Best walking shoes for WDW?

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lolastardust's picture
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Best walking shoes for WDW?

Hey all, rookie question!

I want to make sure I've got some well broken-in, comfortable walking shoes for WDW. We are going in September so I don't want anything too warm. My style is quite feminine so I'd rather not have anything too chunky - we are going to be spending a fair amount of time in the parks at night and I like to dress up a bit for dinner. What is your favourite reliable walking shoe brand? Any tips on avoiding blisters?

Thanks all.

Lauren x

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Doyouwanna's picture
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New balance sneakers and socks that wick

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Shoes are such a personal thing. What works for one will not work for all. Go to a nice running store (or walking shoe store) and try out a bunch to find what's comfortable for you. Personally, I wear birkenstocks the entire time (suede, the hard leather blisters me, so I go w/the suede). Good arch support, feet can breath. But if you wear close toed shoes, Doyouwanna is right, you MUST wear socks that wick. NO COTTON. You WILL blister in cotton. I posted a long diatribe on here once about socks - but no cotton in the bottom line.

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DH & I have never worn anything but cotton socks and neither one of us has ever had a blister.

My Mom always wears cotton socks and got a blister after a half a day at DL. She also had brand new walking shoes.

I found walking shoes to be painful, so I go for shoes that have big cushiony bouncy heels, it helps. I alternate between Skechers Ultralights, which are cushiony to a point, and Avia with Cantilever. Two totally different shoes that fit completely different. Saves my legs and feet.

The shoes that I take to WDW I have been wearing now for a few years. I wear them at home and at the parks, they are totally worn out, but still comfortable. (FYI, they are not the only 2 pairs of shoes that I own, just the most comfortable) They have been to WDW many times.

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we rubbed our feet with blister prevention by band aid. worked like a charm!

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I wear walking shoes that are relatively new but broken in, the same shoes I wear when I walk for exercise at home. Brand doesn't matter, I try on whatever they have and buy the shoes that fit me best. They're athletic-type walking shoes, so think Nikes or Pumas or Reeboks. And I get good athletic socks at the same store where I buy the shoes. I wear them even in the summer; I couldn't walk as much as I'd like if I weren't wearing good sturdy walking shoes.

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I'm a merchandiser at a large department store so I'm ALWAYS walking, and I just wear whatever shoes I've been working in. Last time it was actually a pair of Nike running shoes I'd had for a while, but hadn't used much until I started this job about six months prior to my trip (and it was the only pair of sneakers I owned laugh ). Now I'm wearing some New Balance Minimus cross trainers that I LOVE and while they haven't gone with me to WDW yet, I'm sure they'd be even better. One thing for me is I generally hate shoes, so I don't like bulky, heavy "walking" shoes. I like really lightweight, which is why I go for running any kind of "Minimus" (my cross trainers are super light). It makes me feel like I'm barefoot, which is what I want. I don't like feeling like my feet are glued to bricks.

However, like I said, I'm used to being on my feet constantly (about 8 hours a day), and walking at WDW was much more enjoyable for me than working. biggrin

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Hi Lola,
I travel from the UK too. I pack the following footwear:
1. Comfortable trainers and socks
2. Crocs
3. Pretty flip flops (Monsoon always has lovely ones)
4. Evening shoes/sandals that I can walk in. (I have a Skechers chunky black sandal that I got from Schuh)

There is no point taking any shoes with high heels or that you can't walk at least half a mile in.

Trainers really are the best for park days, flip flops or crocs are great for wearing around the resort or water parks.

Tip 1. Put Vaseline between your toes before putting flip flops on and it stops them from rubbing.
Tip 2. There is a thread on this blog about "stoopid" shoes. Might help in styles to avoid!

lolastardust's picture
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Thanks all, great advice!

Miss Mikki wrote:
Hi Lola,
I travel from the UK too. I pack the following footwear:
1. Comfortable trainers and socks
2. Crocs
3. Pretty flip flops (Monsoon always has lovely ones)
4. Evening shoes/sandals that I can walk in. (I have a Skechers chunky black sandal that I got from Schuh)

There is no point taking any shoes with high heels or that you can't walk at least half a mile in.

Trainers really are the best for park days, flip flops or crocs are great for wearing around the resort or water parks.

Tip 1. Put Vaseline between your toes before putting flip flops on and it stops them from rubbing.
Tip 2. There is a thread on this blog about "stoopid" shoes. Might help in styles to avoid!

This seems like a really good plan as I should be prepared for everything. I had fears of my holiday being wasted by sore feet. Tongue

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I wear Sketchers Shape Ups. Feels like I'm walking on a cloud. At the end of the day my feet never felt like they were going to fall off. Great shoes! I also changed after to parks into my Orthoheel thong flip flops (really comfortable) to go to dinner at our resort (Cape May) at Beach Club and walk around the Boardwalk. No complaints!

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One of the questions was about preventing blisters... I carry a bottle of New Skin with me in the parks. I only wear a fannypack/hip pack that has enough space for my cell phone, ID, water bottle and the new skin. I have a little bottle of sun screen on a clip that clips to the pack.

The new skin can be used for preventing blisters from shoes that might rub, and also used after you get a blister. The product DOES sting when applied so little kids might not like it, but adults can deal with it.

As for shoes, i bring a couple different shoes with me and i often change through out the day (i often go back to the hotel or keep a change of shoes in the car). I may wear flip flops made by either Teva, Sanuk, or Reef. i will wear sandals made by Keen. These DO rub my feet (although not as bad as when i first bought them), so i often wear them with a thin set of socks that are in funky colors or patterns. The socks basically blend with the sandal so it does not look like i am wearing black socks with sandals.

