The Best Choice For Zumba Workout Shoes

by sciencestudent

Zumba is an incredibly challenging and worthwhile workout, but without the right shoes it can be too difficult to make it worth the effort.

Different shoes mean different results- Let me help you choose the right shoes for your zumba workout!

Zumba workouts are so much fun that people tend to dive into them expecting to gradually catch on and get it right. If you read my article on why Zumba is effective and fun then you know that that is, in essence, true, but there are some factors that can inhibit your ability to properly execute the steps involved in Zumba. One of those main factors is your choice of workout shoes. 

There are several different aspects to the perfect zumba shoe, and they include the following: 

  • Breathable or mesh body 
  • Shock absorption and sole support
  • Smooth, treadless sole
  • Lightweight


The Zumba Fitness company has their own line of dance/workout shoes that are optimal, but that doesn't mean they are the only shoes that will work. If you know why the above aspects matter then you can find a shoe that you love without ordering directly from Zumba fitness.  

The Sansha Salsette Jazz Sneaker is one shoe that is about half the price of the Zumba Fitness shoes but still gets rave reviews from Zumba fans. It has a suede sole to allow you to glide easily, even on a carpeted floor and plenty of support! Tip: Most people order 1.5 to 2 sizes larger than their street shoe size to get a comfortable fit with these! 

Breathable or Mesh Body

The upper part of your workout shoe needs to allow air to cool your feet. Sweaty feet can cause chafing and discomfort, as well as making your socks wad up and throw you off balance. (Hey, it sounds a little silly, but it has happened to me!)   If your feet can breathe then you'll stay cooler and more focused and be much more likely to keep with the beat.  Most dance sneakers come with a breathable upper, but performance dance shoes are usually leather. Make sure that you get practice sneakers for everyday workouts! 

Shock Absorption and Sole Support

While my mind automatically goes to basketball and tennis shoes when people talk about shock absorption, dance requires as much effort and impact as most other high-energy sports and your feet will ache if you don't get good support and padding.  The Zumba Fitness brand shoes have really stepped up the shock absorption factor in their zumba shoes with molding padding and mega sole support. 

They also have an even more supportive shoe with their Z-top dance shoes. These have mega ankle support and will help anybody who has joint problems to feel a lot more comfortable during their workout. 

Smooth, Treadless Sole

In dance it is essential that you be able to slide your feet. Most sneakers have a heavy tread that makes that impossible. Finding a shoe that will slide across a dance floor is harder than finding one that will slide on carpet- a treadless rubber sole may slide on carpet but will occasionally stick to a hard floor. That's why dance shoes traditionally have a suede or soft leather sole- Try to predict where you will be working out so that you can make sure the sole of your dance shoe will glide easily! 


Dance is supposed to look free and requires extremely fast movements. Zumba uses elements of the salsa and tango and many other dances and your feet need to be carrying as little weight as possible to allow you to keep up with the steps. Make sure that your shoes don't weigh any more than they absolutely have to so that you can move and be your absolute best! 

Updated: 03/12/2012, sciencestudent
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Lissie on 03/14/2012

I do the odd bit of zumba - my shoes are similar to the salsa salsett. People often ask me what to wear to dance class - but to me the clothes aren't important - its the shoes that are critical. I agree wearing normal exercise shoes to Zumba will see you with a wrenched knee or worse. I started off in bare feet, which is OK (after all it works for contemporary dancers) - but bought the jazz shoes when it got cold.

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