August 5, 2018

Best Shoes For Disney World: Walk In Style

best shoes for disney

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, you probably have a lot on your mind—hotel and dining reservations, suitcases, driving routes, etc.—but one of the most important things to think about is the body part that will get you around once you get there: your feet. 

Shoes that are smart, comfortable & super-cute are needed for walking around Disney World. This article will tell you what you need to consider when choosing proper shoes for yourself and your family for a Disney World vacation.

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Disney Toddler Boys' Lightning McQueen Sneaker, Light-up

Disney Toddler Boys' Lightning McQueen Sneaker, Light-up

Toddler Boys

Hook and loop

$$$

Disney Princess Girls' Toddler Princess High-Top Sneaker

Disney Princess Girls' Toddler Princess High-Top Sneaker

Toddler Girls

Lace-up

$

2_Disney Pixar Toddler Boys Cars Lightning McQueen Red Black Light-Up High-Top Sneaker

Disney Pixar Toddler Boys Cars Lightning McQueen Red Black Light-Up High-Top Sneaker

Toddler Boys

Hook and loop

$$$

Mini Melissa Ultragirl Disney Twins BB Mary Jane Shoe (Toddler)

Mini Melissa Ultragirl Disney Twins BB Mary Jane Shoe (Toddler)

Toddler Girls

Hook and loop

$$

Disney Princess Girls' Heart Twin Gore Slip-On

Disney Princess Girls' Heart Twin Gore Slip-On

Toddler Girls

Slip-on

$

New Balance Kids' Cruz v1 Disney Hook and Loop Running Shoe

New Balance Kids' Cruz v1 Disney Hook and Loop Running Shoe

Toddler Unisex

Hook and loop

$$

Josmo Disney Girl's Light Up Elena Of Avalor Sneaker (Toddler, Little Kid)

Josmo Disney Girl's Light Up Elena Of Avalor Sneaker (Toddler, Little Kid)

Toddler Girls

Velcro and elastic laces

$$

Disney Newborn-Infant Boys Mickey Mouse Slip-On Loafer

Disney Newborn/Infant Boys Mickey Mouse Slip-On Loafer

Infant Boys

Slip-on

$

Disney Minnie Toddler Pink Slingback Sandal

Disney Minnie Toddler Pink Slingback Sandal

Toddler Girls

Velcro

$

KEEN Whisper Hook-and-Loop Sport Sandal

KEEN Whisper Hook-and-Loop Sport Sandal

Toddler and Kids Unisex

Hook and loop

$$$$

Why do you need to consider your child’s shoes for Disney World?

Favourite Disney Characters


Disney World offers such a variety of fun activities—food, rides, sites, etc.—however, for an individual child, it may really be about celebrating his/her love of a favorite Disney character (or maybe more than one favorite). 


Wearing themed shoes is one way to show their fandom and enthusiasm; it gives them a way to express themselves and really feel that they’re a part of the magic of Disney World. They’re not just a visitor; they’re part of the story.


Ultimately, that ability to dream is really what Disney is all about. For a little boy who loves Lightning McQueen or a little girl who is obsessed with Moana, having shoes that display their love is a considerable source of joy.


Because toddlers and young children grow out of shoes so quickly and usually end up doing less actual walking, the practical build of their shoes is a little less important, but the presence of a favorite character on the shoe is very important.

Comfort & Practicality:


In addition to a cute, Disney design, there are other more practical considerations—especially important for older children, teens, and adults:


To see everything you want to see and ride all the rides you want to ride, you’ll end up doing hours of walking and standing in lines. Therefore, if you wear ill-fitting or inadequate shoes, you’ll likely suffer from blisters and foot pain.


Conditions such as plantar fasciitis or leg pain may develop or worsen. If nothing else, you’ll simply feel more tired and uncomfortable than if you had chosen propers shoes. For sure, you’ll want to give yourself the tremendous advantage of wearing shoes that feel great and keep feeling great even after hours of wear.


