Finding the best shoes for Zumba classes isn’t an easy job, and you might find yourself having to choose between a whole range of different shoes that all have their own benefits and drawbacks. However, Zumba isn’t exactly the same as other types of exercise, and shoes that work for something like running or cycling won’t always be suitable for dancing. They could even end up falling apart if they’re used for particularly intense or awkward routines over and over again.

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  • Ventilated
  • Bouncy insole
  • Plenty of cushioning
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  • Versatile
  • Gum rubber sole
  • No tongue
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  • No heel
  • Sock-like internal sleeve
  • Adjustable laces

Below are ten pairs of the best shoes for Zumba that we could find, along with some reasons why they might be ideal for your regular Zumba routine.

View the Best Shoes for Zumba, Below.

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1. RYKA Women’s Influence Cross Training Shoe

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These colorful sneakers are purpose-built to help you exercise without needing to go barefoot, mixing comfort and functionality to create footwear that cushions and protects your feet. The breathable materials used in its design let air flow through easier, cooling your feet down and helping to fight off sweat while the bouncy insole keeps a spring in your step. The midsole is made of high-density foam to add even more cushioning, adding a floaty feeling to your footsteps that are meant to help with long periods of exercise.

The outsoles provide a high level of traction, minimizing slips and falls – this, combined with the tight lace-up design, means that they won’t fall off your feet during complex workout routines or difficult movements, so you won’t run into many situations where you need to stop and adjust your footwear before you can keep exercising.

Why We Like It

  • Ventilated
  • Bouncy insole
  • Plenty of cushioning
  • Lots of traction
  • Won’t slip

Our Verdict

These sneakers mix comfort and stability in a way that other brands and style don’t always manage, making them great for Zumba and other dance-based workouts.

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2. Zumba Women’s Fly Fusion Athletic

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These workout sneakers are incredibly versatile, using a great selection of materials to stay useful in almost every situation. The gum rubber sole provides physical protection to your feet without being hard or heavy, and the tongue-less design means that you won’t have fabric brushing up against the tops of your feet during difficult exercises or movements, so you’ll be able to hold awkward poses or quickly switch positions without putting your feet under any stress or pain.

Despite having no tongue, these Zumba sneakers still use a lace-based design to help tighten the top of the shoe to your foot, ensuring that you get the best fit possible. The very front of the sneakers, where your toes rest, have an extra layer of rubber to prevent you from stubbing your feet or damaging key parts of the shoes’ construction during certain exercises, which makes them much more likely to hold together after being used repeatedly.

Why We Like It

  • Versatile
  • Gum rubber sole
  • No tongue
  • Slides easily without being slippery
  • Comfortable

Our Verdict

These shoes are great for exercising on solid, smooth and slightly slippery ground, but they can also double as excellent running gear and casual sneakers if you don’t mind the bright colors.

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3. ASICS Womens Gel-Fit Sana 3

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The internal sleeve used in these shoes completely changes the way it fits around your foot, making it more like a sock on the inside than regular sneakers or trainers. This helps keep your feet comfortable regardless of where you’re wearing them, making them suitable for all kinds of activities including Zumba. The outside layer uses plenty of breathable materials in a seamless, durable pattern that ensures it won’t wear out or break during important workouts, but can still get fresh air through to your feet.

The heel-less, lace-up design means that you won't be struggling to use these shoes in a classroom or indoor exercise area since you can easily adjust the way they fit and aren't restricted to a certain angle or style of walking. The seamless construction removes most sources of skin irritation if you're using them barefoot or in thin socks, making them comfortable to wear in almost all situations.

Why We Like It

  • No heel
  • Sock-like internal sleeve
  • Adjustable laces
  • Seamless design
  • Durable materials

Our Verdict

This shoe strikes a good balance between flexibility and durability, protecting both itself and your feet without feeling too rigid or restrictive.

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4. Skechers Sport Women’s Burst Divergent

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These boot-style sneakers have a high design that lets them cover more of your foot, but uses perforated materials to massively reduce how much sweat and heat builds up inside them while you’re exercising. The strong rubber sole helps absorb shocks and reduce the amount of force you feel after a jump or stomp, making it much easier to pull of Zumba routines that require a lot of them, and the built-in insoles help cushion your feet throughout general day-to-day use.

The high-top design is more than just a fashion choice – it spaces out the laces to give you better control over how it fits, and lets the midsole wrap around the bottom of the shoe for an extra level of protection from bumps or damage to the sides of the sneakers.

Why We Like It

  • High-top sneakers
  • Rubber sole
  • Ventilated
  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable fabrics

Our Verdict

Although the high-top style might be unusual to some, the way that this shoe protects and supports your feet shouldn’t be overlooked.

