The Ins and Outs of Zumba Shoes
Zumba is a wonderful exercise option that is taking the world by storm. It involves intense dancing and movement to exuberant musical tunes, and is bound to leave you in a pool of sweat after a good class. But did you know that there are special Zumba shoes that can take your exercise experience to the next level, while simultaneously protecting your feet, ankles and knees from injury?
25 percent of all Zumba participants will eventually experience some kind of injury, and most of them relate to improper footwear. Special Zumba-focused shoes exist to ensure that you get your best performance class after class, all the while remaining injury-free.
Read on for our recommendations for the best Zumba shoes, from your friendly experts at Shoe Guide!
Getting the Perfect Shoes for Zumba
Zumba has exploded in popularity and for good reason. It’s a wonderful and fun way to keep in great shape, burning 500 calories or more per hour! If you are one of the many participating in this new exercise sensation, it’s crucial to make sure that nothing stands in the way of a solid workout.
However, to prevent injury, it is also important to ensure that your feet love Zumba just as much as you do. The best way to do this is to purchase and wear the best shoes for Zumba. In this guide, we are going to outline what we consider to be the best Zumba shoes and why. Below is our list, with enhanced explanations and full product reviews.
Zumba Shoe Summary Table
Shoe brand and style name
Expert Rating and Notes
Notes: Top Split Sole Choice. Best for pure dance workouts
Notes: Top Choice if you do Zumba and other workout routines
Notes: Great for extra ankle support
The Best Zumba Shoes - Top 10 Picks
1. Reebok Split Flex
The Reebok Split Flex is an absolute monster of a relatively brand new shoe to the scene. But don’t take our word for it. Here is how Reebok themselves define this beautiful shoe:
When 7 a.m. boot camp hits maximum intensity, these women's studio shoes will help you keep moving. Sock-like bootie construction keeps you comfortable, and the split sole delivers enhanced flexibility. A durable outsole provides a responsive feel with every step. The sneakers come with a removable silicone strap for extra support when you need it.
Features of the Reebok Split Flex
The Split Flex comes with an elastic and very breathable upper made of knit textile. It was developed for studio workouts such as Zumba and pilates, and for that purpose only. Don’t be wearing these shoes on your next hike! They feature a split sole, common in dance shoes but not so common in stylish workout shoes. This split sole provides enhanced flexibility, as well as more comfortable movements where the foot is going to be pivoting.
The construction of the upper is considered “bootie-style”, providing a fit similar to that of a sock, adding to the minimalist style, as well as the overall comfort. You aren’t going to find a more comfortable Zumba shoe anywhere else. There is a removable silicone strap, which services to provide enhanced forefoot support to the wearer. If you find that you don’t like the compression that the strap provides, it quickly and effortlessly can be removed and you can keep going about your workout.
An EVA midsole provides great support for people with flat footedness or who may suffer from plantar fasciitis, but at a lighter weight than you would expect. Finally, the abrasion-resistant rubber outsole adds an incredible amount of durability and responsiveness. The only cons that we can find with this shoe are that it comes at a higher price tag than many alternatives, and that there are only two color options: black and pink.
- Removable silicone strap adds enhanced support without sacrificing flexibility
- Bootie-style construction provides incredible amounts of comfort
- EVA midsole and rubber outsole ensure support and function
- Rubber outsole is slippery for pivoting and changing direction quickly
The Reebok Split Flex tops our list of the best shoes for Zumba for obvious reasons. It’s feature rich options make it ideal for those looking for the absolute best shoes for their Zumba experience.
2. New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
New Balance has always made incredible products. As they have a horse in almost every “best of” guide that we put out here at Shoe Guide, it should come as no surprise that they have made this list as well with the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE. Unlike some of the other shoes we have in this list, these are not Zumba-specific. However, they perform admirably both on and off of the dance floor.
Features of the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
There might not be a stronger all-around shoe for both Zumba and gym workouts for women than the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE. These shoes are lauded for their high levels of cushioning, and impressive stability in the face of a slippery outsole, perfect for dancing about the Zumba floor to high-intensity music.
