This post probably contains affiliate links. The full disclosure policy is pretty boring, but you can see it here
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?
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. (I’ll talk more blister prevention later in this post.)
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!
How To Avoid Blisters at Disney World
Even if you have the best shoes in the world, getting blisters on your feet is a real possibility after all that walking around in the parks.
Is there any way to prevent them? And how do you treat existing blisters?
The first thing to understand is that blisters are almost always caused by one of two things:
1) Shoes that don’t fit correctly;
So if you’re wearing sneakers, especially, make sure your shoes is big enough to allow your feet to expand (because it will).
As far as moisture causing blisters, here are some tips:
Do NOT wear Cotton Socks!
If cotton gets wet, it stays wet … which means that if you get caught in the rain, or ride Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, you will potentially be walking around in damp socks for hours.
This will not make your feet happy.
Instead, consider trying one of these brands of socks:
Not only do these Feetures socks do a great job of wicking moisture so that your feet stay cool and dry, but they also claim to have a “unique anatomical design” that gives specific protection by eliminating blisters.
Amazon reviewer JMc explains why these socks are perfect for hot, humid weather:
These socks are amazing. The material on the inside is almost like tiny velcro that sticks to your skin. This, along with the nice elastic fit, ensures that they don’t slide around on your feet while running.
I live in Houston, Texas where swampy heat is the norm during most months. I can lose 8 lbs on water on a long run. My shoes literally fill with water after about mile 4 and sound like I jumped in a river. Even with soaked feet, I have been able to continue running with no blisters or issues. They are also super absorbent but are very easy to dry … I highly recommend.
Balega is another brand of socks that I’ve heard Disney fans swear by. These socks are made of elastane and mesh and have a reinforced toe and heel. They also have an elastic material going around the midfoot, creating a more snug fit.
These socks may be expensive compared to others, but they are sooooo worth it! Support, padding, no slipping – still breathable. My husband even said he can’t go back to regular socks now. Bought some for the whole family prior to Disney World trip, ensuring we all had good foot care while walking 10-12 miles/day. They did make a difference in conjunction with good shoes.
These socks come in 10 different colors, including bubble gum pink, aqua, and light grey.
Change Socks in the Middle of the Day
Changing your socks, especially if they somehow got very wet, can go a long way in preventing blisters. You might want to throw an extra pair into your Disney park bag just in case.
Two Words: Body Glide
This Amazon reviewer and Disney fan shares why she loves it, but also offers a caution:
I’m an avid Disney visitor. Considering Fl is basically Hell on Earth, shorts are ideal for walking in heat from 9am to 12am. In the past I’ve tried baby powder and deoderant for chafing, but they have never lasted more than a few hours.
This body glide stuff actually lasted and I literally felt NO tenderness in my inner thighs by the end of the day. I’m talking being able to wear shorts 2 days in a row at the parks with no injury, which I haven’t been able to do before! I recommend this to anyone.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE THOUGH: I did put this on and immediately put on a chiffon dress after. Sadly, the grease(?) of the body glide got on the dress. I don’t fully fault the product, I should have waited or been more aware, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind. It hasn’t gotten on other clothes so far, but some fabrics are most susceptible to those stains. Also, “greasy” may not be the best word. It’s not like oil on your legs, but it’s not exactly like dry powder deodorants.
And reviewer Eric H. calls Body Glide a “life saver”:
Well, life saver may be a stretch, but it is AWESOME!
My family and I had a 7 day trip planned for Disney World… Being a bigger guy, oh how I was dreading the chub rub and the painful rashes I was going to get from that hot humid Florida air and walking 5 – 7 miles per day.
Then I stumbled upon Bodyglide and this stuff was AWESOME!! I can’t stress enough how great Bodyglide was for this trip.
I opened this little bottle of what looks like deodorant and thought “well, this will only last a couple of days.” Was I ever wrong. I applied what I felt like was a lot of this product each morning and I think I only advanced the stick once, maybe twice over 7 days.
This stuff worked so well, that I could actually tell where I missed because those were the only spots which were in pain the next morning. However, I put Bodyglide over those painful areas, and the Bodyglide actually allowed them to heal as I was walking because there was no chaffing while I walked!
… If you’re on the fence about Bodyglide, DO IT! I can tell you, you won’t be disappointed.
Consider Using Moleskin on any “Hot Spots”
I have never used Moleskin and am a little hesitant to try it. Partly because … well, honestly, I’m a little confused about how to use it and I can just picture me cutting it in the wrong way and applying to the wrong place. (I am one of those people that struggles with wrapping gifts without making them look like a nightmare. So “wrapping my feet” sounds it could be more of a challenge than I could handle.)
From what I understand, though, it can go a long way in preventing blisters if you put it on spots on your feet which are starting to feel sore. It can also ease the pain of existing blisters.
One mistake that people tend to make with Moleskin is cutting a small piece that barely covers more than the blister itself. Instead, it should be cut into big, long swatches so that it won’t come off.
Don’t Forget about Disney’s First Aid Centers
If you do get foot blisters, sprain your ankle, or anything else that hurts, don’t forget that every Disney park (including the water parks) has plenty of things at their First Aid Centers that can help you, from bandages to Bactine to Tylenol.
Here’s Where the First Aid Centers are Located:
Magic Kingdom – On Main Street between Casey’s Corner and the Crystal Palace
Epcot – Outside the Odyssey building, which is between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion
Hollywood Studios – Next to Guest Relations at the entrance
Animal Kingdom – Behind the MyMagic+ Service Center in Discovery Island, near the bridge to Africa
Blizzard Beach – Next to Lottawatta Lodge
Typhoon Lagoon – Behind Leaning Palms
One last thing important thing about shoes …
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.
Now let me hear from you!
Do you have a favorite Disney World shoe? Do you have any blister protection tips that you swear by? Have you figured out how to use Moleskin without making a huge mess?
Let us know in the comments!