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5. ASICS Women’s GEL-190 TR

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These trainers are built around stability and foot support, using different material densities in different areas to provide more padding and muscle support in places where you’ll need it most. At the bottom of the shoe, the shock-absorbing soles help dampen any sudden stomps or stumbles you might have, and add a floaty feeling to some of your movements that can help you concentrate on your Zumba routine.

Like many shoes, these trainers don’t have a prominent heel, keeping your feet flat on the ground to help improve your balance and give you a better chance of landing difficult motions and movements properly. To add to this, the midsole adds a slightly bouncy feeling that encourages repeated movements, and the low weight of the sneakers means that they won’t start to slow you down during long exercise sessions.

Why We Like It

  • Gum rubber sole
  • No heel
  • Bouncy midsole
  • Cushioned to absorb shocks
  • Supports foot muscles

Our Verdict

This shoe stands out from most others due to its excellent muscle support, which can make difficult Zumba routines and other exercises much less taxing on your feet.

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6. RYKA Women’s Tenacity

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These women’s shoes have a very serious feeling to them, which helps them stand out from a lot of other brands on the market. They’re easy to adjust, using both laces and a hook-and-loop strap to give you plenty of control over how it fits your feet. Not only that, but the padded collar and tongue reduce skin irritation from long periods of use so you won't be stuck wearing shoes that are directly hurting your feet – since they're intended as dance training shoes, this can be more important than it sounds.

The soles of these trainers are very simple and comfortable, adding some extra padding to your steps without feeling too soft or off-balance. To help reduce ankle and instep pain, the shoes use a specially-adjusted design that focuses on supporting your muscles through a range of different movements, reducing stress and letting you exercise for longer before needing to take a break.

Why We Like It

  • Adjustable
  • Don’t irritate skin
  • Padded
  • Support muscles
  • Aid balance

Our Verdict

These trainers are great for Zumba newcomers since they can help you develop your sense of balance, but they can also serve long-time Zumba lovers really well.

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7. ASICS Women’s GEL Fit Tempo 2

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These fitness-focused shoes are meant to be both lightweight and flexible, letting you pull off all kinds of difficult moves and routines without needing to go barefoot or limit yourself to less comfortable shoes. The cushioned midsole makes every step and stomp less painful on your feet, and you can easily adjust how they fit with the straight-forward lace-up design, meaning that you’ll be far less likely to hurt your feet during long periods of use.

The lightweight materials used in this shoe help keep your legs unencumbered, making full-body dance moves easier to pull off – an incredibly important part of certain Zumba routines. The synthetic overlays on the sides and toe area increase durability in areas that are normally quite weak so you won't damage your shoes if you accidentally scuff or kick them against a surface. High flexibility is also a key part of its design, which aids in both exercise and normal use in day-to-day life.

Why We Like It

  • Absorbs shocks with cushioned sole
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Straight laces

Our Verdict

These shoes are an excellent choice for anybody who uses Zumba as part of a wider routine involving a lot of different fitness activities, both indoors and out.

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8. Reebok Women’s Hayasu Training Shoe

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The soft rubber soles used on these exercise shoes promote better grip and a stronger muscle support, making it easier to perform difficult dances and exercises on smooth floors. The stretchy, flexible materials make it easy to wear regardless of your foot shape and instep size, with the middle and front of each shoe being noticeably limber when it comes to adjusting to your toes.

The inside of the shoe uses an Ortholite insole that can mold to the shape of your feet, meaning that it’ll slowly become more comfortable to wear as you use it more and more. This, alog with the reliable semi-freeform lace, also helps prevent it from slipping off your feet at a critical moment, making it easier to pull off the same routine again and again without running into any footwear issues.

Why We Like It

  • Supports muscles
  • Rubber sole
  • Flexible
  • Simple lace system
  • Reliable

Our Verdict

The simple appearance of these shoes betrays its flexibility and softness, which could easily make them more comfortable than other casual shoes you own.

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9. Reebok Women’s Pilox 1.0

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These soft-looking shoes are ideal for Zumba use, mainly due to their low-cut design and simple shape – they won’t get in the way of your movements, especially if you’re doing a routine that requires a lot of precise angles and foot positioning, and you’ll find yourself having a tighter grip on smooth surfaces compared to regular workout shoes. The rubber sole helps protect the bottom of your feet while also giving you a slight spring to your step, while the midfoot area is designed to keep your shoes secured to your feet regardless of how tight they are.

This padding extends all around the bottom of the shoe, even at the balls of the feet, meaning that you won’t have to cut certain motions out of your routine because of a weak point or painful area. If that wasn’t enough, the soles are built with a pivot point at the very front to let you rotate without much effort, making certain moves far easier to carry out.

