Sunday, January 5, 2014

The perfect solemate - which one is yours?

Just before Christmas, Zumba released (into an actual store no less) some new styles of Zumba shoes. They did a whole write-up about them in their magazine, ZLife, but just prior to that issue, I found some pictures floating around the internet that were taken in a Lady Foot Locker. Upon seeing the photos, I immediately went to Lady Foot Locker's website to find out if the shoes were available online as well. They are not. Boo hoo! I was really disappointed by that. It leaves me hoping that at least one of the following two things will happen:
1) After lady Foot Locker has "tested the waters" of the Zumba market, they'll begin carrying the shoes online as well as in-store.
2) Zumba will soon begin selling these same shoes through their own website.

Not that I don't love my Z-Kickz II's, but shoes don't last forever. When I bought them, the Z-Kickz II's were on sale for 50% off which was a really great deal. Zumba just happened to be having a shoe sale the exact week that I was looking for a replacement pair of Puma's. Truthfully, I almost didn't buy the Zumba brand shoe. Not because I thought it was a bad shoe, but because I thought I might become spoiled by the shoe and then never see the same kind of bargain from Zumba again. Basically, I am just waiting for the right sale to come along and I am going to pounce on it whether I need new shoes that week or not. What I know is that at some point I eventually, definitely, -will- need new shoes.

And now, a little disclaimer: please note that with regard to these photos I am not the photographer and don't claim to be. These are not my photos and as much as I would love to include a photo credit in this post, I can't because I could not find out who the original poster of these photos was. To whomever these photos belong to, thank you for taking them!

These photos were taken in one of the Lady Foot Locker locations that is currently selling the new Zumba shoes (I don't know which one). As of right now, Zumba is only selling their new shoe styles in select locations across the USA (with one location in San Juan, PR). Sorry people who don't live in the U.S. (or Puerto Rico), but if it's any consolation, not one of these store locations is near me, so I'm in essentially the same boat. The chart below lists 17 locations where these shoes are presently being sold but I realize that it might be hard to read so here's a list:

     - Glendale Galleria in Glendale
     - Westfield Culver City in Culver City
     - San Francisco Centre in San Francisco
     - Stamford Town Center in Stamford

Zumba shoes sold in these select Lady Foot Locker locations

     - Bayside Marketplace in Miami
     - Miami International in Doral
     - Brandon Town Center in Brandon
     - Florida Mall in Orlando
New Jersey:
     - Willowbrook Mall in Wayne
     - Garden State Plaza in Paramus
     - Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth
New York:
     - 120 West 34th Street in New York
     - 523 Broadway in New York
     - Easton Town Center in Columbus
Peurto Rico:
     - Plaza Las Americas in San Juan
     - Northpark Center in Dallas
     - North Star Mall in San Antonio

If you are lucky enough to live near one of these stores, then I am very jealous of you.

In the photos, the Lady Foot Locker has on display two of the three new styles Zumba has introduced: the Flex Classic and the Impact Max. Why they don't have the third style, the Energy Push, is a mystery to me but I'll I talk about it nevertheless. ZLife magazine has an excellent article with descriptions of all three styles and what kind of Zumba girl they're each intended for. Interesting no? Yes, so let's start with the Flex Classic!

According to ZLife, the Flex Classic is intended for, and I quote, "the Zumba fanatic". Here's an excerpt:
     "The Flex is specifically designed for the hardcore Zumba student who takes her workouts seriously, goes to class several times a week, and has a dance background."
Photo Credit: ZLife magazine

Does that sound like anyone you know? Heh. Well, with the exception of that dance background part... The Flex is a split-sole shoe. That style is usually found only in professional dance shoes. Zumba has taken that concept and added arch support. According to the description, these are supposed to be incredibly flexible, will minimize fatigue to your foot, and enhance your balance.

These sound amazing! The idea of being able to go to a Lady Foot Locker and actually try on the shoes was really exciting until I found out the nearest location to me is in Ohio. Not being able to try them on makes me wish that Zumba had included their weight in ounces (and for the other styles too) when they wrote up the descriptions. That's kind of a deal-breaker for me. I don't like a heavy shoe for Zumba. My Z-Kickz II's weigh in at 7.5oz and my favorite Puma Soleil's are 7.8oz. When I bought my Z-Kickz II's online, the weight was included in the product description. I'm hoping that if these styles start selling online, that information will be made available.

Okay, onto the Impact Max! Once again I quote: "for the everyday Zumba enthusiast". ZLife says,
     "The Impact is wonderful for the beginner to moderate-level Zumba fan who wants maximum comfort and style all while minimizing shock to your joints."
Photo credit: ZLife Magazine

If I were buying shoes for the very first time, and these were available, I'd probably be looking at these. I remember what I was like back then and you'll notice in the pictures, they come in grey and they come in black. My first pair of shoes was black, I know I would have gravitated towards this particular pair without even reading the description. I'll admit to liking the overall design and style of the Impact Max better than the Flex Classic. The Impact Max has the feature of a brace inside the shoe to keep your foot from sliding around inside it, and the sole is supposed to have superior shock absorption.

Lastly, the Energy Push, "for the laidback Zumba lover".
     "This style is for the woman who wants to dance for the longest amount of time without pushing herself too hard or compromising her form."
Photo credit: ZLife magazine

The third style is so not me, though I have no doubt that it will be fairly popular. The description says that it has a lightweight cushioning and extra support in the heel. This shoe is for the person whose Zumba shoes might also double as everyday shoes. I always arrive to class in street shoes and change into my Zumba shoes; and back again when class is over. But I am actually in the minority in that respect. Most (sometimes all) of my classmates do not change shoes, which is why I'm pretty sure that a lot of ladies will like the Energy Push.

According to the article in ZLife, all of these shoes have something called "Z-slide technology" and this allows the shoe to "safely and easily slide across any surface - hardwood floor, carpet, tiles". As if they didn't sound great already? The room where I am going to be teaching my class (in just a little over a week!) is carpeted. I cannot wait for these shoes to be more widely available. Rumor has it that we might see some new shoes for sale on Zumba's site this week. I'll definitely be keep my eye on the if I don't already just because? Heh, yeah I do, best kind of window shopping there is.

Best advice: Find what moves your soul. Today's tidbit comes from the tag off my pair of Z-Kickz II's. I thought it was à propos given the topic of the post. And before you ask...yes, I bought those shoes back in June...and yes, I have saved this tag all this time. Yes, I have a tag stash. Zumba makes the best tags afterall... Anyways...

Movement for the sole. I love the play on words here because to me, Zumba truly is movement for my soul. So find what moves -your- soul. If it's Zumba, like me, that's great! If it's something else entirely, that's also great! Everyone needs something. If you don't...well...this is a brand new year isn't it?

I am neither affiliated with or endorsed by either Zumba Fitness or Lady Foot Locker - Just an interested shopper with an opinion!

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