Did you know that the average distance walked at Disney World is ten miles a day!?!
That’s a lot of walking, and if you’re not prepared with sturdy, comfortable shoes that can handle it, you’re probably going to be unhappy.
I spent several hours researching shoes that will stand up to those amounts of walking and found some great choices for men, women, and toddlers.
Can you Wear Flip Flops to Disney World?
Let’s start off by discussing the best women’s walking shoes for Disney World. A lot of first-timers ask whether there is an “closed-toe policy” regarding shoes at the Disney Parks.
The answer is no — the only shoe restriction at Disney World is that you can’t roll around on skate shoes.
The only time flip-flops will be an “issue” (if you can even call it that) is at the ride Saorin’ at Epcot. Since your feet “dangle” during that ride, you have to take your flip-flops off and store them in a pouch under your seat before.
Of course, no way do you want to wear the same thin, cheap flip-flops that you wear to the beach. But there are some flip-flops out there that are perfect for a day of walking around the Disney Parks:
The Sanuk Women’s Yoga Sling 2 Flip-Flops have a yoga mat material for a footbed and cloth straps. They come in over 20 different colors and are odor-resistant and machine machine-washable.
Amazon reviewer Scano the Mano, who suffers from Plantar Fasciitis, happily reports:
These sandals are perfect! They look dressy enough to wear with a nice summery dress out to dinner, and yet not so stuffy that I couldn’t throw on a pair of short and a t-shirt and head out to the park. They are a DREAM to walk in!!! The “strap” material is stretchy enough to accommodate moving around and walking, and yet supportive enough to feel like these shoes won’t fall off.
The Skechers Go Walk Pizazz is “sporty flip-flop” featuring a textured rubber sole footbed and printed straps.
Amazon reviewer Xendula explains why the Skechers are perfect for her feet:
I have naturally splaying toes, and most women’s flipflops are too narrow and my feet hang over the sides. These are shaped like normal feet, yet the band at the top is not so loose that you have the claw onto the shoe with your toes to keep them on while walking. They are so comfortable! The fabric between the toes is very soft and does not cause any irritation, the insole is made out of a foamy material that keeps your foot in even if you sweat, and the arch support is not crazy (sometimes I have trouble with exaggerated arch support which I do not want – arches are supposed to support themselves, thank you very much).
The Best Sandals for Disney World
Ever since I was kid, I’ve never liked flip-flops because having something between my toes like that drives me crazy. (Weird, I know.)
However, I do love regular sandals, with no toe-thingy.
I prefer wearing sandals because they’re:
3) Roomy — this may sound strange, but standing and walking for long periods of time can cause your feet to swell, which can cause blisters if your feet don’t have plenty of room.
4) Cute! I like to wear sundresses to the Disney parks, and obviously sandals work with a dress better than sneakers would.
When choosing a sandal for a Disney trip, make sure they have plenty of cushioning and a bit of lift to give your feet the support they need. In addition, make sure they have traction on the bottom so you don’t slip when you’re walking on a wet area of concrete.
In addition to the sandals I’ve used and recommend, here are two other cute and comfy sandals that fit the bill:
The Teva Women’s Sandal has a synthetic sole and durabrasion rubber outsole, plus a hook and loop closure and universal strapping system. I like how they have a kind of “Bohemian” look to them, and I particularly like the Coral Sand design.
Amazon Reviewer Helena P. says that “she never knew she could love a shoe so deeply”:
I’ll just say this: I’m NEVER going to buy another brand of outdoor sandal.
These are so simple, and the lack of random extra straps (looking at you, Chaco) definitely contributes to their comfiness. I love the way they look, I love the way they feel, and I love how durable they seem to be. I’ve only had them for a few weeks but have definitely gotten some mileage out of them already, and they still look brand new.
I’ve heard sooo many great things about Keen that I’m seriously considering getting a pair for myself. My only hesitation is that they are little more “sporty-looking” for my usual look.
If you tend to be an outdoorsy type, this would be a great shoe for you. Reviewers raved about how it was great for river rafting, rappelling, and hiking on rugged terrain.
You’ll see more Keen below when we talk about mens’ and kids’ shoes.
Best Sneakers and Canvas Shoes for Women
If you choose to wear sneakers to Disney, I have two suggestions:
1) Make sure you wear these kinds of socks so your feet don’t get all sweaty;
2) If at possible, bring two pairs of sneakers. Your sneakers might get really wet, either from a water ride or getting caught in a downpour, and your sneakers may not be fully dry by the morning.
The ASICS Women’s Running Shoe has a mesh upper, a rubber sole, and a forefront and rearfront gel cushion.
Amazon reviewer sj773 goes into great detail of why these are good shoes:
My sell points for determining that these are “good” sneakers:
1.) Toe Space – I have problems with my toes going numb if I don’t have adequate room in the toe box. To accommodate, I usually order a size 10 and lace up tightly (when I wear a 9 or 9.5) in regular shoes. This causes my shoes to typically wear faster in the heels because they side around a little, but my toes don’t go numb after my daily 4 mile trail hike.
2.) Comfort – This includes arch support and overall cushioning. I have bad knees, so I can tell when the cushioning starts to go in sneakers. Mine last almost 3 months exactly when worn for 4 miles daily.
