You know you need to buy new maternity clothes to accommodate your growing body during pregnancy — but did you know you may need new shoes as well?
You probably expect your feet to swell when you’re expecting, but you also need good footwear to provide stability and support as your weight increases and your center of balance shifts.
To make sure you stay comfortable and prevent injury, you need to choose the right shoes. But functional shoes don’t have to be ugly!
Here are our top picks for the best pregnancy shoes that are cute, comfy, and will provide great support during pregnancy.
- Shock absorption feature
- Convenient slip-ons
- Comfortable memory foam sole
- Rubber sole
- Has an orthotic insert
- Non-skid slip-on
- Purchase helps a charitable organization
- Have a supportive insole
- Great traction
- Offers adequate arch support
- Memory foam in footbed
- Absorbs shock when walking
- Very low, comfortable heel
- Breathable slip-on style
- Great arch support
- Designed primarily for foot health
- Offers great arch and ankle support
- Absorbs shock while walking
- Convenient slip-on style
- Low, comfortable heel
- Sturdy rubber sole
- Convenient slip-on style
- Low, comfortable heel
- Sturdy rubber sole
- Proven to effectively alleviate heel pain
- Fashionable touch
- Easy to slip on & off
Do I Need Different Shoes for Pregnancy?
First, your feet will grow — up to half a size during pregnancy — and this change may be permanent (1). Your old shoes may be too tight and uncomfortable as your pregnancy progresses.
Your feet will swell, too. Water retention is common during pregnancy, and especially after a great deal of use your feet and ankles may swell. Restrictive footwear might quickly become difficult to put on if this happens to you.
Your weight will increase. This naturally puts more pressure on your joints and feet. Good footwear with proper arch support will not only help to keep your feet comfortable but help you maintain good posture and prevent pain in other parts of your body— back or pelvic pain.
Finally, you’ll be at greater risk for falls. Not only will your center of gravity shift upwards as your belly grows, but your body’s production of the hormone relaxin will cause your joints to be looser (2). Choosing sensible shoes can help minimize your risk of falls, which could be dangerous to both you and your baby.
How to Choose the Best Shoes for Pregnancy
When choosing shoes to wear while pregnant, try to keep the following things in mind.
- Slip-on: Slip-on shoes are a pregnant woman’s best friend. Not only do they allow swollen feet to get in and out easily, but you don’t have to figure out how to bend over and tie them.
- Rubber soles: Rubber is a fantastic shock absorber and can help alleviate some of the joint discomfort associated with pregnancy. They also provide great grip which can help you avoid slips and falls.
- Low heel: A low heel offers more stability than a high heel, and more support and protection than ballet flats.
- Arch support: To prevent foot pain, choose a pair of shoes with good support in the arch, which is in the center of the bottom of your foot.
The Best Shoes for Pregnancy in 2021
Here are our all-time favorite shoes for pregnancy.
1. Skechers Sport Empire Sneaker
These sneakers are super fashionable, and you don’t even have to lace them up. They’re designed as slip-ons and even have air-cooled memory foam inside to help you stay comfortable.
The midsole has built-in shock absorption, and the uppers are flexible enough to accommodate feet that may or may not be swelling. And the non-skid sole will help to prevent slips, keeping you safe and upright whether you’re working out at the gym or just hanging around your house.
- They have shock absorption.
- Convenient slip-ons so they won’t take forever to put on.
- They have a super comfortable memory foam sole.
- The uppers are flexible.
- They don’t come in wide sizes.
2. Vionic Women's Fitness Shoes
These shoes have an orthotic insert included helping keep your feet happy, healthy, and comfortable. The upper is made from breathable mesh, which will allow the shoe to “give” a little if you need the room while still offering adequate support.
The sole is made from rubber to help keep you from slipping, and it also provides shock absorption to alleviate the stress on your joints.
And finally, the slip-on design means you won’t have to figure out how to bend over and tie your laces.
- It has a rubber sole.
- It is a slip-on.
- It has an orthotic insert.
- They run large.
- They can only be hand washed.
3. Tom’s Women’s Classic Flats
These shoes are great for your swollen feet during pregnancy because they don’t have a restrictive ankle, allowing ample room for them to expand if need be.
These tend to run a bit large anyway, and the canvas material has a lot of give, keeping your feet comfortable as your swelling goes up and down, depending on the day.
They have a non-skid, synthetic sole to help prevent slipping. And even though they’re called “flats,” they do have a supportive insole with arch support to help prevent the bottom of your feet from becoming fatigued.
- They are slip-ons.
- Your purchase helps a charitable organization.
- There are many color options available, in a chic, minimalist style.
- They’re not available in wide sizes.
- The canvas may stretch and lose its shape over time.
- Some women find they wear down pretty quickly.
4. Crocs Women’s Swiftwater Sandals
Crocs have quite the reputation — for incredible comfort paired with incredible ugliness. Thankfully they’ve expanded their line and now have these new sandals which happily combine both comfy and cute.
