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Whether you’re a long-term dance-cardio loyalist or just started taking classes, you’re likely hooked on Zumba. The Latin dance-inspired workout has grown exponentially in popularity over the last few years, according to the American Council on Exercise. The dances and music are both fun, but what’s arguably the best part? It barely requires any special equipment. Simply throw on comfy clothes (maybe a pair of soft leggings and a high-impact sports bra that can handle your moves and grooves) and a pair of the best shoes for Zumba, and you’re good to go.

Not sure what dancing shoes to buy? You’ve come to the right spot. Read on for 12 instructor-approved pairs of Zumba sneakers bound to keep you footloose and fancy-free (and most importantly supported—you’ll need support in class) in the studio.

The best shoes for Zumba, at a glance:

  • Most breathable: Ryka, Dynamic Pro Training Shoe, $88
  • Most comfortable: Zumba, Air Classic, $90
  • Best for ankle support: Zumba, Air Funk Dance Mid-Top Sneakers, $90
  • Most lightweight: Adidas, Edge Lux, $70
  • Most versatile: Lululemon, Chargefeel Mid Women’s Workout Shoe, $69
  • Best dance sneaker: Capezio, Canvas Danseaker, $77
  • Best sustainable: Allbirds, Women’s Tree Flyer 2, $160
  • Best with compression: Brooks, Glycerin StealthFit GTS 21, $160
  • Best cushion: Hoka, Solimar, $125
  • Best for plantar fasciitis: Saucony, Women’s Freedom Crossport, $150
  • Best split-toe: Bloch, Boost DRT Mesh Dance Sneaker, $81
  • Best for heel comfort: Nike, Air Huarache Craft By You, $160

How are Zumba shoes different?

“For Zumba or any dance fitness workout, you want to ensure you have a low-tread shoe and a circle on the bottom of the sneaker where the ball of your foot are located,” says Holly Roser, personal trainer, Zumba instructor, and owner of Holly Roser Fitness Studios in San Francisco. “My clients always mention they have knee pain after Zumba and dance cardio, and this pain usually comes from torque on the knee joint when your foot is traveling one way, but your knee is tracking another direction, causing inflammation. A low tread and pivot point on the shoe allow you to switch direction quickly without causing a potential knee injury.”

It can also be helpful to have more than just a single pair of shoes to choose from. “I recommend having at least two to three different pairs of shoes and rotating between them for each of your dance fitness classes,” says Mariana Santos, licensed Zumba instructor and creator of Brazily Dance, based in Canada. “This ensures that the shoes will last long and protect your joints through all the jumping, pivoting, and twisting you do.”

If you take 3-4 classes per week, it is also recommended that you get new shoes every 4-6 months to make sure you have enough cushioning in your shoes and that they have enough integrity to protect your feet, ankles, hips, and knees, explains Santos. And, of course, it’s important to take care of your shoes, per the brand’s instructions.

Ready to shop for some sneakers? Below we’ve rounded up some of the best Zumba sneakers based on our own testing and expert input. See which ones allow you to dance (pain-free) like no one’s watching!

Shop the best shoes for Zumba, per instructors

ryka dynamic pro sneakers, one of the best shoes for zumba

Most breathable: Ryka, Dynamic Pro Training Shoe — $88.00

Sizes available: 5-11

The breathable mesh upper on this shoe keeps things from getting too sweaty when your heart rate increases as you dance across the floor. You’ll love the lacing system that extends down the sides of the shoe, locking your foot in so you feel secure with each move, jump, and turn you make. “The circular point on the sole allows you to pivot and spin with ease, specifically designed for dance cardio,” says Roser.

Colors: 8

Materials: Mesh, EVA, rubber

Weight: 8.8 oz

  • Ultra-breathable
  • Lace design provides extra support and stability
  • Cost less than $100
  • Pivot point on the ball of the shoe allows for easy turns
  • Limited sizes for some colors

zumba air classic, one of the best shoes for zumba

Most comfortable: Zumba, Air Classic — $90.00

Sizes available: 5-13

If you love the look of a classic sneaker but want something that’s a little more functional for Zumba, Michele Bastos, a Zumba instructor and Crunch Fitness national master trainer and group fitness regional director says to get these Zumba Air Classics. “These shoes have air technology for maximum impact protection with a high-rebound removable insole,” she explains. Bastos also loves that these sneakers have additional padding for extra comfort, which is vital during a Zumba class.

