Minnie and Daisy might look great in heels, but walking down Main Street is so much better if you're wearing comfy shoes. I learned that the hard way on my very first trip to Disneyland, and despite packing plenty of cute sandals, flip-flops and even a pair of canvas kicks, the shoes I found myself gravitating towards were my Hoka Clifton 8s. In fact, they were the only shoes I wore the entirety of my trip — even to just walk around the hotel.
I did a ton of research before the trip, and one thing's for sure: People have very strong opinions about what constitutes the perfect walk-around-Disney shoe. Hoka was the one brand that popped up on everyone's list (and all over TikTok too), and despite the brand's hefty price tag, they can usually be found on sale. I bought my pair exclusively to wear around Disney and only had a couple days to break them in before we were on the plane to California (according to well-meaning Disney fans, apparently not fully breaking in your shoes before is a cardinal sin, but living on the edge is way more fun).
From the first day in Magic Kingdom to rounding off the trip in California Adventure, I didn't part from my Hokas. I foolishly decided to wear a pair of less supportive sneakers for my first trip to Downtown Disney, and I was quickly humbled — my feet were screaming by noon. The Hoka Clifton 8s offered a reprieve: They feature a cloud-like insole that hugs the foot, as well as a chunky sole that, when first slipped on, feels akin to walking on the moon. That's right; somehow, these defy gravity.
Sure, they're not exactly sexy, but you'll find that really doesn't matter: The happiest place on Earth becomes a whole lot less happy when you're convinced one more step will make you collapse. These helped me avoid that, even while waiting for over an hour to ride The Haunted Mansion, or running to make our hard-won reservation at Carthay Circle. I even went on Grizzly River Run with these on, and my feet were mysteriously dry even when the rest of me was drenched.
The magic is in the construction: These sneakers are almost impossibly lightweight. The mesh exterior blends breathability, structure and stretch, while the generously cushioned footbed keeps these airy. They're generously foam-padded under the tongue and around the ankle collar, and that adds up to one very important thing at the end of a long, long day — no blisters!
The Clifton 8s have proven to be indispensable well after my Disney trip. I've since worn them to the gym, to jog outside, or any time I plan on hitting my double-digit steps goal. They look just as good as the day I took them out of the box and shoved them into my suitcase — and I'm still just as excited to wear them.