It is no exaggeration to say that taking care of your feet is the difference between an awesome day and a horrible day at Walt Disney World. Most park guests walk well over 10,000 steps in a day. If you are doing rope drop to fireworks, then you are almost guaranteed to go over 15,000 steps per day. That is over 5 miles of walking in a time when the average American struggles to reach 3,000 steps a day!
Park guests also do not get a lot of time to sit down. Standing on concrete and asphalt as you wait in line can be brutal! If you pick the wrong shoes you will have a bad day. We want you to have an awesome day, so here is a quick list of our favorite shoes for your days in the kingdoms.
Shoes NOT to Wear
First up, let’s talk about what not to wear, and why:
- High Heels – this one should be obvious when you consider the step count and the number of hours you’re likely to wear them. However, I mention them for two specific reasons: Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Dapper Day. If you are not prepared, then you will be in for an incredibly painful day.
- Dress Shoes – similar to high heels, there is no good reason to wear dress shoes for an extended period of time. If they are cheap, they will not have adequate padding. If they’re expensive, you will do more damage to the shoes than it’s worth to were them.
- Old Shoes – when you read about breaking in a pair of shoes, some start to believe that older shoes are naturally better because they already fit your walking style. The older the shoes are, the more the padding has worn down, and they more likely they are to be unnecessarily loose.
- Cotton Socks – this isn’t a shoe, but socks are nearly as important. Cotton socks generally absorb water and do not dry out while being worn. This makes them very bad for prolonged wear in a humid climate and around water rides.
Athletic shoes are what most people default to when picking a pair of shoes. The key thing to note is that good running shoes are not always good walking shoes! The best athletic shoes will be both breathable and firm in the right places. It can be a good idea to find a local running or walking shoe store as they often have scientific ways to analyze your stride and guide you to the perfect shoe.
This section might be a little bit subjective. In general, you are looking for a modern, stylish look to pair with the outfit you custom picked for all the Instagram walls. These are still a little sneaker-focused as that is usually your best bet in the parks.
You want something that is purely comfort-focused, and for the most part you do not care how they look. This is where we recommend sandals. Sandals definitely do not work for everyone but they can be the ultimate in comfort for others!
Big Castle Travel's Shoes
These are the shoes we wear! We did the same research back in the day, and these were the shoes that we decided on. Aside from some personal style changes over the last few years, we really have no regrets with these choices!
We joke that these are the ultimate “Disney Dad” shoe. They are chunky, all black, classic lace-up sneakers. But they are comfy! And that’s what matters.
Teva’s tend to get all around great ratings in these types of lists. The Universal does a great job of staying on your feel and handles sweat and water well.
Is there anything new we are missing? What shoes are your favorite? Any others to add to the do-not-wear list? Let us know in the comments!
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