Why is it so hard to find Zumba shoes?!?

October 25th, 2011

Why is it so hard to find shoes for Zumba?!?

My search for good Zumba shoes started over two years ago after I experienced knee pain after Zumba. During Zumba class, I was having so much fun that I didn’t even notice that my usual gym shoes stuck to the studio floor. My knees were taking all kinds of the abuse while my foot was planted on the studio floor and my body twisted and turned and made lateral movements. After Zumba class, my knees ached.

In the beginning, I looked at everything from cross country “waffle” running shoes to wrestling shoes to indoor turf soccer shoes. I even got out my old Capezio athletic dance shoes from dance team performances in college.

Finally, I found Nike Musique IV. They were perfect – from the mesh upper to the sole to the price. Now, Nike Musique are cheerleading shoes with all leather uppers – not to mention, they are too ugly to wear to Zumba class.

I moved on to Nike Huarache. Cool, hip-hop style dance sneakers with a sock like upper and great soles and again, great price. Now, Nike discontinued them. A search for Nike Huarache will bring up hits for men’s soccer shoes.

I am currently using Reebok Zigs for Zumba. They are working… for now. My feet often go numb during class, but at least the ridiculous looking soles can turn on the studio floor, which saves me from knee and hip pain. They are expensive, but I found mine on a clearance rack at TJ Maxx.

I’ve seen everything from Sketchers to Puma to Ryka to Vibram FiveFinger barefoot running shoes to bare feet in my Zumba classes and no one seems really pleased with their Zumba footware. Men seem to have an even bigger struggle than women in finding good Zumba shoes.

Zumba currently sells Z-Kickz and Z Tops are coming out in November 2011. Buying shoes for Zumba from Zumba will cost you $75 to $95 USD.

Finding the right shoes for Zumba has been a struggle for me since I started teaching Zumba classes to years ago. What shoes are you wearing for Zumba right now? Would you (do you) recommend them to others?

Limited Edition Almond Joy Coffee Creamer is Disappearing From Stores!

October 19th, 2011

About a month ago, I disovered International Delight Limited Edition Almond Joy Coffee Creamer. And as I mentioned on Rencsi.com, Almond Joy International Delight Coffee Creamer is Yummy!

Last night, I went to my closest grocery store to pick up more Almond Joy International Delight Coffee Creamer and it was gone! In its place, the Seasonal flavors like Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Today, I went to another grocery store and I was able to find and purchase some Almond Joy International Delight Coffee Creamer. Thank goodness! If you love this stuff as much as I do, find a grocery store that is still carrying it, and buy more soon! The Almond Joy creamer is beginning to disappear from stores!

New Zumba Shoes – Introducing Z Tops!

October 14th, 2011

New Zumba Shoes from Zumba Fitness are coming the first week of November! The new Zumba Z Tops are available for pre-order now for ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) instructors!

The Zumba Fitness Home Office announced this week:

The hottest innovation in Zumba® footwear is coming the first week of November. Be the first to get the shoe that works as hard as you do! Z-Top is the NEW ultimate dance-fitness shoe featuring customizable comfort, optimal support and maximum freedom of movement.

Zumba Shoes Z Top

You (or your favorite ZIN Zumba instructor) can buy these Zumba shoes from the Zumba Fitness inline shop. The new Z Tops are on pre sale now for ZIN members on the online Zumba Shop for $74.95 for ZIN members or $94.95 regular price!

The Z Tops are described on the Zumba online shop:

Step it up with Z-Top, the revolutionary dance-fitness shoe featuring enhanced support and a non-marking rubber outsole for maximum sliding power and control. Two separate upper finishes allow you to choose your look!

  • Interior “hidden wedge” and exterior Velcro strap cradle the foot
  • Shoelace loop above the heel exterior offers additional ankle support
  • Additional sock-lining included for those in need of extra support
  • Ultra-breathable grey mesh finish provides a lightweight feel
  • Raised mid & heel side walls for foot stability
  • Ultra smooth central outsole with circular ridges to allow fluid movement while still providing grip
  • Alternative sleek patent leather finish — perfect for on and off the dance floor!

