Fusing dance moves with rhythm creates a fun, fast-paced workout. It’s one of those activities where your running sneakers might not make the grade for sliding, pivoting, and jumping around. Choosing the best shoes for dance cardio helps support your body, from the feet up.
Our 7 Picks of the Best Dance Cardio Shoes
1. RYKA Women’s Influence Cross-Training Shoe
2. Reebok Women’s Guresu 2.0 Dance Shoe
3. Bloch Dance Boost Split Sole Dance Sneaker
4. RYKA Women’s Tenacity Cross-Trainer Shoe
5. Capezio DS11 Fierce Dansneaker
6. Adidas Men’s Icon Trainer Baseball Shoe
7. Nike Free TR 8 Shoes
What is Cardio Dance?
Dance cardio mixes choreographed moves with rhythmical music for a fun, full-body workout. Think about a night out at a club with your friends with the music cranked up, the energy of the crowded dance floor—then take away the late-night, liquor, and club scene. That pretty much sums up dance cardio, moving to music in a way that creates a dynamic exercise regime.
It could be a mix of Zumba, jazzercise, salsa, hip-hop, and other dance genres. One of the great things is that if you have the coordination of Bambi on ice, it doesn’t matter. It’s not just about performing the moves perfectly, that will come with time; it’s more about having fun and improving your fitness levels.
Benefits of Dance Cardio
This fast-paced dance-inspired workout can benefit both your body and mind. These include:
- Working different muscle groups: Dance cardio gives your body a full-on aerobic experience, utilizing your core to maintain balance while your glutes, arms and legs do the work. It could be a more enjoyable form of exercise to walking or jogging that offers you the same fitness benefits.
- Improves rhythm and coordination: Ok, at first, you might not grasp all the steps and get everything right, but perseverance and repetition can get you there. As you become more familiar with the routine, you might find that you, too, can bust out the moves like Jagger.
- Burns fat: Cardio dance routines can be intense, increasing your heart rate and helping you reduce body fat.
- Tones your muscles: You don’t have to hit the gym and lift heavy weights to boost muscle definition. Dancing can improve muscle performance and tone just as well as other forms of exercise.
- Boosts your brainpower: Learning to move to music can stimulate both motor and sensory circuits in your brain. The neurons get fired up and help enhance your recall and memory.
- Improves your frame of mind: The beat of the music and rhythmic moves might make you feel better, but dancing along creates a sense of well-being. So next time your mood is low, find a dance cardio class to raise your spirits.
- It’s not boring: Let’s be honest, how many of us find working out a chore because it’s just so repetitive. Dance cardio is constantly evolving. Frequent changes in moves and music mean it doesn’t get monotonous—so you might be more inclined to keep it up.
Features to Look for in the Best Shoes for Dance Cardio
Finding the right shoes for dance cardio can make your workout more enjoyable. Your feet will be comfortable, and you’ll breeze through the routines. Here are some features to look out for so you can make an informed selection.
- Pivot point: Located on the sole at the ball of the foot, this feature enables you to spin and turn with ease. It helps stop the shoes from aggressively gripping the dance floor and can prevent injuries like twisted ankles.
- Cushioning: Dance cardio is a high-impact activity, usually carried out on hard surfaces. You need to ensure your shoes have sufficient cushioning to absorb shock as you execute the routine. Look for EVA in the midsole or patented features designed to return energy to your feet.
- Lightweight: You won’t want heavy shoes that feel like lumps of lead at the end of your legs by the end of your class. Materials like mesh uppers, lightweight knits and rubber soles can help reduce the amount of weight in a shoe.
- Support and stability: Staying on your feet is paramount to avoid injury and embarrassment!. Features like a wide heel, arch support, ankle padding and secure lacing keep your feet stable and supported.
- Comfort: If your feet aren’t comfortable, then you aren’t going to enjoy your workout. You don’t want shoes that will rub your feet and cause blisters, so look for padding on the inside, decent cushioning, and make sure they fit properly. Check out some of our fitting and sizing articles to help with this.
- Traction: A reliable grippy sole will ensure you stay on your feet and avoid slipping over. That being said, there is a balance between traction and being able to move through all the slides, turns, and steps.
- Breathability: The chances are you are going to work up a sweat when taking part in dance cardio—and this includes your feet. Shoes that allow your feet to breathe with mesh uppers or ventilation enable moisture to escape and air to circulate. This encourages your feet to remain dry and fresh.
- Flexibility: While you want stability, you also need flexibility to perform all the moves dance cardio requires. Shoes with split soles, or those that flex easily between the heel and forefoot, let your feet bend and straighten as you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Best Shoes for Dance?
