Best Zumba Dance Trainers

Danielle Fletcher
• Saturday, 16 January, 2021
• 9 min read

The popular dance fitness phenomenon has all sorts of people hitting the gym for a fast-paced, funky workout which combines agility training with a blast of cardio. We know it can be a real struggle to figure out exactly which ones you need for Zumba, especially if you’re just beginning your dance fitness journey.

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We like the Fly Prints because they have all the key elements of a great Zumba shoe at a bargain price: they turn easily, they’re breathable, and they ride nice and low to the ground. We think they make an excellent pair for people who are starting out in Zumba, or dancers on a very tight budget.

The Fly Print couldn’t come from a more ideal design team than the people who came up with the moves and grooves of the Zumba class itself! Previous buyers said they noticed a big drop in resistance when they switched to the Fly Print from other sneakers.

Previous buyers said this model fit like a sock, and moved very easily with them. A special foam material in the sole provides cushion without boosting weight or bulk.

You’ll notice that the Fly Print rides lower to the ground than most running or training sneakers, and that’s a definite advantage to you. A lower ride keeps your ankles safer, and gives you better stability for fast-paced dance classes.

Previous buyers said that while this pair can feel a bit thinner and stiffer out of the box, they work wonders on the dance floor. The factory insoles are removable, and previous buyers said it’s a piece of cake to switch them out for an orthotic or more cushioned option.

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You can find these starting around the $40 mark, which makes them excellent for people on a tighter budget, or folks who are getting into Zumba casually. It allows room for your feet to swell naturally as you work up a sweat, without feeling too loose.

A few reviewers found that the sizing erred slightly on the long side of things. These Puma trainers are a great crossover option for women who want something they can wear to the gym as well as on the dance floor.

Pros The Raze’s have a mix of EVA cushioning and gel cells to provide relief and springy padding in the soles. We like the addition of gel cells over solid EVA foam because they help cut down on weight.

Even though they’re more of a traditional athletic shoe than the Fly Print, the Razes ride relatively low and close to the ground. We like the overlays because they give the Razes a bit more structure than the Fly Print, without taking away from the ventilation of the shoe.

We also like that the laces are looped and elasticated, which gives these the comfort and convenience of a slip-on, with the look and feel of a normal lace-up athletic sneaker. The Razes provide more of a heel platform than the Fly Prints, with a total boost of 1.25”.

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That’s ideal for people who are also going to be hitting the gym to do squats or cardio workouts besides Zumba. We like the low profile for dance classes, but some buyers suggested using a different insole to give them more cushion.

While the Puma’s don’t have as much traction or grip features in the sole as many other athletic shoes, they do lack a spin point. They’re built for an indoor facility, with cardio and weight machines that don’t require as much traction or cushioning.

Overall, previous buyers said they were a bit disappointed by how quickly they started to see wear and tear. We’ve found that they’re one of the most popular choices for instructors and avid dancers who go to class several times a week.

Previous buyers said these felt very light and maneuverable on the floor, which isn’t something you can say about many high tops. Previous buyers said they provided lots of support for ankles and arches, which kept their feet comfortable over the course of classes.

Unlike most high-tops, the Energy Rush’s are made with a partial mesh construction, providing ventilation and weight reduction throughout the whole shoe. Even though they’re wide and open at the top, there’s a Velcro strap across the tongue for some extra security.

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We also like the high-top design because it provides plenty of ankle security for active routines that involved lots of jumping and twisting. The Energy Rush’s look a lot like the other high-top, hip hop-style sneakers you’ll see all over the streets, especially in urban areas.

They’re very hip, fly, and modern: perfect for college students taking evening Zumba classes.These look great with sweats, yoga pants, and other looser contemporary athletic wear. Like the Fly Prints, the Energy Rush’s are designed specifically for the floor.

They have Zumba’s own “Z-slide” soles for extra movement flexibility, and these are non-marking, so they’re great for slides, twists, and other footwork which can leave lots of skid marks with other shoes. That’s a big difference from some of the Zumba brand’s cheaper options, which can be a bit lightly made.

As with our other recommendations, dancers with higher arches will probably want to use an additional insert, or a different insole to get proper support for their feet. The Pilot is what we recommend if you prefer an understated design that will work with your various Zumba outfits.

Like many of Reebok’s offerings, this also features Eva midsole and pivot point on its outsole. The forefoot flex grooves ensure you can do those intricate dance moves without the shoes impeding you.

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The sole features a gum detailing that gives it that retro touch, which is quite fashionable today. Some said while the fit in the rest of the shoes is good, the ankles tend to be a little loose, hence the lack of support.

This Reebok training shoe offers the light weight and flexibility of the Fly Print with some added cushion and urban style features of the Pilot. We think the Hayes makes the best all-around sneaker which you can wear to dance class, use for cross-training, or take out on the town when you’re dressing casually.

