Dance fitness is so fun that you might actually forget you are exerting your muscles and joints in ways that could cause injury. We do so many twists and turns and quick movements that we really need just the right kind of shoes to prevent injury. Good dance studios use what is called a sprung floor, which means there is an extra layer of soft material between the finished surface and the hard sub-floor, and while that works to help reduce some risk of injury, especially when we do any kind of higher impact move where both feet are off the floor at the same time, it doesn’t help with any twisting motion of your foot touching the floor. For that, you need special shoes that are appropriate for dance fitness. Shoes that provide much less grip to the surface than many athletic shoes intended for outdoor sports, like long-distance running or tennis. For dance fitness, you want shoes that are specially made to easily pivot on the ball of the foot.
There are quite a few types of these shoes on the market, and each one may have its advantages and disadvantages. My three favorites, in order, are:
1. Ryka Women’s Studio D
These shoes fit like a glove from day one, have firm support and have just the right amount of tension on the ball of the foot. Over time they loosen up a little and don’t give as much support, but these are the best shoes I’ve found for me to do dance fitness classes in.
2. PUMA Women’s Future Cat Superlight Shoe
Yeah, they are so light they practically fly out of your hand when you pick them up. You barely know you’re wearing shoes. I love these for their comfort, fit and style, but they don’t provide quite as much tight foot support as you might want in a dance shoe. These work great when you are dancing on a very good wood floor – they give just the right amount of slide and they feel and look great. They have an asymmetrical lace that makes them that much more interesting and also takes some of the stress off the top of your foot.
3. Capezio Fierce Dansneaker
These are very popular in dance fitness classes these days. They have very unique styling that makes them look almost like a ballroom dance shoe because of the high bridge between the heel and toe. They are a little heavy because of the leather upper but provide great support, and they will give you that easy twisting action to absolutely save your knees from injury. My experience is that they run about a size small, so if you get these online you may want to try them on at a store first.