I’ve decided that I needed to get fitter so I’ve started taking Zumba classes. I wasn’t too sure what I should be wearing on my feet for them so I did some research on the internet. I was planning to use my regular sneakers, but it seems that this is not a good idea as I quickly found out.

The problem with regular shoes is that they grip to the floor too well. When you’re doing Zumba you need to be able to pivot on the shoes from side to side. If you use regular sneakers that grip well, you could find your legs trying to move to the side but your feet not allowing it – not a good situation and certainly not great for the knees. Thus you need a special pair of sneakers. Was a bit annoyed to find this out but certainly better to know now before getting any kind of injury.

So I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking and here are the key things to consider when choosing the best Zumba shoes.


Unless you need a lot of protection for your feet, it’s better to have a light pair of shoes, it will enable you to move more easily.

Shock absorbence

Zumba is quite tough on the feet so having a good sole can be a great help. Thus Zumba shoes often have a thicker sole than regular sneakers. It’ll mean you’ll have less feeling in your feet but generally it seems to be better than having a thin sole and damaging your feet in some way.


You want to try and get a pair of shoes that are breathable because you’ll be sweating a lot – Zumba is very intensive and hard work.


Because there are a lot of jumps and slides in zumba it’s important to have a stable pair of shoes – wide-soled shoes are particularly useful.

Toe space

Check that you have plenty of toe space in your shoe – when your toes are stretched out like they would be when exercising, not when they are relaxed.

Heel Counter

The heel counter is the part of shoe that supports the heel. But you need to make sure that they have something on them called an achilles notch, otherwise the backs of the feet might rub and give you blisters. Experienced dancers will find that their feet get toughened up and they don’t need this, but for beginners like me it’s important.

Check the surface

It’s important to check out where you will be doing your Zumba because different surfaces suit different types of shoe. A shoe that would be good on carpet would be too slippery for a hard floor for instance.

Types of Zumba shoe

Solid shoe

Solid shoes are good for dancers who have high feet arches or for those with flat feet. They’re used by both beginner Zumba dancers and experienced dancers.

Split Shoe

These are only for experienced dancers or for people who have strong feet already from doing a lot of other sports. Or people who often walk barefoot. This is because they have no mid-sole on them and thus no arch support.

Mid shoe

These shoes are different in that they cover the whole of the ankle. This means that they offer lots of support but that they are not that flexible. They’re often used by people who are just starting out in Zumba and by people who might have problems with their feet.

Low shoes

These go below the ankle so offer less support and stability but much more flexibility.

Alternatives to Zumba shoes

An alternative idea to buying a new pair of Zumba shoes is to get some dance socks. These slip around a normal pair of shoes and turn them into dance shoes. Just make sure you get the right type, some are good for carpets and some are good for smooth floors.

Find out more about choosing the best shoes for you on this site