These wonderful shoes boast complete synthetic construction, with low-top uppers and flexible soles, providing a comfortable, yet snug and tight fit. With an ultramodern design, these shoes seem quite casual, however pack a powerful punch unexpected in these types of shoes. They also benefit from sleek synthetic uppers and an extremely lightweight midsole foam layer called REVlite. These work together to provide extremely superior underfoot cushioning.
The New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE offers high stability standards overall, without any of the apparent bulk you’d expect from shoes providing the durability and comfort that can be seen here. These are ideal for the rapid movements and pivots common in Zumba. Finally, these shoe come with New Balance’s memory sole comfort inserts, which provide additional support and padding beyond what the shoes themselves provide.
- Many have found these shoes to be very comfortable even outside the dance floor
- These shoes are very lightweight, and the uppers are extremely breathable
- For New Balance, these shoes come in an impressive variety of colors
- Having the option for a wider shoe is ideal for those with wider feet
- With a lower cut, these shoes are ideal for use in the gym or out and about
Due to their increased support, intense levels of cushioning, very high comfort-per-dollar ratio, and a snug, supportive fit, the New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE was a shoe-in (get it?) to make our list of the best Zumba shoes without a second thought.
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3. Reebok Guresu 2.0
Reebok has always been a stellar manufacturer of exercise and workout shoes. The Guresu 2.0 is their first flagship product that dances into the Zumba craze, and they do so with a comfortable, stylish, and customizable option with the Reebok Guresu 2.0.
Features of the Reebok Guresu 2.0
One of the first things you will notice regarding the Reebok Guresu 2.0 is just the amount of material in the sole, both over and under the foot. Many Zumba and dance shoes are manufactured with the focus of being “minimalist”. In comparison, these shoes have quite the thick sole. Additionally, where the original Guresu had a noticeable velcro strap that goes over the arch, the second version of this shoe has this option removed.
The uppers of the Guresu 2.0 are both comfortable and soft, similar in nature to neoprene. This material provides durability and strong support with a relatively straightforward and simple design. In the previous Guresu model, there was a massive strap across the midfoot that served to “lock down” the foot in the midst of dynamic movement. However, it did not function properly, and was far too wide for it to work properly. For the 2.0, Reebok removed this in favor of a more minimalist approach.
These shoes have more cushion than any of the shoes that we tested for the best shoes for Zumba. This made them ideal for turns and spinning. However, one downside of these shoes is that, despite the ample cushioning, they don’t provide the arch support you would expect.
The Guresu is extremely wide. This is strange for shoes that are focused on dancers, who often are plagued with narrower feet. Also, the lack of arch support is detrimental to not only those suffering from plantar fasciitis, but also those who face “dancer’s feet”, which is a common idiom noting higher arches. With the ample cushioning, we think that these may have been developed for those who are heavier and have lower arches. However, if your feet are far narrower, we suggest going with an alternative.
- With it’s neoprene-like material, this was one of the lightest tested shoes
- Removal of the unsightly strap gave this shoe the nod on our list
- These shoes are incredibly thick and wide, providing intense cushioning
Overall, the comfort level of these shoes were astounding. It felt like we were doing Zumba on clouds. However, for those who have narrower feet or higher arches, we suggest going for the Split Flex if you are dead set on a Reebok Zumba shoe. Otherwise, these shoes are a great step up from their predecessor and a wonderful option for dancers.
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4. Ryka Influence 2.5
Ryka’s Influence 2.5 is a great choice for Zumba shoes for those looking for a solid option at a reasonable price. These shoes are developed from a combination of synthetic materials and a breathable mesh. They are a great choice for strong durability with ample wiggle room.
Features of the Ryka Influence 2.5
Traction-wise, the Ryka Influence 2.5 has a wonderful level of traction control on the outsole, providing improved stability in grip with rapid movements. This is highly important with Zumba, as it allows you to get your steps flawless and avoid slips and potential falls.
In terms of comfort, these shoes provide a smooth front fit, with some room for your toes to wiggle about. However, they remain snug and tight in the back, with ample heel and ankle support. However, to remain true to your size, it may be necessary to size up one. This depends on how you wish to wear them, though. Most people will love these shoes immediately, right out of the box.