Why We Like It

  • Simple design
  • Unobtrusive and low-cut
  • Pivot point
  • Strong rubber sole
  • Lots of padding

Our Verdict

These shoes are designed to make dancing easier, and the pivot point is a very unique addition that could help you pull off some amazing moves in the future.

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10. Ryka Women’s Tenacious

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This pair of woman’s trainers use a very well-placed breathable mesh to help keep your feet cool mid-Zumba, as well as providing a much more secure fit. The Velcro strap is placed over the top of your feet rather than against your ankle, leaving you free to angle your feet in whatever way you need without the risk of it slipping off or damaging the strap. This, combined with the dual-foam midsole, keeps your feet comfortable even if you’ve laced and strapped it up as tight as you possibly can.

The heel design of the shoe is meant to be more stable than a standard flat or raised shoe and is soft enough to relieve some of the pressure you might feel from a tough or long-lasting workout. Rubber outsoles give each shoe a surprisingly amount of traction towards the ground, making it easy to transition between dances and movements.

Why We Like It

  • High traction
  • Strap and laces
  • Breathable
  • Supports muscles
  • Comfortable midsole

Our Verdict

While the Velcro and lace combo could be unusual at first, these trainers are excellent for Zumba routines and general exercise alike, especially indoors or at classes.

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Buyer’s Guide To Shoes for Zumba

Buying Zumba shoes can be difficult if you’re not used to it since there are a lot of different factors and measurements to consider. Your shoe not only needs to fit you, but it needs to be appropriate for what you’re using for – Zumba can easily wear out inappropriate shoes, and it’s easy to damage your feet or ankles if your footwear is actively working against you.

Breathability and Ventilation

Like most exercise clothing, the best shoes are the ones with ventilation holes or breathable materials. The reason for this is simple – it lets your feet breathe and gets rid of sweat, making them far less uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Since most Zumba classes are around an hour of almost-constant exercise and movement, having to stop and take off your shoes can really kill the experience, and doing it barefoot isn’t usually seen as a very pleasant or hygienic option in public.

If you’re trying to decide between two similar shoes, choose the one with the best ventilation – your skin will appreciate the extra air it gets, and you won’t have to deal with smelly, sweaty feet when you get home.

Durability and Flexibility

Zumba is surprisingly intense, even if you feel like it’s just dancing to a musical beat – it can wear down shoes really quickly, especially if they’re not very stretchy or bendy. This is mainly because the dance moves done in Zumba are designed to push and test your muscles rather than being chosen to show off your skills or body, so you’ll need footwear that can keep up with the stress and strain you’ll be putting it under.

There are two main parts that matter – flexibility, which makes it easier for your shoe to bend, and durability, which affects how much physical force it can handle. Too much of one without the other can still lead to problems while trying to perform more complex dance moves and motions, so finding a good mix of both is essential for almost all Zumba classes and routines.

Grip

A good grip is a key part of Zumba, but too much or too little grip can negatively affect your ability to dance properly. A powerful grip helps you keep your feet steady during difficult moves and motions, but can make it hard to slide your foot across a surface or transition between different stances or dancing styles easily. A weak grip, on the other hand, can be too slippery and might result in you falling over or sliding your legs too far and hurting your muscles.

What is Zumba?

Zumba is a dance-based style of exercise that’s generally used as a full-body workout, both as a way to improve cardio fitness and joint flexibility. It’s one of the few types of organized exercise that’s safe for all ages to try and has become a fairly popular exercise routine across multiple countries, either privately or in scheduled classes.

Despite looking like organized dancing from an outside perspective, Zumba is generally considered to be on the same level as most other gym-style routines and sports and has its own specialized clothing and equipment produced by a wide variety of companies.

What are Zumba Shoes?

Like all exercise classes, Zumba is easier if you have appropriate clothing – Zumba shoes are usually regular exercise shoes, trainers and sneakers with features that make dancing easier during an hour-long class and are also often made to improve the wearer’s grip on indoor surfaces to lower the chance of them slipping.

There’s no single defined design or style that these shoes are expected to have, but the best shoes for Zumba are generally comfortable, flexible and breathable, with some adding extra layers of padding or protection to make them more useful outside of Zumba classes.

Who Invented Zumba?

Zumba was invented by a choreographer called Alberto Pérez, who substituted one of his regular lessons for a freestyle dancing routine he referred to as “Rumbacize” when he forgot the music needed for the intended routine. This caught on and was eventually invested in by a variety of entertainment and fitness companies, leading to the creation of the company Zumba Fitness, who allow gyms to host classes free of charge.

Expert Tip

The best shoes for Zumba will have less of a grip than running shoes – too much grip makes it hard to transition into new dance moves, while too little puts you in danger of slipping over.

Did you know?

If there’s no gym that offers Zumba near to you, or they’re closed for some reason, you can always arrange your own sessions at home.

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