May 2022

Find Your Perfect Shoe for Aerobic Dance Workouts

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Find Your Perfect Shoe for Aerobic Dance Workouts

When you step into a Jazzercise cardio dance class, you’ll be pivoting, jumping and chasséeing—so it’s essential that your shoes can keep up with you! Not only is it necessary to find a comfortable shoe, but you’ll also want a pair that can help support your specific, beautiful body and feet. As a bonus, it’d be great if they were easy on the eyes, too!

Our helpful guide will walk you through the anatomy of a great cardio dance shoe. First, we help you understand your needs when it comes to active shoewear. Then, we share our favorite picks on the market from a variety of trusted brands that are tried, tested and true. Now, time to find your *sole* mate!


When shopping around for a new athletic shoe, it’s crucial that you know your foot type; specifically what kind of arch you have. You may have some guesses, but to find out for certain, we have a handy at-home hack - the Paper Towel Trick! Trust us, it’s a thing.

Place a paper towel on the floor then dampen your foot and place it on the towel. Pick your foot up and inspect the towel. If the majority of the towel is wet, including mid-foot around the arch, then you have a flatter foot. If the middle area of your foot is dry, then you have a mid to high arch. Still not sure what type of arch you have? Take a look at this helpful chart.

Once you understand your arch type, you’ll understand what kind of support you need from a dance sneaker.

Flat Feet (Overpronation)

Having flat feet means that your feet have little to no arch. When you stand, the pads of the feet press into the ground. Overpronation refers to the inward roll of the foot and ankle during impact. This causes uneven weight distribution and possible discomfort in the hips, knees and ankles.

Since you’re rolling inwards during impact, you’ll need to find shoes that offer firm, supportive inner-arch support. That way, your shoes will counteract overpronation and provide stability during impact.

Arched Feet (Underpronation)

Having arched feet means that you have a high arch in the foot. This causes excess amounts of weight to be placed on the ball and heel of the foot. Underpronation refers to the outward lean of the foot and ankle during impact.

Since you’re rolling outwards during impact, you’ll want to look for shoes with a thick, cushioned sole to support your arch and an even distribution of support throughout the sole.

Neutral-Arched Feet

If your wet footprint showed a defined arch (the area in between your toes and heels was thick but not fully pressed onto the towel) your arch is neutral. This means you need both support and cushion from a dance shoe.

Your shoe needs to offer stability on the outside to protect your foot from rolling, as well as cushion to absorb shock to protect your joints.


Size up:

Always go half a size up from your usual shoe. During high-impact training and aerobics, your foot will inch forward. Sizing up gives your toes a little breathing room while maintaining a snug fit for your heel.

Flexibility is key:

The reason not all workout shoes are appropriate for aerobic-dance workouts is, in part, because of flexibility. In Jazzercise classes, we turn, twist and jump, which means your shoes will need to be flexible between the heel and the ball of the foot.

Keep it light:

The last thing you need in a dance fitness class is to be weighed down! Jazzercise classes include springing and pivoting, so it’s important to find a lightweight, breathable dance shoe that offers support and stability without restricting mobility.


We’ve tried a lot of shoes. By a lot, we mean A. LOT. But from our shoe research, we boiled down a list of high-performance shoes that our instructors, students and researchers recommend. Remember, every foot, and dancer is unique, so explore whatever would be most appropriate for your needs!


Ryka Devotion XT Training Shoe

Ryka shoes

Why we love this one:

• Award-winning flexible cross-trainer with RE-ZORB technology for shock absorption and impact protection
• Provides an anatomical insole with extra heel and arch support — great for flat feet!
• Created specifically for a woman's unique foot shape with a narrow heel, lightweight build and soft foot cushioning
• Durable eight-piece rubber sole for increased traction and smooth turns

Our rating: This award-winning, supportive shoe is perfect for all training workouts, but specifically for dance cardio classes!


Nike Free TR8

Nike shoes for fitness

Why we love this one:

• Lightweight design that supports quick, fast movements
• The sole is highly flexible, offering a natural feel and lateral support
• Provides extra cushioning to hug and contain your foot, helping you prevent injuries  
• The strong heel allows for better stability and posture during exercise 

Our rating: Nike Free Tr8 is lightweight and flexible, making it one of the best shoes for aerobics and for all foot types.


