What type of shoes to wear to do the samba? It depends on what type of environment. If you're going to a samba class you must know what type of samba class you're going to. For example, we have Afro-Brazilian samba classes. It's usually an hour and a half, and it's barefoot. One, most of the studios do not allow street shoes inside of the studio, so it has to be barefoot. Two, it's real important to have the contact with the floor in order to perform some of the orishas dance in Afro-Brazilian dances.
When you're doing just a samba class it's different than a ballroom dancing studio. You might want to wear dance shoes. It could just be high heels. Capezio shoes are very good because they stabilize your ankle joint and also give you nice support so you can articulate from heel, ball, toes to toes, ball, heel.
If you are going to a social dance you want to look cute. So girls, yes, high heels are more than welcome because more than anything you're going to be dancing for fun. It's different than when you're going to a dance studio and you take an hour and a half of a serious workout. This one is more on the fun side, so you want to look cute. Yes, you want to wear your high heels.
First of all, you want it to be comfortable. Make sure the shoes are the perfect size. You do not want small, because once you start dancing your feet get a little swollen. It needs to be comfortable. Make sure that you have ankle support, and make sure that you can articulate through the feet.
Now, for the guys, it's important the shoe slides. For that you may wear dance shoes, or if you're going to a social party you may wear regular shoes. It's very important that you have that slide effect especially for the samba. Guys, when they do samba, it's really close to the floor. They do not lift the feet so far up like girls do, so it's really important to have that slide effect with the shoes as well. Also, you want to make sure that you are comfortable.
So, it depends on what type of environment and what type of dance class - Afro-Brazilian, orishas, or just your pure samba - you want to make sure that you have the perfect shoe.