Choosing shoes for Jacki’s

Students often ask about the shoes that instructors wear, and what we would recommend for Jacki’s program.

Please read Things to look for in an aerobic shoe at the end of this article.

For myself, I’ve worn Ryka shoes for the past 15+ years. Their Studio Flex model ( is designed for indoor aerobics and is very light-weight, so is perfectly suited to Jacki’s Dance classes. Another big plus for me is that these shoes are available in black, and since I generally wear black pants I can achieve a “longer” look. Pairing dark long pants with white shoes visually cuts you off at the ankles and makes the wearer appear shorter. At 5’2″ I don’t need any help to look short!

Ryka shoes (from the USA) are made specifically for women’s feet and feature a narrow heel with a wider front. Ryka change their styles from year to year, so I’ve worn plenty of different models, but all work well for our classes. The Athlete’s Foot carry a limited range of Ryka shoes but they are expensive.

Many students have mentioned that when they are shopping for a new pair of shoes for aerobic dancing classes, the shop assistants always recommend a cross trainer. This occurs, I think, because the retailers do not know what aerobic dancing exercise is, and they think that a cross trainer will do the job simply because it is a general all purpose type of exercise shoe. However, because the design of the cross trainer is non-specific (for any particular sport or activity), this means that functionality may be compromised in other areas.

I would recommend a shoe designed for netball, squash or tennis, since the moves in these sports are quite similar to those used in aerobic dancing classes — swivelling and lateral movements in amongst the jogging and lunging actions of the dance routines.

The good news is that this style of shoe is readily available in many brands and price ranges. And I’ve even seen them in black. 🙂


4 thoughts on “Choosing shoes for Jacki’s”

  1. Hello,

    It is a pity you cannot buy the Ryka Studio Flex in Australia anymore. Turf N’Surf the distributor in Australia, advises that the shoe is not available and not available on back order, even though it is still showing as a shoe to purchase on their website. It is unfortunate the shoe is not longer available.

    1. Jacqueline, like you, I wanted to replace my beloved Ryka Studio Flex shoes. The US Ryka website does not ship to Australia but in August 2013 they directed me to, which does. The Enhance 2 looked most like the Studio Flex but I chose Downbeat. Postage to Australia was only $10 and I received the shoes in about two weeks. I wear orthotics and in both Rykas I purchased 1/2 size larger than my usual size. Including postage, the Downbeats cost me $AUD125.60–much less than what the Studio Flex sold for in Australia.

    2. Hi again, Jacqueline

      Here’s an update to my January posting. I have recently discovered that sell a huge range of Rykas and the Downbeats that cost me $AUD125.60 from in August can be had from Amazon today for a total of $AUD91. But if I bought them from today they would be $AUD136.40!

      The $AUD10 shipping charge at is only for orders over $AUD100. My Downbeats are on special at both sites and the reduced price is below that amount. Amazon wants $20 postage but Shoes now wants $42.40. In future I will check both sites to near-checkout point as I did today so the postage will be included in the calculations.

      One reason I chose the Downbeat model is the round “pivot point” on the shoe’s sole. This circular bit of tread under the ball of the foot facilitates the swivelling action we do in steps like Step Turn, Kick Swivel and Step Out, Turn Slink. Many Ryka models have this kind of sole but the very limited range available through The Athletes Foot includes only one model that does.

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