Another consideration is the climate: Disney World ranges from mild in the winter to sweltering in the summer. Even if you avoid water activities, there’s likely to be some wetness—from rain, spills, splashes, or, if nothing else, from cooling mist machines. Shoes that wash and dry easily are so helpful—especially for Disney World in the summer. 


Features to Look for When Buying Shoes for Disney World


Support

 

A durable and strong, but flexible, sole is critical. Fortunately, many different types of shoes offer this. Even many flip flops do, but sports sandals may be a safer alternative.


Shoes that are overly structured, such as boots, will cause aching, as will high heels. Your need for support may vary with foot condition, too—bring any insoles, inserts, pads, etc. that you have needed before.

Comfort

 

Disney World means spending most of your day on your feet. Aside from long walks, there is standing in lines. Unfortunately, places to sit while waiting in line are not abundant and are usually occupied quickly.


The comfort level of your shoes becomes a big issue, probably more so than ever before (unless you are a competitive athlete). Cushioning is an especially key factor.


People have different preferences, though, so try on and break in your shoes ahead of time to be sure they really work for you.

Breathability

 

Breathability is important in shoes for Disney World, especially in summer. Aside from the air temperature and the sun’s radiation, the pavement itself is quite hot. Also, breathability generally allows the shoe’s interior to dry off more quickly—whether sweat or water.


Note: the most unbreathable material is leather. That said, leather blocks water from penetrating the shoe in the first place, so ultimately, it depends on your preference.

Grip

 

Grip (or traction) is important because Disney World has many different surfaces and, in general, it’s a new environment where you won’t be as familiar with where you’re walking.


While some areas may have moisture that makes the surface slippery, you still don’t need traction as in hiking boots. You just need a shoe with some sort of texture in the outsole to grip the ground.

Easy Drying

 

Even if you are not into water activities, Disney World is equipped with mist systems to cool passers-by, and of course, there is sweat and always the possibility of being caught in rain. Also, with so much going on, you (or someone else) could spill something. Therefore, a shoe that can easily be rinsed/cleaned and dried is ideal.


An unfortunate detail for flip flop lovers is that the high-density foam that makes a supportive flip-flop tends to hold water. Water shoes made of mesh are very breathable but take a while to dry, ironically. In both cases, the main problem is that walking around in wet shoes may cause athlete’s foot, and the shoes may take on an odor.

Fun Design

 

For many children and many adults too, a cute design helps build excitement for a Disney World vacation. Disney World is such a visually wide-open environment that there’s no reason to be shy about wearing bright, bold designs and colors. That said, it’s certainly not a fashion show, so if you just want comfort, don’t worry about appearance.

Easy to Pack

 

With so much excitement, anyone could forget the practical reality of packing. Most people spend about week at Disney World, so it is inherently a big packing venture. However, most people will have a better time if they make it as simple and carefree as possible. One way to do this is to choose shoes (and other items, too) that are lightweight, small as possible, and possibly even collapsible (to fit in a suitcase).


14 Best Shoes for Disney World Reviewed



Best Disney Character Shoes


1. Disney Toddler Boys' Lightning McQueen Sneaker, Light-up

The Disney Toddler Boys’ Lightning McQueen Sneaker is one of the best Disney shoes available for a toddler boy.

The shoe is red and black, with a puff-print (raised surface) design of the beloved main character from Disney-Pixar’s Cars. In addition, the shoe makes running around fun with its lights that come on with every step. 

This is a great shoe for a toddler who will be out running around a lot, because it has effective cushioning and foot protection. 

It has no laces, only a hook-and-loop—great for young children. This shoe comes in sizes 6 Toddler to 12 Toddler/Youth.

Disney Toddler Boys' Lightning McQueen Sneaker, Light-up

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

66%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Very exciting design
  • Light up with steps
  • Cushion in footbed
  • Hook-and-loop, no laces

Cons

  • Tend to run large
  • Only one design
Disney Princess Girls' Toddler Princess High-Top Sneaker

Our Rating

2. Disney Princess Girls' Toddler Princess High-Top Sneaker

The Disney Princess Girls’ Toddler Princess High-Top Sneaker is a cute shoe for a toddler girl—it has four top Disney princesses on one side and the words “Adventures are a step away” on the other.

