There’s one thing you are bound to do a lot of at a Disney theme park – spend time on your feet. Most of us mortals aren’t accustomed to walking 4 or 6 (or 10!) miles a day. Standing in line for rides, running to catch the bus and waiting for a parade to pass all add up to one thing – sore feet.
While you may be able to “limp along” on a shorter trip, anything more than a few days may result in you being sidelined if you over do it. We’ve walked literally thousands of miles at Disney. Keep reading for our tips on saving your tootsies!
Before you go
If you live a fairly sedentary lifestyle you may want to consider starting a walking routine a few months before your trip. Even 30 minutes a day can help you get used to being on your feet.
Break in your shoes!
The rookie mistake we made as kids was saving our brand new Keds for our vacation. As seasoned travelers, we know now to take shoes that are comfortable and well broken in. With new shoes you never know where they may rub and cause a hot spot or if your swollen feet will make them uncomfortably tight. It’s also a great idea to take more than one pair of shoes. We like to bring sneakers and a pair of flip flops.
Make sure your first aid kit is full of foot friendly products. Moleskin, band-aids and triple antibiotic ointment are must haves. We like rock tape or KT tape to use on known hot-spots. A travel sewing kit is handy in case you develop a blister (more about that later).
Body glide is a product designed for athletes to reduce chafing and blisters. You can usually find it at your local sporting goods store or order it online. Rub it all over your feet, including in between your toes before slipping into your socks. It’s pretty slippery so use caution with flip flops. Want a spray on? Try Tri-Slide for a quicker application between the toes.
In the park
Have a plan (or at least grab a map) so you aren’t back-tracking or taking the long way around. You’ll walk about a mile per day just getting back and forth between buses and boats and monorails – no need to do anymore walking than necessary.
Yes, it can be hard not to go full throttle at the parks but this is sage advice. Taking a rest break several times a day will give you the energy you need to make it park closing.
Switch it up!
If it’s possible, change shoes midday or before you go out at night. This gives hotspots a break and lets your shoes relax as well. We like to stash lightweight flip flop or these in our daypack for changing out in the parks or for the commute back to the resort.
Soak in it!
Though it sounds like a silly thing to pack (or have delivered) epsom salt is a game changer. Not only will it help with swelling but it feels great to soak your feet after a long day of walking. Fill the bathtub to about 8 inches with warm water and add salt about 2 cups of salt – you can even share the experience with your significant other or favorite cousin.
Oops! So you thought you were being good but now you have a blister – and you still have 4 days left of your vacation! If you are able to comfortably wear a different pair of shoes this is your best bet. If possible, take the day off from walking. Spend some time at the pool or otherwise relaxing with your feet up. You’d be surprised at the difference even a day can make.
Though we don’t recommend this for the squeamish, you can simply drain a blister with a needle and thread. Wash the area well then thread the needle through, leaving the thread hanging (take the needle off!) so the blister doesn’t close up over night. Gently press to express the fluid, dab on some triple antibiotic ointment and head to bed. When you wake, the area should be flat. Pull the thread out, cover with ointment and bandage the area if possible. It may fill back up during the day, but this will buy you a few hours of relief.
Our Favorite shoes to wear at Disney
Beth’s top picks for park shoes
I cannot say enough good things about this shoe. I run in them, wear them to work and love having them at Disney. This is the only shoe I’ve worn there with zero rubbing, chaffing, blisters, swelling or even sore feet (well until around day 6).
These shoes are comfy enough to wear barefoot or with a thin sock. The extra cushioning is nice for a long day on your feet PLUS they are cute enough to wear in the parks without feeling like you are wearing the same old clunky sneakers
Some people ask me WHY I would pay so much for a flip flop. Reefs last. I have a pair that has been on at least 6 cruises and as many Disney trips and they show no signs of slowing down. I love having these light-weight flip flop tucked into my daypack in case I want to change from my sneakers.
Gen’s top picks for park shoes
Sketcher’s Boat Shoe
I was looking for something both comfortable and stylish when I discovered the Sketchers Boat shoe. Available for both men and women, it provides the comfortable Sketchers sole with tons of style. I own this style in several different colors and it is also my go to shoe to wear to work. They are really lightweight and flexible and I find that my feet rarely get fatigued when wearing them.
I never thought I would see the day that I would own a pair of Croc’s. While searching for a pair of waterproof shoes that would do me well in hotter temperatures I ran across these Croc Flip Flops. I immediately purchased several colors and they are my go to shoe during the warmer months at Disney. Besides keeping my feet from overheating they provide ample cushion as well as good traction during wetter times.
Often overlooked but incredibly comfortable and stylish, my husband and I both count on Vans as our go to Disney shoe. I love the Disney prints that Vans offers in unisex sizes and my husband always opts for classic gray. We have put a lot of miles on these classic’s and it is a brand that we will go back to again and again.
Do you have a go to shoe that you swear by when walking around the Disney parks? What is the best tip you can come up with to pamper your feet ?