These Ryka Zumba shoes are usable for many different types of training outside of Zumba. This includes jumping, dancing, and other exercise options. These are great choices for people looking for shoes that can be worn outside of the Zumba class.
- The pivot point is located under the front, ideal for fast turns
- There is a strong amount of shoe stability with the Influence 2.5
- Plenty of color options ensures there is a style for everyone
- Very highly recommended for those with plantar fasciitis
- Versatile shoe has multiple uses beyond Zumba
- Extremely lightweight yet still very supportive
- Wonderful shoe for jumping, common in higher intensity Zumba
The Ryka Influence 2.5 is one of the more affordable Zumba shoes that we have reviewed. They also provided the most ample support. While they come with a solid amount of cushion compared to standard shoes, they were at the low end of the Zumba shoes we tested. However, flexibility, feel and style were all top notch, as well as slippery soles and a snug overall fit.
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5. Ryka Devotion XT Mid
The Ryka Devotion XT Mid Top Zumba shoe is an ideal option for Zumba that looks a bit different than the standard low-top Zumba shoe commonly found in almost all other models. These shoes, manufactured from a combination of breathable mesh and other synthetic materials, are a wonderful option for all. This serves to provide enhanced durability and a lighter weight overall for the Ryka shoe, as well as far stronger ventilation when doing Zumba or dance-based exercise routines.
Features of the Ryka Devotion XT Mid Top
Additional incredible features of the Ryka Devotion are a solid rubber outsole. These don’t wear away as easily as competing Zumba shoes. They also feature a pivoting design that allows owners to pivot themselves quickly and on the spot, as well as slide across the ground with ease. These are all requirements if you are doing Zumba properly.
These shoes also provide users with a precise return footbed. This makes them extremely comfortable to wear while also providing a very snug overall fit. Also aiding to the snug fit is the Velcro and lace combination, which serve to keep the feet in place inside the shoe far better than competing Zumba shoes that don’t offer both Velcro and lace.
They have ample arch support and cushioning, as well as Flex Foil and Direct Fuse material composition. These serve to maintain shoe flexibility, provide a secure fit, and comfortable to wear for hours on end.
While not the most expensive or least expensive shoes on our list of the best Zumba shoes, these options have a strong feature set for the dollar amount. And with an impressive build quality of both synthetic materials and mesh, Velcro and lace and more, these shoes are a solid option for anyone looking for a high quality Zumba shoe at a reasonable price point.
- These shoes provide an easy and quick pivot
- They are quite breathable and lightweight
- The Ryka’s are extremely flexible
- Comfort levels are higher compared to alternatives
- The style and design are quite good-looking
- Snugger fits ensure no slippage
Due to their increased support, intense levels of cushioning, very high comfort-per-dollar ratio, and a snug, supportive fit, the Ryka Devotion XT Mid Top made our list of the best Zumba shoes without a second thought.
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6. Capezio Women's Rockit Dance Sneaker
These are some solid shoes with non-marking synthetic soles, which serves to eradicate scuff marks when doing Zumba. Additionally, added features such as perforated ventilation arches and more serve to make these dance shoes ideal for Zumba.
Features of the Capezio Women's Rockit Dance Sneaker
In addition to the above-mentioned features, these shoes also come with a padded EVA midsole for added comfort. These also provide a softer surface to practice Zumba on, while also allowing for stronger impact absorption.
Additionally, a padded heel area ensures the Achilles tendon is kept comfortable and safe. This isn’t something found in most shoes, and is almost solely a Zumba and dance shoe feature. There is also a padded collar and tongue, preventing the shoe from digging into the ankles, and an effective lacing system that provides high levels of support and a snug fit.
The ample cushioning, padding and arch support means not only that you feel as if you are walking on pillows, but also that those suffering from plantar fasciitis get a great reprieve. Finally, the flat-boxed toe allows wearers to perform moves like toe stands with ease. This is one of the most common moves in Zumba. Finally, the simple and elegant styling of the Capezio Women's Rockit Dance Sneaker rounds out a stellar features list.
- Ample cushioning and support
- Strong absorption impact resistance
- Sleek style and design with plenty of color combinations
- Non-scuff heel avoids black marks on the floor
- Arch is perforated for great breathability
- Comfort levels are higher than most alternatives
Sure, these aren’t the least expensive zumba shoes you are going to find. However, regardless of this they have extensive features that make the Capezio Women’s Rockit Dance Sneaker well worth the cost. They are supportive, comfortable, durable, stylish and more.
