So, someone posted a good question in the forums. So I decided to share with you what I do, and what I've seen – and some reasoning behind it.
I personally use jazz-type dance shoes for practice and dance. This might sound very counter-intuitive – but let me explain. Jazz-dance shoes are extremely light and they fit literally comfortable like a glove. In addition, they are highly flexible and they make you feel like you are dancing bearfoot except that you have suede on the bottom of your shoes (which helps relieve friction). Also, they are very cheap – around $25 – $35 USD, so I can literally take them anywhere, not worry about loosing them or getting them worn because – thats what dance shoes are there for…. dance and wear them out. They do last a lot of time – and other than cowboy boots (for the pros), these are the best for Salsa Congress because you are usually guarateed and excellent wooden dancefloor and if you stay at the hotel, you can walk around in them (because the Hotel is nice). In addition, if the congress for some reason you have to dance on carpet – these are the best for Carpet dancing.
I used these for practice and sometimes for regular dancing at congress (I have other shoes that are much nicer for special occasions for that 'special lady') .. 😉 Regardless, I highly recommend having a pair – either all black or all white.
However, the downside of these shoes is that there is not enough arch support (compared to other shoes – and for a guy like me, who has flat feet, you're legs get tired and sore much faster than regular people). Also, every now and then you need to scrape the dance shoe with a metal brush so you can keep the good threading (suede) on the bottom.l
Now, back in the day I used to have the 'BLOCH' type dance sneaker – mainly because I saw that everyone that most people that practiced were these types of sneakers (seen below). However, even though they were VERY COMFORTABLE due to the arch support – they were made my feet be too high off the dance floor which screwed up spinning. So I ended up … well… after like 1 year, I switched to the jazz-shoe (and realized that dance shoes need to be close to the floor and I could go to the Good Feet store to fix my issues ) . Additionally, these 'BLOCH' or 'CAPEZIO' dance sneakers are more expensive – so I usually get afraid of using them alot. However, you don't have to scrape the bottom for grime and dirt.
However, as a quick tip – you can take any shoe that you LOVE, and go to a shoe repair or modification place and tell them to add suede on the bottom of the shoe.
BLOCH and CAPEZIO dance sneaker