Best Zumba Shoes for Women’s Bad Knees, Plantar Fasciitis: That Actually Work!

So, what are the best Zumba shoes for bad knees, plantar fasciitis and other foot problems?  

The best Zumba shoes for bad knees are stable athletic shoes or cross-trainer type shoes with a low-friction sole on the forefoot. 

We did the research and testing for shoes that won’t pivot and not get stuck on the floor so you don’t twist your knee, hip or achilles. And for those who can’t wait:

In a hurry! So after over 120 hours of research and testing, we agreed on the Zumba Workout Sneakers Classic Air Stomp as the best Zumba Shoes For Bad Knees. And the Ryka Women’s Influence Cross Trainer is the best Zumba dancing shoe for Plantar fasciitis. 

As the motto says, “Ditch the workout. Join the Party.” 

But trust me, knee pain associated with Zumba shoes is quite common as you spin and twist. [1

And you may need additional equipment such as a slip-on dancer or a simple Dancesocks and better still a custom total-contact orthotic to help prevent problems that may slow or stop your workout, for an injury-free Zumba training.

So we went out to find the best cross-trainer type shoe, a dance sneaker-like shoe, with a low friction sole on the forefront. And here are the best minimalist shoes we found. 

Best Zumba Shoes for Bad Knees: Top 10 Reviewed

  1. Zumba Workout Sneakers Classic Air StompBest Non-Slip Shoes 
  2. Ryka Women’s Influence Cross TrainerBest for Plantar fasciitis
  3. PUMA Women’s Tazon 6 WN’s FM Cross-Trainer ShoeBest for Stability
  4. Zumba Women’s Air Classic Remix High Top ShoesBest for Support
  5. Ryka Women’s Vida RZXBest for Instructors & Regular Users
  6. ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 5 Running ShoesBest for Comfort
  7. Zumba Women’s Energy Boom High Top Athletic ShoesBest High tops
  8. Bloch Women’s Element Athletic ShoeBest for Spinning
  9. Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer ShoesBest for Lateral Movement

Top Shoes for Zumba for Bad Knees Comparison

Zumba is more fun and dance than exercise.

According to Doctors Hale And Huppin, Specialist in pediatric and adult foot and ankle disorders at Foot and Ankle Center of Washington, “Standard athletic shoes soles can catch when you try to pivot and that can increase stress on the knee and the rest of the lower extremity. And because these activities involve pivoting on the ball of the foot, standard athletic shoes are often not appropriate for Zumba-type workouts.”

The solution they recommend is a stable cross-trainer type shoe with a low-friction sole on the forefoot (like a dance shoe). 

1. Zumba Workout Sneakers Classic Air Stomp – Best Non-Slip Shoes 

A Zumba original from the Zumba brand.

This is what we want as Zumba dancers: one that is comfortable, cushioned, and suitable for pivots, slips, jumps, turns, slides, shock absorption, etc…

You want to guard against unwanted slips and knee stress, right? We’re here to exercise, dance and have fun. No injuries.

And that is what the Zumba Workout Sneakers are made for. Arguably the best Zumba shoe for bad knees out there. It is no fluke, this is on the top of our list.

Apparently, if you’ve tried any running shoe, cross-trainers, etc, and it doesn’t work for you, go for the Zumba Workout Sneakers and see for yourself. It also looks like one that will last long.

Pros

  • Well-built
  • Lightweight
  • Very Stylish
  • Shock absorption
  • Feels comfortable 
  • Great ankle support
  • Great fit and won’t slip 
  • Great shock absorbers
  • Leather and rubber sole
  • Specially made for Zumba dancing

Cons

  • Somehow tight
  • A bit wide for some

2. Ryka Women’s Influence Cross Trainer – Best for Plantar fasciitis

I agree, cross trainers are for running and walking but why the recommendation for dancing?

As explained by our experts, an athletic or cross training shoe plus a few other tools like the dancesock or Twiist will uplist it to the level of a dance shoe which sticks.