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7. Asics Gel-Fit Sana 3
Shoes from ASICS are incredible for running, plantar fasciitis, sprinting and more. But who’s to say they can’t be used for Zumba? News flash: they can. Shoes like the Asics Gel-Fit Sana 3 are a solid option in Zumba. An ideal pair of shoes provides comfort, and frees up your movement when dancing.
Features of the Asics Gel-Fit Sana 3
While testing out flexibility and durability present in the Asics Zumba shoe, many discovered that there is a strong level of shock absorption. When you are doing Zumba, muscles, tendons and joints tend to become far more injury-prone. With the Asics Gel-Fit Sana 3, there is an incredibly firm outsole, noted at AHAR+ levels of high abrasion. This services to increase both flexibility and durability of the shoe, vital to dancing.
Regarding style, these shoes are easy on the eyes, with many Zumba enthusiasts enjoying the bright pink colorations. However, there is also a classic black color for those who are not wanting to get the “pop” that a hot pink shoe provides. Regardless, all shoes are minimalist in nature, and the colors are an ombre pattern.
Finally, one thing that is great about these shoes is that they are not particularly “Zumba-only”. They are cross-training, and can be work for other sports. This increases the price a bit, but also decreases the need for these shoes to be Zumba-only, increasing overall utility. This, mixed with the Asics brand standards being incredibly high, as well as increased rear foot gel cushioning and more, make these shoes ideal for many different uses.
- These shoes are lightweight and thin (but have minimal arch support)
- The padding in these shoes are incredibly soft
- Strong shock absorption leads to impressive levels of comfort
- The design is one of the stylish we found in our testing and research
Overall, we are incredibly impressed with the utility and comfort levels present in the Asics Gel-Fit Sana 3. Remember, an ideal pair of shoes provides comfort, and frees up your movement when dancing. The Asics option reviewed here does this and much more, across a variety of exercise mediums, not just Zumba.
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8. Bloch Trinity Dance Sneaker
Bloch’s Trinity dance sneaker is one of the most highly-rated dance shoes around. They are strictly for Zumba use, and have the durability to last for well over the one-year mark that we recommend. With arch support, great flexibility, a light weight, and a reasonable price point, these are a perfect all-around Zumba shoe for your next workout.
Features of the Bloch Trinity Dance Sneaker
These shoes provide an impressive amount of flexibility, and more than adequate arch support. This is thanks in part to the dynamic midfoot stretchable mesh that encases the shoes. These mesh uppers provide high levels of breathability. Additionally, the contoured and removable sock liners let wearers adjust the fit of their shoes as needed, while providing additional comfort as well.
Also, the Bloch Trinity Dance Sneaker is incredibly lightweight (some of the lightest that we tested). They also feature a non-marking outsole that encourages far simpler turns and spins and pivots throughout Zumba workouts. The Trinity dance sneaker is also very, very durable, manufactured from mesh and a combination of soft-action leather
Price-wise, these are right on the money. Their reasonable price point is a great draw, especially when combined with the durability and additional benefits and features. This shoe will provide improvements in performance during Zumba workouts, saving you from potential injury while also maximizing your results.
- Split sole design allows for better maneuverability
- Non-marking rubber outsoles are perfect for dance floor surfaces
- Breathability, flexibility and comfort are outstanding
- A removable sock liner makes for effortless comfort
- Durability is a strong suit with these Zumba shoes
- Extensive arch support is perfect for plantar fasciitis sufferers
Overall, we are incredibly impressed with the utility and comfort levels that were in the Bloch Trinity Dance Sneaker. Remember, an ideal pair of shoes will provide you with comfort, and free up movement when dancing. The Bloch option reviewed here does this and much more.
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9. Zumba Air Classic
Are you on the hunt for a solid pair of Zumba shoes, but also want to ensure that there is plenty of room for your toes to grip and flex when needed? If so, the Zumba Women’s Air Classic is the ideal Zumba shoe to exceed your needs. Manufactured from high-quality textiles and leather, the Air Classic was made for all types of terrain, not just the Zumba room.
