down. The Impact Max Dance Shoe by Zumba was built specifically for fast-paced Zumba workouts, which are typically an hour long. They provide superior shock absorption so you can perform your best throughout the entire workout.
The synthetic sole of the Zumba Women’s Impact Max Dance Shoe is constructed with Z-compress technology. This anti-fatigue technology compresses to soften the force of impact. It then goes back to its’ original shape, which returns energy to your foot to help prevent fatigue. It also cushions your landing, so your joints will not feel so sore the next day after a Zumba session.
The breathable upper is soft and flexible. There is some thicker material at the toe to provide reinforcement and keep the shoe from wearing out. Z-brace technology is used to hold your foot securely in place, reducing the likelihood of twists and sprains.
The sole of the shoe provides traction without causing you to get stuck to the floor, thanks to Z-slide technology and a turning point at the ball of the foot. You will be able to safely glide through your dance steps on any surface.
These shoes for Zumba come in six color options, which are fuchsia, mazarine blue, black, dark slate, purple, and white. They cost about the same as a mid-range running shoe, but offer energy return and shock absorption in combination with an outsole unique to shoes for Zumba.
9. ASICS Women’s Rhythmic 2 Cross Training Shoe
ASICS is an acronym for the phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano.” Translated to English, the phrase means “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body.” ASICS manufactures quality athletic footwear in consistent sizing to support your confidence and performance in fitness. The ASICS Women’s Rythmic 2 Cross Training Shoes for Zumba offer flexibility and movement for low-impact Zumba exercises.
These shoes for Zumba have polyester uppers with areas of breathable mesh. The middle of the sole of this shoe is less supportive for the sake of flexibility when pointing the toes while dancing. However, medial and lateral support wraps built into the body of the shoe help to counteract this lack of support.
The midsole features full length EVA foam for lightweight, shock absorbing cushioning. Some customers complain that the cushioning and support is not sufficient for high-impact exercises. The rubber outsole has a dance pivot point for easier glides and turns while dancing.
Available only in black, the Rhythmic 2 Women’s Cross Training shoe comes at a low price. These shoes for Zumba would work well for dancers with strong feet that don’t require as much cushioning and support, or for newbies who want to try out Zumba with proper footwear, without making a large investment upfront.
10. Puma Women’s Cell Riaze Heather Cross Trainer Shoe
Puma shoes are known for fusing fashion and sport with their footwear, for a shoe that fits seamlessly into an active lifestyle. The Cell Riaze Heather Women’s Cross Trainer Shoe by Puma offers style, superior cushioning, and comfort, producing shoes for Zumba that you can wear anywhere.
The mesh uppers of Puma’s Cell Riaze Heather Cross Trainer Shoe are flexible and breathable to keep your feet feeling comfortable as they move and sweat. While the upper of the shoe is rather flexible, the sole is a bit stiffer, but this allows it to provide the support that some of the other shoes for Zumba on this list lack.
The outsole is constructed with Puma’s Cell technology for advanced cushioning and support. The molecules of the polyurethane elastomer from which the sole is made are arranged in a pattern of hexagonal cells that interlock with one another. Sometimes cushioning can be too soft. Puma Cell technology not only gives you better cushioning, but also better stabilization. The heel also has a pocket of air for extra shock absorption.
The Women’s Cell Riaze Heather Cross Trainer Shoe is offered at a low to mid-range price. This style only comes in a dark gray color with aqua accents, but it is very attractive and offers great athletic support for the price.
Buying Guide for the Best Shoes for Zumba
Zumba is a fast paced workout with constant footwork. Most Zumba workouts are about an hour long, and you can burn around 500 calories in that period of time. It is loved for the high calorie burn and the atmosphere of a dance party that makes doing cardiovascular work a lot more fun. Since you are on your feet and moving around the entire time, you will want to make sure you find the best shoes for Zumba that support your individual needs.
Things get heated during Zumba, especially if you are in a group class filled with other sweaty people. For this reason, you want a shoe with excellent breathability. Shoes with mesh uppers and special holes offer great ventilation to let your feet cool as you sweat.
Usually, shoes made from breathable materials will also be flexible, which is what you need for the intricate footwork of Zumba. You want the muscles and joints of your feet to be able to move naturally, so look for shoes for Zumba that have enough room in them. Sneakers with the tongue fully attached to the rest of the upper are made to conform to your foot like a sock, for a snug fit that is flexible sans irritation.
Look for lightweight shoes for Zumba that also feature anti-fatigue technology. You will be moving your feet nonstop, so lightweight soles with shock absorption that return energy to your feet will let your feet keep working until your body is ready to stop.
Great support is a must to help prevent injuries. A strong arch support coupled with other features, such as straps, high top collars, compression, and heel lock designs will keep your feet in place during an unexpected twist or slip.
Speaking of slipping, shoes for Zumba are a little unique, because you do want enough traction to keep from losing control, but not so much grip that you get tripped up on the dance floor. Too much grip will cause your feet to stick to the floor, which can cause twists and sprains. The best shoes for Zumba will have special areas strategically placed on the sole for ease of movement when you need it, and tread in other areas to keep you from slipping.