A trip to Disney World always means a TON of walking. That’s why it’s so important to find a great pair of shoes your trip. The wrong choice can easily leave you with aching, tired feet for days on end.
Years of Disney World experience has helped me learn what works best for keeping your feet happy in the parks and resorts. I put together this guide to help others find the perfect shoes to stay comfortable during their vacation.
The Best Men’s Shoes for Disney World
- Under Armour Men’s Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe (Click to check current price on Amazon): The Assert 8 is a very high-quality, lightweight running and walking shoe. The cushioning on this shoe is excellent and the upper mesh is extremely breathable, supported with leather strips at the arch. It will handle anything Disney World can throw at you with a sleek style.
- Asics Men’s Gel Venture 6 Running Shoe (Click to check current price on Amazon): The Asics Gel Venture 6 are some of the most comfortable shoes on the market for all day wear. These shoes make concrete feel like clouds. They work very many different foot shapes, including flat feet, and can come in size wide or narrow. They also look great and come in a lot of color combinations.
- Keen Men’s Newport H2 Sandal (Click to check current price on Amazon): If you’re looking for the perfect men’s sandal for Disney’s water parks and pool areas, look no further than a pair of Keen’s Newports. The sandals are extremely comfortable and extremely versatile. Perfect for walking around the parks during the hottest or rainiest days. They’re borderline indestructible and will last for years, even with heavy wear, plus they come in loads of different patterns.
The Best Women’s Shoes for Disney World
- Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Pure Running Shoe (Click to check current price on Amazon): These shoes are a popular choice for their lightweight fabric and breathability. You really can’t beat the quality and style of the Adidas Cloudfoam, which offers memory foam comfort with arch support. This women’s running shoe is high-quality and comes in a variety of colors to match your unique look.
- New Balance Women’s FuelCore NErgize V1 Sneaker (Click to check current price on Amazon): The Women’s FuelCore NErgize V1 is a bestselling running shoe with a lot of fans. And for good reason. They’re awesome for many different foot shapes and walking styles. New Balance’s boot-like upper construction does a great job of supporting your foot and letting it breathe at the same time. This one also comes in a variety of colors for your to choose from.
- Sketcher’s Go Walk Joy Walking Shoe (Click to check current price on Amazon): These shoes are cute, affordable, and very versatile. They are also very well-made for the price. The insoles are soft, made with Sketcher’s 5Gen responsive cushioning. They work just about anywhere at Disney World and go with just about any wardrobe.
- Aerothotic Original Orthotic Comfort Sandals (Click to check current price on Amazon): Aerothotic’s Comfort Sandals are one of the top-rated women’s shoes for comfort and stability. They are so good that they are commonly recommended by orthopedic specialists. If you want a pair of flip-flops that will allow you to comfortably walk around Disney’s water parks and resorts, the Aerothotics makes a great pair.
The Best Children’s Shoes for Disney World
- COODO Kids Running Shoes (Click to check current price on Amazon): These unisex shoes come in a lot of different colors and sizes ranging from toddler to little kids. Kids will have fun walking to different attractions in these kicks, plus the velcro strap on top will keep them from running out of their shoes. The flexible material and no-tie laces will also allow them to pull them on all by themselves.
- Keen Kids’ Newport H2 (Click to check current price on Amazon): The Keen Newports are the perfect Disney World shoe for kids. They are a hybrid closed-toe sandal/shoe that gives you the best of both worlds. These shoes are safe, comfortable, durable, and very easy to clean. They come in a HUGE variety of colors, making it really easy to find something your kids will like.
Things to consider when choosing shoes for your Disney World trip
Buying a pair of shoes doesn’t have to be rocket science. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most important features to look for when deciding on the right pair.
#1. Choose a shoe with quality construction
Making the decision to buy a quality shoe is a great investment for a Disney World vacation. There is a big difference between overpaying for a designer name and wisely investing in a quality shoe. A good high-quality shoe may not be the cheapest option but it will be well equipped to keep you comfortable and injury-free.
A good pair of walking shoes will be a little stiffer than running shoes while maintaining good shock absorption. The heels are often slightly angled to help your foot move smoothly from heel to toe. The midsoles are also a little thinner than typical running shoes which helps your foot move properly as you move more slowly.
Don’t underestimate the amount of walking that you will be doing over the course of your trip. You may not notice the consequences of wearing the wrong shoe on the first day of your trip, but I promise that you’ll notice after several days of heavy walking and lots of standing.
#2. Get A proper fit
A snug fit that isn’t too tight is the most important feature of a good pair of shoes. You want your heel to be secure without being too tight. You want to be able to move your toes just a little bit while keeping your heel firmly in place. Too much compression will cause you a lot of pain in a short amount of time. Your shoe shouldn’t compress your foot from side to side or from front to back.
#3. Keep temperature/climate in mind
If you’ve ever been to Disney World it’s very likely that you’re familiar with the Florida heat. It’s common for summer temperatures to range around 95 degrees. Spring and fall are also very warm, with average daytime temperatures in the mid-80’s. Winter is the only time you’ll see average highs drop into the mid-70’s.
It’s very easy to overheat if you wear a shoe that is too thick or too bulky. It may not be noticeable at first, but it won’t take long for your feet to become tired and sweaty. Choosing a shoe that helps your feet breathe will keep you comfortable for longer and allow you to walk further over the course of your vacation.
#4. Consider the terrain you’ll be walking on
Almost all of the terrain that you will be walking on a Disney World is concrete. Walking and standing on such a hard surface for long periods of time but puts a lot of extra stress on your feet, knees, and back. This makes it even more important to pick a shoe that has enough support and a soft sole. You want your arch properly supported so that you avoid pain and you’ll want the shoe sole to be soft enough to absorb impact.
#5. opt for Lightweight
It’s important to choose a shoe that is lightweight since heavier options will cause you to expend more energy over time. You may not notice the extra fatigue during the first day of walking but eventually you will be draining more energy in a heavy shoe. Technology has come a long way in creating footwear that is durable and supportive without being too cumbersome.
#6. Find the right style
Even though it may be easy to say that you should always choose comfort and utility over style, it’s important to consider personal preferences when buying shoes. Different shoes work well in different settings. Walking around in the parks is one thing, but spending an evening having dinner at a resort is another.
If you plan on only bringing one pair of shoes to Disney World pick something that is comfortable enough to walk miles without discomfort but fashionable enough that you wouldn’t mind wearing them to a nice dinner.
If you don’t mind packing more than one pair of shoes it’s a good idea to bring one pair for comfort and utility in the parks and at least one slightly dressier pair for wearing during evenings out.
#7. Get Waterproof
Rainy weather is something that almost all Disney World guests encounter at some point. It’s also possible that you’ll go on water rides like Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids, where you will definitely get wet. Many shoes do a very poor job of handling wet weather – we suggest saving yourself the dread of walking around in soaking shoes for half a day.
You don’t necessarily need a shoe that is completely waterproof but it’s important to have a shoe that you don’t mind getting wet. Most walking or running shoes are made out of materials that dry fairly quickly, but shoes made out of leather or other bulky and synthetic materials are definitely not ideal for getting soaked.