Best Women's Zumba Shoes

Updated January 2022
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Buying guide for best women’s zumba shoes

Sticking to a workout routine can be a challenge, especially if you’re doing the usual running or weight lifting at the gym. If you opt for a fun, lively workout like Zumba classes, it can be much easier to make time in your schedule for exercise. Zumba alternates low- and high-intensity dance moves to deliver heart-pumping cardio that targets your core, legs, and glutes. And because of all that movement, having a good pair of women’s Zumba shoes is key to powering through your class and preventing injuries.

If you want to get the most out of your Zumba classes, you need to know exactly what to look for in your shoes. And with so many options to choose from, wading through the choices can be tough.

Fortunately, our handy guide has all the tips and tricks you need to choose the perfect pair of women’s Zumba shoes. If you’re ready to buy, check out our top recommendations.

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You can burn up to 500 calories during an hour-long Zumba class.

Key considerations

Zumba shoes should be lightweight, allowing for quick movements and transitions. Flexibility in the shoes is also important for full range of motion for your feet, particularly with moves that require you to go up on your toes. While some fitness shoes are designed specifically for Zumba, you can also find multi-purpose athletic shoes that you can use for Zumba, as well as other activities at the gym.


  • Dance sneakers: Many women’s Zumba shoes are technically dance sneakers. They’re a fairly versatile option and can be used for Zumba, other types of dancing, cheerleading, general aerobics classes, walking, and even casual wear outside of your workouts.

  • Cross trainers: As the name implies, cross trainers are designed for use in a variety of activities. They provide superior control for the lateral movements that are often called for in Zumba and are usually fairly flexible as well. In addition to Zumba, cross trainers are also suitable for general aerobics classes, kickboxing, weight training, indoor sports like basketball or volleyball, and walking.

  • Jazz shoes: Jazz shoes are designed for dancing, so they’re suitable for many of the movements that Zumba calls for. They offer extreme flexibility, breathability, and a lightweight feel, but they’re not as versatile as other types of women’s Zumba shoes because they don’t offer much support or cushioning.

Sole design

The sole design on women’s Zumba shoes is a key feature to consider when you’re shopping because it affects how you’ll move across the floor.

  • Traction: You want a pair with effective traction so you don’t have to worry about falling, but because many Zumba moves call for sliding or gliding, you don’t want shoes that “stick” to the floor or you could twist or sprain your ankle or knee.

  • Pivot point: It helps to choose a pair of women’s Zumba shoes with a pivot point, which allows you to easily spin on the floor when the routine calls for it. A pivot point is usually a circular area located at the midsole that prevents the shoes from “sticking” to the floor. It can also help take pressure off your knees to avoid injuries to your joints.

  • Split sole: Some Zumba shoes have a split sole, which means there are separate sections for the toes, the ball of the foot, and the heel. This design allows for greater flexibility, but it isn’t a good option if you’re new to Zumba because the front and back portions move independently of each other, which can feel strange if you’re not used to Zumba moves. Also, a split sole doesn’t provide much arch support.
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If your feet and ankles feel sore or tired after a Zumba class, you’re likely not wearing the right shoes.

Women’s Zumba shoe features

Shock absorption

Because Zumba incorporates so many dance moves, it involves quite a bit of bouncing and jumping. It’s typically done on hard flooring, not cushioned gym mats, so it can be hard on your joints. That’s why a good pair of women’s Zumba shoes should offer significant shock absorption to help prevent injuries to your hips, knees, and ankles. Look for shoes that have thick foam, rubber, or a foam-rubber combination to help absorb shock if you’re concerned about joint injuries or pain.


In addition to being a high-impact workout, Zumba requires a significant amount of lateral movement. It helps to choose shoes that provide enough support for these moves, as well as the bouncing, jumping, spinning, and sliding that the workouts call for, or you could wind up with ankle, shin, knee, or other leg pain. Some women’s Zumba shoes include insoles or midsoles designed specifically to provide extra support so they feel more comfortable and help prevent injury.


You can work up quite a sweat during a Zumba class, so you want a pair of shoes that help keep your feet cool and dry. Shoes that have a woven mesh fabric for the upper sole allow for maximum breathability while you work out. Avoid women’s Zumba shoes with a leather, faux leather, or plastic upper sole or you may wind up with hot, sweaty feet, as well as blisters and other irritation.

Achilles notch

While you want your Zumba shoes to fit snugly around the ankle to keep it from rolling during a workout, you can wind up with blisters, irritation, or even an injury if the area at the back of the ankle is completely covered. Too much coverage in this area can also prevent your Achilles tendon from tensing when necessary during Zumba. Opt for a pair of shoes with an Achilles notch, is a small U- or V-shaped notch at the back of the heel. It helps prevent irritation and allows the heel to fit more securely.


Zumba is a fun, lively workout, so you’ll probably want shoes that reflect a similar spirit. While you can find pairs in basic neutral shades like white, gray, and black, there are also plenty of Zumba shoes in bright, bold colors like hot pink, turquoise, purple, and mint green. You can find shoes that feature multiple colors and even styles in eye-catching patterns like animal or camouflage prints.

Women’s Zumba shoe prices

Women’s Zumba shoes vary in price based on the type of shoe and the features offered. Most pairs cost between $16 and $290.


The most affordable women’s Zumba shoes are jazz shoes or basic dance shoes or cross trainers with a basic sole design and little cushioning or support. They typically range from $16 to $70 and are an ideal option if you’re new to Zumba and don’t want to break the bank on your gear.


You’ll usually pay between $70 and $160 for a mid-range pair of women’s Zumba shoes. These shoes are typically dance sneakers or cross trainers with moderate cushioning and support. Some have a split sole and may also have a pivot point, so they’re best if you have some experience with Zumba.


The most expensive women’s Zumba shoes are typically dance sneakers or cross trainers that have significant cushioning and support and feature a split sole and/or pivot point. These usually range from $160 to $290 and are best if you have plenty of experience with Zumba and want to boost your performance.

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Did you know?
If you’re doing several Zumba classes a week, you should replace your shoes every six months. If you only take the occasional class, your shoes can last for about a year.


  • Wear socks with your Zumba shoes. Wearing athletic socks can help prevent blisters.

  • Add odor-absorbing inserts to your Zumba shoes. This will help prevent odors from developing in your shoes. You can also soak the shoes in a solution of water and white vinegar for a couple of hours before placing them in a pillowcase and washing them on the gentle cycle.

  • Don’t leave your shoes in direct sunlight. Leaving your Zumba shoes in direct sunlight or near other sources of heat can cause the soles to wear out more quickly.
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When you’re new to Zumba, it’s best to start with two workouts a week to increase your endurance.


Q. Do I need to break in my Zumba shoes?

A. Because Zumba shoes are usually lightweight and flexible, they typically don’t require a break-in period like other athletic shoes might. However, it’s a good idea to wear them around the house for a few hours before your first class to stretch them a bit for the most comfortable fit.

Q. How often should I clean my Zumba shoes?

A. Since Zumba shoes are mainly worn indoors, they don’t usually get too dirty. However, they can get pretty sweaty and might develop an odor. Washing your shoes once a month or every other month can usually keep them clean and odor-free.

Q. Can I wear orthopedic inserts with my Zumba shoes?

A. If you have chronic foot issues, such as plantar fasciitis, you certainly don’t want to aggravate the condition during your Zumba workout. Most Zumba shoes are compatible with orthotics and other inserts, so you shouldn’t have any issues adding them to your pair.

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