Shoes, shoes, shoes…make ALL the difference!

“What kind of shoes do I wear for Zumba?”

It  is the most popular question I am asked, and it is one of the hardest to answer!


Every foot is a little different…therefore…what my feet love…your feet may NOT love…and vice versa.

So – here are some suggestions (and of course, my favorite shoes for Zumba).

But PLEASE… let YOUR feet do the talking!

If you are dancing in a shoe that doesn’t work for Zumba, it can make the difference between an awesome or a not-so-awesome Zumperience. (People stop dancing because of bad shoes!)

Yes, they really do make that MUCH of a difference!

Remember to ask yourself these important questions:

  • Do these shoes really fit?
  • Do I need an insole? (Or should I add one for extra support?)
  • How much traction is there on the floor we’re dancing on?
  • How much sliding/turning will I be able to do in these shoes?
  • Are these lightweight enough for Zumba?

So, today’s blog is devoted to feet.

1. Nike Zoom Trainer Essential II – (My FAVORITE shoes…these are the shoes I wear…in black, in hot pink, in lime green…)

I purchased these shoes (in black) the day before I did my instructor training.  What luck!  I knew I needed to have something with less grip (for turning), but I also wanted something lightweight.  This was the shoe! I found everything I was looking for…plus the shoe was made of mesh-like material, so it literally breathes (less stink!)  After I fell in love with these, I ended up finding them in various colors at a Nike outlet.  More great luck!

So where can you find these shoes?  I recently found these on ebay,,,,, etc. And the price is right ($30 and up) if you can find your size!  I’m scared to promote these shoes, because I know that someday I won’t be able to get them.  Maybe it’s time to stock up!

(*These shoes run about 1/2 size smaller; I normally wear an 8 but buy them in 8.5.)

2. Zumba Shoes – Z Kickz by Zumba Fitness

“What about the official Zumba shoes?”

I purchased the official ZumbaFitness shoes – twice – and twice I stopped wearing them.  They worked great on carpeting at the Zumba Convention, but I felt like they had little support.  I did love how easy it was to turn in these shoes.  They were very lightweight… not to mention…cute to look at.  Maybe these just don’t work for my feet?  I know a lot of instructors who swear by these shoes (and they have great ratings on the Zumba website – 82 reviews and 4.4. out of 5 stars)…and yet, I know a lot of instructors that feel the same way I do and don’t wear them.

Where can you find these shoes?  On the official website for Zumba (  These shoes will cost around $75 plus the $8.50 shipping on their website.

Zumba has also created a new shoe called the Zumba Z – Top.

I haven’t tried these yet, and I don’t think I will.  They cost $94.95 plus the $8.50 shipping.  They have 55 ratings so far and only received an average of 3.7 out of 5 stars.

3. Nike Musique IV

I had these.  I tried them on.  I sold them to another instructor who loves them.  I liked my other shoes better, and I knew I would never wear them.  I just found these on for $47.99.  Nike also has different versions of the Musique shoe that you may love.

4. Other shoes your feet may love for Zumba…

Reebok Zigs (below)

Ryka Studio D (below)

New Balance (below)

Companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Ryka, etc. focus on shoe technology.

That’s not saying that Zumba Fitness doesn’t…I don’t know because I don’t work in their Home Office or Footwear Department.

Personally, I feel a little safer spending time dancing in shoes that come from a company that focuses on feet.  This is just my opinion.

Whatever your decision may be…you can make your shoes last longer:

  • Don’t wear your shoes outside. Wear them only when in class. (Carry your shoes in a bag and then change them once you get indoors.)
  • Buy more than one pair and alternate shoes.
  • Always wear socks with your shoes.
  • Use an athletic insole.
  • You can wash your shoes in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. Let them air dry.

Happy Feet = Happy Dancers!


2 thoughts on “Shoes, shoes, shoes…make ALL the difference!

  1. I am one of those “swear by Zumba shoes” instructors, but I agree….they have no support. I just bought some inserts from Walmart that you can slip in for comfort, and it worked wonders! Thanks for posting this…do you mind if I share this post on my page?? I think you have some great information here!!

  2. I’m just wondering what an equivalent shoe would be to the Nike Zoom Trainer Essential II. I currently have the Nike Free TR Fit (well actually I need to get a new pair because my feet grew with my last pregnancy). Any help would be appreciated! Thanks 🙂

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