Be Good To Your Feet at Disney Parks

by on December 11, 2015 19 Comments

Filed under: Disneyland (CA), Health and Fitness, Trip Planning, Uncategorized, Walt Disney World (FL)

Copyright 2010 Claire Nat

Flip flops on the left, athletic shoes on the right. (We never took a foot shot.)

Once upon a time, I went to Walt Disney World with one of my best friends. I read all about how I should increase my walks the closer I get to my trip, and how I should wear good socks and good shoes. And if I happen to get a blister (or feel one coming), I should use moleskin to keep the area from getting worse. I was pretty obsessed with preventing sore feet and blisters.

My friend wore flip flops the entire trip.

Do you know what happened? Neither of us had foot problems. Neither of us got blisters. Neither of us had sore feet from being on them all day. I wore socks and athletic shoes. She wore flip flops. And nothing happened.

The moral of this story? You might have feet like my friend: no matter what shoes you wear, nothing bad will happen to your feet. On the other hand, you might be like me, and your feet requires the utmost care.

If you are like me, this article is for you.

Nike Athletic Socks

Nike Athletic Socks

Spending a vacation at the Disney Parks is incredibly different from most other vacations. Unlike road trips, beach vacations, and cabins up north, a Disney trip involves a lot of walking. And standing. And walking. (Did I mention that?) Your feet will be dealing with more than they ever have before (depending on the job you have or the recreation you enjoy).

I still abide by the rule of increasing my walks as I get closer to my Disney vacation. Not only is it healthy, it also will train your body to adjust to the increased strain on your feet.

But selecting the right socks and shoes is also important. 100% cotton socks soak up sweat and increase the chance of blisters. Shoes without the proper arch support (high arches or no arches) can really mess up your feet. I’m going to give you suggestions that worked for me, but keep in mind you should look into your own feet and see how it works for you. Because for you, flip flops might be ideal!

Good Socks

SmartWool Running Socks

SmartWool Running Socks

Ever since I started walking regularly (and now running), I am obsessed with good socks. I don’t just pick a bag of socks from the shelf at Target. I have three brands that I really enjoy in particular.

I have the most Nike socks of all. They are a cotton/polyester/spandex/nylon blend with arch support and moisture-wicking technology. They are also higher on the ankle, so my shoes don’t cut in.

When I ran a 5K way back when, there was a pair of SmartWool running socks in my goodie bag at the race, which are pretty tight on my feet but do the job. They’re also a blended fabric, but have mesh venting that helps the feet breathe and not soak up the sweat.

Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

Balega Hidden Comfort Socks

My third brand was purchased when I started running, but I would gladly wear them to the parks. They are the Balega Hidden Comfort socks. I think the thing I love the most about them is the heel tab, which means they won’t sink down inside your shoe.

Good Shoes

Avia Shoes

Avia Shoes

My go-to pair of shoes on three of my Disney trips was a pair of Avia cross-trainer shoes that I can’t remember purchasing. However, they worked great on my feet, and I wore the rubber right off the bottom of the shoes.

A pair that I will probably wear once I’ve finished running my race in January is my Brooks Addiction shoes. I have insanely high arches, so these shoes provide me ample arch support. These are expensive shoes, so be sure to check the sales! (I purchased mine when the new model was coming in, and the old ones were half off!)

Brooks Addiction

Brooks Addiction

If you are someone that can’t stand the thought of wearing socks in Florida on vacation (I had this problem once, so I get it), I would look into a pair of hiking sandals. They have them everywhere once spring rolls around. This summer I purchased a pair of Northside sandals. Unlike normal sandals, these provide great support for your feet and provide air flow.

Northside Sandals

Northside Sandals

Everyone’s feet are different. Some people can get by on flip flops and have the time of their life. Others need a little more support. Hopefully you know your type of feet, and will have them prepared and ready for your next Disney trip!

 

Do you have any socks or shoes that you will always purchase? Have you ever had bad feet experiences at the Disney parks? Do you despise wearing socks in Florida? Comment below!

Posted on December 11, 2015

19 Responses to “Be Good To Your Feet at Disney Parks”

  • I think just as important is what you can do with your feet when you get back to your hotel room. Concrete floors with thin carpet do not help after a day of pounding the parks. I ALWAYS bring a pair of super cushioned slippers to use in the room. Also we usually bring a small back massager, so when your feet won’t stop aching at the end of the night just give them a little massage before bed – makes them feel brand new. A callous file is also a good idea.

  • I actually wore FitFlops on our last Disney trip and they were great! I intended on using them at the pool and started off with new balance sneakers. When the sneakers started to give me blisters, I switched to the fit flops in desperation and they were great. Definitely consider them as a cuter alternative to sneakers! I walked 7+ miles in them daily according to my fit bit!