The design will accommodate a swollen or expanding foot, and the rubber sole will keep you safe from slips. Added traction will also help keep you upright, and a foam cushion will keep your feet comfy.
The contoured foot offers adequate arch support, and the low heel holds your foot in a proper anatomical position.
- Waterproof so that you could take them to the beach.
- They have great traction.
- Slip on easily.
- They have cushioning.
- Not available in half sizes.
- The uppers are made of a plastic/synthetic material, which might aggravate the skin.
5. Aerosole’s Women’s Ballet Flats
These have memory foam in the footbed to keep your feet from aching after a long day. They have a wide, low heel that provides some shock absorption and keeps your foot in its proper position, helping to prevent joint pain.
Made from textiles and synthetic materials, they may not be as flashy as the shoes you used to wear, but there are still several different cute designs to choose from.
You can jump back into those heels after the baby comes — but for now, you might want to stick with conservative footwear to preserve your comfort.
- Memory foam in the footbed.
- It absorbs the shock of impact when walking.
- Very low, comfortable heel.
- Some reviewers found that they rubbed.
- They run a little small.
6. Propet Travelfit Slide Walking Shoe
This shoe combines the comfort of an athletic shoe with the ease of a sandal. The slip-on design allows you to put them on hands-free, but the adjustable laces will help to ensure a snug, custom fit regardless of whether your feet have swelled up or not.
The upper is full-coverage and offers your foot support and protection. They’re also breathable to keep your foot from overheating when you wear them. Finally, they’re lightweight but still offer good arch support to help prevent joint pain or injury.
- Breathable so that you can wear them in hotter weather.
- They’re lightweight and will pack easily.
- They have great arch support.
- Slip-on style so you won’t need to bend over to put them on.
- They don’t offer ankle support since they’re completely open at the heel.
- A long, narrow shoe, which might not work for some foot shapes.
7. Orthofeet Orthotic Sneakers
These shoes were specifically designed with foot-related pain and medical conditions in mind. The orthotic insole includes a gel pad at the heel along with fantastic arch support to minimize stress and back pain.
They also have air pockets under the feet to help with shock absorption, and the uppers were designed to minimize pressure points.
While they do come with traditional laces, you can always swap them out for the elastic no-tie versions they sell for kids, so you don’t have to bend over and tie them as your belly grows.
- Designed primarily for foot health.
- They offer ankle support.
- Great arch support.
- They absorb shock while walking, which makes a big difference to joint pain.
- They have laces.
- They’re expensive.
- They may be too hot in the summer.
8. Qupid Slouchy Flat Boot
Thankfully, riding boots and slouchy boots are still in style — because that’s how you can pull off boots during pregnancy. The slouch style means it has a less tight-fitting ankle, allowing slightly enlarged or swollen feet room to wriggle.
They don’t have zippers, so you don’t have to worry about bending over to fasten them. The sole is rubber which will help keep you from slipping on certain surfaces, and the low heel means they won’t negatively affect your balance.
Finally, they are vegan-friendly as they contain absolutely zero animal products.
- Convenient slip-on style.
- Low, comfortable heel.
- Sturdy rubber sole.
- Not waterproof.
- Not the highest quality boot out there.
9. LongBay Furry Memory Foam Slippers
In the dead of winter, during your pregnancy, nothing sounds better than furry memory foam slippers. The LongBay indoor shoes are perfect for pregnant women, especially if your feet are swollen.
They give you full coverage and have a tight grip for ultimate stability. Also, they have a non-slip rubber sole which is great for around the house. But it also means you can wear the shoes outside, too. We don’t recommend taking a long walk in them but they’re good for taking out the trash or visiting a friend’s house.
- High density memory foam for ultimate comfort.
- Relaxes foot arch and eases pain.
- Great for indoors, but work outdoors too.
- Four color options.
- They fuzz and pill quite a lot.
- The sizing is confusing, as they run a bit big. Contact the manufacturer for advice.
10. Vionic Women's Tide Rhinestones Toe-Post Sandal
Pregnancy woes can worsen in the summer, with the heat causing you to feel as swollen and uncomfortable as a beached whale. Don’t let it get you down! These comfortable and cute sandals keep you cool and having fun on your summer adventures.
A few different materials are used to ensure comfort and support. The midsole is made of a lightweight, flexible vinyl material (EVA) to absorb shock and reduce stress on the feet, ankles, and knees. The durable rubber outsole provides traction on a number of surfaces, including sand, and the soft nylon webbing uppers prevent chafing.
Best of all, they’ve been biomechanically designed to hug your arches, which is great for alleviating heel pain. A small row of rhinestones will help pregnant moms feel a bit glamorous on the rough days.
Invest in these sandals and you’ll be enjoying summertime fun during your pregnancy, and beyond.
- Proven to effectively alleviate heel pain and provide essential support.
- Rhinestones offer a fashionable touch.
- Easy to slip on and off.
- The rhinestones may fall off.
- Not a great choice for moms on a budget.