This is a guest post from Stacey Hovey. For information on being a writer for a future guest post, check here. Now, here's Stacey...
The fact that you are visiting this site already shows you intend to plan your Disney trip and get the most out of it! But with all the details you can get absorbed in, your feet can be forgotten until there you are limping to your bus or hotel after a long day of touring wondering, “How am I going to make it through tomorrow?”
Here are some tips to help your feet both before and during your trip so hopefully that doesn't happen to you.
Before You Go
A Disney trip can be like running a marathon without training, for those of us in less-than-stellar shape. To help lessen the shock on your body and feet, try adding extra steps to your everyday routine as soon as you book that trip. It can be as simple as parking a little further away at the store or making extra trips to bring the groceries in from the car.
If you don't have one yet, purchasing a pedometer (like a FitBit or Garmin's vivofit) to find out how many steps you are taking each day can be both interesting and enlightening. I, unfortunately, had not purchased mine yet on our last WDW trip, but I did have it for our last Disneyland trip.
In one day at one park, I took more than 26,000 steps (close to 8 miles I believe)!
I prefer to wear sneakers for my park touring. Others prefer shoes like sandals, flip flops or even high heels. Personally, I'd never attempt to wear flip flops for a long day of park touring. But everyone is different and you know what works for you.
For sneakers, I recommend a store called Road Runner Sports. They carry men's, women's, and children's footwear. There are many locations across the U.S., but if there's not one near you, they have a great online store and offer excellent customer service and even online chat.
I was fitted for Shoe Dog insoles at my local Road Runner Sports. They are made specifically for your foot right in front of you and then an associate will help you shop for the perfect shoe-insole combination. This should be considered an investment in your feet – it doesn't come cheap.
Insoles run about $70/pair and comfortable shoes can be $50 and up. But I still use/wear the very first pair of insoles and shoes I purchased from them 3 years ago, so your purchase should last a good while.
For shoes, I seem to like the Nike Air Pegasus. I've purchased two pairs and each time I feel like I'm walking on air! I also like the Brooks brand. Do not be afraid to stay and try on shoes until you find the perfect pair. On my first visit, I was there over an hour and I tried on no less than 10 pairs of shoes before I decided. Road Runner also offers a 90-day guarantee, so if you find you do not love your shoes after you get home, you can return them.
I like to use my pink Nikes as “statement” shoes...
..and the blue Brooks to blend in with my jeans.
Moisture-wicking socks were also recommended to me. I was skeptical at first, thinking “How can that contribute to comfortable feet?” Boy, was I wrong! They are amazing! They really help cut down on the friction between your feet and your shoes. When used in conjunction with BodyGlide (see next tip), you almost can't go wrong. I like the Drymax brand, which you can often find cheaper on Amazon than your local running store.
During Your Trip
You may have already heard of, or even use, a product called BodyGlide. This product saved me more than once on our last trip to WDW. You can find it at most outdoor stores or on Amazon. You apply it to any area that can be affected by friction, whether it be your toes, your heel, between your thighs, under bra straps, anywhere. It comes in a stick deodorant-type package and is applied in the same way.
I've also seen a similar Band-Aid brand product in the bandage aisle in Target. Moleskin is also good at blocking friction. Use your choice, BodyGlide or moleskin, preemptively – do not wait for a blister to appear!
Do not wear brand new shoes on your trip. If you take the advice above and shop for new insoles/shoes, make sure you buy and break them in at least a month before you leave. If possible, have more than one pair of shoes and rotate wearing them throughout your trip.
If you take all precautions and still get a blister, follow the advice from a Disney fan podiatrist:
Most importantly RESIST THE URGE TO POP THEM! No you cannot sterilize a sewing needle, paper clip, safety pin etc..... by wiping it with alcohol, running it under hot water or kissing it up to God. You WILL introduce some bacteria which can cause a bad infection. The inside of a blister is sterile and the skin is a protective cover. You can use moleskin around the blister to relieve any pressure from the shoe. The best thing is to cover it with the Spenco Blister Pads. They will usually resolve on their own but if they persist, seek medical attention from a Podiatrist or other medical professional.
The day we left for our trip in September, I really stubbed my big toe good on our luggage trying to get it to the car! By the time we arrived in our room, after about 7 hours of travel, I was limping. I took the evening to elevate my foot and ice the big toe as best I could. I'm so glad I paid attention to my feet! Those few hours resting my foot made it fresh and pain free the rest of the trip.
Remember to treat your feet – they are an important part of what will get you through your trip successfully!