  • I like to alternate shoes on my trips. On my last trip I brought both sneakers and hiking sandals and switched every day or two. I don’t know if this actually helped, but it felt like it did. I also brought a bandaid friction block stick. When I felt a hot spot developing, I put this on and it really helped.

    • Alternating shoes is a great idea. Sometimes it feels gross trying to put your feet into shoes you know are sweaty and not fully dried out from the last bit of walking.

  • Yeah, we racked up about 65 miles worth of walking in four days at the park last time. My feet were fine…it was my back that was killing me. And I’m 25 and athletic! It was not like that a decade ago…guess I’m in trouble for the future haha. Don’t know what to do about that except have a mid-trip resort day with NO walking next time.

  • Not necessarily foot-related, but definitely near there…

    When we went last, we spent a full day (opening to closing) at Blizzard Beach. This was day 3 of our trip having already spent days at AK and EPCOT. While my feet survived the three days, my inner thighs did not. MAJOR chafing occurred at Blizzard Beach, and then end of the day found me walking bow-legged into a pharmacy buying medicated powder!

    So if you are a bit on the heavy side (like me), throwing some powder in your packing is a must!

    • I am planning on using Body Glide for anti-chafe protection on my legs, knees and maybe even my shirt straps. If I’m wearing jeans, I worry I could have too much friction.

      And I think this goes for people of all sizes! Chafing can happen to anyone ow ow ow

  • I have foot powder, moleskin, bandaids, Ben Gay, ibuprofen, athletic socks, good shoes (and I plan to alternate), comfy and supportive flip-flops for in the room/going to pool/parks if necessary, and compression knee socks for either touring or at the hotel after a long day. Plans for hot tub, for sure.

    My last visit totally kicked my rear so this time, i’ve been trying to walk more (and succeeded though the last 2 weeks have been low).

    I am hopeful this time!

  • I am sock averse and will not wear them until the temp dips below 50 which was not going to happen on my August trip to WDW. So I brought two of my favorite Keen sandals for the parks and Teva mush flip flops for hanging around the resort. This worked really well despite the heat and lots of walking. On a couple of days I needed ibuprofen for the rest of my body and I wore men’s cotton boxers to prevent chaffing.

  • If you are not at the beach or not in the shower room then don’t wear flip flops. Crowds and plenty of opportunities to stumble can result in nasty foot injuries. Plus all those mouse droppings in the parks – eww.

    Listen to Mr. Mackey, children – flip flops are bad, m’kay?

  • Bring a comfy back up pair, too.

    Caught in the rain? Wet shoes. Stuffing with newspaper helps wick away the moisture. Wear your back up pair 🙂

    Don’t get a pedicure right before leaving, which can make your feet even more vulnerable to irritation. Go a week before.

  • I’m not proud of my Crocs phase, but at the time I thought they were extremely comfy. Well, my well-broken-in Crocs gave me blisters so bad that I ended up renting a scooter for the second half of our trip! It was awful.

    Now I’m not above wearing socks with my sandals if necessary. But, for that last couple trips my Keen sandals have done a great job – and without socks. Plus they are great for the water park, too.

    Foot problems at the parks are no joke!

  • On my last trip, I bought the Dr. Scholl’s inserts (the good kind where you step on the machine)because of my high arches. AMAZING!!

  • Bring at least two pair of shoes to rotate. it is always good to give shoes a day off to air out.

    Wrightsocks are amazing. You can get double layer versions (my fav), but they are still thin. Amazing. I also have balegas (my running sock); but I have the thicker versions, so not what I necessarily want to where in the park all day.

    I swear by the Wrightsocks Cool Mesh II and broken in (but NOT broken down) Asics running shoes (mine are kayano). Not one blister, or even hot spot. And legs and feet not nearly as tired as usual.

    We did several 15+ mile days.

  • On our last trip (8 days), I brought 2 pairs of shoes so I could alternate. A pair of running shoes that I’ve been using for walking for quite a while, and a pair of Teva water shoes that were just a few weeks old. I cannot wear any kind of shoes without socks, or my feet will blister immediately, so I wore running socks with both shoes.
    On the very first day I discovered that the running socks did not cover the back of my heel, and they rubbed against the water shoes. When I discovered what had happened, blisters were already forming on both feet. Fortunately, we had brought moleskin (thank Unofficial Guide!) and put some on immediately. No problems for the rest of the trip, although I did have to keep my heels covered the whole time.

  • For those who are open to running shoes, my advice would be to go to a running store and get a pair fitted for your feet. I used to always buy tennis/running shoes based on brand and style, and my back and feet would be killing me by the end of a day in the parks. But WOW, having someone actually recommend shoes based on my feet and body made an incredible difference.