One of the most important aspects of planning your vacation is choosing the best shoes for Disney World and Disneyland (or any other vacation that will require lots of walking). While picking out cute mouse ears and the perfect t-shirt is fun, finding the most comfortable walking shoes for Disney is arguably the most important aspect of your outfit planning. The last thing you want to do is miss out on a ride because your feet hurt too much to get up off of a bench or to be limping around nursing blisters. This guide to comfortable walking shoes features my top choices for women, men, and kids and will be sure to keep you strutting around the parks in both comfort and style. I’ve literally walked hundreds of miles in 8 different Disney parks over the years, and I’ve had good days where I made it until park close feeling perfect and days where I’ve had my feet hurt so badly that I was ready to fight someone for a seat on the bus back to the hotel at the end of the day. Based on my many trips over the years and time as a Cast Member, here are my top recommendations for comfortable walking shoes for Disney.
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What to look for when choosing shoes for Disney
Comfort is far and away the most important factor when choosing the best shoes for Disney parks – especially Walt Disney World because parks like Epcot and Animal Kingdom are enormous. If you have to choose between fashion and comfort (though I think the shoes listed below tick both boxes nicely) absolutely go with comfort every time. I’m a realist – I love visiting the parks, but I know that a Disney vacation can be exhausting. You will walk miles and miles every day at the theme parks, and most of that will be on unforgiving concrete. Don’t believe me? Check out the screenshot below from my poor, overworked Fitbit from my last trip. Pick shoes with cushioned soles that will absorb the shock and keep your feet feeling good or you might find yourself wearing out toward the end of the night. I always choose to wear sneakers, and prefer walking shoes or running shoes. You won’t catch me dead at a Disney park in flip flops, unless we’re talking Typhoon Lagoon.
Another factor to consider is the potential for blisters. Make sure that the shoes you pack for your Disney trip don’t rub your feet anywhere uncomfortable. Check the heels, toes, insteps, and any other place you’ve experienced blisters in the past and anywhere else you think might cause discomfort. The last thing you want to do is develop a painful blister early in your trip and be left hobbling around trying not to pop it. It won’t be fun, and the sinking realization that your dinner reservations are all the way across Epcot might just make you cry.
Pro tip: You should always, always, always break your new shoes in for at least a couple weeks before packing them for Disney (or any vacation where you’ll be doing lots of walking). Never buy a brand new pair of shoes and throw it in your suitcase without first doing some walking. Once you’re at Disney, you’re in a whole new world (pun most definitely intended) and finding a replacement pair or the requisite blister care once you’re on property can be time consuming and/or expensive. A bit of moleskin can be a handy on-the-go fix for spots that are rubbing.
You’ll want to know what kind of arches your feet have. Finding the right amount of arch support is important and can prevent soreness or plantar fasciitis. People with flat feet will need different styles of shoes to stay comfortable than someone with high arches would.
Pack some good socks for your trip. When I’m at home, I favor thin socks with fun patterns (don’t tell anyone, but most days I’m wearing thin, brightly colored Disney, Star Wars, or Harry Potter characters on my socks at work) but I prefer to leave those at home when I visit the parks. You’ll want something thicker that provides more protection against rubbing and blisters and absorbs sweat. Because there will be a lot of that. Trust me. Try these for women and these for men.
I tend to prefer sneakers for theme parks, especially when visiting during crowded seasons. I’ve had my feet run over by strollers and scooters often enough to want some protection between my toes and the crowds of people who aren’t always paying attention.
I always recommend packing two pairs of walking shoes for Disney. You never know when your shoes might get wet – I’ve waded through puddles deeper than my ankles in the Magic Kingdom before – and having a spare pair allows you to give your other shoes a chance to dry without cutting into park time. It’s also good to have a backup in case an unexpected blister (unexpected because you broke those shoes in before you came, right?) pops up or something crazy happens like snapping a lace or the rubber sole falling off – both things that have happened to me in my life, though not necessarily at Disney World.
The best shoes for Disney World for women
Ryka Devotion walking shoes
Sorry, gents, but this brand only makes women’s walking shoes. You’ll just have to drown your sorrows in your extra 20% of pay. These are a recent addition to my walking shoe collection, and I was amazed at their comfort after a long day parkhopping at Disneyland. I walked 12.5 miles in them – most of it power walking because when you only have 11 hours to hit both parks you do what you have to do to hit as many rides as possible – and felt like I’d hardly been on my feet at all. I’d just been at Disney World the weekend before and retired my previous pair of walking shoes because my feet were just aching by the time the afternoon rolled around, so the contrast was stunning. I love the way the air cushion make me feel like I have a spring in my step and they’re honestly the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. I also love the brightly colored trim. My dog loves them too because now we go on more long walks.
Skechers GoWalk sneakers
Skechers GoWalk shoes come in a wide variety of styles and I’ve had a few different pairs over the years. I finally wore the soles down so far that I had to scrap these, but they saw me through hundreds of miles of walking over the course of 5 vacations, including 3 Disney World trips. The memory foam insoles are super comfortable and cushion your feet in all the right places. They’re highly breathable, which is great for Florida heat, but the biggest downside is that they’re not waterproof. If you’ve ever been to Orlando before, you know that it tends to rain quite a bit, so if you’re not careful, you can get your feet soaked pretty quickly. The good news is that they dry incredibly quickly.