Because walking around Disney World is one adventure after another, this shoe could not be more appropriate. The coverage it gives the foot with its boot-like design makes it great for a fall or winter visit to Disney World.

Some toddlers might find a shoe like this to be restrictive, but the Disney Princess High-Top Sneaker has elasticated laces and a rounded toe to alleviate this. In addition, its side zipper makes it easier to take off.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

70%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Laces are stretchy
  • Well-cushioned
  • Side zipper
  • Round toe box
  • Classic feminine Disney design

Cons

  • Shoelaces
  • Possibly not a good summer shoe

3. Disney Pixar Toddler Boys Cars Lightning McQueen Red Black Light-Up High-Top Sneaker

The Disney Pixar Toddler Boys Cars Lightning McQueen High-Top Sneaker is similar to the #1 shoe above, with its red and black puff-print design and its light-up feature. However, this shoe offers yet more protection.

Boys seem to love this shoe. It offers effective cushioning, traction, protection, and support. It has a grown-up look with red laces down the front, but it truly fastens with Velcro—a real joy for toddler boys.

Some toddlers might find the shoe to be restrictive or too hot for summer. However, other than that, it’s hard to say anything bad about this shoe.

2_Disney Pixar Toddler Boys Cars Lightning McQueen Red Black Light-Up High-Top Sneaker

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

82%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Wide range of sizes
  • Great design for boys
  • Cushioning
  • Traction outsole
  • Protects entire foot

Cons

  • Not really a summer shoe
Mini Melissa Ultragirl Disney Twins BB Mary Jane Shoe (Toddler)

Our Rating

4. Mini Melissa Ultragirl Disney Twins BB Mary Jane Shoe (Toddler)

The Mini Melissa Ultragirl Disney Mary Jane Shoe for toddlers is a classically cute shoe—no matter which of the 4 colors you choose. All designs have Minnie Mouse on one shoe and Mickey Mouse on the other and when the shoes are together, Minnie and Mickey are facing each other as though about to kiss.

While the Amazon fit score suggests that this shoe is difficult to size, many users report that it is very true to size—you just have to consider the relative size of your child’s feet. The peep toe is very small, so it’s cute without undermining the protectiveness of the shoe too much.

Also, with a small heel-to-toe drop and good cushioning, this shoe is comfortable for a toddler girl who will be walking/running around some.

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

66%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Choice of 4 great color patterns
  • Classically cute Disney design
  • Good cushioning
  • Heels are low (shoe is fairly flat)

Cons

  • Not true to size
  • Peep toe, so doesn’t cover foot entirely

5. Disney Princess Girls' Heart Twin Gore Slip-On

The Disney Princess Girls’ Heart Twin Gore Slip-on is pretty and amazingly practical shoe for a toddler girl.

These slip-on shoes are comfortable and reportedly do not get dirty easily. 

They’re great for a more active toddler girl.

However, they still offer feminine beauty, with a delicate heart pattern along the front of the shoe, a pink crown design towards the back and other Disney princess pictures on the interior. 

With so many features to make them perfect for walking around Disney World, it’s only a shame they don’t come in more colors and sizes.

Disney Princess Girls' Heart Twin Gore Slip-On

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

100%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Very true to size
  • Slip-on
  • Cushioning footbed
  • Soft lining
  • List Element

Cons

  • Size options somewhat restricted
  • Only one color pattern
New Balance Kids' Cruz v1 Disney Hook and Loop Running Shoe

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

87%
 Chance of Success

6. New Balance Kids' Cruz v1 Disney Hook and Loop Running Shoe

The New Balance Kids’ Cruz v1 Disney Hook and Loop Running Shoe is an attractive and practical option for the very small, but very active, child.

It comes in a feminine-looking pink and black pattern.

The red and black color pattern might work for boys; although the imprint of Minnie Mouse on the side of both patterns suggests that this is more of a girl’s shoe. 

For a cute toddler’s shoe, this shoe has top-notch support, traction, cushioning, and breathability.

