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After a long day at Disney, your feet can really ache. That is why it is important to pick the best shoes for your Disney vacation. From finding the perfect shoes for all-day comfort, to what to do about water rides, we are giving our best recommendations on shoes to wear at Disney theme parks.
Why Picking The Best Shoes For Disney Vacations Matters
Maybe you have no issues with shoes at home, so you don’t understand why your shoe choice for Disney and other amusement parks matters.
The truth is, a lot of people pick the wrong shoes to wear, and their feet pay the price.
You will be doing a lot of walking in the Disney parks, as well as standing for long periods of time in lines, on cement. By the end of the day, tired and sore feet can make the walk back to your hotel room unbearable.
In addition to the long days on your feet, some guests may also have other concerns like plantar fasciitis. The foot pain associated with this can make moving around the parks painful, but with the right shoes, guests can minimize the foot pain. (Please also see your doctor for other ways to ease/treat your foot pain.)
Tips For Picking the Best Disney Shoes
When choosing what shoes to wear to Disney or other theme parks, many guests think about style. They want shoes that look good for Disney World or Disneyland pictures and with their Disney outfits. While there is nothing wrong with matching shoes to your favorite characters or outfit, we want to choose cute comfortable shoes so that you have happy feet at the end of the day.
Tips For Making Sure You Have The Best Footwear for Disney Trips:
- Choose good shoes that are high quality, well made
- Look for good arch support
- Avoid wearing brand-new shoes – you need time to break them in
- Consider what you will be doing – water rides, splash pads, walking long distances
- Be sure to listen to your tired feet and adapt your park plans, etc as needed
What Are The Best Shoes For Disney Vacations?
Here is the tricky part… there is no one answer for the best choice of shoes to wear to Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and beyond. A good chunk of this answer comes down to personal preference.
That said, I have polled some of my Disneyland with Kids Facebook Group Members (where this is a hot topic) and there were definitely some types of shoes and brands that have been recommended over and over.
If you plan on picking out new shoes for Disney, or even if you are breaking out your favorite pair of sandals from last summer, the most important thing to do is make sure you wear the shoes REGULARLY in the days leading up to your trip.
Even if you wore them all summer last year, if you haven’t been wearing those sandals or other shoes over the last 4 months, you will find they rub and irritate your feet.
The point isn’t really breaking in the shoes but getting your feet used to how the shoes rub in different places.
So let’s share some of the best shoes for Disney. Make sure you also check out my Disneyland Packing List for more comfortable clothes to wear at Disney.
Best Shoes For Kids At Disney
Kids rarely complain about shoes and their feet at Disney, except to mention how tired their feet and legs are at the end of a long day. Really, as long as they are shoes they wear often at home, and fit them well, most kids are happy.
That said, here are the best shoes according to my own experience, and my unscientific poll in my Facebook group.
Overall Winner – Keens, Best Shoes for Little Kids and Older Kids Alike
Keens is the top pick of shoes for kids. While Keens does offer several different styles of shoes, I highly recommend the Newport H2 Sandals.
This is what all of my children usually where at Disney and any time the weather is nice at home.
Reasons We Like Keens Newport H2 Sandals for Kids at Disney:
- Closed toes for kids that may be a bit clumsy
- Can be worn with or without socks (I have my kids where with socks in the parks, but they can take socks off for water rides)
- These are not officially water shoes but they are water-resistant and quick drying
- Thick rubber soles with good traction
- Good arch support
- Fit wider feet well (I have one child for who finding sneakers that fit is nearly impossible, but Keens Newport H2 Sandals give him plenty of room for his wide feet)
- Available in a variety of colors and patterns
I love that these shoes offer the sturdiness of a sneaker or hiking shoe, but are breathable, and easy for kids to take on and off.
Other Recommended Shoes For Kids At Disney
While Keens was the clear winner, other types of shoes that are highly recommended include:
- Teva Sandals
- Stride Rite
- Any quality sneaker or cross trainer
Important Note: Shoes that have wheels built in are not allowed in the Disney parks.
