You don’t have to be a Disney insider to know that a Walt Disney World vacation involves a LOT of walking. Nailing down shoe details is one of the must-do items before a Disney vacation.
From sprinting around World Showcase to trekking across the Magic Kingdom, exploring Disney Springs, or touring your Disney Resort you want to be sure you have the best shoes possible for your Walt Disney World vacation. This vacation planning guide expands on a little detail that can make a big impact on your vacation.
In My Suitcase
Sneaker- Brooks Running Shoes, Zee Alexis, Suavs:
The must-have item on a Disney vacay that I swear by is a solid pair of sneakers for the parks. Well-built sneakers like Brooks Running Shoes tend to provide the most support for my body type in the parks and provide the longevity I need during a Park day. Other options that have taken me many a Disney mile are Zee Alexis lightweight memory foam sneaker (bonus points your shoe never comes untied) and Suavs packable travel sneaker.
Suavs are even machine washable, so they can look great on each return trip to Walt Disney World. This small neutral shoe is comfortable and so understated that it looks great with any outfit. Many theme Park fans swear by New Balance tennis shoes. Take some time to research comfortable walking shoes that are right for your stride so you can dash around the Disney Parks with ease during your vacation.
Walt Disney World sees plenty of pop-up showers that can leave your feet drenched- unless you are wearing sandals. For this reason, I love Chacos Sandals in the Disney Parks. These long-lasting and well-built sandals are more supportive than some sneakers, seem to be indestructible, and are easy to wash, making them a slam dunk for a Disney vacation.
Investing in a comfortable shoe that fits the sandal category is a great idea for those that enjoy trips to theme parks. You’ll be ready to hit Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids or Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain with confidence, knowing you will not have to squish around in soggy tennis shoes all day.
Fun Shoe– Tieks, Rothy’s Loafer, Rothy’s Pointe
My third “fun shoe” is still Park practical. While I wouldn’t set out to hike through the parks for a whole day in these shoes I can easily walk 3-6 miles in them. I often wear my fun shoe for dinner reservations, shopping at Disney Springs, resort hopping, or an evening in the Park.
The name of the game when it comes to choosing Park shoes is support. Many Disney veterans would swear sneakers are the only way to go in the parks. While I tend to think of athletic shoes/tennis shoes/sneakers as some of the most supportive shoes in my closet you do not necessarily have to hit the parks in sneakers.
Well-made sandals like Chacos or Teva are great choices that you’ll see many Guests wearing in Disney Parks. To ensure your vacation days are full of magic and not foot pain, think ahead and secure some supportive shoes. If your chosen shoes are a cute addition to your Park ensemble- great! If not, do not think twice about choosing practicality over style, you will be so glad you did!
If you are purchasing new shoes for vacation do not forget to break them in before you arrive at the happiest place If you are purchasing new shoes for vacation do not forget to break them in before you arrive at the happiest place on earth. Even a pair of kicks in the correct size can cause a bit of discomfort when you break them in. Even if you usually go sockless when wearing sneakers, pack and wear socks on vacation.
Miles of sockless walking will wear your feet raw and cause blisters. Speaking of planning ahead- do not forget to pack a small foot first-aid kit in the event you need to patch up after a long day in the parks. Small bandages for blisters, body glide to reduce foot friction, antibiotic ointment for cuts or blisters, and CBD roll-on pain relief gel for general discomfort are must-haves on any vacation that involve a lot of walking.
Think about insoles for additional support. Gel insoles are easy to snag at a drugstore or Walmart and can do a lot to cushion your stride. You will not regret adding foot care items to your Disney packing list.
If your luggage allows for multiple shoe options I suggest an athletic shoe, sandal, and other shoe of your choice. All options should be broken in and comfortable to walk in. Having sandals for the pool and a fun shoe to wear to dinner oIf your luggage allows for multiple shoe options I suggest an athletic shoe/tennis shoe, sandal, and other shoe of your choice. All options should be broken in and comfortable to walk in.
Having sandals for the pool and a fun shoe to wear to dinner or outside the parks is a nice change. If space is an issue when packing, do prioritize bringing at least two pairs of shoes. Wear one, pack the other and rest easy knowing that you have a backup option if one pair break or get ruined on vacation. Sure, you could always buy replacement shoes on vacation but who wants to spend vacay time and budget that way?
Save Your Steps
Even for moderately active people, walking on a Disney vacation is going to pack a punch. Plan to save steps where you can by familiarizing yourself with Park maps to avoid backtracking. Feel free to take breaks around the park or even back at your Resort when you need to rest your feet. At night, plan to pamper your soles by elevating your feet, applying CBD balm for soreness, or enjoying a foot soak.
Packing multiple comfy options (two of which you can wear for an entire Park day) enables you to not only choose your footwear based on weather (no one likes wearing rain-soaked soggy sneakers) but also allows you to rotate footwear to keep your feet in better shape. Rotating shoes from day to day or even during the day helps reduce foot pain.
After a midday break at my Resort room, I always leave for the second half of my day in different shoes. An evening in the parks, a dinner reservation, or an afternoon of shopping at Disney Springs is the perfect place to wear your fun third shoe option during your Disney trip.