Features of the Zumba Air Classic
These shoes were built with Zumba Air technology, providing incredible impact protection when on the dance floor. Additionally, they feature flexible mesh uppers and compression-molded EVA midsoles for both enhanced fit and a lightweight cushion. Overall, these shoes are extremely comfortable and allow the feet to properly breathe when working out.
Additionally, the breathable mesh upper provided by the Zumba Air Classic assist in eliminating and wicking away excess sweat, as well as the odors that this sweat cause over time. Many people have positive experiences with these Zumba shoes, as they provide ample support, as well as intense levels of comfort, especially for a shoe that is strictly for dance purposes.
Some have noted that these Zumba shoes are rather large, and may cause your feet to look somewhat bulky. However, if you are focused more on comfort and less on dainty styles, you can’t go wrong with the Zumba Air Classic.
- These shoes are manufactured with incredibly high quality leather
- The compression-molded EVA midsole provides impressive snugness
- Air technology provides great impact protection when dancing
- A rubber sole provides grip, while at the same time retaining slipperiness
With impressive material quality, a compression-molded EVA midsole, high levels of snugness and a strong fit, aur technology for solid impact resistance when pivoting and spinning on the dance floor, and a grippy yet slippery rubber sole, the Zumba Air Classic is a beautiful and wonderful all-around Zumba shoe.
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10. Vionic Miles Active Sneaker
“Supreme stability” is what Vionic states is the signature of their Miles Active Sneaker. This shoe was built for walking, but is ideal for high-impact exercise such as Zumba. They have a firm but flexible removable orthotic insert, providing the freedom to play, move and dance in style.
Features of the Vionic Miles Active Sneaker
The outsole of the Vionic Miles Active Sneaker is comprised of strong rubber. This is crafted to be very hard-wearing, enduring wear and tear found when moving outside of the dance room. Flexible grooves on the forefoot promote movement, and tread matters deliver grip on many types of surfaces. Underneath the ball of the foot is “first ray” technology, a softer structure than the other parts of the outsole. These allow for the first metatarsal joints to flex naturally.
The midsole of the Miles uses foam to protect from impact when striking the ground. Inside is an EVA orthotic insert, providing firmness that keeps the foot supported and maintaining proper bend of the foot. Additionally, the insole has a raised arch, preventing the foot from rolling and maintaining stability in heel to toe transitions that are all too common in Zumba.
Finally, a mesh upper works to hold the foot securely in place in the Miles. This material is breathable and allows air circulation. The inside is also lined with soft cloth, delivering a wonderful in-shoe feeling. Additional synthetic overlays add to the style and flair of the shoe’s upper. These also provide some strong support and structure, and protect the mesh from common wear and tear. Traditional laces let the wearer adjust the fit to ensure proper levels of comfort, and light padding at the collar and tongue keep fit snug and protect against discomfort.
- These shoes are developed from mesh and manmade upper material
- A flexible and firm removable microfiber covered EVA orthotic insert
- The outsole is made from durable rubber
- Biomechanical technology is an effective treatment for heel pain
- The footbed of these shoes provides impressive support and pain treatment
Everything about these shoes screams comfort. From the orthotic insoles to the EVA footbed and more, if you are someone suffering from something like plantar fasciitis or flat footedness, but still want to get some fun exercise with Zumba, the Vionic Miles Active Sneaker is the ideal option for you. Every bit of this shoe was designed for maximum comfort and supportiveness.
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Things to Look For When Purchasing Zumba Shoes
Zumba shoes are typically not extremely expensive. However, you aren’t wanting to spend money on something that isn’t going to suit your own personal needs. There are some things that should be looked out for before you make a purchase of shoes for Zumba. This includes the style, pivoting, cushioning, supportiveness, material, and fit.
Focusing on Style
Style is probably not something at the forefront of your mind when looking for a shoe for Zumba. However, when it comes to group-based exercise such as Zumba, especially when taking classes with others, you are likely going to want a pair of shoes are look relatively decent and have some impressive color patterns and style points to them.
