Choosing The Right Shoes for Touring Walt Disney World

My Dogs are Barking! When I first heard this expression , I wondered how anyone would know their dogs were barking back at the house when they were miles away. Since then, I've learned that "dogs" refer to your feet and "barking" means they are tired. Considering that the average person will walk eight to ten miles a day while touring the Disney Parks, it won't be long till your dogs are barking. Shoe and sock selections can be very important on helping you maintain healthy feet.

A Walk Once Around World Showcase Lagoon is 1.2 MilesA Walk Once Around World Showcase Lagoon is 1.2 Miles
The first thing to decide is what type of footwear you are looking for. It's recommended you buy walking shoes and not running shoes. A person's natural stride when walking includes a rolling motion from back (heel) to front (toe). Running shoes do not provide the proper flex to accommodate this step. After purchasing your shoes, make sure you take the time to wear them for several days while inside the house. This break in period will help assure you have made the proper size purchase and help take the stiffness out of the new soles. The support in walking shoes are only good for about three to six hundred miles depending on the brand, material and the natural wear of your foot. The shoes you have this vacation may not be in good enough condition for the next vacation.

Be Sure to Break-in Your Walking ShoesBe Sure to Break-in Your Walking Shoes
When you are out looking for shoes, make sure you bring with the same type of socks you will be wearing at Disney, so you can gauge the fit based on the thickness of your sock. I purchased athletic socks made specifically for walking which I found in the local department store sporting good section. While these socks were more expensive, running around $4.50 a pair, they provided extra material in the toe and heel areas to eliminate blisters.

Other items you might consider packing are extra band aids, anti friction control blister balm and a foot massage lotion. After a long day at the parks, a short, little foot rub from your partner could be heaven for tired feet.

Find Fun Socks at Downtown Disney's Little MissMatchedFind Fun Socks at Downtown Disney's Little MissMatched
While it might seem hard to justify spending new money on walking shoes and socks for your whole family, consider it an investment in ensuring your vacation will be pain free from blisters and sore shins! And don't forget to check out our revive tired legs while traveling.

After all, if your "dogs" are content you'll be guaranteed to have a magical walking day at The World! What do you do to keep your feet pain free when you're at Disney World? Do you have a special brand or type of footwear that works for you? Share your comments below.

Thanks so much to Angie L. for another great guest post! For more of her Disney Tips head on over to our Member Forums and say hello.

Rach W wrote on Wed, 12/05/2012 - 16:35:

Rach W's picture

I get blisters very easily. For years I'd worn wool walking socks (From outdoor stores like REI, EMS & LL Bean) with not much success... well they were better than cotton or polyester but still after a couple days my feet would be coated with blister pads.

Last year I discovered Injinji Toesocks. They're made for "Finger" shoes, but I wear them with normal walking shoes. I still get hot spots on the soles of my feet but haven't gotten one blister on my toes since I started wearing them.

Little Miss-Matched also has toe socks if you want to try not having the piggies rub while at WDW. :-)

The Cookie Crumbler wrote on Wed, 12/05/2012 - 17:15:

The Cookie Crumbler's picture

Before any trip that will have lots of walking, I get a new pack of socks rather than take the ones that are almost in shreds. It may sound a little odd, but I've found that making sure your toenails are properly trimmed helps a lot with the pain.

Magic Mirror wrote on Thu, 12/06/2012 - 19:10:

Magic Mirror's picture

The best pair of walking shoes I've found for my feet are Sketcher's D'Lights. I had a pair when we went to Las Vegas and bought a new pair for our trip to WDW. They are light but firm enough for my arches and they seem to cushion just right. An extra plus, they come with 2 different shoe lace colors so you can mix or match !

JeffC wrote on Thu, 12/06/2012 - 21:41:

We make sure we're not wearing new or newer shoes when we are there - always go with worn-in reliables!

I also change socks mid-day. We generally take a break from the parks after lunch and head back to the hotel to swim or just relax. I take my shoes and socks off and let my feet breathe a bit, and then put on a new pair of socks when we head back on out. For me it just makes my feet feel refreshed. Of course, I have to pack double the socks, but I can usually squeeze them in somewhere :p

No blisters yet, thankfully!

Gaylin wrote on Thu, 12/06/2012 - 22:07:

Gaylin's picture

I wear the same style of socks all the time. I only take carry-on luggage on my WDW trips - I bring a big batch of old socks and throw them out at the end of every long walking day - Voila, space for souvenirs.

New Balance has some really good walking shoes, they have worked for me on every trip in the last 10 years. I usually break them in for a month before I go, make sure there are no tight spots.

Karen wrote on Sat, 01/05/2013 - 11:28:

Karen's picture

Depends on how it it is for me
I go between my trainers and crocs open sandals
If its too hot any sandal gets too sweaty so stick to trainers!!
I usually take far too many shoes anyway!! Need to learn not to!!

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