I’ve Tried Several Shoes at Disney World, These Are the Best (2024)

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Disney blogger shares personal experience with walking shoes

When it comes to the topic of the best shoes to wear at Disney World, Disney Parks, Disneyland, or any theme park for that matter – there are only three things that matter: comfort, comfort and … of course, comfort.

My personal shoe journey

My search for the perfect theme park shoe began when I dragged my friend Rachel along with me on one of my recent trips to Disney World parks. Rachel just so happens to be an orthopedic physician’s assistant. On this particular Disney trip, I decided to bring along my favorite pair of AllBirds. Rachel brought her On Clouds, and she immediately scolded me about my choice in footwear, accusing my comfy cute AllBirds of lacking support. After a few hours, just as she predicted, my feet were throbbing, swollen and scabbed.

Today, I am an older and wiser blogger. I’ve learned from my past mistakes. But do keep in mind, this isn’t just a list of good shoes. This is a list of the best shoes for Disney. And thus, some options may be a bit cost-prohibitive. And so, at the end of this article, I will also provide a brief list of value brands with solid reviews, though I cannot personally vouch for them.

Editor’s Note: This isn’t going to be one of those generic articles where I mention shoes I nor anyone I know actually wears. The pictures below are being modeled by the real-life people mentioned in this list, who love and recommend their footwear.

My Hokas are the Stinson 6 model (with max cushion) in Outer Space Blue (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)
My Hokas are the Stinson 6 model (with max cushion and engineered mesh) in Outer Space Blue (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

1. Hokas

I’m going to start with my personal favorite theme park shoe – the Hoka. These are, in my opinion, the most comfortable shoes on this entire list. As someone who relies on good footwear for both exercise and her job, I can confidently say these shoes are life-changing. I can finally walk for miles without pain. Plus, there’s a style to accommodate virtually any personal preference or need. Some Hokas are even waterproof great for water rides). Some boast slip-resistant technology. Others have memory foam collars for extra comfort. Our other HeyOrlando.com Disney contributor, Kirby Russell also wears Hokas (Hoka One One) while at the park. Hoka Trail Runners are probably your best option if, like me, you like extra cushioning and moderate support.

I have fairly flat feet and a slightly bowed leg that causes me to lean a bit too much on the right edge of my foot while walking. I think the technical term is called “supinate”. While I recognize, for both of these reasons, that I need support, I often find that competitor brands are either too hard on my heels or have ultra-high arches that tend to cause pain. The average Hoka will run anywhere between $120-$250 on Amazon and at Hoka.com. Hoka comes in many different styles and options. So I recommend looking at either the Trail Running or the Road Running selections for theme parks.

Rachel models her favorite pair of On Clouds at Universal CityWalk (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)
Rachel models her favorite pair of On Clouds at Universal CityWalk (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

2. On Clouds

My friend Rachel, the aforementioned orthopedic physician’s assistant, swears by her On Clouds. These are the shoes she relies on to get her through her workday and her tagalong theme park treks with me. As a whole, they are slightly less cushiony than my Hoka shoes but also tend to have better overall arch support – which she loves. Also, most models feature an engineered mesh upper for breathability. She always says Hokas are for people who love cushiony support, and On Clouds are for those who prefer a firm arch.

Like the Hokas above, the biggest drawback to On Clouds is the price tag. The average On Cloud runs between $120-$200 on Amazon. But they can also go as high as $400. But if you’re on your feet all of the time like we are – the right shoe is worth every penny. On Clouds also run true to size. But if you’re in between half sizes, it’s generally advised to round up with this brand.

green pair of brooks running shoes
My mother, Kimberly, has clocked hundreds of miles in her Brooks Running Ghost 3s (photo by Kimberly Grayson/HeyOrlando.com)

3. Brooks Running

If you’re in the market for a great trail runner with great cushion, a wider toe box (for people with wider feet) and a thicker midsole for more stability, you might want to check out Brooks Running shoes. My mother, an avid hiker, swears by this brand. She also raves about their durability. My mom’s pair (pictured above) is about eight years old and has endured hundreds of miles of trails but still holding up. Brooks Running, like the others on this list, also runs between $99-$200 on Amazon but they can last for years. These, like the other brands mentioned in this article, also run true to size.

I model my Walk Hero Shoes by the pool
My size 9.5 Hit Road Arch Support Sneakers from Walk Hero (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

4. Walk Hero

I also own these shoes, and they’ve become my secondary go-to after my Hokas. According to the company’s website, Walk Heros was designed for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis, heel pain, flat feet, heel spurs and knee pain. They feature great arch support – similar to the above-mentioned On Clouds – with a surprisingly roomy toe box. My aunt also owns a pair. I have a narrow foot and she has a wide foot, yet somehow, we can both wear this shoe comfortably.

