One of my biggest concerns and something I often see discussed in online forums is what shoes are best to wear at Disney World. Everyone has their opinion of the perfect pair of walking shoes. The last pair of tennis/gym/walking shoes I had purchased before 2015 was when I was in high school working at KMart. They were more than 15 years old. I had probably only worn them a handful of times and they still looked new, but they weren’t going to cut it. And I didn’t even like them.
My solution was to pick up a pair of clearance slip-on S-Sport by Sketchers shoes at Target. They felt comfy, didn’t look too bad, and I’d heard good things about Sketchers. Why not give it a try, especially at clearance prices. Luckily, I loved them. I was wearing them pretty regularly, which is a big deal since I never wore tennis shoes. I also found myself a pair of regular lace-up shoes for sale too. To date, those have probably been worn less than a dozen times.
Grumpy is much different than I am. He walks on average five miles per day at his job. He also ruptured his Achilles tendon in 2014 so he has a variety of favorite brands of comfortable and supportive shoes for walking. I have a difficult time getting him to wear a pair of flip-flops or any sandal-like shoe. He agrees to take a pair on our trips specifically for the pool.
Since the kids get to ride in the stroller all day I wasn’t too concerned about their footwear. They both had some Disney Crocs, flip-flops, and a pair of tennis shoes. Diva would live in her crocs if we let her (and there have been times she’s been out in the snow with them because she refuses to wear anything else.) She has outgrown her favorite princess Crocs and Amazon just had an amazing deal on these fun villain ones perfect for Halloween. These went as low as $12!
So, we go to Disney with a duffle bag full of shoes. I’m serious. It sounds crazy, but with the size of the adult shoes, add in pool shoes/flip flops, and consider the fact that shoes are dirty and I don’t want them by clothes it makes sense. Plus, I like flying with Southwest, so the extra bag is free.
By the time we traveled on our first visit in April 2016, I had my S-Sport shoes for about 7 or 8 months. I had worn them around quite a bit but still managed to get a blister on the bottom of my foot behind my toes. It was painful and rather annoying, but I wrapped it and trudged on with our trip. I was thankful to have that duffle bag of shoes and had been rotating between the two pairs of tennis shoes and flip-flops anyway. I wore flip-flops for our times we planned to be in the park just a few hours before taking a break/returning from a break and tennis shoes when I knew we’d do most of the walking.
By May 2017 I had well worn out the S-Sport shoes. They actually didn’t last more than a few months after that first trip. I was very disappointed in the brand. It’s definitely a much lower quality than the actual Sketchers brand. One day I had stumbled upon a pair of slip-on Sketchers at TJ Maxx and then went on a mission trying to find them in my size at all the local stores. I had almost given up, but then met with my cousins for lunch about an hour away from home and there was a store right across the street. Voila! There were my shoes. I had also added a pair of Pumas to my growing every day walking shoe collection. Funny how your style changes over time. It probably helps that I need them for Peanut’s sporting events too.
We went on our second trip with the same duffle bag filled with shoes. My new Sketchers, Pumas, flip-flops, new sizes for the kids, and Grumpy’s trusted walking shoes. The Pumas are cute and go with almost anything, but they did not make my feet happy. This time I had heel blisters. I ditched those ones after that day. The Sketchers and my flip-flops were amazing the rest of the trip.
Now, let’s talk about flip-flops for a minute. Other than work and when there is snow outside I almost live in my ‘flops! They aren’t anything special either. I wear the ones sold at Old Navy for $1. My mom worked for a podiatrist for 20+ years so she isn’t going to be happy when I say this but I’m thinking about making ‘flops my primary shoes for our next trip! Really. We just got back from Niagara Falls and I wore them for a “short” walk by the Falls that turned into an entire day adventure and 24,550 steps! No blisters. No aches. Nothin’. I was just feeling like any other day when I don’t walk that much. It’s also more steps than I walked any day in Disney last year!
Okay, so I won’t wear them all day every day, but I’ve learned my lesson about wearing what’s comfortable for my feet… and what’s comfortable is what they’re used to.