This is exactly what the Ryka Women’s Influence Cross Trainer does. First, it is very stable. And you can easily wrap the Dancesock on the sole of the shoe.

You basically slip the sock over the rubber sole of your workout shoes to make the sole on the front of the shoe a little rigid and sticky to the dance floor to reduce any knee stress or foot injury while you enjoy your favourite Zumba class.

We have a whole section on Ryka shoes especially for women if you want to learn more about this awesome brand.

Remember, like any new shoe, you sometimes need to “break them in” says one long time user. Make sure they fit, aren’t tied too tight and are the right size/width. 

You will find the “pivot” on the sole support for your knees wonderful when doing swivels, twist and turns.

However, some women complained of issues with their achilles from these Ryka Zumba shoes. It was more to do with how tight it was and getting the right size, which can be solved.

Pros 

  • Very stable 
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh 
  • Ease of movement
  • Excellent for walking
  • Great for plantar fasciitis
  • Specially made for women
  • Perfect for cardio dancing indoors 

Cons

  • May need to size-up
  • Too tight for some people
  • Can run too small for some

3. PUMA Women’s Tazon 6 WN’s FM Cross-Trainer Shoe – Best for Stability

If you want something that’s fit and really comfortable to walk, dance, jog, try the PUMA Tazon. 

 The PUMA tazon is here not only for its beauty but functionality. It is also great for over pronation.

And yes, every additional tool we recommended for the Ryka may also apply to the PUMA. A custom total-contact orthotic, the Dancesocks and/or slip-on dancers to prevent knee stress, hip or achilles issues cropping up.

The PUMA Tazon feels a little tight at first but the more you wear it, the more it opens up and fits your feet especially if you’ll be wearing socks. 

But if it is stability you want, then look no further. 

If you exercise every day for about an hour Zumba training, aerobic exercises or cross training shoes – a mix of them, you’ll definitely need something robust but gentle on the feet. The PUMA Tazon comes prepared and fit for purpose.

They are quite narrow in the front. It is perfect for women with slightly thin feet but with its support and security, I think you’ll be good to go with time. All you have to do is size up if need be.

Honestly, the front may be too tapered if you’re looking for a more box comfy fit. Yes, the toe-box is a little bit narrow for workout shoes.

Pros 

  • Very stable 
  • 100% Leader
  • Very very stylish
  • Great for jogging
  • Secures your feet
  • Ease of movement
  • Excellent for walking
  • sturdy and supportive
  • Great for over pronation
  • Perfect for cardio/aerobic dancing 

Cons

  • Quite heavy for some
  • Pretty much tight for some 
  • Can run a bit small for some

4. Zumba Women’s Air Classic Remix High Top Shoes – Best for Support

In fact, you can consider wearing them outside in public if you want. Why? Because it is stylish and fit for purpose.

All you need is your sunglasses handy! 

These are one of the best Zumba dancing shoes for those who want to get compliments while wearing them. The stylish look also fits great with the right size. Just the right fit so it will not slip on your feet while Zumba dancing. 

Zumba as a company recommends you match the workout shoes with your overall outfit, and that’s fascinating to me. 

This is how they put it,You can easily mix and match these versatile dance sneakers women with your favorite gym bag, gym top and mesh top; get other matching Zumba workout clothes – sports bras, gym leggings and t shirt to complete a best workout outfit”

This Zumba footwear also provides great support for your feet. And yes, it is original and you can get it on Amazon.

Pros

  • Great ankle support
  • Breathable mesh top
  • Great shock absorbers
  • Great fit and will not slip while dancing
  • A lot of stylish variations to choose from
  • Feels comfortable with plenty of support

Cons

  • Somehow tight
  • Tends to run small for many

5. Ryka Women’s Vida RZX – Best for Instructors and extended Use

Another Ryks shoe in the mist.

These ones have a substantial tread on the bottom. But hey, you may think a flat bottom would serve better for that kind of motion; however, stability is what we’re aiming for in a dance shoe.

As Carole, a long time user mentioned, “It gives great cushion and arch support. It has a circular spot on the sole at the ball of your foot that helps the foot swivel without injury in the twists and turns of Zumba.”

