Have you considered Zumba for fitness and weight loss? If you enjoy dancing, it could be the best way for you to increase your fitness level and shed some unwanted pounds.
But it’s a high-intensity activity and it can cause or worsen existing knee problems. Choosing the best Zumba shoes for bad knees can help to minimize knee pain and problems from the start.
Our top recommendation is the Capezio Tech Mesh Fierce Dansneaker. It features a split sole and built-in flex points and also has a forefoot “spin spot” pivot point.
Read through all 8 reviews to find the ideal Zumba shoe that will protect your knees and keep you dancing safely.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Capezio Tech Mesh Fierce Dansneaker
|Check Women’s Price|
BLOCH Omnia Lightweight Knited Sneakers
|Check Women’s Price|
Best For Extra Support
Best For Extra Support
Zumba Air Lo
|Check Women’s Price|
1. Capezio Tech Mesh Fierce Dansneaker
This shoe is built for quick movements.
A split sole allows the forefoot and rearfoot to move independently from one another. The upper is strategically constructed from leather—for better support—and technical mesh—for flexibility.
The polyurethane outsole is smooth and not so grippy that you’re at risk of tripping while dancing. In the forefoot, a special “spin spot” allows total freedom when turning. Another useful feature is the flat toe tip, which is perfect for toe stands.
Arch support is built into the shoe to provide the best possible support. An Achilles notch keeps the heel in place, and comfortable cushioning prevents chafing.
The cushioned footbed is removable if you want to use a custom orthotic. To get a tight but comfortable fit, the polyester-cotton shoelaces use a sport lacing system instead of your traditional system.
This shoe runs small. The manufacturer suggests ordering a full size up for women and 2 ½ to 3 sizes up for men.
- Forefoot spin spot
- Built-in flex points
- Contoured, removable EVA footbed
- Split sole
- These shoes can run small and it would be best to order a full size up from your normal shoe size
2. BLOCH Omnia Lightweight Knitted Sneakers
This sneaker is lightweight and you’ll hardly feel it on your foot while you’re dancing.
The mesh upper is tight-knit in some areas and features wider-knit sections for extra breathability. It comes in four different colors, with each one having a slightly different shape to it.
A double-knit design in the toe area protects the toes while dancing and also makes the shoe more durable. In the heel, a padded internal heel counter, as well as an external heel counter, keep the heel firmly locked down.
The footbed is lightweight and lightly padded. The outsole is great at absorbing shock.
Some may feel that the textured outsole is too grippy for smooth twists and turns and it doesn’t feature a specific pivot point.
- Full knitted upper
- Padded internal heel counter
- Double-knitted toe bumper
- Padded footbed
- Grippy outsole and no pivot point
Best For Extra Support
3. Zumba Air Lo
This shoe has Zumba in its name, and it has some specific features that can be useful in the studio. While the low-profile design lacks ankle support, it allows for more foot flexibility during dance moves.
To protect your joints, Air Technology is incorporated into the heel. This absorbs impact and prevents vibration from injuring the joints during this high-impact activity.
A high-rebound insole helps you move with a spring in your step. It’s also removable to allow for a custom insert.
The tongue and collar are lightly padded, providing more support without impacting the breathability or flexibility of the shoe.
Z-Slide technology on the outsole lets you turn and glide easily, but it’s not so slippery that you aren’t stable on the dancefloor.
- Z-Slide technology
- Air Technology
- High-rebound removable insole
- Some may feel that there’s not enough ankle support
4. Rykä Influence Training Shoe
These shoes are athletic and pretty at the same time.
For Zumba, they offer a good amount of support thanks to the synthetic overlays across the shoe. Breathable mesh allows for good ventilation to keep your feet cool while dancing.
For extra support, Direct Fuse and Flex-Foil layers in the midsole offer more structure and keep the foot stable. There’s dual-density foam in the midsole, with the N-Gage EVA providing good energy return and maintaining its shape even during high-impact activity.
An anatomical insole features good arch support and even extra padding in the heel for protection. On the outsole, a forefoot and rearfoot pivot point provide great versatility on the dancefloor.
Thanks to their unique design, these shoes can not only be used for Zumba, but also for walking, running, gym workouts, and daily wear. It’s available in medium and wide.
- Flex-Foil and Direct Fuse layers
- Dual-density foam midsole
- Pivot points
- Anatomical insole
- Some people may find that there’s not enough cushioning for their liking
5. Rykä fEMPOWER Daring
If the Rykä Influence isn’t cushioned enough for you, the Rykä fEMPOWER Daring may be more suitable for your needs.
It has a compression-molded EVA slab in the midsole, featuring RE-ZORB responsive cushioning for improved shock-absorption and comfort.
Paired with the Precise-Return insole, this shoe has a bit of spring to it, which is ideal for a dance shoe. The insole also has arch and heel support and a molded TPU overlay and elastic gore strap in the midfoot offer better support.