Focusing on Pivoting
The wild and wonderful world of Zumba includes an abundance of pivoting, fast movements, slides across the ground, and quickly going from one dance move to the next with no lag time in between. As such, you are going to want a pair of Zumba shoes that has a relatively slippery outsole.
If the sole of your current Zumba shoes are too sticky, or have too much grip, you are going to struggle with smoothness and pivoting capacity when executing some of the maneuvers. Also, transferring from one dance move to the next will prove to be tricky.
Focusing on Cushioning
One of the most important things that needs to be considered when researching Zumba shoes is the level of cushioning they provide. Zumba is an incredibly high-impact exercise option, and therefore you are going to want to purchase a pair of these shoes that provides ample cushioning.
This is more than just the heel. It also goes for the midfoot and the ball of the foot as well. An hour workout in the “Zumba room” will definitely cause your feet to start hurting when you lack shoes with proper cushioning.
Focusing on Supportiveness
As Zumba includes extensive quick movement, and hard landings, you will definitely want a pair of Zumba shoes that provides quite a bit of support to the owner. In an ideal world, your Zumba shoes will have strong arch support. This is especially true if you suffer from flat feet (see our guide to the best shoes here) or plantar fasciitis (see our guides here on that ailment).
Additionally, your selected pair of Zumba shoes should have high levels of ankle support. Faster movements can easily end in sprained ankles quickly without ample ankle support.
Focusing on Material
The material composition of your new pair of Zumba shoes may not be all that important. However, the features present in the material are. The material of your Zumba shoes should be as breathable as possible, as Zumba is an incredibly intense exercise form, and you will definitely be sweating.
You want a pair of shoes that are breathable and lightweight, which will prevent your feet from getting too sweaty and hot. This can cause your Zumba experience to be uncomfortable, and in some cases painful.
Focusing on Fit
One of the other most important things to take note of when researching Zumba shoes for purchase is that they are snug and well-fitting. You want shoes that will lace up tightly. Some take things a step further and have a velcro strap as well.
The goal is to have a shoe that fits snug enough that your feet don’t move and rub around all too much, but they aren’t too tight. Too much space in a shoe can easily cause blisters and calluses, and in some cases cause you to trip and fall.
Frequently Asked Questions About Zumba Shoes
Why can I not just use my standard running or gym shoes?
While this is a doable thing, we don’t recommend it. Typical cross-training and running shoes are developed for forward movement. Zumba, on the other hand, has dancers moving back and forth in all directions, doing pivots, turns and other impressive moves. As such, the grip that makes running shoes incredible for outdoor running and trail hopping proves disastrous in a Zumba environment, where shoes need to be slippery.
How often do Zumba shoes need replacing?
Not as often as you might think! We here at Shoe Guide generally will recommend between nine and 12 months. We also suggest not wearing them outside of your Zumba class. This is one of the most tragic mistakes that can be made and decrease the longevity of your Zumba shoes. Dance shoes, with their slippery outsoles, will wear out far faster than comparable running shoes that are meant for outdoor use.
Do Zumba shoes need to be broken in at all?
Breaking in your Zumba shoes, while not required (at least with the recommendations above) is still suggested. Many Zumba professionals and participants will recommend putting your new Zumba shoes on and walking around with them on a carpeted surface. Alternatively, a bit of light dancing will help in ensuing your first full Zumba session is comfortable and pain-free. This lets your shoes loosen a bit, while also providing extra time for the feet to adjust to the traction needed.
Can orthotic insoles be worn inside my Zumba shoes?
They definitely can, and you most definitely should! Please note that, if you are going with a style of Zumba shoe that has minimalist stylings, you are going to have far less space for both your insole and your foot. In these cases, we recommend choosing a Zumba shoe that mimics the size and shape of a typical sneaker.
Wrapping Things Up
Please remember that Zumba workouts are intense. As such, they provide an extensive range of health benefits. Wearing the proper footwear can lower the chance of injury for this low-impact exercise.
No matter your experience level or age, the incorporation of a bit of Zumba into your schedule every now and then can provide tremendous positive benefits to your overall mood and health.
We at ShoeGuide are hopeful that this guide has provided you with the necessary information to make a choice on the best Zumba shoes on the market today. Thanks for reading, and have fun dancing!