Most Ryka shoes; the Vida RZX and even the Ryka Influence, come with structure and are easy on the foot during high impact exercises. 

If you find the bottom of the shoe difficult to properly pivot to avoid knee stress especially with people with bad knees, you can get our recommended dance socks over the sole infront to help it to stick.

After all, we want the best dance shoes for bad knees, plantar fasciitis, etc..

The Vida RZX will already feel broken-in straight out of the box and ready for a scintillating Zumba class or aerobic exercise showdown!

Lots of room in the toe box and heel support is good. It gives great cushion and arch support, which is perfect for beginners especially. It would also work as a weight training shoe, crossfit and walking shoe.

Due to its stability and robustness, you’ll love them and use them for almost anything. And like anything in life, tends to wear off with long usage.

The Vida Ryka Zumba shoes normally start to deteriorate from the inside (soles fall off) after about 12months of rigorous usage. Replace them after a year and get back to the dance floor.

Pros 

  • Very stable 
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable mesh
  • Ease of movement
  • Specially made for women
  • Pretty broken-in for starters
  • Can be used straight out of the box
  • Perfect for cardio and aerobic dancing 

Cons

  • May need to size-up
  • Quite narrow for some
  • Too tight for some people

6. ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 5 Running Shoes – Best for Comfort

The ASICS Gel-Contend 5 is one you may stick with and buy more often if it works for you.

This is what experts mean when they say athletic shoes. Specially made for running but with a few tweaks here and there, you get customised dance shoes for bad knees.

Comfortable shoe with good arch support. And with those who have a high arch, this will fit just perfectly.

One user SuccubasHeat says, “I have a broad foot also and these did not rub or pinch in any way. They are lace up trainers and have a decently thick insole. The material is mesh which makes them more breathable and they appear to have good traction on walking. There is a nice bit of cushioning when walking and I feel they support my ankles better.”

Come to think of it, ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 5 has a divided front on the shoe size. There are some who feel they run small and too narrow. While others feel they are way too big. But the only theme that runs through most users is the fact that it is “COMFORTABLE”. 

So on the matter of size, I’ll say it depends. It’s more to do with you and most often the seller than the shoe itself. 

Be careful you may be addicted to this ASICS.

Pros 

  • Well made
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Very comfortable
  • Breathable mesh
  • Ease of movement
  • Excellent for walking
  • Excellent for running
  • Perfect for indoors and outdoors  

Cons

  • Can run too big for some
  • Can run too small for others

7. Zumba Women’s Energy Boom High Top Athletic Shoes – Best Traction

Super cute, stylish and just like the Zumba Classic Air, you can consider wearing them outside in public if you want.

Ofcourse, they look narrow in the toes. You may have to unlace it to get your feet in but after putting them on, they are soft and comfortable without being too tight.

To some, these workou shoes are so small and I agree. I had to untie and loosen them to get them on but hey, they fit comfortably! 

Pros 

  • Very stable 
  • Great support
  • Breathable mesh
  • Shock absorption
  • Ease of movement
  • Excellent for walking
  • Specially made for women
  • Perfect for cardio dancing indoors 

Cons

  • Run small, may need to size-up
  • Too tight for some people

8. Bloch Women’s Element Athletic Shoe – Best for Spinning

Well-known and sought after in the dance shoe circles. 

Bloch over the years has sparked the creation of a full range of dance footwear and dance fashion products. 

But is it the same as the BLOCH we know and love today?

Will Jacob Bloch be proud of the Bloch Women’s Element Athletic Shoe wherever he is? 

Lets see.

Audrey, a long time user, says, “The sliding is fine generally, I haven’t noticed a huge problem with that. Though obviously the surface area of this shoe is greater than that of a tiny heel, so I would definitely expect that your spins might stick to the floor more. Though thus far, I have been using these workout shoes for zumba fitness for the past 6 or so months and can’t say I’ve felt any knee or ankle pain that usually comes from a sticky, non slidey shoe!”

Yes, they run a little small from my perspective so you may have to order a size up. 

