March 26, 2012
Last week, we gave you the lowdown on the fun and fiery fitness craze, Zumba. This week, we want we’re highlighting two of our favorite footwear styles for your next Zumba class.
Like we mentioned previously, the best shoes for Zumba are cross-trainers specifically designed for lateral movement to protect your feet, during Zumba, elliptical and cardio machine workouts, and other dance-based aerobic classes. While most traditional athletic shoes offer the specific kind of support you might need for running, the right Zumba shoes will provide multidirectional support.
The New Balance 813 is a light “Cardio Comfort Trainer,” designed to keep your feet from getting numb while using cardio machines and performing other conditioning activities. Have you ever dealt with this problem? Check out this excerpt from New Balance’s interview with its design team about the development of the 813:
NB.com: So what’s happening physically that is causing the discomfort in people’s feet?
Pedro (Sports Research Engineer/Resident Kinesiologist):Research was conducted in the New Balance Sports Research Lab to evaluate what made working out on equipment such as elliptical machines and stair climbers different. Using our in-shoe pressure system, we found that, unlike running, the foot is often always in contact with the surface of cardio machines and, therefore, doesn’t have a flight phase lifting the ball of the foot to alleviate the constant pressure.
NB.com: Interesting. Did this springboard the actual product development?
Pedro:Yes, afterwards we all sat down to discuss the lab results. We discussed whether the constant pressure on cardio machines could irritate nerves and reduce the circulation enough to cause discomfort. Then, as a team, we theorized that, if a shoe could provide better weight distribution, more flexibility and upper expansion, we could potentially minimize hot spots and reduce upper restriction to lower discomfort.
The 813’s stretchy synthetic upper stabilizes the foot and adds lateral support where it’s needed most, but moves with your feet rather than holding it stiffly in place. The 813 has cushioning in the midsole, which works to absorb impact during jumping – you can even see the shoe compress as it touches the ground. This New Balance style comes with a removable insole, so you can put in additional arch support if you require stiffer soles. The versatility offered makes the 813 a great contender for your gym bag.
Another great style for Zumba and cardio workouts is the PureCadence by Brooks. A part of the PureProject line, the PureCadence is considered a running shoe, albeit one that is far from traditional – and so a good fit for the activities we’re talking about here (circuit training, aerobics, dance, etc.). Coming in at a super light 8.3 oz and made of breathable eco-friendly materials, these are innovatively designed minimalist athletic shoes that still provide a good deal of support for the mild to moderate overpronator. The PureCadence encourages a natural stride, aligning the body and minimizing stress on the foot, all while hugging the foot like glove. The combination of Brooks’ gel cushioning, the foam insole and the contoured heel provide top-notch comfort, and the reinforced heel counter keeps the foot securely in place even as you do fast-paced movements. Finally, the split-toe feature offers forefoot flexibility and greater stability as it allows the big toe the space it needs to get the most out energy from its push-off.