3.) Cuteness – Sorry to be vain but I want sneakers to be cute and have pink on them. These are the only kind I buy. Judge me if you must 😉
4.) Easy to put on / take off – I hate untying my shoes, so I love that these have a loop in the back so I can slip them on with minimal unlacing (lazy).
5.) Doesn’t cake-in dirt/mud – When on loose dirt trails, I often encounter dirt & mud that gets caked into my soles, so I favor the Asics styles over, say K-Swiss because the soles don’t have a lot of “hiding places” for mud to get packed into.
The Skechers Go Walk Sneaker is lightweight and flexible has a soft fabric lining. It comes in three cute designs in really pretty colors. Reviewers liked this shoe because they were a nice combination of comfy and attractive.
The Saucony Women’s Triumph ISO Running Shoe is synthetic with a rubber sole and boasts an “ISOFIT sock-like conforming upper.” One reviewer called these shoes “the Cadillac of cushioning.”
Amazon reviewer PeanutsMom2005 describes how these shoes solved her unique problem:
I have been searching quite some time for a shoe that works for me. I have achilles tendonitis in my left ankle andI supinate really bad (feet roll outwards when walking). The outer part of my feet are flat, but I have a pretty high arch. I went to several different shoe specialty stores and was told to buy the same type of shoe over and over, however it was an average guy in sporting goods store who helped me the most. He recommended this shoe and I love it. I can finally walk all day with no major issues.
And Then There’s Crocs!
People tend to have many strong emotions about classic Crocs. Some people have an irrational hatred toward them (which, oddly, sometimes even extends to people who wear them). Other people love them dearly and swear that they’re the best shoes for walking in Disney World.
No one in my family has ever owned a pair of Crocs, so I have no real opinion about them (or the people who choose to wear them) one way or another.
Best Men’s Walking Shoes for Disney World
The last our entire family went to Disney World, Robert’s feet really hurt him by about the third day. I told him I won’t let that happen to him again, and that for our upcoming trip he should buy one of these:
The Skechers Performance Men’s Incredible Walking Shoe is a mesh shoe that describes itself as “radically lightweight” and has a tapering midfoot design for improved arch support and a bamboo-lined footbed for anti bacterial odor control. It comes in charcoal, black, and navy.
Amazon reviewer Nathan says the Skechers are “like walking on air”:
I had major back surgery a few weeks ago and these shoes have been a real lifesaver. Trying to put on shoes after back surgery is a major problem lets not mention if you had to tie them too!
I was skeptical about buying because I didn’t want the old man shoe look, lol. But actually they are pretty stylish and I have gotten great compliments on them. I ordered 2 pair one in black and the other in grey and I absolutely love them. The memory foam is like walking on air. They are very lightweight too. If your looking for a stylish slip on and a comfortable shoe this is the perfect pair of shoes! I highly recommend this product to anyone looking for a nice pair of walking shoes without the hassle of having to tie them!
The Skechers Afterburn Memory-Foam Sneaker is a lace-up sneaker featuring a cushioned mesh tongue and memory foam insole. They come in eight different designs. Reviewers said it was a good choice for men with wide feet who have trouble getting shoes to fit them. That is definitely Robert.
The New Balance Men’s Walking Shoe is made of suede and mesh, has a rubber sole, and ABZORB midesole cushioning. It’s specifically a walking shoe, as opposed to a running shoe. (Apparently walking shoes are lower in the heel than running shoes are, because of the way you lean forward slightly when you run.)
Reviewers praised this shoe for fitting wide feet and for not cramping or mashing their toes.
Best Kids’ Shoes for Disney
Keens is a winner yet again, even being called “The perfect Disney shoe” on some Disney forums. They have the coolness of a sandal, good walking support, and you don’t have to worry about them coming off.
Juan Valenzuela at Fitting Children’s Shoes has some expert advice to give about Keens:
1) Keens can start to smell bad after a couple months of your kids wearing them. The secret to getting rid of the smell is to rub a mixture of baking soda and vinegar throughout the sandal, especially in the neoprene part.
2) Since Keen sandals are only available in whole sizes, you’ll need to round up
3) If your child has narrow or extra-wide feet, Keen sandals might not work well for them. Instead, Juan recommends the following as an alternative to Keen:
UNEEK is a shoe style that is actually made by KEEN, but that looks totally different from their traditional sandals, and they’re a good choice for kids with narrow feet. They provide less support than traditional Keen sandals, but they can still be worn as everyday summer shoes. They come with a toggle shoe lace and a velcro strap to secure your kids’ feet.
On the opposite extreme, if your child has extra-wide feet, then Jambu sandals might be a good choice. They have an easy-fasten adjustable strap closure, are fast-drying, and have a durable, comfortable outsole.
If the idea of wearing sandals does not appeal to your kids at all — OR if they want some cute shoes that are “specifically Disney,” then check out Vans. They come in over 30 different designs. My favorite are the Winnie the Pooh ones!
One last thing …
Whatever shoes you choose for your trip, make sure you break them in before your trip. You don’t want the first or second time you wear your shoes be the day that you trek ten miles around the Magic Kingdom.
In fact, you might want to have “training” be a part of your family’s Disney countdown activities. Get a FitBit and go for a walk together every evening to get ready! And don’t just walk — make sure to get in some regular stretching too. (I love these Yoga videos, whether I’m getting ready for a trip to Disney World or not.
Well, there you have it! I hope this post helps you find the perfect Disney shoes for you and your family.