While a Zumba® class is safe and effective for people of all ages and ability levels, and when done correctly, is safe for knees, hips, lower back, and joints - the shoes you wear will affect your class experience. You don't need anything special for class but you do want to be aware of what you put on your feet.
Choosing the right footwear for Zumba® is simple but not always easy, as there are so many options available to you. Although you could wear any sneaker to class, not every sneaker is the best for Zumba®. Take your typical running shoe. It is designed to move you forward, not side to side. Although cross trainers are a liitle better, they are still designed for the gym environment; running on the treadmill, lifting weights, participating in a step aerobics class, but not dance. In dance, you frequently move side to side as well as pivot and slide. Ideally you want a shoe that will allow you to move freely in the different movement patterns without adding drag or torque to your hips, knees, and ankles.
If you're new to Zumba® Fitness, you're not going to run out and buy the latest dance sneaker out there. You are going to check your closet for an old pair of sneakers that are worn on the bottom. Or grab your tennis sneakers. They are designed for quick changes of direction, therefore reducing stress to the knee. Look for a shoe in your closet that allows you to pivot on one foot without adding pull to your knee. If you have dance style shoes in your closet, make sure they have the proper support for a fitness class and aren't too slick on the bottom, Heaven knows we wouldn't want anyone to inadvertently end up doing the splits!
Have you become a Zumba® Fitness Class addict? Will you be taking class on a regular basis? Than it's a good idea to get a sneaker that is designed specifically for dance aerobics. The dance sneaker is designed to allow freedom of movement in all directions (look for a 'spin' spot on the bottom), will support the foot when doing a jump and feel great on. OK, if they look good too that's a bonus! For a more in depth look at picking a shoe follow the link below:
No one can recommend a brand of shoe for YOUR foot. Everyone's feet are different. If you're ready to invest in a good pair of dance sneakers, I suggest going to Zappo's.com. When I found my shoes, I ordered several different brands from them before I found the brand that was right for MY feet. Zappo's is great because you can easily send back the shoes that don't work for you for no charge. I'm sure there are other sites like Zappo's, but they're the site I used. Happy feet make for a great Zumba class experience.
*Zumba and the Zumba logo are trademarks of Zumba Fitness, LLC, used under license.
Notice the spin spot on the sole of the right shoe. Great for pivots.