I also like the fact that they are available in subtle color schemes that match any outfit. In fact, if I had one major complaint about the Hoka brand it’s the fact that I feel like my footwear never quite matches my outfit. I appreciate the fact that the majority of Walk Heros are available in simple black, white and gray.

My only complaint about this shoe was the fact that the tongue seems a bit large and doesn’t always stay in place on long walks. I was largely able to correct this issue by retying the shoelaces using the over-under method. They also aren’t quite as padded as my Hokas – but they are also about $100 less than their Hoka counterparts at just $68-$80. Which, I am guessing, for many, is a worthy sacrifice considering the savings. These sneakers are currently available at $68-$80 on Amazon. Walk Heros run true to size.

a green and dark blue pair of hey dudes
While sneakers will always offer better support – these Hey Dude loafers can be nice on a scorching hot but light walking day and are a comfortable alternative to the typical athletic shoe (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

5. Hey Dudes

To be clear, this final pick is NOT approved by my orthopedic PA friend. Specifically, she warns against the long-term use of shoes with soles so flimsy you can easily bend them into a U-shape. However, I wanted to end this post with at least one light-as-air, affordable, non-sneaker option. This one is best for those who are more concerned about the heat than arch support and don’t plan on a lot of walking – or at least not as much walking around the parks as I usually do. It’s also a great shoe for Disney bounding outfits as you can buy multiples in a variety of colors without breaking the bank.

While these shoes fail the U-bend support test, they are ultra ultra ULTRA lightweight and surprisingly comfortable – especially for a loafer. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a lighter-weight shoe — which is always a nice feature for hot as-heck Florida, as well as packing — and ultimately this is the main reason they made the list. These shoes would probably be my go-to for a half day at Disney Springs rather than a full park day.

Regardless, Hey Dudes are available at a very reasonable $30-$70 price point on Amazon. Some have leather footbeds and others do not. I suggest upgrading to the leather footbed – it’s well worth the extra $5-$10. Hey Dudes fit true to size but they do not come in half sizes. If you happen to normally wear a half size, and you plan on sweating in them you probably want to size up.

Popular budget-friendly options on Amazon

Finally, as promised, I wanted to wrap this article up with a list of popular value brands for those on a budget. While I cannot personally vouch for any of these, most have at least 10,000+ positive reviews on Amazon. And with that many happy customers, I’d say that most of these are likely safe bets. Below are some of Amazon’s top picks for both the best men’s walking shoes and the best women’s walking shoes.

Editor’s Note: When in doubt, find a local shoe store and just try a few different things on until you find your “solemate”. And remember, always complete your footwear ensemble with a pair of comfortable, functional socks. Bare feet are rarely happy feet after several miles.

My Tree Skipper AllBirds did not pass the support test (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)
Neither my Tree Skipper AllBirds nor my Hey Dudes passed the U-bend support test (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Do you know of any comfortable walking shoes not mentioned in this article? What do you normally wear on Walt Disney World vacation? Let me know in the comments below.

Photo of author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Morgan Overholt

Morgan is the founder Morgan Media LLC, a graphic design agency and the co-founder of TheSmokies.com LLC – a media company that specializes in regional travel sites including HeyOrlando.com.

4 thoughts on “I’ve Tried Several Shoes at Disney World, These Are the Best (2024)”

  1. I am so torn against Hoka and Oncloud! Could you tell me what model of each you mention in your article? My local shoe store don’t stock any of them so I will have to order from Amazon.
    Great article!

    Reply
    • Thanks Alyson! The Hokas are the Stinson 6 model (with max cushion and mesh) and I believe the On Clouds are Cloud 5

      Reply
  2. GREAT article, thank you so much for your input!! As avid Disney goers ourselves, I’m been on a similar journey for the ultimate comfort for all day park hopping. We sadly moved from the Orlando area 2 years ago and are FINALLY getting to at least go back for a few days in the parks but its been a while since I’ve done this type of brutal walking for days on end lol. It’s a whole different ballgame from doing the day long, annual pass holders walk to the 8 day once every couple of years gotta get everything in, walk 😂😂😂. I’ve been looking for “the shoe” to keep my heels and joints comfy so that the 5 day in the park isn’t AS painful as it could be . I’ve been leaning heavily towards the Hokas. Have you anyone you know tried the ASICS? I have heard great things about those as well. I know my son, with VERY wide feet likes the ASICS a lot.

    Reply

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