The New Balance Kids’ Cruz v1 comes in infant sizes as well as toddler, so it would be an excellent choice for beginning walkers around Disney World.

Pros

  • Comes in both infant and toddler sizes
  • EVA midsole for good support and cushion
  • Traction outsole
  • Breathable and odor-resistant

Cons

  • Not available in some sizes
  • Only 2 color patterns

7. Josmo Disney Girl's Light Up Elena Of Avalor Sneaker (Toddler, Little Kid)

The Josmo Disney Girl’s Light Up Elena of Avalor Sneaker is a beautiful walking shoe for any little kid who likes Elena of Avalor.

It only comes in one color pattern, but it’s a good one—predominantly red with intricate white and pink designs and an image of Elena herself.

The shoe also has lights that come on with each step. 

It has a comfortable, easy fit with stretchy shoe laces down the front and a Velcro fasten.

It’s a highly supportive shoe with good traction. A perk of this shoe is that it’s made to be easy to wipe clean on the spot.

Josmo Disney Girl's Light Up Elena Of Avalor Sneaker (Toddler, Little Kid)

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

85%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Velcro fastened
  • Easy to clean
  • Light up feature
  • Thick sole

Cons

  • Only comes in larger toddler sizes
  • Only one design
Disney Newborn-Infant Boys Mickey Mouse Slip-On Loafer

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

60%
 Chance of Success

8. Disney Newborn/Infant Boys Mickey Mouse Slip-On Loafer

The Disney Newborn/Infants Boys Mickey Mouse Slip-On Loafer gets an infant ready for Disney World in classic style.

As one would expect for such small sizes, these shoes aren’t really meant for walking around, but they’re soft, flexible and comfortable. 

The smaller size (3-6 months) is navy blue and has more of a sandal-like build with mesh straps and an adjustable side grip to fasten.

The larger size (6-9 months) is mostly black and has more of a loafer-like build. 

Both have an image of Mickey Mouse covering the toe and the Disney logo printed on the bottom.

Users report that this shoe tends to run small, so you might need to take that into account when choosing a size.

Pros

  • Official Disney merchandise
  • Classic Disney look
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Small enough for newborns

Cons

  • Runs small
  • Comes in only two designs
  • Only one size for each design

9. Disney Minnie Toddler Pink Slingback Sandal

For a toddler girl, the Disney Minnie Pink Slingback Sandal is the most cheerfully Disney-looking shoe.

It’s bright pink with a Minnie design and a pink-with-white-polka-dot bow on the sandal straps, and pink hearts on the outsole bottom. 

It has a flexible sole with reasonable traction for a small child. The toe is open, which could leave the toes vulnerable.

However, since a toddler girl is less likely to get into anything too wild and might spend some of the walk in a parents’ arms or stroller, this cute shoe’s structure is sufficient.

Also, the adorable look really wins out for a toddler girl.

Disney Minnie Toddler Pink Slingback Sandal

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

N/A
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Very cute, feminine design
  • Flexible outsole
  • Good traction

Cons

  • Not currently available
  • Only comes in one size and pattern

Best Shoes for Comfort & Practicality


KEEN Whisper Hook-and-Loop Sport Sandal

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

83%
 Chance of Success

10. KEEN Whisper Hook-and-Loop Sport Sandal

The Keen Whisper Hook-and-Loop Sport Sandal is the best children’s shoe for Disney World in every way.

They offer top-notch support and grip with an EVA footbed and a traction outsole.

The fit is adjustable to accommodate growth (until you really need a bigger size). 

The KEEN Whisper is lined with AEGIS microbe-shield mesh, and the whole shoe easily can be rinsed with water and left to dry.

The toe is closed so the foot is protected. There are six color patterns, five of which seem directed at girls; one could be for either. 

The KEEN Whisper is a hook-and-loop shoe, so there are no laces to tie.