Zumba Z Top Pre Sale

“No Shoes Please” Zumba Class

October 11th, 2011

A newly-certified Zumba instructor I know recently posted a new Zumba class on her schedule. It’s at a popular yoga studio and in the description, it is asked, “No shoes please!”

No shoes allowed? For a Zumba class? Really?

Kicking your shoes off at a wedding dance – we’ve all done that. But no shoes allowed for a Zumba class… All I can say is, “OUCH!”

Every Zumba instructor is different, but my classes involves high-impact dance moves like jumping and stomping. According to the article, “The Effects of Weight on Feet When Running” on Livestrong.com, when you run, each foot hits the ground with 3- to 4- times the force of your actual body weight with each step you take. In Zumba, your feet could take 2- to 4-times the force of your actual body weight with high-impact moves.

There are 26 bones in the foot. 26. Think about how small each bone has to be to fit 26 bones into your foot. Now, think about how much you weigh. Multiply that by 2- or even 4-times and imagine those 26 tiny little bones in your feet distributing 2- to 4-times your body weight for an hour long Zumba class. For me, that’s 115 pounds – 115 x 2=230 pounds to 115 x 4=460 pounds. Ouch.

Of course, one might argue barefoot running is gaining in popularity, why not barefoot Zumba? Well, to be fair barefoot running-related injuries are also becoming increasingly popular. So much so, that one article on Competitor.com calls it “The Barefoot Running Injury Epidemic.” If you do Zumba barefoot, chances are you are putting yourself at risk for foot and leg injury.

One might also think, Shakira dances barefoot, why can’t I? Well, Shakira’s dances moves are not high-impact – she usually has both feet on the floor. Shakira is obviously not a weekend Zumba warrior, she is a highly-trained dancer. Trainers and coaches most likely monitor her fitness to be sure her body, muscles, joints, and bones are able to support her dancing. She most likely has access to the best athletic trainers, physical therapists, and doctors at any given moment if any part of her body gives her pain.

If you see a Zumba class offered that requests, “No shoes please!”, I recommend looking for another Zumba class where you are allowed to wear a supportive pair of Zumba shoes.

Fun Minnesota RPE Scale – Does your region have one?

October 6th, 2011

I am part of a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in Minnesota. Recently, an instructor shared a fun version of the Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale, a way to subjectively measure the intensity of exercise, to celebrate our Scandinavian heritage and “Minnesota nice.”

After a quick Internet search (when I should’ve been studying for an exam) I couldn’t find any other regional RPE scales. Does your region have one? Or just for fun, what would be the descriptions based on your region’s heritage and culture?

Minnesota RPE Scale
7 Piece of cake
9 Not too bad
11 Hardly working at all
13 Can’t complain
15 It could be worse
17 A guy couldn’t go much harder than this
19 Uff da!

Pop Music for Yoga

October 5th, 2011

I love movie soundtracks, yoga, and Pilates.

Inspired by the mellow “About Her” Malcolm Mclaren version of The Zombies “She’s Not There”  on the Kill Bill Vol. 2 Original Soundtrack and the instrumental cover of “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by the The Smiths in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off I am looking for popular music covered in a yoga-class appropriate style for the yoga class I teach once a week.

I know some yogis would frown upon this, and I want to be clear that I am not a professional yogi. I teach a free yoga-Pilates-stretching hybrid class once a week for 45-minutes. It is in a group fitness studio in a busy college wellness center so I like to use music to try to create a yoga-like atmosphere.

In my search, I came across the Yoga Pop Ups on Amazon.com. I like the concept, but not the music. You can download music to yoga to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Morrissey and The Smiths, Sublime, Jimmy Buffet, Journey, Lady Gaga, and Mötley Crüe to name a few. Mötley Crüe? Really?

If you’re interested in doing yoga to Girls, Girls, Girls, check out Yoga Pop Ups on Amazon.com MP3 downloads.