Dance Sneakers were made for Zumba …well actually, since dance sneakers have been around a lot longer than Zumba it would be more accurate to state that it is ‘as if’ Zumba was made for dance sneakers, because dance sneakers are by far the best shoes for Zumba.
Important: Never wear sports trainers for Zumba as their soles provide too much grip in the tight turns and many people have ripped their knees, ankles and even hips by dancing in them.
Dance Sneaker Design
Studies* have shown that there are differences between the feet of men and women, which are not due to men typically having bigger feet than women, and designers of dance sneakers take these differences in to account when making their shoes. A rule of thumb is that unless a style of dance sneaker is specifically identified as ‘for men’ or ‘unisex’ then it has been made for women. However, do not let this put you off!
Statistically some men will have female feet and conversely some women will have male feet, yet they will continue to wear shoes that were not designed for their type of feet. So the point is wear shoes that feel most comfortable on YOUR feet.
As with all shoes, when trying out a new pair of dance sneakers it is important not only that the shoes feel comfortable when you stand, with no crushing or cutting, but that they feel comfortable when you move around in them, with no rubbing or chafing. If you can try out a few dance moves then that would be best.
For men the points to focus on when trying on Dance Sneakers for the first time are the heel cup and width across the ball of the foot. Some men may find that their heels are too big for the shoe’s heel cup, so in my recommendations below I identify potential problems with heel cups for each style of shoe. For a given length of foot men typically are 5% wider across the ball than women so I have chosen my recommenations with this fact in mind.
How do your feet feel? Dance sneakers feel totally different to wear than street shoes or sports shoes so you may feel the effects of your feet experiencing euphoria as they are set free to flex and articulate as never before in shoes.
Dance Sneaker Style
Most dance sneakers are split-sole, which means that the heel and ball of the foot have their own unique sole. This aids bending and flexing the foot, which is important in dance and fitness.
The split-sole can be low profile or high profile as demonstrated in the photo. The benefit of high profile is exceptional shock absorption.
It is usual that men do not wear high profile split-sole dance sneakers. Although there is no physical reason why this is the case I have limited my recommendations below to only dance sneakers that have a low profile sole.
recommended zumba shoes for men
Made by Capezio, these are our most popular shoe for men doing Zumba and are available in half sizes up to UK Adult 12.
I assume that most men will be happy with this style in Black but this sneaker also comes with Ice Blue embroidered ‘ribs’, which look very good. You can also get the ‘ribs’ in Hot Pink too if you feel especially daring.
The tech-mesh uppers allow for some expansion across the ball of the foot whilst the lack of a rigid heel cup makes this sneaker better suited to men with broad heels.
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Latest styling from Bloch, another company famed for quality dance sneakers.
Choice of three colour combinations, but I’d expect the Graphite appeals to men most.
Available in half sizes up to UK 11.
The rigid construction of the heel cup and sides may constrict men with wide feet.
Another design from Bloch. High density tpu outsole with functional spin spot. Excellent breathability and at least two colours that any man would be happy to wear – Silver & Black. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with men wearing Pink these sneakers in Pink may be pushing the boat our too far.
Available in half sizes up to UK 11.
The heel cup is less constricting than that on the previous sneaker and the width across the ball of the foot should be able to expand better too.
This Bloch sneaker benefits from an upper composed almost entirely of mesh for reducing weight and maximising breathability.
Adult sizes up to 11½.
This multi-articulating split shoe from Capezio is so flexible the entire shoe can be folded or rolled and put in your pocket. Adult sizes up to UK 8½.
Although this shoe does not have a spin-spot, is not available in sizes larger than 8½ and has minimal shock absorbing qualities I’ve included it here because it is a great dance shoe that is specifically Unisex. I would not recommend this shoe to beginners due to the lack of shock absorption.
If the Freedom takes your fancy but you’d like something a bit brighter and more eye-catching then there is of course the Freedom2 – based on the Freedom the Freedom2 has it all, including a choice of three bright sole colours.
* Wunderlich RE, Cavanagh PR. (2001). Gender differences in adult foot shape: implications for shoe design, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 33(4):605-11.
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