Pros

  • Good color pattern selections
  • Great for long walks
  • Antimicrobial lining
  • Incredible support
  • Comfortable all day

Cons

  • Hook-and-loop possibly challenging for toddlers
  • May not be snug enough around the ankle

11. HOBIBEAR Boys Girls Quick Dry Water Shoes Lightweight Slip-on Sneakers for Beach Walking Running

The HOBIBEAR Quick Dry Water Slip-on Sneakers are the ultimate shoe for a child spending a lot of time at water activities.

The shoe body is made of a light hydrophobic (water-repellant) mesh that’s filled with openings to let out water and let in air. Even its outsole has openings to drain fluid. 

Also important, the HOBIBEAR Slip-on Sneakers provide excellent traction. It’s a slip-on shoe, which is nice for small children.

The overall appearance of the shoe is gender-neutral, but it comes in 4 colors, including a pink. 

Also conveniently, each color comes in most children’s sizes. The HOBIBEAR Slip-ons dry off quickly, too—a really great feature in a water shoe.

HOBIBEAR Boys Girls Quick Dry Water Shoes Lightweight Slip-on Sneakers for Beach Walking Running

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

83%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Very breathable
  • Great cushioning
  • Great traction
  • Dries quickly
  • Easy to take on and off

Cons

  • More practical than cute
  • Small particles could get into shoe
Vans Kids Authentic Skate Shoe

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

72%
 Chance of Success

12. Vans Kids Authentic Skate Shoe

The Vans Kids Authentic Skate Shoe offers two popular Disney’s Toy Story-themed designs: Woody and Bo Peep in pink (probably more for girls) and Woody in blue (probably more for boys).

This model of shoe also comes in a glow-in-the-dark checkered design—possibly an even better choice for boys (or any child who loves glow-in-the-dark items). 

As skate shoes, the Vans Kids have a flexible rubber outsole with a waffle pattern bottom for traction.

These are a great choice if you want a festive but simple Disney-themed shoe for walking around Disney World. 

Because they’re sneakers, they offer complete foot coverage—so they may be ideal for Disney World in the fall or winter.

Pros

  • Traction outsole
  • Flexible and comfortable soles
  • Popular Disney-themed designs
  • Patterns for girls, boys, and gender-neutral

Cons

  • Shoe top may detach from sole
  • Not all designs available for all sizes

13. Vans Kids Classic Slip On Andy's Toys Disney Pixar Toy Story Movies Shoes

The Vans Kids Classic Slip-on Toy Story Movies Shoes are comfortable and festively cute shoes for walking around Disney World.

The design is gender-neutral and simple. The shoe is a slip-on, which is easier on both little children and parents. It has a flexible rubber sole with a traction bottom. 

This shoe does not offer any special features for water or sports, but it’s a good walking shoe that covers the entire foot.

This shoe hasn’t received many reviews, perhaps because it’s such a specific design.

As a result, it’s unclear how true to size it is or whether it has any unforeseen virtues or flaws, but the Vans brand has a good reputation.

Vans Kids Classic Slip On Andy's Toys Disney Pixar Toy Story Movies Shoes

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

N/A
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Slip-on (no laces)
  • Flexible sole
  • List Element

Cons

  • Only one design
  • Not clear how true to size
Vans Authentic Disney-Pixar Toy Story Sheriff Woody Sneakers

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

88%
 Chance of Success

14. Vans Authentic Disney-Pixar Toy Story Sheriff Woody Sneakers [Adult shoe]

The Vans Authentic Disney-Pixar Sneaker has a supportive rubber sole with good traction. The Toy Story design on a light blue background, paired with the simple white outsole of the shoe, is tastefully festive on both men and women.

As a sneaker, this shoe covers the entire foot and provides the supportive snug fit of shoelaces. It only comes in two sizes. However, they’re midrange sizes, and this isn’t the only Vans Disney sneaker. 

Therefore, the buyer should make a quick search to see whether another Vans Authentic Disney design is more suitable or comes in his/her size.

These shoes are just all-around good for walking Disney World or for those who want to bring a little Disney World to their everyday life. 

