Dancers say the platform sandals, preferably with shiny straps and buckles that snake to the knee, help prevent them from tipping over and injuring their ankles while dancing the lightning-quick gyrations of the samba.
"Platforms are safer," said Iris Sol, 28, a dancer for the drum section of the Barroca Zona Sul samba club in Sao Paulo.
"I've paraded with samba troupes since I was six, but the truth is that I was dancing samba when I was born," she said.
Sandals with platform heels push body weight onto the ball of the foot, where the samba is danced. Samba platforms go as high as 17 centimeters, or 6.6 inches. Heels are extra-wide.
"Platforms make women more beautiful, elegant and taller, with better posture. They help you stick out your chest and butt a bit," said Magaly Santos, 22, Sao Paulo's 2005 Carnival queen.