ADIDAS Ultraboost 22

Exercise shoes

Why we love this one:

• Engineered for a woman’s foot with a low instep curve and cushioned outsole to protect from overpronation
• The lace closure creates an ultra-secure yet comfortable fit—perfect for dancing!
• The PRIMEKNIT upper includes a narrower heel fit, designed to avoid heel slip and blisters
• This is a sustainable shoe that is helping to reduce plastic waste, made in part with recycled Parley Ocean Plastic

Our rating: We love that this expertly-designed, sustainable shoe is available in 17 colors, giving you plenty of options to choose from!

New Balance

Fresh Foam More v3

Best workout shoes

Why we love this one:

• Designed with breathable mesh and an ultra-cushioned foam base that makes it feel like you’re walking (or dancing) on clouds
• The wider platform applies underfoot cushioning along the whole foot, balancing comfort, support and protection
• The increased rocker allows for smoother heel/toe strike transitions – essential for those pivots and turns!

Our rating: This supportive shoe focuses on mobility, balance, and comfort, making it a win for any dance cardio aerobic class!


Pure XT Moto Rose

Best shoes for exercise

Why we love this one:

• Built with a ProFoam midsole that gives you lightweight responsiveness
• Durable rubber grip provides excellent traction and stability 
• Sleek look with a unique 3D graphic print makes it the perfect shoe for all-day wear – from class to coffee to errands and beyond!

Our rating: This refined, lightweight training shoe can be worn anywhere, anytime. You’ll look polished while you feel supported!

Tell us your favorite cardio dance shoe in the comments!

Ready to grab your new shoes and join us on the dance floor? Find a location near you to get started! 

Dance workouts with Jazzercise

Tami Assadurian
I wish ryka came back with mid top aerobic shoes. The ankle support is a necessity for Jazzercise to protect one’s ankle.
8/23/2023 2:48:34 PM

I have worn the Ryka Devotion XT mid-top shoe for years. My ankles need maximum support. I wear a Ryka size 10.5, not 10 or 11. I have contacted them directly to ask about why this shoe size is crossed out. No one answering phones can give me a reason why my needed shoe cannot be purchased? Wondering if you might be able to find out whether/when they will be available? None of your other recommended shoes seemed to have an equivalent available. I should replace my shoes but how? Any help would be appreciated.
3/3/2023 2:33:51 AM

Carol Szafalowicz
The information on the right shoes to wear was so informative. I am so grateful. I never know which shoes to buy to do Jazzercise correctly. Thank you so much.
1/25/2023 1:29:10 AM

MARY SUSAN watkins
no sketchers? i also wondered about actual dance sneakers,made by companies like capezio..they are usually open in the arch area, and have padded heel and toe area...
8/12/2022 12:27:15 AM

Dipender Mohan
This is test comment , please ignore
8/8/2022 4:22:08 AM

Diane Yee
I have the Ryka Devotion XT and highly recommend it. There is a lot of padding on the sole that helps absorb high impact moves. It has a pivot point on the ball of the foot making it easy to do pivot moves like the sugar. I like the narrow heal because with most other shoes, my heal slips out a little. Not a problem with my Ryka shoe. This model also is available in wide width, a must for my wide feet!
7/20/2022 9:56:16 PM

I wear Brooks Adrenaline shoes for my narrow feet.

How often do you suggest trading out for new shoes for Jazzercise?
7/13/2022 10:19:13 PM

Nancy Hinkforth
I have a very high arched foot. My favorite shoe by far is KURU (made by a podiatrist) followed by Vionic. Both have high arch support and a cupped heel for extra support.
6/22/2022 2:06:17 PM

Merry Baxter
I love Ryka shoes for Jazzercise!! They are perfect for dancing and for my feet!
6/16/2022 2:27:30 PM

Over the years I've tried all the brands listed, and I think these are probably all good picks; but a few years back (pre-Covid) I transitioned to minimal footwear. I was a little worried about how this would go with high impact classes, but (for me) this was actually a good switch. I've actually had fewer issues with my joints, at this point I've probably saved $1000 or more on shoes, and I'm making less garbage. I wear Xero Shoe's Prio in class. At home, I frequently work out barefoot.
6/16/2022 1:37:59 PM

Flora Bell
I have flat feet. What kind of shoes do I need to buy. I wear 11w.
6/16/2022 1:36:38 PM

Patricia Brosowske
Thank you. That was so helpful. I have issues with heel spurs.
6/16/2022 1:27:38 PM

Shelly Rambadt
Great article but after learning what type of arch you have there is no indication which shoe should be worn for your arch.
6/16/2022 1:19:04 PM

Cheri Lacy (Palmer)
I haven’t tried all of these but Ryka doesn’t pivot well. I found BLOCH dance sneakers and I love them. I can dance on carpet which I never could before.
6/16/2022 1:14:36 PM

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