Colors: 9

Materials: Leather, textile, PU

Weight: Not listed

  • Extra padding for long-lasting comfort
  • Features impact protection
  • High-rebound insoles are removable

zumba air funk dance sneakers, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best for ankle support: Zumba, Air Funk Dance Mid-Top Sneakers — $90.00

Sizes available: 5-13

Reinforce your ankle support with these shoes made specifically for Zumba. The breathable mesh fabric keeps things from getting too sweaty, and the overlays allow for ample flexibility while keeping the shoe durable.

“The cushion in these gives the correct amount of support for all high-impact dance combos,” says Catherine Medina, a certified Zumba instructor at City Zero in Miami, Florida. “Plus, the mesh fabric means your feet can breathe.”

Colors: 15+

Materials: Textile, PU

Weight: 28.8 oz

  • Mid-top style provides lots of ankle support
  • Breathable enough to keep feet from getting too sweaty
  • Costs less than $100
  • Not versatile enough for running, walking, or other types of workouts

adidas edge lux shoes, one of the best shoes for zumba

Most lightweight: Adidas, Edge Lux — $70.00

Sizes available: 5-11

Adidas’ Edge Lux shoes have “flex zones” in the forefoot which allow you to pivot and change direction easily during any Zumba move. “These provide maximum comfort and are so light, you’ll feel like you’re dancing barefoot,” says Medina. Bonus: The brand’s Bounce cushioning provides maximum energy return to your feet, so they won’t feel tired no matter how long you dance for.

Colors: 15+

Materials: Recycled materials, rubber

Weight: Not listed

  • Super flexible
  • Lightweight design
  • Feet won’t get fatigued while wearing these
  • May not be supportive enough for everyone

Most versatile: Lululemon, Chargefeel Mid Women’s Workout Shoe — $69.00

Sizes available: 5-11

Thanks to the mid-rise construction of this pair, they’re perfect for anyone who feels they might benefit from some extra ankle support. They’re designed to be versatile, with lateral support, so you can use them for Zumba, as well as other cross-training and HIIT classes, too.

“The outsole on these shoes means you’ll have nice traction when shuffling your feet in class,” says Medina.

Colors: 3

Materials: Not listed

Weight: 9.4 oz

  • Designed for a variety of workouts
  • Provide some ankle support
  • Excellent traction
  • Versatile
  • Limited sizes and colors available

capezio dansneaker, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best dance sneaker: Capezio, Canvas Danseaker — $77.00

Sizes available: 4-11.5

One of the most popular brands for dance shoes (both recreationally and professionally), Capezio delivers a lightweight, easy-to-move-in shoe, that’s perfect for all Zumba combinations. “These split-sole shoes are a favorite of dancers,” says Medina, “allowing you to point and flex with maximum support.”

Colors: 2

Materials: Canvas, EVA

Weight: Not listed

  • Make pointing and flexing toes a breeze
  • Lots of traction
  • Easy to move in
  • Designed specifically for dance
  • Only two colors available
  • Not versatile

allbirds tree flyer 2, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best sustainable: Allbirds, Women’s Tree Flyer 2 — $160.00

Sizes available: 5-11

Not only are these shoes some of the comfiest we’ve ever worn, but they also transition from the street, to the studio, and then to brunch in between. The brand’s SwiftFoam midsole is light and responsive, making it perfect for Zumba, as well as any jumping up, down, and around. You’ll be able to wear them all day—to and from class. If they get sweaty, simply throw them in the washing machine to get them clean.

Colors: 12

Materials: Eucalyptus tree fiber, SwiftFoam, SC-certified natural rubber, recycled plastic water bottles, merino wool, bio TPU

Weight: 10.63 oz

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Easy to wash

glycerin stealthfit 21, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best with compression: Brooks, Glycerin StealthFit GTS 21 — $160.00

Sizes available: 5-12

You’ll appreciate the sock-like feel of the flexible knit upper of this shoe as you shimmy and sashay across the floor. It stretches with your movements and provides compression to keep you feeling secure and locked in. We love how the comfortable midsole feels so responsive, allowing for seamless transitions during a combination.

Colors: 7

Materials: Recycled plastic water bottles, EVA foam

Weight: 8.7 oz

  • Stretchy and flexible
  • Comfortable compression
  • Boast lots of support

hoka solimar, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best cushion: Hoka, Solimar — $125.00

Sizes available: 5-11

The mesh, stretchy upper in this pair won’t allow you to feel constrained in any movement. You’ll love the feel of the compression-molded foam midsole, too, and the rubber outsole is extremely durable to last class after class.