Minnie Rock the Dots New Balance sneakers
What’s more Disney than Minnie Mouse inspired shoes? RunDisney offers exclusive New Balance shoes, but these are available even for people like me who couldn’t run a half marathon if their life depended on it. These come in red and black options, but I think if you’re going for Minnie Mouse shoes, you should go all-in and get the red ones. The great thing about these is that even though they’re character-inspired, they’re also made to be super comfortable.
Brooks brand shoes come highly recommended by orthopedic doctors and are known for providing extra comfort without sacrificing style. Their shoes come in a wide range of colors ranging from neutral to very bright, so there should be something in there that suits your taste.
PS. Don’t worry that the product title on Amazon says “men’s.” I verified from the reviews that these are actually women’s shoes made in women’s sizes.
The best shoes for men at Disney Parks
Adidas Lite Racer BYD
These Adidas shoes rank at the top of my list of men’s walking shoes based on recommendations from my brother who loves Disney World just as much as I do – like me, he’s also a former Cast Member so he knows a thing or two about exploring the parks. I’m a big supporter of breathable shoes (even though you lose a little bit of water resistance) for walking around in hot weather. It really does make your feet so much more comfortable. The uppers of these shoes are designed to wrap and cushion your feet to reduce rubbing and prevent blisters, and the soles are ideal for walking. My brother wore a pair with the cloud foam cushioning for five days at Disney World earlier this year and loved how comfy they were, so they’re park tested and perfect for a Disney trip.
Skechers Go Walk 4
Skechers Go Walk sneakers are another super comfy option for men. Like the women’s version above, they’re super lightweight and feature the “goga mat” insoles that are characteristic of Go Walks. Both features are great for long days on your feet. If you’re concerned about getting your feet wet in the rain or on rides like Kali River Rapids, some variations of the shoe come in fake leather, which while making them less breathable, will make them more water resistant.
Merrell Agility Synthesis Sneakers
My dad swears by Merrell shoes, and while I usually think of them as making hiking boots, he pointed me toward some pretty sleek looking sneakers – in a color I love no less. (For real though, can I get a women’s pair that color?) They’re designed for days when you’re on your feet a lot, which is the very definition of a Disney vacation.
These shoes are designed for orthotic comfort, but you’d never know it based on the athletic design. In addition to its extra comfy insole, it has a similar type of air cushioned sole as the women’s shoe I was raving about above. You can get it in grey or the much-prettier-in-my-opinion blue option. The wide toe box on these shoes is also great for people with wider feet or who are concerned about blisters.
The best shoes for Disney for kids
These shoes are great because not only are they super comfy, they also come in a full range of sizes from little kids to big kids. Even better? They come in a wide range of colors targeted to both boys and girls so you can outfit the whole crew if you want. Their extra comfy soles and breathable uppers will keep your kids happy all day long.
Crocs Fun Lab Mickey clogs
Crocs may not be the height of fashion, but what kid cares about that? These Mickey-inspired shoes come in both navy and pink to appeal to different tastes. You can get similar ones in the parks in a pinch, but it’s always better to prepare ahead of time to make sure they’re comfy (and save a few bucks). And did I mention that these Mickey ones light up? Your kid will thank you. You can also get them in a variety of character designs ranging from Buzz Lightyear to Moana to Darth Vader. They check all the boxes of comfort, breathability, and quick drying (I recommend removing socks in the rain if they’re wearing them with the crocs) with a fun flair of Disney style. They can even double as pool shoes since they dry so quickly so you can save room when packing.
Skechers Go Run shoes
Skechers Go Run shoes are great for kids – and they come in both boys and girls styles (and this tomboy loves the fact that the girls’ shoes have color schemes that aren’t pink). Every pair of Skechers that I’ve owned have been high quality and lasted for years, so your kid is likely to outgrow them before they wear out. They come in the full range from little kids to big kids, so they’re great for all ages.
Minnie Mouse sneakers
These light-up Minnie Mouse sneakers are perfect for kids and would look adorable matched with a pink polka dot skirt for the parks. And did I mention that they light up? (I know I did, but I always wanted light-up shoes as a kid and never got them so I think they’re extra cool.) A pair of shoes like this also makes a great gift if you surprise kids with a trip to Disney World.
The best comfortable sandals for Disney World
Teva Terra Fi leather sandal
In all honesty, I’ve never loved sandals, but my mom has been wearing these Tevas for so long that she actually has permanent tan lines on her feet from them (true story), which is even more impressive considering that we live in the North and sandal season is less than half the year. She’s every bit as picky about having comfy shoes as I am, and claims that these are the only sandals she’s ever owned that she can walk all day in and not get blisters.
Adidas Adilette slides
Don’t judge me, but these are actually my favorite shoes of all time. I think I’m on pair #3 if you don’t count the knock-offs I got at Target a decade ago. They’re the only flip flops I’ll wear because the soles are actually molded to provide some support, as opposed to your average rubber and foam pairs. They even make the soles out of the same Cloud Foam material my brother raved about in the Adidas sneakers in the men’s section of this post now.
Now that you’ve got your shoe selections sorted out, check out these posts:
- How to Save Money at Disney World
- What to Pack for Disney World
- The Grown-Up’s Guide to Disney World
- How to Save Time at Disney World Using Your Smartphone
If you’re ready to buy your park tickets and want to save a few bucks (the even occasionally offer free bonus days!) check out Undercover Tourist. I’ve bought my tickets for my last few trips through them and they’re an official partner so the tickets are legit and can be delivered to your inbox within minutes.
Don’t forget to save this guide for later so you don’t miss these great shoes!
Sneakers are always the way to go when going to a theme park.