The Best Shoes for Disney World
A Footwear Expert chimes in – but I’m not really an expert.
By Heather Malo
Did you know, the average guest at Disney World walks several miles a day when in the parks?
So your tootsies need the upmost consideration when planning your next Disney vacation.
Personally, I spend a lot of time thinking about foot comfort. A few years ago, I developed Plantar Fasciitis and I learned the importance of good shoes. (I also learned a lot about patience as I spent the next year doing tedious exercises to rid myself of the daily pain.)
Because of this, I’m serious about my feet. While those cute little flip flops may perfectly compliment the outfit I’m planning, I’m not about to sacrifice my foot health.
Or my day of fun at Disney World.
In fact, I can’t think of anything less enjoyable than walking through Magic Kingdom or Epcot with uncomfortable, yet perfectly matched, shoes.
These days, I’m a daily walker. I’m one of those people that heads to the mall to walk when it’s raining or too cold or too hot… no judgement, please. Yeah, my friends make fun of me for my daily walks with the Seniors but, I'm ok with that.
Because of the PF and the Mall Walking, I consider myself a highly educated and very unscientific, Expert of Footwear.
So what footwear would I recommend for a fun filled day at Disney? Or even a fun filled week? Check these out:
I hadn’t worn Sketchers in years… like, since we all wore those chunky black platform flip flops in the 90’s. But once I got serious about walking every morning, there were specific things I was looking for in a shoe and it just so happens, Sketchers had it. I’m not kidding when I tell you I currently have six pairs of these. Six! I love this Sketchers line. They are comfy, with plenty of color options, styles and the price won’t break the bank.
I bought my first pair of Reefs because they had a bottle opener on the sole – crucial when you are in college and I still own several pairs today. While a lot of folks don’t advocate flip flops on the whole for a day at a theme park, Disney World is in Florida and sometimes you just can’t bear the thought of socks and shoes on a hot day (see our blog on How to Manage Disney World in the Summer). Reefs are cool and sturdy, well cushioned and ready for a day of walking.
I’m keen on Keens! Why isn’t that their marketing slogan? We purchased a few pair of Keens for a trip to Maui. We had plans to do the Road to Hana and we needed shoes that could go from hiking to water without missing a beat. Not only did our feet stay cool and comfy, but by the end of the day, they felt great. The hybrid sandal/hiking shoe was a new concept for me, but now our Keens are packed for every trip we take.
This one may not make sense unless you are a true Birkenstock fan. I’ve been wearing this brand for over 25 years. So, I’m a die-hard enthusiast. There is just something about a perfectly worn in pair of Birkies. Their unique construction provides unbelievable support while allowing for air flow and comfort. And if you’re one of those people who love wearing them with wool socks in the winter well, consider them an all year Disney staple.
A few extra tips
While choosing shoes for a multi-day trip to Disney World may seem easy, there are a few extra things to consider:
1. Don’t wear new shoes. This should go without saying but, even if those new sneakers feel amazing in the store, don’t plan on wearing anything that hasn’t seen some time on the road (or at the mall, if you’re like me). Break them in before you go!
2. Change shoes halfway through the day. If you’re planning on being on your feet all day, give those toes a wardrobe change with a different pair of shoes. They’ll thank you for it.
3. Cover the Piggies! For the younger ones in your party, I suggest avoiding open toed anything. They’re more prone to tripping, sliding, getting run over by wayward strollers, etc. And nothing ruins a day like a stubbed and bloody toe.
4. Pack multiples. Please, please, I beg you… take more than one pair of shoes! Take more than two! It rains a lot in Florida, your feet can get wet on water rides and sometimes, your shoes will need a day or two to dry out… so pack with this in mind.