A forefoot pivot point is perfect for making those twists and turns. The compression-molded rubber outsole is non-marking and not too sticky.
- RE-ZORB responsive cushioning
- Mesh upper
- Non-marking rubber outsole
- Precise-Return insole
- The tongue is sewn tightly to the shoe and some people find that it can be difficult to get their foot in
6. New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
This is New Balance’s cross-training shoe and it’s lightweight and comfortable. A modern, open-mesh upper provides optimal breathability to keep your feet cool and dry while dancing.
A classic lace-up closure allows for a snug fit. Elastic overlays in the midfoot offer some extra support and work with the laces to deliver a locked-down fit.
A REVlite cushioned midsole minimizes shock and protects the joints from being injured. On top of that, an NB memory foam insole offers extra cushion and comfort.
The rubber outsole is durable, especially when used on smooth dance floors. It allows you to move freely without sticking on the floor. Note that these shoes run small and you may need to order half a size or a full size larger than your usual size.
- Mesh fabric upper
- NB memory insole
- REVlite cushioned midsole
- Rubber outsole
- These shoes run small and you may need to order half a size larger
7. Nike Renew In-Season TR 11
If you’re a fan of Nike shoes, then the Nike Renew In-Season TR 11 may be the right Zumba shoe for you.
It’s a basic shoe and doesn’t have a lot of Nike technology in it, but it’s adequate for Zumba. It’s versatile, able to be used on the dancefloor and in the gym with equal success.
A wider heel base provides a stable platform. Underneath, thick rubber on the heel offers extra stability for flat-footed movements, while a thinner layer in the forefoot offers more flexibility for quick moves.
The outsole has a multi-directional pattern that provides good traction on uneven or loose ground, but shouldn’t stick on smooth dance floors.
Responsive and soft cushion in the midsole provides comfort and support while performing high-impact moves.
For extra stability, the midsole foam rises up the sides of the shoe to offer protection against lateral movement that could put the foot out of alignment.
These shoes have a naturally narrow fit and may run a little small so it’s wise to order half a size larger than usual.
- Flexible forefoot area
- Soft, responsive foam cushioning
- Multi-directional traction outsole
- Synthetic overlays on the toe and laces
- These shoes can run small and you may want order a half-size up
8. Zumba Air High Sport
High-top shoes provide superior ankle support, so this is ideal for those who have weak ankles.
The high ankle collar is well-padded for comfort and the lacing system comes high on the ankle, allowing for a solid lockdown from the ankle down.
The leather upper provides excellent structure and support to the foot. Air technology in the forefoot offers shock-absorption when landing, the removable high-rebound insole can make space for orthotics if more support is needed.
The rubber outsole is non-slip on most surfaces but also features Z-Slide technology which is designed to help with pivoting on any surface.
These shoes are quite versatile and can be used as casual wear as well as dance shoes. Some people may find that they’re a little narrow.
- Air technology
- Z-Slide technology
- Non-slip rubber outsole
- PU removable insole
- Some people may feel that these shoes are too narrow
What Is Zumba and What Are the Benefits?
Zumba is a high-intensity form of exercise that is based on dance. It began in the 1990s and uses dance moves inspired by Latin dancing.
It’s an excellent aerobic activity that gets the heart pumping and can significantly improve your fitness level. When used with a calorie-controlled diet it can help you lose weight.
Features to Look for When Purchasing Zumba Shoes for Bad Knees
When shopping for the best Zumba shoes, look for a few specific features, especially if you have bad knees.
Contrary to most types of shoes, you want a slightly slippery outsole on a pair of Zumba shoes.
If the outsole has too much traction, you won’t be able to pivot properly when performing dance moves. This can not only be frustrating, but it can lead to injury or jarring of the knees.
The ideal Zumba shoes should also have arch support tailored to your foot. Overpronators will need a stability shoe, while individuals with a neutral gait will need a neutral shoe.
Ankle support is also important to prevent twisting. Rigid structure on the medial and lateral sides of the shoe will also prevent lateral movement of the foot in the shoe which can aggravate bad knees.
Breathable material is also a must. Zumba is an intense exercise and if your shoes aren’t breathable there’s a risk of the feet overheating and becoming uncomfortable or even sweating within the shoe and creating an environment for odor-causing bacteria to grow.
A traditional lacing system will be the best way to get a tight and supportive fit. Some Zumba shoes also have a Velcro strap for a bit of extra support.
What Are the Differences Between Running and Zumba Shoes?
Running shoes are designed to protect and work with the foot when moving forward.
Activities like Zumba don’t just focus on forward movement. Because you’ll also be moving forward, backward, side to side, diagonally, and also performing pivots and quick turns.
Whereas running shoes have grippy outsoles to prevent slipping on smooth or loose surfaces, Zumba shoes need a less tractive outsole.
This is because you need a smooth outsole in order to be able to pivot and slide without getting stuck on the floor.