Wearing any old sneakers won’t cut it for a dance class. The soles will be too stiff and could have too much traction. Look for the attributes we’ve listed, or choose any of the shoes featured above.
You can find more reviews for dance specific footwear in our articles on the best shoes for jazzercise or hip hop.
Are Running Shoes Good for Dance Cardio?
Running shoes are designed to absorb impact and provide you with traction as your feet hit the floor from heel to toe. They generally support your feet through forward motion. Dance cardio involves mainly 360-degree movement through spins, slides, and jumps.
The best shoes for dance cardio allow you to move in any direction with ease, so running shoes may not be an ideal choice.
Can I Wear Orthotic Insoles in My Dance Cardio Shoes?
Sometimes our feet dictate how much support they need and insoles can correct many foot issues. If you need special inserts to support arches, relieve heel spurs, or correct overpronation, look for shoes with removable insoles.
You can find out more about insoles for various conditions in our many articles on shoe inserts.
Our Top 7 Best Shoes for Dance Cardio Reviewed
Dance cardio classes will have you pivoting, sliding, jumping and much more—all at a super-fast pace. Wearing the best shoes for dance cardio will keep you stable and provide your feet with cushioning and support throughout all the intricate moves.
Ryka is a brand that understands that women’s feet differ from men’s and engineers’ footwear purely for the female form. Many of their shoes have a roomier forefoot, narrower heels, and increased instep volume.
The Influence cross-trainer is available in eleven different colorways. These include those that are predominantly black, with accents of grays, pinks, blues, or greens—or mainly gray, with silver, pink, or blue accents.
Sizes on offer range from 5 to 11, in half size increments. You can also choose from wide or medium fittings.
The uppers have a secure lacing system and a padded tongue and collar, combined with comfortable, breathable mesh. Patented Flex Foil and Direct-Fuse layers provide support from heel to toe. Density foam and N-Gage EVA are located in the midsole giving your feet cushioning and shock absorption.
Pivot points are placed under the balls of the feet in the soles, which have added traction, making movement easier during your dance cardio routine. A Comfort Fit Precise-Return insole helps absorb shock, provides arch support and rebounds energy to your feet and legs.
On the downside, some find these shoes come up a little small in length and width, so be prepared to size up.
- Designed for women’s feet.
- Choice of two widths.
- Cushioned insole and midsole.
- Shock-absorbing sole with pivot point.
- Might need to size up.
Reebok is a renowned global brand that believes fitness is for everybody. They manufacture a wide range of shoes and sports clothing.
The ladies’ Guresu dance shoe is available in sizes 5 to 11 in a regular width fitting. There are eleven different colors, from a vivid primary orange with black and white to muted blacks, whites, and greys. Not only will they feel great on your feet, but they’ll look good as well.
Synthetic mesh uppers secure with laces and enclose an ortholite removable foam sock liner. The very lightweight bootie style hugs your feet and provides plenty of cushioning.
A rubber midsole absorbs shock taking the strain off your feet during your dance studio workouts. In the rubber outsole, a Turnzone pivot point is situated at the inner side of the ball of the foot for perfect spins and turns.
These shoes tend to run large, so you might need to order a half or full size smaller than you usually wear. Some also find the mesh uppers too soft.
- Eleven color choices.
- Breathable mesh uppers.
- Turnzone pivot point.
- Cushioned midsole.
- Run large.
Bloch dedicates itself to manufacturing shoes for dance genres of all kinds. This unisex pair is great for dance cardio.
These mesh and suede shoes are available in two colors, black or pink. Sizes run from 4 through to 16, in half size increments.
These shoes don’t match the size you would normally choose in regular shoes. Bloch advises ladies to select at least one shoe size up, and another half size if you have broad feet. To fit men, select two full sizes higher than your everyday shoes.
A distinctive split outer sole covers just the forefoot and heel—there is no outsole in the middle of the foot. This allows for flexibility and helps keep the shoes lightweight as you put them through their dance moves. Arch support is built-in, and they possess a variable lacing system to keep your feet locked down.
The heel has a suede grip for enhanced stability and a breathable Dri-Lex lining keeps feet odor-free and dry. A midsole with a 4-PSI air cushion and an EVA molded sock liner help absorb shock upon impact.
The outer sole is high-density rubber, which is also non-marking. It has an integrated spin spot for quick turns, spins, and twists.
Choosing the right size can be a bit of a challenge, so it might be trial and error.
- Designed for dance.
- Non-marking outer sole with pivot point.
- Breathable uppers and linings.
- Sizing can be tricky.
This is our second shoe selection from Ryka. It combines workout functionality with street style in a high-top sneaker.