“These shoes are designed to give you just the right kind of support for you to perform your favorite movements,” says Santos. “They’re also made of high abrasion rubber which makes them extremely durable.”

Colors: 6

Materials: Recycled polyester, EVA, rubber

Weight: 6.70 oz

  • Provide tons of support
  • Ultra-comfortable
  • Versatile design
  • Less color options available

saucony women's freedom crossport, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best for plantar fasciitis: Saucony, Women’s Freedom Crossport — $150.00

Sizes available: 5-12

Thanks to the impressively responsive PWRRUN PB cushioning, your feet, legs, and body will rebound quickly in these shoes and give you the stamina to power through even the sweatiest Zumba class!

“These shoes provide great cushioning to protect your joints when doing any kind of jump during dance fitness classes,” says Santos. “The structure of the shoe keeps your heels close to the ground, which is great for preventing common foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and tendinitis.”

Colors: 2

Materials: Textile, EVA, rubber

Weight: 7 oz

  • Feature a removable insole
  • Lifted back for extra support
  • Long-lasting comfort
  • Pricier option
  • Not many color options

bloch boost drt dance sneakers, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best split-toe: Bloch, Boost DRT Mesh Dance Sneaker — $81.00

Sizes available: 4-12

When shopping for a pair of Zumba shoes, Laura Hernandez, a Zumba instructor at New York Sports Club, says split-toe dance sneakers such as the Bloch Boost DRT Mesh Dance Sneaker are the best. “They give the feet more flexibility, and the soles allow for quick, twisting dance movements that occur a lot in Zumba,” she explains. Additionally, Hernandez notes that these sneakers are much better for the knees and hips since the soles are designed specifically for dances rather than other activities such as running and jogging.

Colors: 1

Materials: PU, mesh, suede

Weight: 9 oz

  • Tons of flexibility
  • Air cushion heel
  • Easier on the knees when jumping and dancing
  • Platform design might not be for everyone
  • Not versatile

nike hurache, one of the best shoes for zumba

Best for heel comfort: Nike, Air Huarache Craft By You — $160.00

Sizes available: 5-12

If you’re looking for a pair of Zumba sneakers that provide plenty of heel comfort while also looking stylish, consider the Nike Air Huarache Craft By You, which Bastos says is the perfect mix of style and function. “

These shoes were designed for performance running, which means long-lasting comfort,” she explains, noting that you can go for a 90-minute Zumba class and still feel energized at the end. This is in part due to the construction, especially the supported heel cage and midsole foam, which add lots of support and comfort. Best of all, you can customize these kicks to show off your personal style.

Colors: 6 (plus option to customize)

Material: Gum rubber, recycled thread and foam, mesh upper

Weight: Not listed

  • Stylish design with the option for customization
  • Supported heel cage for added comfort
  • Long-lasting comfort
  • Bulkier design might not be ideal for everyone
  • Pricier option

What to consider before buying

  • Versatility: Is Zumba your go-to workout? If so, you’ll probably benefit from a dance-specific sneaker. However, if you’re hoping to get a pair that you can also run or lift in, you’ll want to opt for a more versatile shoe.
  • Breathability: If your feet tend to get hot while you’re busting a move in Zumba, look for a pair with mesh ventilation and opt for lower styles over high-top sneakers.
  • Your specific foot type: Do you have wide or narrow feet? Do you need extra toe box room for unions? If your feet have specific needs, make sure the brand you choose accommodates them.


Why do my feet hurt during Zumba?

You might need more cushion in your shoes. As Santos mentioned above, it’s important to have the right balance of support and cushion to reduce the impact on your feet, ankles, and knees. If you’ve been dancing regularly in your shoes for 4-6 months, it might be time for a fresh pair.

Is Zumba bad for the knees?

Zumba isn’t bad for your knees, but they might feel the impact from bouncing, twisting, or jumping, especially if you’re not wearing supportive shoes. Take stock of your footwear and, if you’re experiencing significant pain, you might consider seeing a doctor or physical therapist.

What should I wear to my first Zumba class?

You don’t need to rush out and buy Zumba shoes for your first class—simply show up in breathable athletic clothes (think: leggings, a sports bra, and a tank or tee) and a pair of low-traction, well-cushioned sneakers. If you wind up loving the class, there’s bound to be a pair of Zumba instructor-recommended sneakers on our list that will help make your experience even better!

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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