When you’re planning your day at Disney World, it is easy to take for granted how much distance you will cover when you are there. After all, on a map everything seems so close together.
You might even get ambitious and consider hitting more than one park on the same day. Disney World is a big place. It’s roughly twice the size of Manhattan. That’s a lot of ground to cover, so you’ll need to take easy.
You’ll also need to protect your feet. If you plan on hitting the highlights of all the parks, rushing through lines and onto monorails, your feet will take the brunt of that constant movement. Once your feet start aching, the rest of you will as well. Your arches support your whole body, so foot pain can lead to back pain.
Before you know, you are miserable all over.
So, you need to think about how you are going to take care of your feet so you can get the most out of your time at Disney World. For men, we may not think a lot about the kind of shoes that we wear. But don’t worry, fellas, I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ve listed 15 of the best men’s walking shoes for Disney World. I’ll be covering both sneakers and sandals, as well as taking into consideration those who might need a little more support and even those that are looking for the best shoe to make Plantar Fasciitis much more bearable.
Finding the Best Men’s Shoes for Disney World
If you’re planning on getting shoes especially for Disney, be sure to not make Disney the first time that you wear them. You want your shoes well broken in before you step foot into the park, you will get blisters on your feet halfway through the day and you’ll have to trudge all the way through EPCOT with bleeding toes.
The most straightforward advice for breaking your shoes in is to wear them around a bit. Wear them over the weekend while you’re out. Make sure to wear thick socks if you think that these new shoes might give you blisters while you break them in. If you want to speed up the process, you can find advice around the internet.
You’ll want to make sure that your shoes are comfortable. People take an average of 17,000-19,000 steps in Disney World, so that can take a toll on your feet. You and your shoes are going to spend a lot of time together, so you need to love the ones you’re with.
You also want to think about the kinds of conditions you’ll be in at Disney World. It’ll be hot, so you’ll want shoes to be breathable, so your feet don’t get too sweaty. There will be water rides and potential downpours, so you may consider wearing some sandals. We’ll have options for those of you who like sandals.
There’s also the issue of cost. I’ve tried to include a variety of price points. Prices in this list range between $40-$140. That’s a big swing. Of course, as you increase in price, the quality of the product should increase. I have tried to ensure that any shoe I include does not sacrifice too much quality when it is on the cheaper side.
I also recommend that you bring a couple of pairs of shoes. I know that your instincts will be to pack as minimally as possible, but it is worth taking more than one pair of shoes. Shoes can take an entire day to dry, and it is very likely that they will get wet when you are going down Splash Mountain. Even if you hadn’t planned on going on a water ride that day, Florida’s weather is notoriously temperamental, and nature might decide to make every ride in the park into a water ride. You will need a backup to go back to the park the next day.
Some people suggest switching up your shoes even if they don’t get wet. I haven’t necessarily followed this advice myself but there are people who claim that it helps prevent soreness by switching up your walking pattern.
Best Men’s Walking Shoes for Disney World
For most days in the park, you will want to prioritize comfort over everything else. So, most of the shoes selected here are some sort of athletic shoe. A couple of them are running shoes. You don’t have to go all out on running shoes; you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. You aren’t trying to race people to Space Mountain.
Also, as a former long-distance runner, I can tell you that I would often buy last year’s model of running shoe to save a little bit of money. Most of these shoes don’t change so dramatically that you’ll be missing out on a ton if you don’t get the newest model.
The Adidas Ultra Boost are a little bit on the pricey side, but they are worth it. Adidas has gradually updated the amount of boost in their shoes, with 21 improving over the 19 iteration which was itself an improvement over previous version. The latest Ultra Boosts have a u-shaped system on the bottom of the shoe called Adidas Linear Energy Push, or LEP. The LEP technology springs you forward.
For Disney, these shoes help provide support for your feet. They very durable shoes meant for daily running. These are good-looking shoes on top of everything else. For Disney bonus points, Adidas sells some version of the Ultra Boost with Star Wars themes.
Staying in the theme of running shoe, I also am a fan of the Nike Pegasus. Like the Ultra Boost, the Pegasus is a beloved running shoe that has served Disney vacationers well. Take care when sizing since Nike shoes tend to run a little narrow. The Pegasus shoes try to achieve a golden mean between comfort and responsiveness. They are a bit heavy, so they may weigh you down a bit as walk through the park, but I think their cushiony support makes up for that. Also, they are great looking shoes.
If you’re looking for something less expensive than the Ultra Boosts and the Pegasus, then Schechers Go Walks might be the shoes for you. These shoes are lightweight and well-made. People absolutely love these shoes. The Go Walks are popular among Disney enthusiasts for their comfort, though some have complained about their lack of arch support.
