When you’re on your feet all day walking around Disney, the first thing you want is comfortable feet. However, the key to comfortable feet is the right footwear, and that’s what we’re here to tell you. What are the best shoes for Disney World?
There are a number of problems that can develop from wearing inappropriate shoes:
- Foot pain
- Back pain
However, all of these problems can be prevented or relieved by wearing the right footwear. If you’re concerned about any more serious problems, please talk to your doctor.
So, What Are The Best Shoes for Disney World?
Foremost, the best shoes for Disney World are comfortable, supportive ones. For that reason, I would recommend a good-quality running or walking shoe. Running and walking shoes are designed specifically to minimize the amount of stress felt by your feet over a long period of time. The key to minimizing stress on the feet is a shoe that fits properly. However, finding that proper fit is an individual process.
Foot Factors: What goes into the right shoe?
A lot of what goes into choosing the right shoe for someone comes down to that person’s individual quirks. Picking a comfortable shoe is way more than just the size. Do they have high arches or low? Wide feet or narrow? Does the person need to correct over- or under-pronation? All of these are important factors to cover when choosing the right shoes. Here we will cover a few of these elements of shoe fit.
Arch height is important because it determines the amount of support the foot will require from a pair of shoes. The higher the arch, the more support the arch will require. If arches aren’t properly supported for long periods of time, they can become uncomfortable and flatten even more. Fortunately, determining arch height is very easy. Simply wet the bottoms of your feet and stand on a piece of paper. A flat foot will appear to touch the ground much more than one with a high arch.
People with very high or very low arches may not find appropriate support from commercial running shoes. In those cases, it may be beneficial to have orthotic inserts made.
Shoe size is not the only factor to consider when buying shoes. While shoe size is based on the length of the foot, width is just as important. Many shoes are only available in the average width, which leaves people with very wide or very narrow feet out in the cold. To figure out how wide your feet are, stand on a piece of paper and trace the outline of your feet. Measure the widest part of each of the outlines, and subtract 1/8″. That is the width of your foot.
People with feet that are much wider or narrower than the average may need to find shoes that come in the appropriate width.
Pronation is how the ankle bends while walking. Over-pronated ankles are “bowed in”, which can cause pain in the ankle, up the leg, and in the back. This is a problem among people who tend to have low arches. In contrast, under-pronation is when the ankle does not bow in enough. This can also cause pain in the ankles and up the leg.
The correct walking shoes will also help with pronation problems, especially if they help with any arch problems.
How to pick a good running shoe
There are only a few steps to picking the right running/walking shoe for you. I would recommend purchasing your shoes in person, rather than online, so that you can try them on and readily compare different shoes. Brick and mortar athletic stores also have staff who can help guide you towards shoe brands that will fit your needs. Many stores also offer gait analysis that will look at the way you walk and help determine what the best shoes are for you.
When choosing a pair of shoes, it is important to shop later in the day. Feet swell over the course of a day, and the last thing anybody wants is to buy a pair of shoes in the morning that doesn’t fit in the afternoon. When trying shoes, be sure to walk around in them for a little while to see how your foot reacts. It is also a good idea to try going up or downhill if you can. Many shoe stores have small ramps to test shoes out on for that very purpose.
Walking shoes should be very comfortable when you first put them on. People often recommend “broken in” trainers, but I have to disagree. Heavily worn shoes are not as supportive as newer ones. Also, because properly fitting athletic shoes should not rub or cause blisters anyway, there’s no good reason to choose old runners over newer walking shoes. It’s fine to go for a long walk or two in your new shoes before going to Disney World, but there’s no need to extensively break in your new shoes.
Why can’t I wear flip flops?
You can. Some people do find flip flops very comfortable. While they are not as confining as regular shoes, they do not offer much in the way of support or cushioning. This can cause problems later on, such as arch pain, tendinitis, and sprains.
Another commonly recommended shoe brand for Disney World is Crocs. While some people don’t like the way they look, many find them very comfortable and supportive. However, because they are made from resin, they may not be the most breathable shoes, which can lead to blisters.
A quick word on blisters
Since properly fitting running shoes are probably the best shoes for Disney World, blisters should not be a big problem. However, if you are having problems with blisters, there are things you can do to heal the ones you have and prevent new ones.
- Skip the cotton socks! Wear wicking socks made of polypropylene or wool. These pull moisture away from your foot, reducing the amount of friction your foot experiences
- Use foot powder! A product like Gold Bond Medicated Foot Powder will help keep your feet dry to reduce friction on your feet.
- Carry a blister care pack! Moleskin is ideal for covering a blister, but band-aids or first aid tape will do in a pinch. Also, consider carrying a dry pair of socks to change into if you need to.