Pregnancy brings with it all kinds of changes to your body: glowing skin, a swelling belly, and many more emotions. Some of the ways your body evolves during pregnancy are more under the radar than others, so finding the best pregnancy shoes probably wasn’t at the top of your mind when you saw that positive test. Most women will start adding maternity clothing and pajamas to their wardrobe once they’re pregnant, but shoes end up being more of an afterthought. That’s until the back pain and foot aches set in.
Now that you’re expecting, you’ve probably started to expect more from your shoes—as you should. After all, they’re not just carrying you; they’re carrying your baby, too! Your sore, swollen, pregnant feet deserve more than blister-creating heels, pinched toes, and hard, uncomfortable soles. That’s why we’re sharing the best pregnancy shoes that will give you support and comfort while looking good.
Below, we’ve listed 8 of our favorite pregnancy shoe styles, as well as what to look for as you browse. Plus, you’ll learn how your feet may change during pregnancy.
The Top 8 Pregnancy Shoes
1. Sanuk Sandals
These Sanuk sandals are effortless to slip on, which is perfect for that stage of pregnancy when it’s hard to reach your feet! Plus, they’re wonderfully light and give you a laid-back look without looking too grubby. Sanuk Sling Soft Top
Many Sketchers’ sneakers have stretchy laces, which come in handy if your feet are swelling! Sketchers sneakers are super-comfy, and they give your feet some support. Skechers Sport Good Life Sneaker.
OK, so Crocs aren’t the prettiest or most fashion-forward shoes, but they’re comfortable and easy to slip on. These ballet flats are a Crocs style with some femininity, plus they’ll fit even the puffiest of pregnant feet.
4. Teva Slip-Ons
Your feet deserve to be enveloped in slipper-like shoes every day. And this pair of Teva slip-ons are totally acceptable to wear out of the house. These top-rated slip-ons are as comfy as a sleeping bag because they’re cushioned with EVA foam.
You’ve probably heard of Toms: the company that donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair they sell. Sketchers has created a knock-off called “Bobs” that is way cheaper! When you buy a pair of Bobs, Sketchers makes a donation to a non-profit called Soles4Souls, which provides shoes to needy children. These are just as comfy as the name brand: BOBS from Skechers Plush Peace and Love Flat
6. (Imitation) Uggs
Ugg boots continue to be popular due to their warm, cushiony goodness. But with the average pair costing around $130, they aren’t cheap! Here’s a link to a decent knock-off: Dream Pairs Women’s Shorty-New Mid-Calf Winter Snow Boots.
Birkenstock began making shoes in 1774, so you can be sure they know what they’re doing! The shoe company is known for its comfort. Birkenstock Mayari Sandal
Not only are Reef flip-flops and sandals incredibly comfy, but they also give you a bit of support. Here’s an affordable pair that will be perfect to pack in your hospital bag: Reef Ginger Flip Flop.
How will my feet change during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your feet will probably get bigger. While necessary, the weight you’ll gain during pregnancy can cause your arches to fall flat. “The weight gain puts more pressure on the foot, causing the arch to collapse and the foot to lengthen,” she explains podiatrist Hillary Brenner, DPM. In some cases, weight gain can even contribute to foot issues such as plantar fasciitis.
Plus, hormones released during pregnancy to get your body ready for labor will cause your ligaments to relax. These hormones not only affect the joints in your hips but can also cause the joints of your feet to stretch. Eventually, this stretching leads to widening and lengthening of the feet and an increase in shoe size.
To add to the issue, pregnant feet tend to be swollen because your blood volume increases with pregnancy to support your baby. Treating your sore, swollen feet with an Epsom salt bath is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation!
Swollen feet cause your shoe size to temporarily increase, as well as possibly causing ingrown toenails. Dr. Brenner explains, “The nail gets pushed into the skin as a result of tight-fitting shoes—plus, it’s difficult to cut the toenails straight across when you’re pregnant.”
What To Look for in Pregnancy Shoes
Keep an eye out for shoes with roomy toe boxes, well-cushioned footbeds, arch support, and deep heel cups. These features will minimize any aches and pains you may be experiencing in your feet.
A wide toe box is suggested because swelling is common during pregnancy, especially in the feet and ankles. Having a wider toe box also permits good circulation. Look for shoes with cushioned soles because pregnancy can put added pressure on the feet. Cushioning will help absorb shock and decrease impact, in turn minimizing discomfort.
In addition, ensure your pregnancy shoes are rigid enough to offer the right amount of arch support. To test this, try to bend the shoe in question in half. You shouldn’t be able to bend a supportive shoe because the shank provides structure. The shoe’s shank should be rigid enough to hold up and support the arch.
Pregnancy-related weight gain and changes in posture during pregnancy can lead to overpronation. This strains the feet and contributes to discomfort or pain. Arch support will help to keep you in proper alignment and reduce excessive stress on your arches.
Finally, the best shoes for pregnancy also should have sturdy heels. To test if your shoes have sturdy heels, try squeezing the heel to see how firm it is. You shouldn’t be able to compress it. This way, the shoe will support your heels and prevent ankle sprains (if you have high arches).
If the information we shared here helped you, you’ll want to check out:
7 Ways to Make Your Labor Easier
Managing Your Weight Gain During Pregnancy
Is It Normal to Have a Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy?
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 2, 2018, and has since been updated.