Reviewers said the Hayes’s worked very well for lifting, cardio machines, cross-training, and especially for agility exercises which incorporate the sort of moves you’d do in Zumba class. They have an elevated heel for squats and jumps, and the mesh upper means they’re more than up for a run or a session on the elliptical trainer.

The Hayes’s feature Reebok’s 3D air foam for cushioning, which gives them a lot of lightweight pressure relief. The outsole is also equipped with the same pivot point under the ball of the foot that makes the Pilot such a great choice for twists and turns.

The best part for us about the Hayes is the way the sock-like upper works with the sole to give you almost unlimited range of movement without compromising stability. They said it provided excellent ankle support, cushion, and sideways stability, while pivoting easily on the ball point.

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The sock-fit and snug ankle keep all the support elements in place, so you’re no sliding around inside the shoe like you would in some other mesh models. The Hayes comes in a dozen different variations, with lots of colors to choose from and a few bold prints thrown in as well.

The laces work into the supports, which means they’re not going to rip or pull right through the mesh sock component. As with the Pilot, the Hayes is a very popular shoe for teachers and professional trainers, since it’s so durable and comfortable.

Previous buyers said they could easily get through several classes per week in this shoe, since it was so comfortable, and held up well over time. Our last recommendation comes from RKA, a very popular modern dance and fitness shoe company.

Previous buyers loved these for nearly any style of dance class under the sun, from Jazzercise to Hip Hop to, of course, Zumba ! These are the best option for people who need to use custom insoles, since they’re a great structure that’s easy to modify as necessary.

Pros The outsole design is similar to the Reebok models we’ve looked at, with a bit of a twist. This one has a traction outsole like you’d see on a basketball shoe, but with a pivot point built in.

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Previous buyers said it was excellent on wood or synthetic floors and turned like a dream. The Ryan actually have a molded, rigid heel reinforcement unit, which keeps you from pronating too much to either side as you dance.

It’s great for people who naturally have a bit of pronation in their step, and works nearly identically to stability running shoes. There are more than a dozen different color combinations, from bold animal prints to low-key all-black models.

Some buyers said these aggravated their plantar fasciitis symptoms, and others simply said the thin factory insoles made them sore. Some buyers might find the extra expense inconvenient, but many previous buyers said that the stability, build quality, and maneuverability of the shoe itself made it worth the extra effort and expense to customize the insole.

Using running shoes for Zumba seems pretty intuitive, since they provide lots of cushions, and they’re great for jumping around and working out. All that traction can be a real downside, and even a serious risk for indoor Zumba classes.

The cushion and support features in many running shoes makes them clunky and tiring over the course of your Zumba class. Many modern cross-training shoes and sneakers have segmented, caterpillar soles which are extremely flexible, and ideal for the sorts or varied footwork you’ll need to get through in Zumba.

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If you’re planning to buy a shoe without a split or segmented sole, make sure it’s super flexible, so you won’t have any restrictions as you move. Zumba classes can be exhausting enough in terms of how much you’ll sweat and work up your cardio factor.

Make sure you cover all the essential bases, even if you don’t have any foot problems. You’ll want to look for basic arch support, a slightly elevated heel cup, and a decent amount of padding.

At the same time, make sure the sole has some structure in the important areas: arch, heel, and ball. Many athletic shoes have very low heel counters, to give you more of a range of movement as you work out.

Lots of padding gives your feet relief, but it also makes your shoes bulky and heavy to use. Cushion is nice and forgiving, but having strong support is actually more important for longer dance classes.

Proper foot support can make a huge difference in your overall posture and muscular engagement as you dance. If you think you’ve found the perfect shoe, but need some extra cushion or more of a structured arch than the factory insole offers, remember that you can always swap out for an orthotic.

The Fly Prints are the best pair for people who are just starting out in Zumba or dancing on a tight budget. However, they’re built pretty cheaply, and they don’t have as nice a pivot point as some of the more expensive options.

The Pumas are the most affordable option for people who want one shoe they can wear to Zumba and to the gym, as well as around town. Previous buyers also found that the material inside the shoe broke down fairly easily.

It’s an urban alternative to the Fly Print, and it has most of the same features: a sliding sole, mesh construction, and lightweight cushioning. With that said, these are more expensive than the other Zumba -brand models, and they aren’t a good choice for other workouts or fitness activities.

It glides smoothly on any floor surface and has a good flex to it that makes it easier to perform those intricate Zumba moves. The only downside for us is the single color option, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for you to customize the shoe to your wardrobe.

It’s great on the dance floor, thanks to a pivot point, mesh upper, and a lightweight foam sole. The RKA Tenacity is our top recommendation to people who will be customizing their Zumba shoes with an insole or other additional support.

They might not have the best comfort out of the box, but they have excellent build quality and make a great shoe shell. These can stand up to daily Zumba classes, or even long training sessions for instructors.

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