Pros

  • Flexible rubber soleComes in only 2 sizes
  • Festive Disney design
  • Covers entire foot

Cons

  • Comes in only 2 sizes
  • Not a water shoe or athletic shoe

Break Your Shoes in Before You Go


Walking a lot at once in completely new shoes could cause blisters or other discomfort. Also, if you haven’t broken shoes in yet, you may not know for sure whether they really are comfortable for long distance walking.

It’s even recommended to experiment with walking on wet or hot pavement to be sure the soles have sufficient grip and insulation for these surfaces. Essentially, breaking in your shoes before you go allows you to assess them for any problems and it allows you to be more comfortable when you get there.

question

Frequently Asked Questions

How far can you expect to walk at Disney World?


The area of Disney World is about 40 square miles, about the same as a large city. Research has shown that the average Disney World visitor walks about 13 miles per day and does so for 6 days.


For most people, the average day at Disney World involves way more walking than they usually do in a day. Therefore, it’s a good idea to work up to it by starting a walking regimen before the trip.

Should I wear flip-flops?


In the hot climate of Florida summer, flip-flops might seem ideal. However, many flip-flops don’t give feet the support or cushion needed for so much walking.


Secondly, the thong and shoe bottom might start chafing.


Thirdly, if the surface between your foot and the sole of the flip-flop stays wet for a long time, athlete’s foot could develop. The material of the flip-flop could come into play—high-density foam soles absorb fluid.


Lastly, be sure the flip-flop has a sole made of an insulating material; otherwise, the sole might conduct heat from the pavement.


However, if you’re a flip-flop lover, just look for flip-flops with the key features listed above and dry them off if they get wet while you’re wearing them. If you’re really more comfortable in an open shoe, don’t force yourself to wear a closed shoe at Disney World.

Will I need to wear different shoes depending on the season?


As it turns out, not so much. Florida doesn’t generally get snow in the winter; instead, it gets relatively dry. The winter temperature is fairly mild.


Summer, of course, can get really hot, and there’s a higher chance of rain (and greater incentive to engage in water activities).


However, no matter the season, it’s good practice to bring more than one sort of shoe for each person—perhaps a closed shoe and an open shoe, for example.

Is it all right to just wear my old tennis shoes or sneakers?


Yes—in fact, this is probably a good idea, unless they’re so old that they are falling apart, have holes in them, etc. Comfortable, broken-in shoes are best for walking around Disney World.


One issue, however, is that they may get wet; tennis shoes tend to get soggy and might take a while to dry if they really get soaked.

Is it important for the shoe to be machine washable?


It is probably ideal for Disney World shoes to be machine washable, because you just don’t know what might happen. The trip should be as carefree as possible, so the shoes should be protecting you, not you protecting the shoes.


Many of the shoes that dry easily also wash easily, but the easiest way to find out is to see whether other purchasers report successfully washing the shoes. Fortunately, most shoes are sufficiently clean if they’re wiped or rinsed with water.

Is there anything else I should take with me to look after my feet?


If you feel any soreness after walking around Disney World (which is normal), you can take common-sense measures to relieve soreness: put your feet up, soak your feet in a cold (even icy) bath, or soak them in Epsom salts.


It’s also a good idea to moisturize your feet at the end of the day. Some people like to use foot powder to reduce foot and shoe odor, and some like to use anti-chafe balm (often used for thigh chafing) or BodyGlide (an anti-friction product that comes in a stick like deodorant) on their feet.


Sufferers of plantar fasciitis and other foot problems should make sure they carry appropriate cushions, insoles, heel sleeves, etc. for their conditions. If you’re prone to blisters, blister pads are good to have, but Band-Aids also provide good cover for a blister. (Note: Do not pop a blister to get rid of it. Let it heal on its own.)


Conclusion


You don’t have to purchase new shoes specifically for a Disney World trip. In fact, many times, sticking with old faithful shoes that you know are comfortable is the best thing to do—as long as these shoes have the key features listed in this article. 

While all these issues might make choosing the right shoe look daunting, there’s no reason to worry. If you bring a spare pair for each person, wear the shoes around some before the trip, and listen to your body, everything (foot-wise, anyway) should be fine.

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