NEW: Z-Kickz Athletic Dance Shoes for Zumba by Zumba Fitness

August 28th, 2011

All of my favorite athletic dance shoes for Zumba have been discontinued. First, it was the Nike Musique IV with the mesh upper. Then it was the Nike Huarache. I’ve tried regular running or cross-training shoes, but nothing feels right in Zumba class. What’s a Zumba lover like me supposed to do?

Zumba Fitness has an (expensive) new solution: Zumba Z-Kicks. According to the Zumba Shop:

When you want to break it down (which is probably all the time step it up with Z-Kickz, the ultimate dance-fitness shoe – with a kick!
- Super-breathable mesh
- Ultra lightweight
- No-tread
- Neon accents
- Reflective Zumba logos

At the time when this post was written, Zumba Z-Kicks athletic dance shoes were only available for women and cost $74.95 USD. With 50 reviews written by customers in the Zumba Shop, these shoes have a 4.6/5.0 customer rating… Not bad!

I personally cannot afford to spend $75 USD on athletic shoes that I am only going to wear for Zumba. I used to find my Nike Musique and Nike Huarche on sale in stores or online for around $35 USD. $75 USD is out of my price range so I am going to wait and keep looking for a more affordable alternative.

If you try Zumba Z-Kickz, let us know what you think by leaving a comment! Thanks!

Zumba Z Kickz

Zumba Carpet Gliders From Zumba Fitness

August 23rd, 2011

Zumba on carpet is not ideal, but now with Zumba in the Circuit classes at Curves facilities, Zumba classes on carpet is becoming more and more common. Zumba with typical athletic shoes on carpet can cause knee pain and other joint problems due to the gripping soles sticking to the carpet during Zumba twists and turns.

Zumba has a branded solution for you: Zumba Carpet Sliders. According to the Zumba shop description:

Don’t get stuck on the carpet floor. Zumba® Carpet Gliders allows you to step, shake, swivel and spin on carpet with ease and reduced risk of injury.

The reviews are mixed. You may want to buy a pair for $15 to use as a pattern to make your own improved slip-on carpet gliders.

Zumba Carpet Gliders

Men’s Footware from Zumba Fitness

August 23rd, 2011

Finally! Men’s Z1 sneakers are athletic dance shoes from Zumba Fitness for Zumba Fitness!

According to the Zumba Fitness Shop:

Hey guys, this one’s for you — the all-new Z1 Sneakers for men! Athletic, sturdy, rugged and funky-cool to boot, these sneakers are built for optimum performance both in and out of Zumba® class. Constructed with a molded footbed and TPU for maximum support, and an ultra-breathable upper and midsole for total comfort, the new Z1 sneakers for him also have extra-tough pivot points to slide and grip on cue. With extra colored shoelaces, pair ‘em up with your favorite Zumbawear™ get-up and you’ll be ready to kick it into high gear!

The Z1 Zumba sneaker for men has mixed reviews, but if you’ve been searching for the right shoe, it might be worth the $75 to give them a try!

Mens Z1 Zumba Fitness Shoes

I Found a Pocket in C9 by Champion Exercise Pants From Target

August 23rd, 2011

Everyone knows pockets in exercise clothing are essential.

Pockets are an especially important feature of running shorts or tights. For running indoors on a track or treadmill, I need a pocket for my car or locker key and gym ID. For running outdoors, I need a pocket for my house key and ID.

If you have money to burn, Lululemon Athletica has by far the best exercise wear. Just be prepared to spend between $50-100 for a pair of running tights with a couple of cleverly hidden pockets.

You can imagine my surprise when I found a hidden pocket in the waistband of my C9 by Champion running tights that I bought for $25 from Target! The mesh pocket is sewn into the waistband of the running tights at the middle of the back. It was so well hidden, it took me months to discover it by accident! It is the perfect size for an ID and keys. You could even fit a smart phone in the hidden mesh pocket, but the lower back can be a terribly sweaty place to keep your phone during a workout…

Next time you are shopping for exercise clothing at Target, make sure you check the waistband for hidden pockets.

Champion Running Tights

Packing for Ragnar

August 18th, 2011

It’s that time of year again. Today, I’m packing and shopping for my 4th Great River Ragnar Relay. I always over pack, but if you’re wondering what to bring, here’s my list of what to pack for a Ragnar Relay:

Clothes: Pack your favorite running clothes, but don’t over pack. You also get a very nice shirt from Ragnar in your race goodie bag.

1 or 2 Pairs – Running Shoes
3 – Running Tights or Shorts
3 – Running Tops
3 – Running Socks
4 – Comfortable Underwear
4 – Sports Bras
1 – Long Sleeve T-shirt
1 – Light Jacket or Sweatshirt
1 – Comfortable Shoes or Sandals
1 – Comfortable Top
1 – Comfortable Pants or Shorts
1 – Baseball or Running Cap
1 – Swimsuit
1 – Towel
1 – Gym Towel
1 – Wet/Dry Bag (or garbage bag)
1 – Reflective Vest
2 – LED Lights (or these might be built into your reflective vest)
1 – Headlamp (2 per van)
1 – Sunglasses
1 – Glasses with Clear Lenses
1 – Small Hand-held Mace (for farm dogs or those wild animals they warn you about in the race bible!)

Toiletries: You might not need all of these all of the time, but hopefully someone in your van has them when you need them.

Bug Spray
Ponytail Holders
Moist Body Wipes
Moist Facial Wipes
Pepto Bismol (Beware Runner’s Trots and Dehydration)
Travel-size Contact Lens Solution
Contact Case
Travel-size Shampoo
Travel-size Conditioner
Travel-size Toilet Paper
Travel-size Vaseline
First Aid Kit
Nail Clipper
Garbage Bags
Paper Towels
Hand Sanitizer

Food: This is for the whole van. Bring any special food items that work for you before/during/after running. Avoid new foods and restaurants on race days. Remember, you can always stop at a gas station or grocery store if you need to reload.

Water (bottles of various sizes)
Sports Drinks
Protein & Energy Bars
Fruit (not too fibrous)
Trail Mix

Entertainment: Race rules have changed and a lot of legs are non-support legs. Keep yourself occupied.

Car Charger for Smart Phone
MP3 Player
Travel Pillow
Car Games
Sense of Humor
Good Attitude
Team Spirit

I’d love to hear suggestions and recommendations based on your experience with Ragnar Relay! Let me know what you pack and what you wish you did (or didn’t) pack!