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

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

rykä Fit Club Offers Discount to Fitness Professionals

January 22nd, 2012

Attention Zumba lovers: If you are considering buying the Kelly Ripa Collection Ryka Transition Shoes for Zumba, you might want to register for the rykä Fit Club.

I just discovered the rykä Fit Club. According to the website, the rykä fit club offers a 20% discount on everything at to fitness professionals, group fitness instructors, personal trainers, and athletic trainers. You can’t visit the rykafit Store unless you are a member of the club. I just filled out the application myself using my ZIN membership number. I’ll let you know what happens…

Kelly Ripa Collection Ryka Transition Shoes for Zumba

January 7th, 2012

Who doesn’t love Kelly Ripa?

You probably also know that Kelly Ripa does Zumba. Earlier this week, Zumba Fitness creator, Beto Perez did Zumba with Kelly Ripa, Rob Lowe, and Vanessa Lachey on  LIVE! with Kelly. Watch it here:

kelly ripa zumba

The RipaRyka Kelly Ripa Collection by Ryka features a shoe called the Transition that is perfect for Zumba. I have heard a lot of good things about the Ryka Transition for Zumba, Zumba Gold, and Curves Zumba in the Circuit classes from my fellow Zumba instructors and participants. The mesh upper reminds me of my old favorite Zumba shoes, the Nike Musique IV, which is no longer available. The Transition studio shoe is light, flexible, and breathable. The Transition studio design provides support and stability, but also allows lateral movement and just the right amount of grip need for Zumba. These shoes are readily available – at least online.

Just another reason to love Kelly Ripa!

If you use Ryka Transition for Zumba, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

kelly ripa ryka transition zumba shoe sidekelly ripa ryka transition zumba shoe

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?

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

What Are Zumba Shoes?

June 27th, 2010

One of my Zumba participants walked into Lady Foot Locker and asked for Zumba shoes. The LFL sales team looked confused and responded, “What are Zumba shoes?”

How embarrassing! Someone is willing to walking into an athletic shoe store and drop $60 to $110 USD on a pair of dance shoes and the sales team at a store like Lady Foot Locker doesn’t even know what Zumba is?

In an athletics store, you are most likely looking for Nike Musique athletic dance shoes. Ryka also makes a couple of styles of athletic dance sneaker, Ryka Studio D and Ryka Sync, and from what I’ve seen, they are similar to the Nike Musique. This type of shoe is used by cheer and dance teams at the high school and college levels so they are somewhat easy to find. They are attractive athletic shoes, but obviously not built for most sports. You’ll find them on the edge of the athletic shoe section, not mixed in with the running shoes. Because they are not common, they are also easy to find on the clearance rack if you are a bargain hunter.


There is also currently a Nike shoe called Nike Huarache. It is more of a hip hop dance shoe so you might find it mixed in with the street wear.

nike huarache zumba shoes

nike huarache zumba shoes bottom

If you have access to a dance studio or dance supply store, look for Capezio or Bloch athletic dance sneakers. These sneakers are also worn by dance teams and instructors so they are easy to find. Capezio and Bloch sneakers usually have a split sole which allows more foot flexibility during dance training and performances. To me, the split sole takes away some of the stability of these athletic dance shoes. The split sole is why I personally chose NOT to wear them for Zumba – I need stability and support. However, I do know plenty of people who DO wear them for Zumba.

capezio rockitIn stores, you will pay about $30 USD for Zumba shoes on the clearance rack. Full price, Zumba shoes will cost $60-$110 USD. Online, you have more options and better prices. You will find Nike Musique and Huarache and Ryka Studio D and Sync online. Discount dance supply stores sell Capezio and Bloch athletic dance sneakers online.

I hate to order shoes online, but I like online shoe store prices so I use a little trick. I go find the shoes I want in a shoe store, try them on, and make note of the size, style, and color. Then I go home and order the same shoes online. It take a little more time, but I think it’s worth it.

If you have a favorite brand or style of shoe that you use for Zumba, I would love to hear it!