There are five colors to choose from, including black, pale gray and pink, or leopard print options. The sizes range from 5 through 11 in half size increments with a regular width fitting.
Synthetic mesh breathable uppers aim to keep feet cool. A rounded toe style, it has a strap secured with velcro over the laces at the instep—which helps keep them securely on your feet.
Ryka’s workout shoes are loaded with proprietary features, including support from Flex-Foil and Direct-Fuse layers, and a re-zorb footbed. These are further enhanced by a dual foam midsole, which absorbs shock. The sole has an all-important dedicated pivot point so you can bust those moves with ease.
A high-top style might help prevent your ankles from twisting or rolling with the extra support they offer. The shoe has a cushioned insole and smooth lining for comfort.
Some find the padding under the forefoot lacking in these shoes. Adding insoles for extra cushioning could be a workaround.
- Ankle support.
- Supportive and cushioning features.
- Shock absorbent soles with a pivot point.
- Velcro strap at the instep for a secure fit.
- Might need extra forefoot padding.
The Capezio brand has been producing quality dance shoes since the 1890s. Broadway shows and the Metropolitan Opera House are just some of the patrons of their footwear.
We are advised the sizes run about two below street size for men, and one below for women. They range from 3 through to a 14 in half size increments. The six color options include black with various color accents like blue, red or gold, solid black, and white.
This is a sneaker designed with dance in mind and is ideal for dance cardio with a spin point in the forefoot, and patented flex points in the sole.
The uppers are made from polyurethane leather and mesh, and arch support is provided in the split sole. The shoe has a padded collar and tongue with an Achilles notch for comfort. The sports lace system helps you secure the shoes on your feet for a comfortable fit.
There is a removable EVA footbed that shapes to the contours of your feet, providing comfort and cushioning.
These shoes seem to run quite narrow, and sizing can be tough as they don’t match standard US sizes. They also might not stand up well to use outside the dance studio.
- Flex points and pivot spot in the sole.
- Sports lace-up system.
- Breathable uppers.
- Arch support and cushioning.
- Not suitable for use outdoors.
- Sizes can be confusing.
It’s not only the ladies who enjoy dance cardio; men do as well. This stylish sneaker from Adidas is a multi-sport shoe that could appeal for studio workouts.
It comes in sizes 4 to 18, and four different masculine colors, blue, black, white, and red. Matching laces allow you to lock your feet down in the shoes.
The uppers are manufactured from a breathable, lightweight heather mesh. This saves your feet from becoming fatigued while keeping them fresh and dry. They have an internal bootie that supports feet and ankles.
Haptic print overlays help these shoes hug your feet and bolster them just where they need it. The outsole offers traction to keep you stable on your feet, but not so much that you stick to the dance floor.
On the downside, these shoes don’t have a pivot point in the sole. They can also be a little difficult to get on—but it’s worth persevering as many find the support superior once your feet are in them.
- Breathable mesh uppers.
- Inner sock liner.
- Choice of male-oriented colors.
- Generous foot and ankle support.
- Can be challenging to get on your feet.
Nike is a global household name in the fitness market and has been for 40 years or more. Top athletes, including Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, and Michael Jordan, have endorsed this known brand.
The TR8 shoe is geared for gym work, HIIT, and cross-training, but it’s also a worthy contender for dance cardio.
There are models available for ladies and men, in sizes 5 to 13, and 9.5 to 15, respectively. Although there is only one color choice for men, blue, ladies have 19 to select from, including pink, white, gray, and baby blue.
Mesh uppers allow your feet to breathe, keeping them fresh and dry. Flywire cables in the middle of the foot are supported by a secure lacing system for a close fit. The bootie style is designed for a sock-like feel on your feet and includes padding at the collar for your heels and ankles.
A lightweight midsole provides cushioning and shock absorption, and the flat heel offers a wide surface area. This helps with stability as you go through your dance paces.
Rubber pods in high wear areas on the sole, and flex grooves allow you to maintain traction throughout the most testing routine.
Some find these shoes run a little on the narrow side, and they come up smaller than average. You might need to get a larger size for a good fit.
- Flat heel and rubber sole for stability and traction.
- Bootie style hugs the feet.
- Tend to run narrow and small.
Get Ready to Get Down and Groove
The best shoes for dance cardio will help make your routines effortless and prevent you from becoming injured. They should have the right mix of support, cushioning, flexibility, comfort and stability, as well as being lightweight and durable.
The shoes we’ve featured allow you to focus on your moves and not your feet. This can boost your confidence and make you more efficient.
We would love to hear how you get on with your shoes for dance cardio—so please leave us a comment, and don’t forget to share