The Right Shoe
Posted by terrepruitt on September 26, 2013
Today after Nia Class a Nia White Belt and I were talking. We were talking Nia over coffee and a friend from her past happened by. So she joined us. She was coming from Jazzercise and so, of course the conversation turned to us sharing some information about Nia with her. She sounded as if she was willing to try it but also as if she was never going to move away from Jazzercise. I love that she is moving. I think it is important that people exercise and one of the ,best ways to ensure that is to find something you like or better yet — love. I appreciate that there is so much out there for people to participate in. Of course, I would love for you to come to my Nia class. I would love for you to love Nia. I think it is great because it addresses the BMES, but not everyone likes that in their exercise. In the course of our conversation she said she tried Zumba, but it didn’t work for her that well. She had already mentioned that she takes it easy on her knee so I felt justified in recommending the correct type of shoe. I often hear people don’t like Zumba because it hurts their knees and it often has to do with the shoes they are wearing. In Nia we dance bare foot. We do not twist on our foot or scoot, we pick our feet up off the ground. When doing a dance exercise or a fitness class, like Zumba the need for shoes is apparent. In Zumba there is a lot of twisting, shuffling, and sliding. You need the right shoe for that.
Exercise sneakers, tennis shoes, cross trainers, and running shoes are not the correct shoe for doing Zumba or any type of dance that requires shoes for that matter. An exercise sneaker or tennis shoe has what you want in regards to cushion, construction and support. A cross trainer has even more support in the shoe because with cross training you are moving forward, backward, side to side, and even up and down. So the shoe itself is made to support your foot and keep it secured in the shoe. And running shoes are great for the cushion. They cushion your step and help absorb the shock of your foot landing on the earth. So these types of shoes are great, the “upper”, because they are built for impact and moving in different directions, but it is the sole you do not want to dance on. These shoes are made for traction. They are made to stop you from twisting and sliding. When you are playing tennis, doing cross training, or running you don’t want to be slipping, sliding, and twisting around. So the soles are made to keep that from happen. I mean, have you seen some of those soles? They look like tire treads. Great for outdoors.
Now a dance shoe, say a jazz shoe or a ballet slipper is perfect for dance. Without all of the cushion and support that is an athletic shoe they are usually light and easy to lift and move in. The bottom of the shoe has material that allows you to slide and glide, spin, turn, and twirl on the dance floor. Perfect for moving to the music and getting your groove on. And THAT is the kind of sole you want. Something you can twist in. Something you can slide in. Something that won’t stop you foot dead as you dance across the floor. But then again, those shoes have the SOLES you want, but not the support. Since you are doing cross training type of motion (forward, backward, side to side, and even up and down) you want that type of support. And it would be nice to have some cushion too, huh?
Well, do your knees a favor and do not do Zumba in tennis shoes, cross trainers, and running shoes. And do your feet a favor and do not do Zumba in a jazz shoe or a ballet slipper. What you need is a dance sneaker. Someone, somewhere – I don’t know the origin of them – decided to combine the two. Brilliant. Someone added the support, cushion, and comfort of an athletic shoe to a sole that can slide and glide. Whew! This is genius. This will help save your knees and other joints!
I know Zumba has a brand of shoe that has a great dance sole, I don’t know about the cushion and support of the shoe. I bought Capezios because they don’t have a sole over the arch so they allow for the foot to really move.
Since you are investing in your health and wellness by going to a dance exercise class, please take it a one step further and splurge for those dance sneakers. They don’t have to cost more than $50.00, and you will be saving yourself so much more in the long run. You will be allowing your body to move with greater comfort on the dance floor.
What do you think? Do you think a shoe that allows you to slide a bit is better for dancing? Doesn’t it make sense to have a dance sneaker?