Buying shoes for a Disney vacation
One of the biggest, and oftentimes overlooked, aspects to planning your Disney vacation is what shoes should you wear? From my own experience, there’s too many options and it can be overwhelming. And what’s more, is that the chances are high that the shoe that best works for you won’t work for someone else. We all have our reasons for why we choose the shoes we do and I’m here to help you nail down the shoe that will best work for you.
Decide what shoe style you already like best
This one is the biggest tip and most important. For me personally, I prefer sandals because I can’t stand having hot feet, especially Florida heat hot! But you may not like sandals and prefer tennis shoes instead. Others may swear by flip flops, and so on… My point being here that you should start your search by knowing, and keeping in mind, your favorite shoe style. Don’t abandon what you know works well for just you just because you read somewhere that “this shoe is the only shoe you should wear at Disney”! It’s also good to point out that you should keep any health concerns you may have on your mind when considering shoe options.
Explore new options
Keeping in mind what style you tend to prefer, check out blog posts etc about that shoe type. If you’re a sandal gal, then explore new shoe styles like a recent fan favorite, the Sanuk Sandals. If you’re only into tennis shoes, then maybe explore some sandal/tennis shoe hybrids like Keens. In any case, and this is important, be sure to go to an actual store and try them on to ensure both fit and comfort level. I had a pair of Chacos I was convinced I wanted but once I got them on, I was not about to drop over $100. They just didn’t feel “right.”
Budget for new shoes in your vacation fund
If your family is anything like ours, by the time school let out for the summer and we were ready to embark on our vacation, our school shoes had definitely seen better days. Not to mention they barely fit the kids! Knowing that I’d spend $$$ for ours shoes helped us better realize and prepare how much all aspects of our trip would realistically cost. It also ensured that we wouldn’t be spending top dollar on cheaper shoes while at Disney because “the strap broke” or whatever conundrum that may happen. Murphy’s law and all…
Consider which parks (or cruise) you’ll be attending
If you’ll only be visiting the four main theme parks and don’t plan on riding the wet rides, you’ll probably be just fine wearing tennis shoes. On my family’s most recent trip, we knew we’d be visiting both water parks as well as the major theme parks and took this into consideration when purchasing our shoes. This special consideration led us to a shoe that functions mostly as a tennis shoe but feels like a sandal, is completely waterproof, and slides on and off easily. With the water parks a consideration for us, I wanted to ensure I could purchase something that would work no matter which park we were at.
If you’ll be cruising, your needs will be different than that of a park-goer. You may opt for sandals and slip-ons the majority of the time and save your sneakers for any adventurous excursions you may take. Always keep your destination, and it’s terrain, in mind when shopping for your shoes.
Consider how long you plan to wear them
If you’re going for multiple days as a parks vacation, then you’ll want to go for long-lasting comfort. It’s also good to take two styles of shoe and rotate your shoes each day. This way you won’t have excessive rubbing in the same areas from extended waking times and those spots will get a break every other day.
Additionally, consider the amount of time you’ll be spending in that particular park. If you’re an annual pass holder and won’t be in the parks all day, you may opt for a more stylish shoe since long-lasting comfort wouldn’t be a consideration. Amanda loves her 101 Dalmations Vans for her leisurely trips to Disneyland (ah, the passholder life). They’re comfy and she’s stylish! The best of both worlds if you ask me!
And if you’re attending a special event, you may even want to bring along a super cute pair to wear only for photo ops! Doesn’t Sarah look fabulous as Daisy for Dapper Day at Epcot? Those shoes make it! But we all know that walking around the park, especially Epcot, in those shoes aren’t a real option. She opted for cute sandals the rest of the day and saved the pumps for the photopass stops.
Don’t forget to break them in!
Don’t forget to purchase them early enough so that you and your family time to break them in well. Nothing’s worse than getting to Disney with a super comfy pair of shoes only to find wearing for them hours on end has rubbed a righteous blister. I purchased our shoes at least two weeks before our trip and had us all wear them several hours a day before we left so that they were broken in well. Good thing too, because mine did rub my heel a bit the first few days. But once I got to Disney?! No blisters whatsoever for the entirety of our trip (and we were there 8 days y’all!)
Now that you’ve got those tips in your shoe-buying arsenal you’re probably wondering what our favorites are here at the Mouse and the Monorail.
My new favorites are Keen. Not only are they completely waterproof, come in sizes that fit my 2yo as well as myself, but they act like a sneaker yet feel like a sandal. I can’t ask for anything better! They’re super comfy and it’s no exaggeration when I say that I wore these multiple days from rope drop to kiss goodnight. And not only did I have NO blisters, but I didn’t even have the classic Disney foot ache those nights! That’s amazing considering I know all too well the Disney foot ache that comes after multiple days in the parks! Don’t we all?
And when I say they’re waterproof I don’t just mean you can wear them on Splash Mountain. Oh no! I wore them everywhere throughout all of the parks, including the water parks. And I didn’t just leave them in the lockers at the water parks either! They swam wonderfully in the wave pools (the sandal-like holes help water move through them easier than traditional swim shoes) and lazy rivers as well as all of the tube slides! The only times I had to take them off was for Humunga Cowabunga at Typhoon Lagoon and Summit Plummet at Blizzard Beach! Everything else was fair game with these kicks!!
Sanuk Yoga Slings
I also really enjoyed my Sanuk Yoga Slings for our Magic Kingdom day and 4 night cruise aboard the Disney Dream. I wore them for our girls trip to Universal too! And Amy really enjoyed these shoes too! She recently wore them for Magic Kingdom day and Disney Dream cruise as well! They’re super squishy and unlike regular thong flip flops, these slings stay on no problem. You can even stop by the Sanuk store at Disney Springs to check them out! Jennifer is all about comfort and opts for her classic Nike and Saucony Tennis shoes. Go with with you know works well and if it ain’t broke, right?
We hope these tips have helped you and would love to know what your favorite park shoes are! Comment below or tag us in a social post on your favorite social site! We’d love to hear from you! ~Meredith ºoº