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TOPIC: I LOVE Zumba...but my feet don't!

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January 18, 2011 10:03 AM
I started Zumba-ing about 3 months ago. I love it, it's fun, it gets my heart pumping and when I isolate the core muscles, I really feel them working. I'm sore the next day or so. Perfect! But, the one big hinderance I have that I don't look forward to is my feet start KILLING me. They hurt worse than some of my muscles do!

I've tried a couple different shoes, I had Wal-Mart brand Champions, then switched to New Balance cross-trainers. Still have the same ache and pain in the arches of my feet. I actually went without shoes once (just socks), and my feet didn't hurt one bit, but I was slipping a little too much for my and my neighboring Zumba dancers' safety!

Anyone have any suggestions or similar experiences? Why would sneakers that support the foot hurt, but going without any support not hurt??!
  3941696
January 18, 2011 10:07 AM
You may need to look for aerobic shoes. They are smoother on the bottom (similar to socks) which allow you to glide a little better. I noticed an immediate difference for not only my feet, but my knees. It helped me from stopping short, etc.
January 18, 2011 10:08 AM
you can try dance shoes.. a lot of people in my class have purchased dance shoes you can move easily in them and you can get shoes with or with out arch supports
  705737
January 18, 2011 10:08 AM
Ballet slippers or jazz shoes would definitely work well, too. It is dance after all. Or bare feet.
  2228578
January 18, 2011 10:09 AM
Perhaps dance shoes may help, or a sneaker with less tread on the bottom (i.e, puma). My zumba instructor recommened dance shoes or the pumas. I find my feet don't hurt as much when barefoot doing the videos at home, just be careful with your ankle.
  1373075
January 18, 2011 10:10 AM
My instructors said to get shoes with a round circle on the bottom. The Zumba website sells Zumba shoes. I found a good pair at Famous Footwear. Famous has a few pairs of Nike ones. Puma also makes some.
January 18, 2011 10:12 AM
I've been teaching for 2 years, and when I started my feet hurt too :( I'd advise what others have, the circular tread or even dance shoes. Perhaps dance on the ball of your foot less, that seems to put pressure on your arches. When you step, try to plant with your whole foot. It makes the move more aerobic and less 'dancy' but it distributes your weight across your whole foot so no particular part is taking all the pressure.

SW 225 lbs
CW 155 lbs
Long term goal 145 lbs
Edited by cookiejones On January 18, 2011 10:14 AM
January 18, 2011 10:15 AM
It could very well be either the size or the amount of arch support. If you are flat footed or high arched then you need to know that going in and ask the people at the store which shoes are better for the type of support that YOU need.
Also, as I discovered when I went to get fitted for running shoes, you typically need to go up a half or a whole size from the size you would normally wear for street shoes. When you are using them as an exercise tool your feet expand and they need the extra space otherwise you could have pain or numbness (my toes kept going numb on the treadmill)
I now have running shoes that are a whole size bigger than my regular out and about shoes and it's TONS better! I can workout more effectively now, with better stamina and no worries of blisters afterwards! See if you can find a shoe store that does gait analysis and measures your foot/ arch so that they can point you in the right direction. Most places do not charge for that service, they just want people to be in the proper shoe.

Another safe bet for any type of dance aerobics is always a jazz sneaker.
  697156
January 18, 2011 10:16 AM
you HAVE to get Nike Musique shoes...they are about $60.00 but an awesome shoe! That is what my Zumba instructor recommended to me. I'm going to be buying my second pair soon. They have them all over, pretty much where ever they sell Nike shoes. I got a 9.5 as opposed to my regular size 9 because when you work out your foot tends to swell. So think about that when buying shoes!!

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?cp=usns_CSE_081109_Froogle&l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-192952/pgid-192952&CAWELAID=377770001#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-192952/pgid-192952

there is a link to the Nike store. They come in black and also white and they also have different accent colors.
January 18, 2011 10:59 AM
I just started doing ZUMBA and noticed I was gliding as easily as I should! Thanks for all of the helpful tips!!! I will definitely have to check this out more and until than I will use my PUMA'S instead of my NIKE'S!!! flowerforyou
  3013941
January 18, 2011 7:14 PM
Thanks for all the tips, everyone!! I now know what to look for when heading out to the shoe store! Love this site and all of you that make it what it is!!
  3941696
January 19, 2011 10:47 AM
I'm a Zumba instructor and I LOVE my Capezio Dansneakers. They provide support, and have very little tread so I can twist and turn as needed.
  224445
June 1, 2012 9:09 AM
I have been doing Zumba for 6 mos and my feet are really starting to feel pain every time now too. I have bought 2 Zumba shoes from the Zumba.com website and they seem to make my feet hurt worse, I think because of lack of support (I am very flat footed), I also bought the Nike Mystique, nope, those hurt too. I'm back to wearing my cross training NB again. I am getting discouraged because I am getting pain to the ball of my foot under my toes and also to the sides, the sides hurt so much I wonder if I'm getting bunions or calluses?? It really sucks!
  12136109
May 16, 2013 2:20 PM
I'm a Zumba instructor with a background in ballet & jazz. It's my opinion that Zumba is just really hard on women's feet! Many instructors I know report more pain in the right foot than left... not surprising as the movement always starts to the right. I'm currently having to take a break from all impact exercise because of foot issues. I've tried Bloch, Capezio Rockits, Ryka, Nike, and Asics shoes. None of them are good for both the twisting, "dancey" movements and impact. It's important your shoes fit loosely in the toe box!!! I won't be going back to my jazz / hip hop sneakers as they are too narrow. No more split sole shoes, either - they don't have enough support. (Perhaps, some of this is due to age. My podiatrist says anyone over 40 needs good arch support & cushion in the toe box.) I add $35 sole inserts to every pair of shoes for help with impact. He recommended Nikes with the spin spot, I haven't tried them yet. It sounds like you have the kind of pain I do. It's good to see a podiatrist as other doctors are not familiar with the type of injury that comes from high impact cardio. In the meantime, elevate, ice, repeat. Good luck!!
May 16, 2013 3:07 PM
I agree that Zumba is tough on women's feet! My best friend is a Zumba instructor and she has had several soft-tissue injuries in her feet despite being very vigilant and getting shoes just for Zumba and everything.