For Tennis shoes i generally bring 2 different types. 1 is a set of merrells that is made with a good deal of air mesh that allows air to pass through easily. the other shoes will be one of my barefoot shoes. They dont provide much padding and on hard ground all day they could hurt, but if i am just doing a short outing, like going to downtown disney, i will stick these on for a while. I used to have bad hip and knee pain, but that started to go away once i started wearing vibram 5 fingers. They take a while to get used to, but they also helped correct really bad hammer toe.

For dress shoes, i generally have 2 options. I have a set of flip flops that are a little dressy that often work with many resort outfits that are a little fancier. I have a pair of dressier wedge sandals, i think merrell but i would have to double check that have a shinny silver color. They are comfortable to walk in and dressy.

If i am wearing a full length gown (for Victoria and Alberts) i hemmed my dress so that i could wear flats (ballet flats). After twisting my ankle and falling in high heels, i just cannot get into high heels anymore without a very painful ankle.

I also use baby powder (i like the lavender scent) in my shoes and also on my body to help keep me feeling cooler and fresh during the day. I will sometimes wear silk wrap dresses. They stay cool and are pretty and can be dressed up or down depending on the day.

I will wear mineral powder on my face that helps with both sun exposure and i also thinks it helps me to look less sweaty.

On a side note... in the past i would wear sketchers or addidas and in the end, they would make me feel tired, i think because they were heavy shoes. sketchers has recently come out with some super soft and light shoes. I have not tried them on yet so i can give no info on them, but they might be a good option.

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I love the Sketchers "Go Walk" runners. I hate socks - the seams always give me blisters, and I don't need socks with these runners. Super light and cushy. I always take another pair of shoes too though - I have some Rockport deck shoes that I've had for years, and they are also really comfy. I second the blister stick for ensuring you don't get any - just rub any areas that might be a problem, and away you go.

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Lolastardust, I've used moleskin (purchased at the drug store) to prevent blisters, and it worked like a charm! It helps if you trim it and apply it to your foot/feet as soon as you notice a "hot spot" when your foot starts getting red and you know a blister's coming on. Don't really know HOW it works, but it does. My family thought I was crazy for taking it on our last trip, but then they were thankful I did!

Do you guys think the lightweight, flexible kind of tennis shoes would be sturdy enough to pound the pavement in all day without a break? My mom and I keep going back and forth on whether they'll provide enough arch support/ankle support/general foot support for a couple of middle-agers like ourselves! Wink

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My podiatrist recommends New Balance for walking and they are comfortable and lightweight.

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Nancy D's picture
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I was at the store the other day, looking at shoes for my trip, having a similar discussion, and a lady told me her podiatrist told her the SAME THING, PirateGirl! She said New Balance and Asics were the best for walking.

My mom just found a VERY BRIGHT, very light, reasonably priced pair at one of the "shoe warehouse" stores. We may wind up with matching, VERY BRIGHT tennies for our trip!! Wink

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I like Ecco sandals the best for walking around the parks. I would really prefer flip flops but they can kill the legs by the end of a day.

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I just wore Marchez Vous flats when I went there. Actually I wear my flats whenever I travel. They can be quite comfortable even after walking for a few hours. And they look very fashionable.

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AngelRaine wrote:
I just wore Marchez Vous flats when I went there. Actually I wear my flats whenever I travel. They can be quite comfortable even after walking for a few hours. And they look very fashionable.

rolling rolling rolling

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Ipanema thongs (flip flops) get my vote, definitely the most comfy. After wearing joggers for a few days in a row for so long i had such sore feet and had blisters underneath my little toes. So one day i decided to wear my thongs and my feet weren't sore at all. Only downside is dirt marks on the top of your feet.

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my biggest tip for avoiding blisters and also for comfortable footwear is,
Don't wear new shoes.
Personally i just wear whatever sneakers i wear at home and are comfortably broken in.Have worn all types of brands to the parks over the years)Never suffered from a blister so something has to be going right.DW tends to take a pair of Phillipe flops for the evening around the resort and a pair of colorfull or "girlie" sneakers for the main part of the day.

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They aren't the most attractive things in the world, but I found my CROCS to be the most comfortable when touring the parks. They're so light and provide lots of support. I never had any aches or pains when touring in them.

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Karlipants wrote:
They aren't the most attractive things in the world, but I found my CROCS to be the most comfortable when touring the parks. They're so light and provide lots of support. I never had any aches or pains when touring in them.

I wear my Croc flip flops all the time. I really hate wearing actual shoes.

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Sketchers. Bright cheerful and comfortable

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My favorites are K-Swiss Tubes. With socks or without. Do not wear them in the cold though, your feet will freeze.

Keens and Crocs are nice too. The original ugly Crocs, not the nice new ones. Not the same.

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Merrills walking shoes...light weight and comfy.

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Nike for me. Walking fool that I am. silly

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Sneakers for winter and my sanuk sandals for summer. Walking all day on a yoga mat? Yes, please!

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In the parks, it's always sneakers. Not new ones but not too worn out either! It's a lot of walking and well, I want to be comfortable. Crocs are not my thing even though everyone seems to rave about them.

Other than that, if I'm in the resort and just want to either relax in my room, by the pools and stroll the food court/shop to get something, then I'll put on flip flops.

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the expensive New Balance

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I prefer my old running shoes. They aren't good for running but they're still fine for walking. Currently I have a pair of Mizuno's and Saucony's. For water parks I have Jambu water shoes.