Best Shoes For Disney For Women and Men, Adult Shoes For Disney
I feel as adults, we have a better grasp on what shoes we like and which ones are the top choices for long, hot days at the parks. But sometimes our Disney Bounding gets the best of us and we end up with shoes that leave our feet sore and blistered.
While you can definitely find shoes that are both stylish and comfortable, sometimes Disney goers get too focused on that first part. Yes, even as adults.
Plus, let’s not forget, while we are talking adult sizes of shoes, these are also the pairs of shoes that will be worn by most teenagers as their feet are adult size. And yes, I have gone with teens to the park who have made extremely poor shoe choices.
While I don’t like to label shoes as men or women’s (because honestly, sometimes I buy men’s shoes for myself), we will break them down that way.
Best Women’s Shoes For Disney – Whether a Disneyland or Walt Disney World Vacation
As women (and fashionable men), we know that shoe choices are often more about style than comfort, but that is a mistake when choosing shoes for Disneyland. You will want to pick some of the best women’s walking shoes, comfortable sandals, and yes… there are event flip flops that may work for you.
Here is a list of the best shoes for women based off my personal experience, and my audience’s recommendations.
Overall Winner – Skechers Go Walk
This was not on my personal list, but I cannot deny that this shoe came up A LOT for the most comfortable walking shoes at Disney. Not only in my audience’s responses but also in the Disney Parks for Plus Size Guests Facebook Group I am a member of.
The Skechers Go Walk line consists of a variety of shoe styles, including open-toed shoes, to walking shoes in laced and lace free styles, and beyond.
According to Skechers, the Go Walk line features “Innovative Arch Fit technology features a patented design that offers podiatrist-certified arch support” to help make sure your feet are happy at the end of your long park day.
These are a great option for a lot of guests, and I would love to have you leave your experience with these shoes in the comments to help others decide.
Chacos: Best Option For Sandals – According to Becca
Now I get to show my personal bias….
I only wear Chaco Sandals to Disneyland (and almost everywhere). The only exception being I may switch to my preferred tennis shoes if it is cold or rainy… but even then I often opp for my Chaco sandals at Disney.
Chacos are rugged, outdoor sandals featuring rubber soles and adjustable straps. They have amazing arch support and with wear, will adjust to fit your specific arch. Yes, I am a walking advertisement for these shoes, and I won’t apologize for it.
Reasons we like Chaco Sandals for Disneyland:
- Open air sandals are breathable for those hot days in the park
- These shoes are made for outdoors and water, so wear them on Splash Mountain, water parks, and beyond
- Adjustable straps allow you to get a customized fit
- These are the best sandals for your money in my opinion – they last YEARS and they have a re-chaco program to fix straps and worn soles
- Come in a variety of styles and different colors so you can show your style
- Great to wear to your hotel pool
- Rubber soles do not hold in odor like cloth or leather
Chacos are definitely my go-to pick for Disneyland and other theme park vacations, hiking, and beyond. I love them.
Best Flip Flops for Women at Disney
Maybe you live in flip flops at home, or you don’t like your feet feeling confined. While I don’t think most flip flops are a good idea for Disney vacations, even in the Florida heat, there are some brands that may work well.
Please keep in mind that if you are not used to wearing flip flops on long walks, even these brands may not be the best walking shoes for you. And you will do a lot of walking at Disney.
Here are the favorite shoes among flip flop die-hards for their Disney vacations and long hours of walking
Again, if you are not used to wearing flip flops for a long time each day, you probably don’t want your first day walking miles in them to be at Disneyland. Your feet will definitely not think it is the happiest place at the end of the night.
If you really want to wear flip flops, be sure to purchase them well in advance, and practice walking 30+ minutes in them at a time.On cement. This is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you can handle this shoe choice for your Disneyland Trip.
Other Great Shoes For Women at Disney and Other Theme Parks
While we covered a few shoe options for women at Disney, this in no way completes the list. Remember, you are looking for shoes with great support, breathable fabric, that will be the most comfortable shoes for YOUR feet.
