Can You Do Zumba Barefoot?

Zumba is a fun and popular form of exercise that you can do at home by yourself or at a gym in a group class. If you're interested in trying Zumba, but you've never done it before, you need to know what to wear on your feet. Can you do Zumba barefoot, or should you wear shoes? And what kind of shoes? We've done the research and have all the answers you need to dress your feet right for your first Zumba class.

You don't perform Zumba barefoot. Whether at home on carpet or a hard floor in a gym, you should wear shoes to avoid injury and get the maximum benefit from your Zumba workout.

Keep reading for more information on why you need to wear shoes for Zumba and what type of shoes you should choose. We'll also give you some recommendations on clothes to wear for Zumba and tell you just exactly what type of exercise Zumba is.Can You Do Zumba Barefoot (Including On A Carpet), Smiling african american trainer performing zumba with multicultural dancers in dance studio

Wear Shoes For Zumba

Zumba is a dance fitness class that primarily incorporates Latin dance rhythms but often includes various other dance styles and aerobic exercises. During a typical Zumba class, you are on your feet the entire time -- dancing, turning and jumping.

Unlike in some other exercise classes, you do not use a mat or stay within your own tiny personal space during a Zumba class. Depending on the teacher and their specific choreography, you may travel back and forth across the entire floor. Especially in a group setting, you will want to wear shoes to protect your toes from getting stepped on when moving around with so many other people.

Choosing to perform Zumba barefoot would cause a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on your feet. You are likely to get blisters and could end up with other more serious injuries. Your legs and feet will thank you for protecting them by wearing shoes.

Should I wear shoes for Zumba at home?

Even if you choose to do Zumba at home with a DVD or by streaming an online video, you should still wear shoes. Some Zumba moves are high-impact. Wearing shoes that provide some cushion when performing jumps and other high-impact steps will help protect both your knees and feet, whether you are in a gym or at home.

On a hardwood or tile floor, bare feet often stick when trying to twist or turn, which could damage either your ankles or knees. And don't just put on a pair of socks to make those turns easier -- you could end up slipping and falling and hurting yourself even worse.

Should I wear shoes for Zumba on Carpet?

Even if your living room has a thick, plush carpet, shoes are still recommended for Zumba. Your toes and the bottoms of your feet will burn if you try to do too many turns or twisting moves on a rug. And if you opt to wear only socks, you will soon wear holes through them.

Can I Modify A Zumba Workout for Bare feet?

Even if you choose to do a low-impact version of Zumba and skip the jumps or other high-impact choreography, you should still wear shoes. You will not get the maximum benefit from your workout if you end up modifying every move to accommodate your bare feet. You want to make any modifications based on your abilities, not your attire. Don't sell yourself short by skipping the shoes.

Play it safe and smart, and put on a pair of shoes before starting your Zumba workout.

Do You Need Special Shoes for Zumba?

You do not need special shoes for Zumba. Most people simply wear a standard pair of tennis shoes or sneakers, but you can choose to wear shoes specially designed for Zumba and other dance classes. No matter which type of shoes you choose, you might want to reserve a pair of shoes that you only wear for Zumba and other fitness classes to make sure they stay clean and in the best shape.

When choosing shoes for Zumba, you want to make sure they provide:

  • Ability to perform turns without sticking or slipping.
  • Cushion for high-impact jumps.
  • Flexibility to articulate your feet.
  • Support for your arches.
  • Proper fit to prevent blisters.

Standard Sneakers

If you choose standard sneakers or tennis shoes, you may want to opt for a pair with thinner, more flexible soles rather than a pair with thick, solid ones. You need to raise onto the balls of your feet and maneuver from your heel to your toes, so make sure you choose shoes that aren't too stiff.

Click here for these women's Ryka cross-training shoes on Amazon.

Click here for these women's Zumba fitness sneakers on Amazon.

Click here for these men's New Balance Minimus cross-trainer sneakers on Amazon.

Dance Sneakers

If you find it difficult to dance in standard tennis shoes, you might want to upgrade to a special dance sneaker. These shoes will provide more flexibility than a standard shoe and make it easier to perform turns and more complicated choreography.

Click here for these Bloch women's dance sneakers on Amazon.

Click here for the Capezio women's Fierce Dansneaker on Amazon.

Click here for this Capezio canvas dance sneaker for men or women on Amazon.


If your rubber soles stick too much and make turning difficult, you can upgrade any tennis shoe to a dance shoe with a sleeve that goes over your sneakers. These will work for both men and women and with most shoes.

Click here for these 2 Feet Dancing Socks on Amazon.

What Clothes to Wear for Zumba?

You can wear the same clothes you would wear for any other fitness class for Zumba. Yoga pants and tank tops or shorts and T-shirts are all valid options. You should plan to sweat, and you need clothes that you can comfortably jump, spin, and move your whole body in, but otherwise, the choice is yours.

Although Zumba is a dance fitness class, you do not need to wear traditional dance attire. As long as your clothes don't restrict your movements or make you uncomfortable, you can wear pretty much whatever you like.

If you'd like some specific examples, here are suggestions of what either women or men can wear to a Zumba class:


Click here for this Zumba racerback tank top on Amazon.

Click here for these purple high-waist yoga pants on Amazon.

Click here for this high-impact racerback sports bra on Amazon.


Click here for this 5-pack of dry-fit moisture-wicking athletic shirts on Amazon.

Click here for these Under Armour workout shorts on Amazon.

What Type of Exercise Is Zumba Considered?

Zumba is considered an interval workout because it moves between high and low-intensity intervals that will boost your heart rate. It's a cardio workout that will strengthen your core, legs, and glutes; enhance your flexibility; and improve your endurance. A Zumba class is a high-impact and high-energy aerobic workout that will make you sweat and burn an average of over 300 calories per class. Zumba can be performed by almost anyone, even beginners. It's great for weight loss and improving your overall fitness and is tons of fun!


If you're ready for a fun and effective cardio workout, try Zumba. You shouldn't perform Zumba barefoot, but you don't need any special equipment other than the right shoes. Find a local gym that offers Zumba classes or stream a class online, and dance your way to fitness!

Check out these other articles on what to wear on your feet when you exercise:

Do You Wear Shoes When Doing Pilates?

Do Basketball Shoes Make Good Running Shoes?

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