Which shoes you’ll choose to bring to the Disney parks is a popular topic of conversation. There is never a right answer because every person has their own unique comfort level and fashion sense. With so much walking involved, it’s always important for me for my feet to be comfortable, so the very best shoes for me are ones that keep my feet happy.
The shoes I bring sometimes depends on the season, my mood, or how healthy my feet are in the moment. I know fashion-forward shoes will look great in my PhotoPass pictures but ultimately, the smile captured in the pictures will show how happy I am that chose good shoes. Good shoes means that I am healthy and comfortable and able to walk on for miles with strong feet. That’s my priority. So it’s usually sneakers for me.
I wish I could just pick a pair of shoes solely for how they look on me in the parks. Wearing the most on-trend sandals of the season would be ideal, but for me, that’s not going to give me what I need for staying comfortable and pain free. On the DISboards there are frequent discussions about which pair of shoes are the best ones to wear on a Disney vacation. We put in miles and steps that we might not ordinarily do on a daily basis, so our community is always asking for advice. Broken in, supportive shoes are the way to go, in my opinion.
The most popular suggestions are usually sneakers, which is my choice, but many also enjoy wearing crocs or sandals. Certainly each individual is different and has their own comfort zone and needs. I was pain free for the first time on my most recent trip. After some research prior to the trip, I realized that my feet have high arches. My feet would do better in a wide neutral shoe that’s designed for high arches, which was found with an easy Google search. I ended up purchasing two types of sneakers for my trip: Hokas and Brooks. And I walked in them at home before leaving and made sure they were broken in.
I always bring two pair of shoes with me on vacation in case one gets ruined by rain or any other circumstances. Long ago, when we used to have a daily newspaper in front of our resort door each morning, I would save them to stuff my wet, rained-out shoes to help expedite the drying process. I also found sneakers that are weather-proof for rain. I often bring a pair in case I know it will be an all-day rain event ahead of me.
Sandals are common for those who don’t want their sneakers getting wet, with many choosing good quality sandals (Tevas) that have full support all around. They are great for people who find sneakers just too hot in the heat of the parks. Alternating shoes is a great idea for those trying to compromise. Sometimes you are just going a nice dinner in your resort, and wearing a great sandal is the perfect time to do that. Using the sandal for an evening look when you aren’t power walking but more on a stroll for the night might work for you.
I do own Crocs and wear them often at home, however in Disney I choose to leave them at home because I worry about slipping on wet pavement, which can happen in that type of shoe. Pool shoes or flip flops are great to bring to hang around the pool or your resort room. There are those who just wear these in the parks because they are lightweight, easy drying, and cute, but that’s not me; I physically can’t do that.
Along with shoes, good quality socks or shoe inserts (memory foam or arch support) are a great partner to go along with Disney vacation shoe gear. I understand that many people don’t like wearing socks in the heat, but I find that without good socks, my feet can’t go the distance. I often bring other essentials such as foot tape, pain lotion, and moleskin to help me along the way if my shoes just weren’t enough to keep me pain-free.
I’d love for Disney to have kiosks all around the parks and resorts that offer 20-minute foot massages. Use your MagicBand for payment, have a little privacy with a cute Goofy curtain showing him rubbing his sore feet, and you are good to go!
What shoes work for one person may not work for another. So the general question of what shoes you should wear in the parks can be inconclusive; it’s a personal preference. And for a variety of reasons, our own pick of shoes may evolve over time. But one thing is clear: you will walk a lot, often and probably in the heat, so your shoes do matter. They are important, whether you are picking them for comfort or to make a fashion statement à la Disney-bounding.
If you are in need of a good quality sneakers or socks while at Walt Disney World, you can buy a pair at Fit2Run, located in Disney Springs. Or pick up a pair of specialty Disney-style Crocs while shopping in Disney Springs!
What tips, advice and recommendations do you have for your Disney parks shoes? Do you go for comfort or fashion or a little bit of both? Comment below for a great shoe debate!
Shari Kessler loves the Disunplugged and all things Disney. She has imparted her passion for the parks along with her husband of more than 25 years to their three young adult children. Their family vacations have included Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Aulani but their home base is Walt Disney World as she resides from New Jersey. Shari also loves her cats Ricky and Lucy(RIP Lucy 2021). As a former early childhood educator she is now assisting at an animal hospital in NYC. She enjoys the Disunplugged community and hopes her articles connect with the Dis family.
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Thanks for reading!