However, looking at how lightweight it is and the placement of the sole, I found that there could be a very good sweet spot for the twisting, spinning and overall movement that comes with intense Zumba training.

They’ll be perfect for cardio dance or Zumba workout if you get the right size.

Is BLOCH’s reputation as one of the most trusted in the industry “to make the most comfortable dance shoe in the world” evident on the Bloch Women’s Element Athletic Shoe?

I’ll give this Bloch shoe a 6/10 for the consistency of the brand. More work will make this shoe better.

Pros 

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh
  • Ease of movement
  • Excellent for walking
  • Specially made for dancing
  • Perfect for cardio dancing indoors 

Cons

  • Can be unforgiving
  • Too tight for some people
  • Run small, may need to size-up

9. Reebok Women’s Nano 9 Cross Trainer Shoes – Best for Lateral Movement

Pros 

  • Very stable 
  • Lightweight
  • Shock absorption
  • Ease of movement
  • Excellent for walking
  • Great for plantar fasciitis
  • Specially made for women
  • Perfect for cardio dancing indoors Leather and rubber sole Breathable mesh

Cons

  • May need to size-up
  • Too tight for some people
  • Can run too small for some

Best Shoes for Zumba Buyers Guide. Things to Consider or Look Out for When Buying

There are things that you have to consider when you are looking for the best shoes for Zumba for bad knees to buy. These will help you to decide which one will be the best fit for your style. This way, you can also find the perfect Zumba training shoes that you can use for a long time.

1. Arch Support

After our research and testing, we came to the realisation that for a stress free knee wearing most of these cross trainers and sneakers; you may need a custom orthotic to help prevent problems that may slow or stop your workout. 

Again, Doctors Hale And Huppin, Specialist in pediatric and adult foot and ankle disorders at Foot and Ankle Center of Washington recommend the use of an orthotic such as the FootChair Podiatrist Designed Adjustable Arch Orthotic if you are not able to obtain a custom orthotic.

FootChair Orthotics with Pads for Adjustable Arch Height. Relieve Plantar Fasciitis and Other Foot Pain (Women’s 11-12.5 / Men’s 9-10.5)

They further explained that, enough research has shown that orthotics must be made from non-weight bearing casts of your feet and tightly conform to your arch to provide the best function of your joints. A phenomenon termed as “total-contact orthotic“.

2. Dance socks

Most of the so-called dance shoes don’t work. 

Experts recommend a few additions to stable cross trainers to create an OK experience to avoid foot injuries. One of these additions is a dance sock.

We found this Dancesock on Amazon which can make your regular athletic shoe a viable dance option and much safer for your feet, knees and hip.

THE DANCESOCKS - 100% USA Made Over Sneaker Dance Socks, Smooth Floors (4 Pairs/Black)

How?

Let me explain.

The main purpose of the Dancesock is to make the sole of your shoes stick. 

All you have to do is slip the sock over the rubber sole of your shoes – this makes the sole on the front of the shoe slick just like how a proper dance sneaker sticks to the dance floor.

3. Slip-On Dancers

Slip-On Dancers Tiranté Twiist Latest Stylish Accessory in Workout Footwear – Dance in Sneakers and Protect Knees (Zebra, Medium)

Just slip it over the rubber soles to reduce the resistance your shoes exert when you attempt to spin and twist. Slide forward or backward to adjust the resistance and you’re good to go. 

Very similar to the dance socks, the slip-on dancers such as the Twiist we found on Amazon have one goal. To reduce the propensity to injure your knee while you enjoy the fun health benefits of aerobic dancing, step or Zumba class.

4. Cost

Like any sneakers or athletic shoes, many of the shoes we’ve recommended here are within the budget of Zumba fitness enthusiasts and for that matter most dance aficionados.

A price range of between $50 and $150 will be an OK price for workout shoes that can either make your Zumba section and overall workout a memorable experience or a painful regrettable one.

The million dollar question to ask yourself is, “Do I get the best Zumba shoe for my bad knees or find just another pair of sneakers and keep on trying!” 

