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THE BEST SHOES FOR DANCE FITNESS PART 2

In my first blog post about the best shoes for dance fitness classes (which can be found here), I discussed the things that I look for when buying shoes for class, namely ensuring that the shoes:

  • are flexible & lightweight;

  • are not too grippy (and maybe have a pivot point for turns & spins); and

  • have sufficient cushioning in the right places (forefoot as well as heel).

At the end of that blog post I set an experiment for myself. I ordered some Ryka Devotion XT shoes, and I decided to try them out in Never Stop Dancing classes, and let you all know how they went. So, below I discuss my new shoes … and also some other popular dance sneakers. Apologies, this is a long blog post … but feel free to skip to the conclusion if you just want a summary of my recommendations. Once again, I am not an expert, and I do not have an affiliation with any shoe or insole brand … but still open to all offers (ha ha) ;D.


Footloose sneakers


RYKA SHOES

Ryka is a shoe brand designed specifically for women. I tried the Ryka Devotion XT shoe, and I love it! It is definitely plenty flexible and lightweight. It has a pivot point (to allow for spins and turns), which is great. The rest of the sole was a little bit too grippy at first, but a few swivels on concrete definitely improved that. It has great cushioning, and is made for high impact activities. I took out the factory insole, and put in my usual Sorbothane Max Duty insole (sponsored link* - check the size), for even more cushioning … but then, I jump around a lot!!


Ryka have other dance sneakers available, but the Devotion XT appears to have the best combination of grip and cushioning for dance fitness classes

Ryka Devotion XT shoe
WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

Ryka shoes can be purchased at www.ryka.com , or on Amazon (sponsored link*) or similar (maybe TradeMe if you are lucky). However, ryka.com do not deliver outside of the US. The Amazon site linked above does deliver to countries outside the US, including NZ, and delivery may be free. Alternatively you can use YouShop (in NZ) or similar for postage (unless you know a friendly American who could send your shoes on to you).


COST

At the time of writing, Ryka shoes range in price from USD $79.99 to USD $119, which converts to NZD $130 to NZD $193.



BLOCH SHOES

Bloch is a more traditional dance shoe brand. They have 2 indoor dance sneakers available:

Bek (who choreographs some of our great routines, helps me with classes, is an NSD YouTube video star, and all round marvel) wears a Classic Boost shoe for class, and loves it ... light, comfy, great cushioning and great for turns and spins. The Classic Boost has a split sole, which means it is very flexible (the split sole enables you to point your toe). The split sole can be an issue for people who have foot arch issues or suffer from plantar fasciitis, as there is a bit less support under the arch of the foot. The Boost has a pivot point, and very little grip. This makes it wonderful for turns and spins, but you may slide a little bit in squats and lunges, and you may need to be careful on very slippery surfaces (no accidental splits please ;D). The Boost is designed for high impact activities, so it has good cushioning.


The Omnia looks more like a street shoe. It is very light and has grooves for flexibility. It does not have a pivot point, but definitely has an indoor sole. It has grip at the toe and heel, which would be good for lunges, but no grip on the outer edge (for squats). The Omnia may not have as much cushioning as the Boost, but you can always replace the factory insoles.



WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

Bloch shoes can be bought online in NZ from: www.dancestorenz.co.nz , and elsewhere from sites that specialize in dance gear. You can also purchase Bloch Classic Boost shoes from Amazon, and Bloch Omnia from Amazon (sponsored links*) which may include free shipping. They may also be available in physical stores that have dance shoes (like the old Gubbs in Wellington … now sadly closed).


COST

At the time of writing, Bloch Boost shoes cost NZD $153, with NZD $15 delivery throughout NZ (equivalent to approximately USD $94 plus shipping).



FUEGO SHOES

Recently a new brand of dance sneaker has become available online called Fuego. I have not tried these shoes, but I have 1 person in my class who has tried the dance sneaker. Fuego have 2 models:

  • A dance sneaker available in low or high top – designed to be very slippery for turns and spins, even on concrete or carpet; and

  • A split sole shoe – a more recent add-on. This shoe was designed to be more like a traditional dance sneaker (like the Bloch Boost) … so very flexible.

The dance sneaker has a pivot point on both the forefoot and the heel. My class member who has a pair of the dance sneakers reports that they are very slippery, so they should be fantastic for turns, or if you dance at home on carpet. But, on a wood or similar floor they may be a bit too slippery for squats and lunges. The dance sneaker has lots of cushioning and is moderately flexible (which should be fine for dance fitness).


The split sole model is designed to be super light and very flexible (you can point your toe). It also has a pivot point on both the forefoot and the heel, so once again, great for turns and spins, but may not be so good for moves that require a bit of grip. According to the Fuego website, the split sole model also has lots of cushioning. Once again, split soles may be slightly less supportive for people who have arch issues. I would love to hear from anyone who tries either of these shoes. They look super cool.



WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

You can buy Fuego shoes at www.fuegodance.com. They deliver worldwide. Shipping is free within the US, and costs about USD $31 to NZ.


COST

At the time of writing, Fuego shoes range in price from USD $110 to USD $130, which equates to NZD $178 to NZD $210, plus NZD $50 delivery.



ZUMBA SHOES

Zumba have quite an extensive range of shoes designed for Zumba classes (which are dance fitness classes). Their shoes seem light and flexible. Most of their shoes appear to have indoor soles, but oddly only 1 model, the Zumba Train 2.0, has a pivot point. The pivot point is also a little bit different, as it has a half pivot point on the inner edge of the forefoot, and then a black round pivot point on the outer edge of the forefoot. According to the Zumbawear website, the Zumba Train 2.0 has lots of cushioning, and the online reviews are very good. I would love to hear from anyone who has purchased a pair of Zumba shoes recently in terms of their quality, cushioning and grip.