Lots of stretching, ice-downs and better shoes should help. Don't get cross-trainers - those don't have the flexibility your feet need for Zumba.
  20971278
May 16, 2013 3:12 PM
QUOTE:

you HAVE to get Nike Musique shoes...they are about $60.00 but an awesome shoe! That is what my Zumba instructor recommended to me. I'm going to be buying my second pair soon. They have them all over, pretty much where ever they sell Nike shoes. I got a 9.5 as opposed to my regular size 9 because when you work out your foot tends to swell. So think about that when buying shoes!!

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/?cp=usns_CSE_081109_Froogle&l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-192952/pgid-192952&CAWELAID=377770001#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-192952/pgid-192952

there is a link to the Nike store. They come in black and also white and they also have different accent colors.


I started out using a pair of cross-trainers for Zumba (New Balance) but had a lot of knee pain due to the twisting motions and my shoes being too stiff/grabbing too much. I now have a pair of Nike Musiques (clearnace at Zappos - $35) and they made a tremendous difference in ease of motion. I did have some arch pain while using them, but now that I have the same arch support inserts that I use for walking/running, I've been fine.
  12083221
May 30, 2013 8:06 AM
bump
  27069771
November 5, 2013 9:51 AM
I just started doing Zumba, and of course have been wearing the wrong shoes- Asics running shoes. Half way through the class, the balls of my feet burn, and my middle toes ache. Since I am 48 and haven't done Zumba before, I blamed it on being out of shape, not being in my 20s anymore, and figured it would get better with every class. I was WRONG! It just got worse. I want to tell you that I purchased Sofsole Airr Orthotic Womens performance insoles from Olympia Sports yesterday. The Salesperson sold me the max cushioning and medium arch model. There is even a gel in the heel. I slipped them into my running shoe and had no pain during class today. I am very happy!! I also researched and ordered online Zumba shoes (in anticipation that the orthotics didn't work- I was skeptical). Based on multiple reviews, I will be trying the Ryka Transition and the NB 867. FYI, the NB shoe comes in 1/2 sizes up to 11 which is unheard of.
November 12, 2013 9:33 AM
I tried the Ryka Transition sneakers- although they were comfortable and my feet didn't hurt, there wasn't enough ventilation in the shoe for Zumba. My feet were very hot by the end of the class. I also want to comment that these run a little small. I ordered a size 11 and they were snug- much more so than the Asics running shoes that are roomier in the toe area.
October 6, 2014 1:10 PM
This post is almost a year old but there is excellent advice in here. I have high arches and a lot of body weight so I am currently searching for the right shoe. I feel like as long as I can move around and lose some weight, then my feet will hurt less. But in the meantime, in order to lose weight.... I have to hurt my feet. Haha... catch-22 of sorts.

Do you guys have any more recommendations? Ones that have a big toe box, and can comfortably fit arch support inserts? Thanks!
  58275293
October 6, 2014 1:12 PM
This post is almost a year old but there is excellent advice in here. I have high arches and a lot of body weight so I am currently searching for the right shoe. I feel like as long as I can move around and lose some weight, then my feet will hurt less. But in the meantime, in order to lose weight.... I have to hurt my feet. Haha... catch-22 of sorts.

Do you guys have any more recommendations? Ones that have a big toe box, and can comfortably fit arch support inserts? Thanks!
  58275293
October 6, 2014 1:20 PM
Hola Zumba lovers! I do Zumba 4x a week. The best shoes I've found are Nike Free or Reebok Nano 2. They allow pivoting and side to side movements with ease. I'm flat footed so I use Dr. Scholl's® Active Series™ Insoles for arch support.
  18263283
October 6, 2014 1:22 PM
I teach Jazzercise, not Zumba, but they are similar programs (dance aerobics that require some pivoting & lateral movement). I have tried a million types of shoes (it seems anyway). I am wearing Ryka Flextra right now & absolutely love them. I think finding the right shoe for you is almost like finding the right pair of jeans for your body. It's really hit/miss. What works for one will not work for another. Some of my ladies are wearing slip on dance pads over their shoes that help them pivot. Running shoes or cross trainers, look for the "lip" on the side of the shoe, will really hinder your lateral movement & make it more difficult to pivot as the bottom of the shoe is trying to give you more "grip" than what you need.

Good luck! Happy feet make the whole body happy!
October 6, 2014 1:27 PM
I work at a latin dance studio. Revolution dance sneakers are what I recommend. They have nice arch support, just enough grip and don't make you slip all over the floor. Good luck with finding what works for you :)
  43190309
October 6, 2014 1:30 PM
There are "dance fitness sneakers" out there. They have circles on the bottom to make it easier to pivot. Some basketball sneakers have the same.

Just don't waste your money on the Zumba brand sneakers - they're crap. Try Bloch or Capezio.

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