I think we've all seen it, the woman tottering around a theme park in five inch heels, or the little girl in those cheap plastic dress up shoes. After a little while, I'm pretty sure they were regretting that footwear choice, but what can you do when you're in the middle of doing stuff, and there's no shoe store right near by?
To save your feet, or those of your little princess, you need to plan ahead.
Going to a theme park there is a lot of walking. When you are enjoying yourself, you don't really notice how much you walk, but at a Disney theme park, 7- 10 miles in a day is pretty common. If you are in the wrong kind of shoes though, the swelling, the blistering, the pinching and the agony is going to make each step feel like a million. Let's toss out some quick tips to make sure that isn't you!
Don't start off the day wearing any shoe that pinches, is made of plastic, has a heel, or is brand new, thinking you'll “break” it in. The only thing breaking is going to be the skin on your foot, and then? OUCH! Ditto on wearing shoes that are worn out. Anything with a hole in the bottom, worn out tread or those holes that get worn into the back where you Achilles tendon is are going to give you some major foot pain.
If you want your feet to look cute, there are several brands of flats and sandals that are cute and comfy for all day wear. They aren't all with expensive price tags, either! Much to my surprise, after a woman encouraged me in walmart of all places last year to try a particular kind of sandals she swore by I did, and bought a pair of the Earth Spirit brand shoes. Let me tell you, when they came back again this season I bought 8 pairs in all kinds of designs. Why? Because other than my beloved Mootsie Tootsies I have worn holes in (three times now, and now can't find any more! :( ) I can wear these all day, and not have any foot pain. That's AMAZING to me, considering I have some scar tissue on the ball of one foot from a debris removal gone wrong. Usually, my foot hurts, but with these shoes, they don't.
Don't forget a good pair of sneakers too, for the park. With memory foam and gel being common insoles now, those are designed to last the day without wearing out your feet and knees.
Always wear socks with your sneakers. Always. Like I tell my superhero loving kids, socks are
like a shield. They protect you from all kind of things, blisters, bug bites, scrapes.
If your feet tend to sweat a lot, or if you love water rides and are content to walk around with soggy foot gear til the sun dries them, I would suggest dry wicking socks. Those are going to not only dry a little faster, but also help prevent the afore mentioned blisters!
It's important to take a few minutes here and there to give your feet a little break. Even if you can go all day, it doesn’t mean you should. Rest for a few minutes, but please, whatever you do, don't be like those people you see soaking their feet in the Disney fountains. Have a little more class. And yes, I am judging them because their icky feet are in the water that all these little toddlers want to touch and marvel at and then those little fingers go into their mouthes... So just don't.
Think back ups!
Ever been in a sudden downpour that soaked you head to toe and you knew that was the only pair of shoes you had for the whole week? Yeah. Me too. Lesson learned. Bring a second pair of shoes, so when the skimpy hotel hair dryer can't get them all the way dry, you aren't starting off in a potential blister situation at rope drop.
What does hydration have to do with feet? Lots! It's easy not to drink when you are focused on getting from one place to the next, but drinking aplenty is going to actually help keep your feet from swelling, especially if you like to eat salty snacks while walking about. You can go here to read the early warning signs of dehydration.
Ok, it's too late, you've got blisters and bruises. Now what? Don't worry. Disney Magic Mommy has a plan. Remember that awesome first aid kit I carry around?
I stock up on all the essentials before a Disney trip, and foot treatments are no exception. You really don't need much, but it's amazing how a few little things can come in handy. Carry a few of these around, and you'll be golden.
Bandaids, moleskin and corn pads are all superb for protecting a blister or when something starts to rub against your shoe. There have been several times I've used one of the corn pads, or built a little square of moleskin to pad an area that's starting to hurt, like the ball of my foot. It's so simple, but it works.
Say you forgot to bring anything with you in the park, and your little toe is starting to get rubbed pretty bad? Stop by any of the first aid stations, and they’ll give you a free bandaid. It might not have Mickey on it, but it's going to help stop the hurt!
Now if you really want to have your photos with the uncomfortable shoes, or your child insists that the Cinderella slippers MUST stay on, ok, but bring a pair for backup. Trust me on this....it won't be long before your feet, (or hers) will be thanking you. After all, it's hard to enjoy a day at the theme parks when you are having to carry someone, or be carried!