Goodbye, Ryka – Tried ‘em, Hated ‘em

November 16th, 2014

My last post was to announce that I finally bought Ryka athletic shoes for Zumba. This post is to announce I tried them, I hated them, and I’m moving on.

I hesitated buying a pair of Ryka’s for a long time, but in September 2014, I finally decided to try the black, blue, and pink Ryka Flextra. Ryka’s tout themselves as a studio shoe – a shoe that is best for studio group fitness classes. I hesitated because Ryka’s are not cheap. I also think they are unattractive. Ryka as a company change styles frequently, my Zumba participants have complained to me in the past that by the time they needed a replacement pair of Ryka’s, the company no longer offered the shoe. I was finally so frustrated shopping for a good new pair of Zumba shoes that I decided to give Ryka a try despite all that…

ryka flextra 1Fail. Epic fail. My biggest complaint about Ryka Flextra is that they are wide, definitely too wide for me. They felt sloppy during lateral movements and my foot was sliding all over the place inside the shoe. They look as wide as they feel. My second complaint is that the bottom of the shoe has slightly rounded edges, not enough to notice with the naked eye, but you’ll feel the rocking with lateral movements during salsa and reggaeton. I have weak ankles and am prone to lateral ankle rolls, and I had slight ankle rolls several times in Ryka Flextra. Thank goodness they’re low profile or I would’ve sprained my ankle.

There is nothing special about this shoe. Only buy it if it’s on clearance and you’re desperate. And, if that’s the case, you might be in luck. Last week I saw Ryka Flextra on the clearance rack at DSW.

I Finally Bought Ryka Athletic Shoes for Zumba

August 23rd, 2014

I did it. I finally bought a pair of Ryka studio athletic shoes for Zumba.

Although I’ve know for awhile that Ryka is a leader in studio or group fitness classes, but I hesitated to buy a pair of Ryka’s for awhile. Ryka athletic shoes are not the most attractive sneakers and it’s important for me to feel at least somewhat attractive while I do Zumba. Another reason I hesitated is that Ryka frequently changes offerings, and a couple of times, they stopped manufacturing a line of shoes before I had a chance to buy a pair.

But tonight, I had a weak moment while shopping at DSW and I tried on a pair of black, blue, and pink Ryka Flextra. They fit true to size – I wear 6.5, I tried 6.5, and they fit like 6.5. They advertize they have a “re-zorb” system to absorb shock in high-impact group fitness classes. (My aching Achilles tendonitis will be happy about that.) The soles are built for movement in all directions including lateral movements, unlike the forward only movement that running shoes are designed for. The soles also have the circle at the ball of the foot for pivoting and turning. They were $59.99 at DSW.

I’ll try them out while teaching Zumba tomorrow. I’ll write a post to review my new Ryka Flextra for Zumba soon! In the meantime, you can read more about Ryka athletic shoes for Zumba here:

Kelly Ripa Collection Ryka Transition Shoes for Zumba

Best Ryka Zumba Shoes

ryka flextra 1ryka flextra 2

They’re Back – Zumba Shoes are Back in Stock

April 16th, 2014

It’s common knowledge Zumba shoes from Zumba Fitness sell out on a regular basis. I received notice by email today that Zumba shoes are back in stock in the Zumba shop. Good luck!Zumba Shoes Are Back 4_16_2014

Ryka Zumba Shoes Coupon 2013

April 18th, 2013

Attention anyone shopping for the perfect Zumba shoes: I just received a coupon for 15% off Ryka retail prices for my clients, friends, and family!

Ryka has a wide variety of athletic shoes perfect for Zumba. If you are looking for a good pair of new shoes for Zumba, check out this deal! Enjoy!

Shop online at

Use promo code RYKA15

Offer ends June 30, 2013

ryka coupon for clients

Save 15% on Ryka Shoes Through June 30, 2013

April 18th, 2013

As a Zumba instructor and fitness professional, I am a member of the rykä Fit Club. Ryka offers discounts to fitness professionals through the Fit Club, and I just received these coupons to share with clients, friends, and family for 15% off retail prices!

Ryka offers a nice variety of athletic shoes perfect for Zumba. Use the promo code below to save 15% off your favorite Ryka athletic shoes for Zumba!

Order online at

Reference Promo Code RYKA15

Offer expires June 30, 2013


ryka coupon for clients

Reebok Zigs for Zumba

September 1st, 2011

Awhile back I read that Alena (of Zumba with Alena) recommended Reebok ZIGS for Zumba. When I found a grey and pink pair in my size on sale at TJ Maxx, I decided to give them a try. Here is what I think about Reebok ZIGS for Zumba:

Reebok ZIGS do not stick to studio floors. This is important because when your shoe sticks to the floor, your foot stays in one place while your ankle, knee, and hip twist and turn. I believe finding an athletic dance shoe that does not stick to the floor is the most important thing to look for in order to avoid joint pain after Zumba classes. Reebok ZIGS allow plenty of movement in all directions for Zumba classes, including turning, sliding, and gliding.

Reebok ZIGS provide adequate support. These are sturdy, robust athletic shoes that will absorb shock from high-impact moves during Zumba.