These shoes look good and feel good and they are designed for the kind of walking you will do at Disney. They are slip-ons, so they will help you get out of the door more quickly so you can get out and hit the park as soon as possible. Slip-ons are also great if you are flying to Orlando, since they make going through airport security that much faster.
For another affordable option, consider the Gel Venture by ASICS. ASICS is one of my favorite athletic shoes companies and I have used their shoes for long-distance running in the past. These are trail running shoes, so they bring quite a bit of endurance, and they grip very well. ASICS tend to be the right amount of cushiony, in my opinion. They also aren’t super heavy, so they will not weigh your feet down and tire you out.
The Gel Ventures cost around $45, so they also are not bank-breaking. They are not quite as fashionable as some of the others, but if you are a pragmatist then that shouldn’t be a deterrent. They’re not ugly, they just look unmistakably like running shoes.
Allbirds Tree Runners have become the darling shoe of Silicon Valley, so they might be a trendy choice for Disney. They have collected quite the devoted following in the last few years. Allbirds focuses on making sustainable footwear. They are light, breathable, and are made of natural materials like merino wool and eucalyptus tree fiber.
The knock against Tree Runners is that they don’t hold up well in rugged terrain, but that shouldn’t affect you on the smooth Disney sidewalks. Reviews tout that these shoes feel good sockless, and that might be helpful in many cases at Disney.
Best Disney Sandals
There are a few different directions you can go with sandals. For shoes that will give you the openness of flip-flops but with more security, we’re going to look at some hiking sandals. We’ll also look more open sandals. Personally, I’m not a big fan of wearing flip-flops to Disney. They tend to affect how you walk.
That said, a lot of people claim that they walk just fine with flip-flops in the park and prefer to do so. There’s no rule against flip-flops. The only real problem that flip-flops will cause is if you decide to ride Soarin’, and then all you need to do is to make sure you store them. Wearing sandals to Disney will eliminate the problem of wet socks when you go on Splash Mountain.
Keen makes some of the most popular sandals for Disney goers, who frequently list them as among the best men’s walking shoes for Disney World. The NewportH2 works well for both water rides and the rain. They have some toe protection and feature a waterproof membrane. They are machine washable, so they’re easy to take care of.
They are one of the better water shoes when it comes to avoiding too much rubbing on your heel. These shoes are also good for outdoors activities such as rafting and hiking, so if you enjoy being outside, you’ll be able to get a lot of use out of them long after you’ve returned from Disney.
For an opened toe shoe that looks and feels good, Birkenstock Arizona sandals are a classic choice. These sandals come in both “regular” and “narrow” sizes. For those with wide feet, the straps will adjust to a more comfortable size. These sandals aren’t just a flat board with a strap. They also provide quite a bit of support as well.
For that reason, they cost most than your average sandals. They come in a wide variety of colors and kinds of leather. What stays consistent is the two-strap design and the cork-latex footbed. The footbed is the calling card of Birkenstock’s design. The flexibility of the cork allows it to give so that it supports and cushions your foot. It also insulates against heat and cold.
Next, I want to suggest another classic shoe: Crocs. Wait, where are you going? Come back! Crocs illicit strong feelings from people. They are a love-them-or-hate-them shoe in the way maybe no other shoe is, except possibly the Ugg. But they are a great shoe for Disney. They have great cushioning. They drain very well. I know guys who spend the whole day working lakes who swear by Crocs.
Folks have worn them all day to Disney World and found that they were comfortable and they prevented sweaty feet. Also, if you the kind of guy who wears themed stuff, you can also decorate your Crocs especially for Disney with Jibbitz.
Too pricey? Or just too gaudy? Well, just wear them plain—nothing wrong with that. The classic pair of Crocs goes for about $30, making them the cheapest shoe on this list. One weird warning for Disney: they have a rule against wearing Crocs on the escalator. Apparently, they can get sucked into the belt if you aren’t paying attention.
The Teva Hurricane XLT 2 improves upon a classic sandal by giving it better traction and a softer heel strap. The Hurricanes are a three-strap, open-toed, lightweight sandal. The straps secure with a hook and loop, providing a three-point adjustment system. Their nylon arc shank provides stability and they have a pretty good grip in case it gets rainy.
The webbing and the straps do very well when they’re wet, so they are a good choice for the water rides. Also, they are designed to prevent water from pooling. They also have a microbial treatment to prevent them from become too smelly while you’re sweating in them. They’re not as expensive as comparable models and do a great job balancing price with quality.
Best Disney Shoes with Plantar Fasciitis
If you have problems with your feet, and are seeking the best shoes for visiting Disney World with plantar fasciitis, I suggest looking for shoes with plenty of arch support that will last you for long periods of walking. Don’t skip this section if you don’t have plantar fasciitis, though; these are great shoes for anyone. For that matter, the Birkenstocks, which I listed above, also work very well for arch support.