You be the judge.

4. Comfort

Lots of issues from ingrown toenails and calluses from sides of workout shoes being too tight and rubbing up against your feet. To foot related problems: plantar fasciitis, wide feet, bone spurs and poor blood circulation.

Your goal is to dance without your feet hurting terribly. Which is more of a miracle today with many dance and Zumba sneakers.

Main reason why Pediatrics recommends either the dance socks for the soles, the Slip-On Dancers for twist and spins and a proper orthotic for some leverage.

Never underestimate a comfortable shoe for the sake of dancing. Never.

5. Style

Now, let’s look at a stylish shoe like the Puma Tazon 6 or the Zumba Air High top.

If you haven’t used cross trainers like these before they might feel a bit odd at the beginning. The platform may be very stable almost as if you can’t roll your foot from side to side.

But wait, that is a huge benefit. This means they are well constructed and will keep you firmly planted on the floor. Which is a good thing.

Your goal is to find the Zumba dance shoes for bad knees: one that is comfortable, cushioned, and suitable for pivots, slips, jumps, turns, slides, etc… And that  shou;d be your focus.

Of course, style should also be considered since you will be wearing them for everyone to see. 

Choose the best color that will compliment most of your clothes. That way, you can wear them often without having to worry where you can pair them up. Above all you can take them anywhere, not only for an aerobic class or Zumba dancers class.

6. Durability

Most of the shoes are made from either leather or breathable mesh material. 

From my own experience and speaking to most long time Zumba dance aficionados, these workout shoes are good for about a year or two max which is normal with sneakers like these. Some may go further than others depending on the frequency of use but it is what it is.

Use it well. Enjoy it while it lasts. Ditch it and get a new one if it deteriorates. It’s as simple as that.  

After all, they should be made to last long so that you can have it as an investment.

7. Suitability

Subjective in terms of sizing and preference.

Again it depends on the user and even more on the seller here probably than the shoe itself.

There are some people who feel the Ryka Influence runs small and too narrow in front. While others feel New Balance shoes are way too big. Some even say the Puma Tazon 6 is too heavy and so forth and so forth.

Check reviews of past users for a proper perspective. But the only theme that should run  through most users is the fact that it is “COMFORTABLE”. That is more important than a few days of discomfort, it happens with anything else.

Sizing up or down has more to do with your own personal due diligence. 

Any trust me, you’ll be fine.

Frequently Asked Questions

#What type of shoe is best for Zumba?

A: The best Zumba shoes for bad knees are stable athletic shoes or cross-trainer type shoes with a low-friction sole on the forefoot. 

In a hurry! So after over 120 hours of research and testing, we agreed on the Zumba Workout Sneakers Classic Air Stomp as the best Zumba Shoe For Bad Knees.

#Which Nike shoes are best for Zumba?

A: Nike Flex Supreme for women and Nike Flex Trainer for men.

#Are Skechers good for Zumba?

A: There are shoes for Zumba from Sketchers that you can use for your classes. As long as you are comfortable with them and it can support your dance movements, that should be good enough.

#Can I use running shoes for Zumba?

A: Yes and No. Running shoes are not ideal shoes to wear as Zumba footwear because they don’t have much traction compared to the best shoes for Zumba.

What’s Next…

You’re either going for the non-slip Zumba Workout Sneakers, the versatile Ryka Influence, or the stylish PUMA Tazon 6. As you know now, Zumba Air Classic represents the high top gang as well.

There you have it! The best Zumba shoe for bad knees on Amazon in one list. 

But take note of this, Inasmuch as Zumba is a high-impact exercise which is great, overdoing any workout regime could make your knee pain worse. In fact, with plantar fasciitis, it is advised to pay attention to the kinds of exercise you do.  

Now that you’ve seen all the best Zumba shoes for bad knees, plantar fasciitis, etc…you can go for the stylish, comfortable, or even both in one pair of shoes. This way, you can get more compliments and have an easier time while dancing.

“Ditch the workout. Join the Party.” 

Spin and twist better than ever.