Reebok ZIGS are available in mens’ sizes for the handful of *wonderful* men who participate and instruct Zumba classes.

Reebok ZIGS are available online or in stores worldwide.

Reebok ZIGS are ugly and attract a lot of attention. I picked up a pair of grey and pink Reebok ZIGS because they were my only option at TJ Maxx. They are so dark and clunky, I feel like I look like I’m wearing army boots to Zumba. I’m embarrassed to wear them outside of the studio, so I change my shoes immediately before and after Zumba class.

Reebok ZIGS are expensive. I found a pair at TJ Maxx for $35 USD. These shoes cost about $100 full price. That is too much for Zumba shoes in my opinion. I would not have bought a pair if I hadn’t find them on sale at discount store.

In summary, if you can afford to buy a pair of Reebok ZIGS for Zumba and don’t mind the way they look, go for it. The sole is what is needed for Zumba on studio floors. For now, Reebok ZIGS are my Zumba shoe of choice. As always, if you use Reebok ZIGS for Zumba, let me know what you think!


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

No More Nike Athletic Dance Shoes for Zumba

July 4th, 2011

As a Zumba instructor, I’ve owned many pairs of athletic dance shoes for Zumba. My favorites have always been Nike brand so I have to ask:

Why Nike? Why do you continue to discontinue the best athletic dance shoes for Zumba?

First to disappear was the Nike Musique IV with mesh uppers. The Nike Musique athletic dance shoes that continue to exist consist of stiff, leather uppers that look like silly cheerleader shoes. No thank you.

The last pair of shoes I bought for Zumba were Nike Huarache. I bought them in March and after just 3 months of use, I noticed both shoes already had small holes in the fabric on top of my foot near my little toes. Time to buy another pair, right? Wrong!

It appears Nike Huarache athletic dance shoes are no longer available.

And so again, I am searching for the best shoes for Zumba.

Foot Pain and Zumba

March 10th, 2011

One night after a long day of teaching Zumba classes, I had an ache in the forefoot of one of my feet. It felt like there was a round, hard stone right behind my second and third toes.


I thought the pain was unusual so I took some ibuprofen, did some extra calf stretches, and ran my foot over a wooden foot massager. Nothing seemed to help my foot pain, but I thought I must have stepped on it wrong and that the pain would go away soon enough.

About two weeks later, my foot felt significantly worse and when I woke up one morning, the top of my forefoot was red, hot, and swollen. According to the the Mayo Clinic website, I had symptoms of metatarsalgia :

Symptoms of metatarsalgia may include:

  • Sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of your foot — the part of the sole just behind your toes
  • Pain in the area around your second, third or fourth toes — or, only near your big toe
  • Pain that gets worse when you stand, walk or run and improves when you rest
  • Sharp or shooting pain in your toes
  • Numbness or tingling in your toes
  • Pain that worsens when you flex your feet
  • A feeling in your feet as if you’re walking with a pebble in your shoe
  • Increased pain when you’re walking barefoot, especially on a hard surface

Sometimes these symptoms develop suddenly — especially if you’ve recently increased your usual amount of running, jumping or other high-impact exercise — but problems usually develop over time.

When to see a doctor
Not all foot problems need medical care. Sometimes your feet simply ache after a long day of standing or a punishing workout. But it’s best not to ignore any foot pain that lasts more than a few days. Talk to your doctor if you experience a burning pain in the ball of your foot that doesn’t improve after changing your shoes and modifying your activities.

I was pleased to see that Mayo Clinic did not recommend seeing a doctor based on my symptoms, because as a self-employed individual / part-time employee of many companies, I cannot afford medical insurance at this time. I found subs for my Zumba classes and practiced the R.I.C.E. acute injury treatment method for the weekend. My foot felt a little better by Monday.

After a couple of days of high-impact Zumba classes, my foot was swollen again. Luckily, a holiday was coming up and I got the stomach flu so I was able (and forced) to clear my schedule and take nearly a whole week off from exercise. During that time, I continued to use the R.I.C.E. method daily to treat my foot pain. Upon returning to exercise, I wrapped my sore foot and wore supportive, shock-absorbing Nike cross trainers for Zumba instead of my usual Nike Musique athletic dance shoes for Zumba. After 8 weeks of foot wrap and cross trainers, my foot pain is gone.

My experience with foot pain is one of many reasons why I believe proper footwear is important for Zumba. I have changed my Zumba footwear from Nike Musique IV athletic dance shoes to Nike Huarache athletic dance shoes. While I feel the Nike Musique IV shoes have more support and cushion in the heel of the shoe, Nike Huarache shoes have more support and cushion in the ball of the foot, which is where I need it most.

Best Ryka Zumba Shoes

March 10th, 2011

I have not tried Ryka studio shoes for Zumba yet, but many of my Zumba class participants are currently sporting Ryka. And I love Kelly Ripa, spokesperson for Ryka, among other things. Here are a couple of the more popular models I’ve seen in class lately.

Ryka Transition
I think the best things about Ryka Transition studio shoes are the flexible meshy upper and the fun, colorful sole.

Ryka Transition Zumba Shoe

Ryka Studio D
I think Ryka Studio D shoes look a little 80’s… or should I say retro?

Ryka Studio D Zumba Shoe