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Let’s start with some background since everyone’s feet are different.
I have horrible feet when it comes to walking or standing. I’m positive that I am eligible for some medical diagnosis if I were to seek that help. But they are awful, this I know, and my job and being in the parks all the time does not help.
I’m often limping by the end of the night because my feet are in such pain and worn out.
When I used to be a nurse and worked on my feet all day, I’d also be hurting in 2-3 hours and never found anything that worked. So I’m apparently a tough case.
Since I started my frequent travels to Disney, I’ve tried many so-called comfortable and pricey sandals that were recommended, only to find that even if they are comfortable, they leave me with blisters. Can’t win :l
So I made it my personal mission to test out walking shoes and sandals this past year. I spent over $300 testing many of the classic and popular sandals, as well as some that aren’t as common but looked comfortable.
And I found a landslide winner. Cue the tears of joy (really).
Here is my walking sandal experiment and the results.
First: I prefer a sandal at Disney. With rain being so frequent in Florida, I really want a sandal. I cannot stand the idea of wet socks and shoes in the parks.
Second: I’ve tried SO many shoes. That everyone raves about. 5 stars. Blah blah blah. And they just. don’t. work for me. Pain persists or I get bad blisters. See below.
Fancy and recommended sandals I tried that didn’t work for me:
Chacos – too heavy, don’t help with the pain that much. *many readers still approved these.
Birkenstocks – the structure and foundation of the shoe are great, but I blistered so badly the first day and it wasn’t possible to wear them again. They also didn’t help with the pain as much either, my feet still tired fast. And, they just feel heavy and chunky. Not for me. *many readers approved these as well.
Any type of running shoe – again, I don’t love sneakers. And I actually still get horrible pain in sneakers.
Toms – horrible idea to hit the parks in these, don’t do this. I’m convinced the only type of people that recommend Toms for distance walking are the same people that have “naturally high metabolisms”, never fight with their spouse, and remember to floss their teeth every single day.
Cushioned athletic slide sandals (think Nike/Adidas that you wore in 8th grade with your silver button-up pants) – these felt better because my feet breathed more, but they didn’t do dirt for stability. I still experienced intense inner ankle tightness/pain in my tendons since most tend to be flat with no arch support.
Now you’ve seen how much DOESN’T work for me, you can understand how miraculous it has been to find something that does.
Drumroll for my sandal discovery!!!…
*update 2/8/20: I’ve learned Crocs is currently in the process of transitioning this sandal to the LiteRide Stretch Sandal, which is the same sandal but with a bit wider straps. It looks like Amazon is still carrying the original version, but also has a limited number of the new ones. Just check each one to see where your desired color + size is available. You can also check the Crocs website for availability.
Now: I will say that I am completely skeptical of sandals that are “light” and “cushy”. Because I know that even with a soft surface, that doesn’t mean it provides the structure my entire foot/ankle needs.
But GUYS. Wow.
Not only are these comfortable but they are also incredibly supportive. My feet did wonderful in these bad boys. Three months after writing this post, I’m still rocking them and won’t wear anything else.
Miles and miles in the parks, and I still felt pretty good at the end of the day. I barely feel a difference in my feet after putting in 10+ miles at the parks. It’s sort of incredible. I will likely buy three more pairs for scarcity reasons and hang onto them.
I bought mine on Amazon, it was much cheaper than the official Crocs site, Zappos, or anywhere else (and you know...Amazon Prime). The price fluctuates between the sites though, so just do a quick comparison for the best price.
I’m not a fashionista either, I just want comfort – but these are super cute and stylish too. So it’s nothing but gold stars for these guys. I’ve had dozens of people in the Insider’s Guide VIP group purchase and also report their satisfaction with the shoes!
The only thing potential warning for some readers is that they are more narrow than some sandals. They may not be the best selection if you have wide feet. Unless they start making a wide version, which at the time of writing was not available.
Some questions I’ve received since I emailed about these are:
There are no half sizes – should I size up or down if I’m a half size? I would size up. They’re a good snug fit.
Is the stretch band tight? It may be tight at first, but it will loosen up. I personally had zero problems. If you find it tight, put a glass under it and leave it there for ~24 hours or so to stretch out the band. I do this with new/tight hair ties, works like a charm.
They’ve also introduced a similar flip flop that I’ll be buying just for warmer weather wear and break days from the parks. Goodbye, Old Navy flip flops:
I also received an overwhelming amount of emails and messages from readers who wanted to give me their “miracle” shoe. While I found mine and probably won’t test again for a while, here’s what they personally picked and wanted me to include:
Other recommended best walking sandals from readers*
*my criteria was that these readers had to also have experienced a lot of pain and problems in most walking sandals – and the rec they submitted needed to be their “miracle” sandal for the parks.
Tevas recommended by Amy M.
Reefs recommended by Jennifer M.
OOFOs were recommended by many with Plantar Fasciitis *there’s both a flip flop and sandal option that were recommended
Vionics were also recommended by quite a few people – but I just personally don’t trust how thin they are, it looks like zero stability…
FitFlops recommend by Donnetta B. – note that she only recommends the thick ones. She reported that the thin ones get too slippery when wet.
And that’s a wrap! As a more minimalist, this is the first product I’m recommending to readers over the past two years. Quality over quantity. Those sandals are truly game-changers. I hope something in this post can save your achy feet if that’s why you stopped by.
Let me know in the comments what has worked for you if you have rough feet. Or tell me how much Birkenstocks work for you (I’ve learned Birkenstocks lovers are truly devoted to the brand and do not like people disliking them). Or any questions at all…!