Home > Health and Fitness > Why the right shoes are important for the right activity (like Zumba and Turbo Fire)

Why the right shoes are important for the right activity (like Zumba and Turbo Fire)

Lately I’ve gotten back into taking Zumba classes. I originally started with them about 10 years ago when they were first offered at my local gym, along with other types of dance like Hip Hop and Bellydance. I had an amazing teacher who would teach them all, but then she moved away and I couldn’t get my dance fix anymore. Total bummer.

If you don’t know what Zumba is, it’s a mix of Latin styles along with a little hip hop thrown in here and there. Very fun, very energetic, but you have to be careful not to torque your knees with the constant shifting and turns. I’d been having some knee issues lately so this was something that was very much on my mind, not to mention the fact that my knees were 10 years older than my last sessions.

An example:

So let’s start with what I started with… running shoes. Obviously they’re great for doing any type of running, but I noticed that when I tried to shift suddenly on the hardwood class floor, it wasn’t very easy to move. And there’s good reason for that: running shoes are designed to propel you forward, not side to side. My knee wasn’t happy with me at all that time.

Then I tried cross trainers. They were better for sure than running shoes, but i still felt some resistance in certain moves. Knee was getting happier though.

I finally broke down and decided to try dance sneakers. Some are very similar to cross trainers, but the key difference is the inclusion of a pivot point on the ball of the sole. So I got a pair of Ryka Exertions online during a sale to try out.

I was not disappointed.

Wearing a dance sneaker takes getting used to, but I actually feel lighter on my feet and my knee hasn’t complained once since I started with the Rykas. I can jump, twist, slide, and get funky with no issues now. I also use them for Turbo Fire at home because even on carpet I can make sudden, explosive movements easier now with them. Even Les Mills Pump has a dance sneaker line out. Interesting how that works, yes?

The Ryka Exertion. Not a top of the line type of shoe, but a great starter.

The Ryka Exertion. Not a top of the line type of shoe, but a great starter.

All in all, a good find. Zumba has their own sneaker line out, but I read the reviews and a lot of customers weren’t happy with them for various reasons (low stability, not much cushioning, high price point). I opted not to get those, but that’s just a personal preference.

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