Dressing for Vacation At Walt Disney World – Footwear

Editor: Please welcome my wife Stacey who will be writing a series of travel planning articles.

What shoes do I wear? That seems to be the question when visiting a Florida theme park. I have some helpful tips and recommendations that will help you get through your trip. I can’t guarantee you won’t have sore feet at the end of the day, but this will definitely help.

First you need to consider what time of year you will be visiting Florida. Our summer weather can really throw you for a loop so you need to be prepared. I never recommend athletic shoes, aka tennis shoes or sneakers. Give me a moment to explain. Imagine you are enjoying a hot summer day in Florida, strolling through the park in your tennis shoes. All of a sudden the rain comes in. You are now soaked and so are your shoes and socks. This can be quite uncomfortable to deal with as the day goes on. I also warn against Crocs for this same reason. Crocs can be very slippery on wet pavement and they tend to give you blisters when they get wet.

I have two favorite kinds of shoes to wear, Keens sandals and Vibram FiveFingers.

My whole family wear Keens and they are great for everyone. They have an athletic shoe bottom but they are weather proof. When you get soaked in the rain, your shoes dry out and there are no blisters. They also wash well so no stinky feet! Keens are a little on the pricy side, but well worth the cost. My husband didn’t want to wear them at first, stating his feet were too wide. Now he can be seen all the time with a pair of Keens on his feet.

Now to the Vibram FiveFingers. These are the weird looking glove like toe shoes you might have seen advertised. They take a little getting used to, but once you own a pair you will see why they are gaining so quickly in popularity. I can walk around a theme park from open to close and my feet don’t hurt. You need to make sure you are buying the Vibram brand and not a knock off. The knock offs cause blistering and are just not the same as the originals. Vibrams, like Keens, are a little pricey, but it is worth the cost to not have foot pain and blisters at the end of the day.

As always you’ll want to wear comfortable socks and break in your shoes for a few days before coming to Walt Disney World. This helps prevent blisters. Use one of those tracking apps on your phone, and you’ll be surprised how far you walk when on vacation.

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22 Responses to Dressing for Vacation At Walt Disney World – Footwear

  1. Marc B says:

    I was a long time Croc wearer at the parks but when I started training for a marathon in January 2011 and learning more about walking, what I realized that I really was looking for when wearing Crocs was that I wanted to be barefoot. I bought my first pair, Classics, at Travel Country in February during Princess Weekend and spent two full days in them at EPCOT. I liked them so much I bought a pair of Bikilas and started training in them even. Since then we’ve spent a week in both June and July in Disney wearing nothing but Vibrams as well as two weekends in October during Food and Wine fest including running the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in Bikilas. I’ve actually been either barefoot, flip flopped, or Vibram since July 31, the last day I put a “shoe” on my foot for any part of my life.

    Im not sure what will happen this winter with the cold weather, I hate being cold, so not sure how long I can survive in Vibrams before Jack Frost nips at my toes, but I’m a firm believer that God created our feet to operate a certain way and shoes with raised heels, inflexible soles, support and control, are bad for us and are the major cause of most foot injuries.

  2. Jessi says:

    I swear by my Keens. While I haven’t had a chance to wear them at Disney, I and my husband both wore ours for an entire week of walking around DC. Anyone who’s done that trip knows it’s a TON of walking. Tired feet each day, but no blisters or sores. We found that wearing SmartWool running socks part of the day in our Keens also helped keep our feet in great shape. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to try them out at Disney soon!

  3. Lillian says:

    I hate normal sneakers, so the croc flip flops were my shoe of choice in the past. BUT, I just got a pair of the NewBalance/Vibram Minimus and have been using those for walking around the mall, the zoo, or running at the gym and I love them. I cant wait to take them to Disney in April.

  4. Shawn r says:

    Oh so you’re the people that we laugh at in the parks! That and the fashionistas in high heels give us something to talk about while we’re waiting in the queues. Thanks

  5. James D. says:

    I also swear by Keens. I discovered them back in 2007 and they are the only footwear I wear at Disney World. I recommend them to everyone. I’m now curious about the Vibram shoes. They look a little silly to me, but I won’t let that stop me from trying them out.

    Great post! Thank you!

  6. Rich says:

    On our last trip, I brought a pair of five fingers since I had been getting some ankle irritation. After 2-3 days of running shoes, I wore them to EPCOT. I don’t think I ever remember being at the end of any WDW day and thinking “Wow, my feet feel refreshed” until that day. I’m sold and will be getting another pair, and possibly some Keen’s too.

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  10. Marsha says:

    Sorry, but my footwear of choice is the original Reef Slaps Flip Flops, they are like walking on air. Rope drop to close of parks, no sore feet. Crocs, I hate,

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  12. ImNoPrince says:

    Yup Five fingers Classic (2pairs had them for about 4-5years now) all the way and Keens just because I never wear the same shoes more then 10hrs at a time.Now I do have a few other pair of HighEnd water shoes ( Northface,Ecco,Salomon) I take for when we do extreamly long trips.

    But I wear my FFs and Keens even in the winter just nothing like them for comfort. Ihaven’t looked into any new ones but really like the ones show here lol

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  14. Nancy says:

    I have Ecco sandals and I love them. Most comfortable shoe I have ever worn at the parks or anywhere.

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  16. Jen says:

    How much “advance” wearing time did you need before your long Disney walking days? I know never to wear brand new shoes there and we leave in less than a month…

  17. Jen says:

    Also, which ones are best? I’m sure it varies from person to person, but there are so many choices……

  18. Megan says:

    Totally agree with the Keens, they are great! Toms have also done me right for dry days at Disneyland, they fit like a glove! I haven’t been brave enough to try Vibrams yet, but I’m tempted. Great post, happy feet = happy Guest!

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  22. Heather says:

    My friend wore Keens on a 10 day cruise to Greece and swears by them. They are now the only footwear she wears. I plan to buy a pair for my next trip to WDW.

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