Tips for Avoiding Sore Feet and Blisters

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TouringPlans is pleased to welcome guest author Amy Crockett.

On an average day at a Disney theme park, you can expect to walk 7-10 miles. It can put a serious damper on the magic if you start to develop blisters or sore feet part way through the day. Being achy, uncomfortable, or in pain is no way to spend your vacation. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward so you can enjoy every moment.

Get 2 Good Pairs of Walking Shoes

Two might seem like overkill, but hear me out. I recommend one pair of regular tennis shoes with good support, and one pair of waterproof/quick-drying shoes (like Keens or a similar brand).

One benefit of having two pairs of good walking shoes is that you can alternate wearing them on different days, so your feet get a break from wearing the same pair every day. The other benefit is that you can wear the waterproof shoes on days you know you will be experiencing water rides (I’m looking at you Kali River Rapids) or if there is a lot of rain in the forecast, and you can save the tennis shoes for drier days.

Sunset Boulevard in the Rain (@servoisnaked)

Both pairs of shoes should feel comfortable and fit correctly – not too loose or too tight. If you have had any issues with your feet, ankles, or even your back, check with your doctor or physical therapist to see if they have a type of shoe they recommend.

Start a Walking Regimen

If you’re not used to walking several miles a day (plus hours of standing), it is a good idea to start building up your endurance at least 4-6 weeks before your trip, so your feet get used to that much activity.

Walk from Car to Transportation and Ticket Center

You can start as small as just a walk around the block and slowly work up to a few miles at a time. Make sure to wear the shoes you are planning to bring to the parks on these walks so you can break them in and identify any issues.

Don’t Sleep on Socks

People always talk about getting the right kind of shoes, but socks can be just as important, especially when it comes to preventing blisters. Invest in some non-cotton, moisture-wicking socks, to help avoid uncomfortable rubbing that can lead to blisters.

Forky novelty socks may look cute, but they may not be the best choice for the parks

Pay attention to sock height as well. Ankle or no-show socks can be great, but try them on with your shoes to ensure they don’t hit at just the wrong spot to be rubbing weirdly between your shoe and the back of your ankle all day.

Also, it is not a bad idea to bring along an extra pair of socks to the parks with you, in case yours get wet. Is there anything worse than walking around in wet socks?

Take Preventative Measures

If you know you are prone to blisters on a certain part of your foot, you can try to prevent the problem before it starts. Cover the spot loosely with a bandage or apply some powder or petroleum jelly to the area.

The park first aid centers can help with some issues.

Always make sure you bring some Band-Aids of various sizes with you to the parks as well, just in case. The second you think you feel a blister forming, cover it up, before it is too late! You should also carry a pain reliever with you to the parks that you can take in the case of sore feet. If you forget any essential items, every park has a First Aid station that can help with some minor supplies.

Rest

A day at the parks usually entails 12+ hours on your feet. Take any opportunity you can to rest them throughout the day.

This can mean taking a break at your hotel in the middle of the day and laying at the pool. It can also mean lingering over a table-service meal, staying off your feet for a while during an attraction (like Carousel of Progress) or a show (like Festival of the Lion King), or sitting for a spell on a bench with a cold drink. It’s important to listen to your body and know when it needs a break.

Escape the heat by enjoying the Carousel of Progress.

It is also helpful to plan an occasional non-park day in your vacation itinerary. After a few days of being constantly on-the-go, taking a day to kick back and relax can help your feet be rested and ready to go again the following day!

Rejuvenate

There are also ways you can help to rejuvenate your feet during your trip. After a long day, try soaking your tired feet in the bathtub or hot tub. It feels good just thinking about it! If you have any swelling, get some ice to put on your feet and keep them elevated.

You may also consider bringing a tennis ball with you. Each night at your hotel, sit down and roll the tennis ball around underneath your foot, applying as much or as little pressure as feels good. It will help the muscles in your feet and feels like a mini-massage.

For the real thing, several of the Disney resorts have spas onsite that offer services like pedicures or leg and foot massages, which can leave your feet feeling brand-new.

These tips should help you take a step in the right direction when it comes to protecting your feet and avoiding soreness and blisters on long park days. Then you can worry about more important things, like what attraction to ride next!

What are your best tips for helping your feet stay happy at Walt Disney World? Do you have a particular type of shoe you recommend? Let us know in the comments.

Amy Crockett is a native Michigander who works at a library by day and dreams of Disney by night. Planning Disney trips is her favorite thing in the entire world to do (apart from the trip itself)! In addition to all things Disney, she loves reading, musical theatre, playing tennis, traveling, and cheering on the Detroit Tigers.

 

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5 thoughts on “Tips for Avoiding Sore Feet and Blisters

  • May 12, 2021 at 9:30 am
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    Great advice. I’m reminded every trip that (for me at least) it isn’t the walking, it’s the standing that takes a toll. FWIW, I try to build more standing into my daily preparatory regimen as well.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2021 at 10:08 am
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    This was a really helpful article! Thank you.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2021 at 10:31 am
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    Bandaids are great but have zero stick on sweaty feet. Athletic tape or kinesiology tape works so much better on hot spots and as prevention. KT Tape even makes a blister patch. Just make sure the area is free of lotion and moisture before applying. I swear by kinesiology tape. Pack a roll because it can be used to support your feet as well.

    Reply
  • May 12, 2021 at 10:56 am
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    Moleskin is the best!!!

    Reply
  • May 12, 2021 at 1:41 pm
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    These are great tips! I can’t tell you how nice it is to have several different pairs of shoes at Disney World. Apart from fashion (I like to dress up), it really makes a huge difference on my feet. So does having a walking regimen before going to the parks. When I went in summer time (a time of year I take long walks with the dog), I had no problem handling the long days. Conversely, going in February when I wasn’t spending nearly so long in the cold outdoors at home, I had a much harder time when I reached the parks! I carry bandaids with me every day regardless, it’s such a lifesaver.
    I’m actually really glad you didn’t mention moleskin in the article. Maybe it works for some people, but I find it to be the cause of more blisters than any other preventative measure. The tape always peels up and makes a bump that rubs against my shoes, it’s really awful.

    Reply

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