That said, here are other brands and shoe types that come up a lot when this question is asked in Disney communities:
- Running shoes such as Asics, Nike, Adidas, and beyond
- Crocs sandals seem to be a good choice for those wanting a stylish sandal
- Many people suggest any shoe with memory foam insoles is a good choice, but definitely look for those with enough support
- Keens and Tevas are a good option for sandals that can get wet and dry quickly
- Anything that is not a brand new pair of shoes is also a popular answer
Best Shoes For Men at Disney
While yes, I do wear men’s shoes at times, for this section I leaned heavily to my husband, other men I know that have gone to Disneyland frequently, and my male audience on social media. They helped me make this complete guide to the best shoes for men at Disney.
So if you have trouble finding these at your local shoe store, or if they aren’t a great fit… I apologize. I tried to make sure all of these suggestions were still available.
Athletic Shoes – Overall Winner For Men
While the brands varied greatly, most of the men agreed that athletic shoes, with synthetic material, were a great choice for your Disney vacation.
My husband, who is usually a huge Chaco fan like me, will often rotate evenly between his Chaco sandals and his favorite running shoe during our vacation.
While there was not a brand that stood out among the answers I received, here are some brands that were reoccuring:
- Under Armor
The best thing the men I questioned had to say was that the shoes are a personal decision, but make sure you wear a pair you have worn in. They also mentioned that your choice of socks is important, especially on a hot day.
Favorite Men’s Sandal for Disney
Sandals were not mentioned as much with the men I spoke to, but a few brands came up often.
- Chacos- this might be because my circle of friends are part of Chaco Nation, but these are a great option for men, for the same reasons I listed them for women. The extra cost associated with these sandals is worth the quality and support you get
- Tevas – This was a very popular brand among many men that answered the question. Tevas have built a name for themselves and continue to live up to the expectations. These sandals, like Chacos, also do well on water rides, miles of walking, and are breathable
- Keens – These are a big hit with those who want the look and openess of a sandal, but want the closed toe shoe. For some it is just that they don’t like having exposed toes, others want to be able to wear socks with them. On any occassion, Keens are a big hit among the men that chimed in
Other Tips For Happy Feet During Disney Vacations
While your footwear will play a big role in how your feet feel at the end of the night, don’t forget that these other tips for helping to make sure you feet feel great, or at least okay, after long park days.
- Pamper your feet at night – After a long day at the parks, make sure to pamper your feet. This could be a foot rub, rolling your feet over one of these massagers (I LOVE MINE!), or just using lotion to make sure they don’t dry out
- Icy Hot or Other Treatment – One of the biggest secrets I have for keeping my feet happy at Disney has been Icy Hot or a Peppermint Re-Energizing Foot Balm. I purchased a roll-on Icy Hot that I only use on my feet and roll it on at night. The foot balm, I utilize in the morning (or after a mid-day break at my Harbor Blvd Hotel across from Disneyland… another tip for happy feet)
- Stretches – If you have plantar fasciitis or other foot woes involving the muscles, check with your health care professional about stretches that may help ease the pain of these affilictions both at home, and during your Disney vacation
- Mole skin or liquid bandaid are great for when you feel a blister coming or skin being rubbed in your shoes
One last thing, remember that it is always a great idea to bring multiple pairs of shoes to Disney. If your feet are getting sore, switch up your shoes to help beat foot fatigue. Also, if it rains, you will be glad you have rain boots or sneakers with good traction. Having a few pairs of shoes can really help make your Disney vacation go smoother!
And don’t forget to bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet from water rides or bad weather. A lightweight raincoat and poncho
3 thoughts on “2023 Best Shoes For Disney and Happy Feet”
Great article! I always try to alternate shoes too. I go between Crocs Duet Busy Day Skimmers or Trek sandals (with adjustable straps).
I rotate between two pairs of Chacos. LOL But once in a while I do throw on my Nikes for a day in the park.
I live in Tom’s when I’m at Disney! They’re my all time favorite shoe for walking, and I don’t have to worry about how gross my toes look if I don’t have time to get a pedicure before my vacation.