New Balance is a favorite brand of people who love affordable shoes that go the distance. Their 1080 v11 are a particular favorite among the Disney faithful. The top material is breathable and flexible. Reviewers describe the fit as snug and the step-in feel as soft and plush. They give you the feel of wiggle room and let you move your toes around.
The heel of the latest version locks in tight to ensure that there isn’t too much slip, helping you avoid blisters. Most of the reviews complain about negative effects on agility when running, but those issues aren’t applicable here. They should give a lot of support and cushioning.
The Saucony Grid Omni Walker is another great choice for those needing extra support. Like ASICS, Saucony is a brand I’m familiar with from long-distance running. Saucony began as a running shoe company but ultimately branched out with innovative designs. The Omni Walker is a shoe meant for walking, but with the expertise of a shoe company behind it.
One of the appeals of their running shoes is that they are great at preventing pronation. These walking shoes have that feature as well. The midsole has lightweight and give you an extra bounce.
HOKA One is another brand of running shoe, but one specifically focused one taking care of your feet. Hailed as the “King of Cushion” by Runner’s World, these shoes aim to make you feel like you are floating. The Bondi 7 has a ton of shoe under your foot, but since it is cushion, it doesn’t weigh your foot down.
For those hot months Disney trips, the shoe has a mesh top to make it more breathable in the heat. Also, they grip exceptionally well on both wet and dry surfaces, so you should be safe coming off of those wet rides.
Best Disney Sandals with Plantar Fasciitis
If you have foot problems, you don’t necessarily have to just stick with sneakers when in the park. There’s a good probability you’ll get drenched at some point, so you’ll want to be prepared.
Here’s a few options for sandals so you don’t have to choose between taking care of your feet and enjoying the water.
Ecco’s Yucatan sandals feature a sturdy EVA footbed for cushioning and RECEPTOR technology to protect from shock. They offer plenty of arch support and is made from high-quality materials to make it durable for all the walking you will do. The sandal has two straps made from soft nubuck leather.
These sandals score highly on performance as well as comfort. These sandals are designed to dry quickly, which will be a help for water rides. They have nylon linings and spandex that help your feet stay warm and dry.
The Oofos Ooriginal differs a bit from the sandals we’ve discussed thus far in that it is a flipflop. Oofos also makes a slide sandal. They are durable and comfortable, with plenty of arch support. They are made of dense foam that provide cushioning for your feet and act as a shock-absorber. Because they are made from foam, they can be more easily damaged than some of the other sandals we’ve looked at. One benefit the foam composition: they can be easily cleaned by machine.
Taking Care of Your Feet at Disney World
Before we’re done, I want to give you a few more tips for taking care of your feet while trotting all over Disney World. First, if you are wearing sneakers, think about what kind of socks you will wear. Cotton is not your only choice for socks, and in this instance, it isn’t the best. Cotton can get soggy and hold in heat and sweat. Consider getting athletic socks made from wicking material.
You also might want to wrap your feet with something like Moleskin bandages. Make sure to protect the parts of your feet most likely to blister. You should be able to find it at any drug store. Alternatively, you might just use Band-Aids across those points on your feet that rub the most against your shoe.
Also, it would be a good idea to use Foot Glide. Foot Glide creates a lubricating shield that doesn’t keep your skin from breathing. It keeps your footwear from grabbing on to your skin and tearing it.
If you’re really concerned with blisters, bring Second Skin. Second Skin helps relieve your feet by wrapping them up with a gel that cools your blisters. You can find it at running or outdoors stores.
Most of all, be sure to give your feet a break. At some point, you will need to go back to your room and put your feet up and give them a little TLC. Your feet deserve it for putting in a hard day’s work.
Final Thoughts on Shoes for Disney World
When you are thinking about what to pack, make sure you prioritize your feet! Keeping your feet happy will keep you happy for your time at Disney. You will want to think about what will allow you to go for the long haul, so what you wear at Disney will probably be different from what you wear at other times.
For instance, my go-to casual shoe for most of the year is my Vans Slip-Ons. I love them because they’re easy to take on and off and they have a cool checker pattern. However, they kill my feet after long hours. I often see pictures of people at Disney wearing shoes like Vans or Chuck Taylors, shoes that I love but wouldn’t last three hours in the park wearing. Take care of your feet, and they’ll take care of you.
If you develop blisters or your feet feel squishy and gross from riding the water rides, you will not be able to think about anything else but your feet all day. But if you prioritize making your walk throughout the park comfortable by the best men’s walking shoes for Disney World, you’ll be able to keep your mind off your feet and focus on the magic of Disney.
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