Zumba Train 2.0 shoe

WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

You can buy Zumba shoes from www.zumbashop.com.au (Australia & NZ site) or www.zumbawear.com (if you are in the US) or www.zumbawear.eu (if you are in Europe/UK).


COST

At the time of writing, the price for a pair of Zumba shoes ranges from NZD $165 to NZD $169 plus NZD $30 shipping to NZ, or USD $87 to USD $97 plus shipping.



CAPEZIO SHOES

Capezio have the Rock It shoe, which looks very similar to the Bloch Classic Boost, although it is a bit cheaper. Online reviews suggest that these are quite a narrow shoe, and you may need to go up half a size. The Rock It has a split sole, but looks like it might have less arch support than the Bloch Boost.

Capezio Rockit shoe
WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

Capezio shoes can be bought online in NZ from: www.dancestorenz.co.nz , and elsewhere from sites that specialize in dance gear. You can also purchase Capezio shoes on Amazon (sponsored link*), often with free delivery. They may also be available in physical stores that have dance shoes.


COST

At the time of writing, a pair of Capezio Rock cost NZD $125.50 plus NZD $15 delivery throughout NZ (equivalent to approximately USD $77 plus delivery).



NIKE SHOES

Nike have a few shoes that they advertise as dance sneakers:

These shoes all seem like they are Nike’s answer to the Fuego shoes mentioned above. The Airforce and Dunk shoes are actually basketball shoes. They have a pivot point (for turns during basketball), but not sure how flexible or light they would be. They have some grip at the toes and on the outer edge of the shoe, which would be good for squats and lunges. But, as these shoes are designed for basketball, I feel like their appeal for dancing is all about looking very cool, rather than being designed with dancing in mind. If you are after a cool looking shoe, the Fuego might be a better bet, as it was specifically designed for dance.


Nike also have various training shoes, which look light and flexible, but they all seem like they might have a bit too much grip … good for a class that is training or weights focused (where you want good stability), but not so good for a class that has a lot of dancing. Nike used to have the Flex Tr shoe, which was light and flexible, with okay cushioning (although I always replaced the factory insole), and okay grip. But, at the time of writing this blog, I could only find this shoe on Amazon, Trade Me or similar, so it appears Nike may have phased it out.


Nike Airforce 1 '07

WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

You can buy Nike shoes everywhere, or you can buy online from www.nike.com or from Amazon. The Nike Flex Training shoe is an option if you can find it in your size on Amazon (sponsored link* - has limited sizes, but worth a look) or Trademe or similar.


COST

The shoes listed above range in price from NZD $190 to NZD $230 (NZ dollars) plus NZD $18 delivery (equivalent to approximately USD $116 to USD $141 plus delivery).



REEBOK SHOES

Reebok have the Freestyle Motion dance shoe. This shoe looks light. It has some grooves in the sole, but I am not sure how flexible they would actually be. The Reebok website doesn’t mention cushioning or support, so I can’t really comment. The sole has a pivot point for turns and spins, but otherwise looks like an outdoor sole designed for tennis or walking. So, I am not sure about this shoe.


Reebok Freestyle Motion

WHERE TO BUY / DELIVERY

You can buy the Reebok Freestyle Motion in NZ at www.reebokshoesnz.com , and in the US from www.reebok.com .


COST

At the time of writing, these shoes cost NZD $93.87 plus $15 delivery (equivalent to approximately USD $58).



CONCLUSION

Okay, in conclusion:

  • I would highly recommend the Ryka Devotion XT shoe for dance fitness. But, if you are ordering from outside the US, you may wish to order via Amazon* for free or reasonably priced postage. You can also use YouShop or similar (but the postage may be expensive). You may also have to do a few swivels on concrete to make the sole slightly less grippy. If you are dancing on a super grippy surface, then you may need to be careful that your feet don't get stuck when turning (not good for the knees).

  • I would also highly recommend the Bloch Classic Boost. This shoe costs a little bit more, but in NZ it will work out cheaper when you factor in delivery costs. You can also find Bloch Classic Boost shoes on Amazon*, and delivery may be free. Just make sure you are happy with the look and feel of a split sole shoe. If you have foot arch issues, or you are dancing on a very slippery surface, then you may need to be careful (no accidental splits please ;D).

  • I have not experienced Fuego shoes, but they look intriguing. With currency conversion and delivery they are the most expensive of my top 3 brands if you are ordering from NZ (much more reasonable in the US with free delivery). They seem to have very little grip and 2 pivot points, so great for turns and spins. Once again, if you are dancing on a very slippery surface, then you may need to be careful. They look super cool!

  • The Zumba shoes are a bit of an unknown, but they have excellent online reviews, and are made for dance fitness. Only 1 of their models has a pivot point (which is also an unusual shape), and I am not sure whether some of their other models may have a bit too much grip.

  • I am not sure I would recommend any of the other shoes, as they all seem to have fit or grip issues, or are ultimately designed for activities other than dance fitness.

Phew … I think I need a cup of tea and a lie down after all that. Well done if you have made it to the end of this very long … but hopefully useful … blog post. Happy shoe shopping!!


*As an experiment I have joined the Amazon Associate program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you are not keen to purchase from Amazon, I always give links to other sites where the product is available. But if expensive shipping is an issue for you, and you don't mind me (Virginia ... the author) earning a tiny bit from your purchase, then the Amazon product sites I have linked to are good ones. Of course if you have any issues with the Amazon product sites I have linked to, please let me know. Happy shoe shopping!!

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