Happy Feet: The 10 Best Shoes for Pregnancy (2017 Reviews & Guide)
Published September 7, 2017
You know you need to buy new 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 are top picks for shoes that are cute, comfy, and will provide great support during pregnancy.
Quick Comparison: Our Top 10 Shoes for Pregnancy
2. Vionic Aglie
10. Qupid Flat Boots
*All links above will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com or you can read our in-depth pregnancy shoe reviews below.
Why Are Shoes Important During Pregnancy?
While a cute pair of shoes are the perfect way to complete an outfit, their purpose is actually so much greater.
Shoes offer protection from potential hazards that can not only cause injury, but also disease (source).
Some potential injuries that footwear offers protection from are:
Cuts from sharp objects or uneven terrain
Sprained ankles or other injury due to poor grip
Slips and falls
Some potential diseases that footwear offers protection from are:
Some other health conditions that can be exacerbated by improper footwear are:
Back, hip, and neck pain
What Is The Anatomy of a Shoe?
While there are many different parts of a shoe, these are the main ones you need to know when shopping for shoes while pregnant.
Sole: The sole is the bottom of a shoe, or the part between your foot and the ground. It is often composed of rubber or some sort of non-skid material.
Upper: The upper is the part of the shoe that covers the foot - or everything above the sole. The upper can be constructed out of any number of materials based on shoe style, expected performance, and comfort.
Insole: This is a piece that sits between the wearer’s foot and the sole to provide added cushioning and comfort. It is often removable.
More in Maternity Clothing: What are the Best Maternity Underwear?
Why Will My Footwear Needs Change During Pregnancy?
There are several reasons why footwear is important during pregnancy, and why you need to be more conscious of foot health.
Your feet will grow. Your feet may grow up to half a size during pregnancy - and this change may be permanent (source). Your old shoes may be too tight and uncomfortable to continue wearing them.
Your feet will swell. Water retention is common during pregnancy, and especially after a great deal of use your feet and ankles may swell. Restrictive footwear may quickly become difficult to put on if this happens to you.
Your weight will increase. This puts more pressure on your joints and your feet. Good footwear with proper arch support will not only help to keep your feet comfortable, but it can help you to maintain good posture and prevent pain in other parts of your body - like your hips or your back.
More in Maternity Clothing: Which are the Best Yoga Pants for Pregnancy?
You will 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 (source). Choosing sensible shoes can help minimize your risk of falls, which could be dangerous to both you and your baby.
What Are The Benefits and Drawbacks of Different Types of Shoes?
While every shoe is manufactured differently, various shoes have different benefits.
Athletic shoes: Athletic shoes offer comfort, stability, and a non-skid surface. They also offer solid arch and ankle support. However, athletic shoes provide full coverage so they may be hot and too tight for swollen feet. They also most often have laces, which can be difficult for pregnant women if they’re not able to bend down and reach their toes.
Sandals: Sandals are often more forgiving than athletic shoes in that they allow the feet to breathe and have more space. However, many still do have fasteners - and if you need to wear compression stockings, they can be unsightly with open-toed sandals.
Flats: Flats are easy to slip on and off, and provide adequate space for feet and ankles to expand. They can also be worn with compression stockings without looking out of place. However, certain flats (like ballet flats or slippers) provide little to no arch or ankle support, so they can quickly become uncomfortable.
Flip-Flops: Flip-flops (also known as “thongs”) come in many different variations. The cheaper ones provide very little in the way of arch support, but there are some higher-end versions that are much better for the feet. They are great for pregnant women because they are easy to put on and allow the feet to expand, but they are impossible to wear with compression stockings unless you wear ones without toes. It’s also very important to wear flip flops that fit properly and are constructed well in order to prevent tripping.
Boots: Boots offer warmth and great ankle support. However, they can be difficult to get on if you struggle with swollen ankles, enlarged calves, or bending over to tie your shoes.
What Should I Look For When Choosing Shoes For Pregnancy?
When choosing shoes to wear while pregnant, you’ll need to keep the following things in mind.
Slip-on: Slip-on shoes are a woman’s best friend when she’s pregnant. Not only do they allow swollen feet to get in and out of them, but you don’t have to figure out how to bend over and tie them.
Rubber sole: 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.
Now that you know why shoes are so important during pregnancy, what pros and cons of each different kind are, and exactly what to look for --
Here are our 10 favorite shoes for pregnant women in 2017:
Best Athletic Shoes for Pregnancy
There are few shoes more comfy than a good sneaker. Manufactured specifically to withstand shock and offer you comfort, athletic shoes can be a great footwear choice during pregnancy - if you can find the right one. Choose ones without a high, tight ankle, and that can be slipped on so that you’ll be able to wear them no matter the size of your ankles (or belly).
These sneakers are super fashionable and you don’t even have to lace them up. They are designed as slip-ons and even have air-cooled memory foam in them to help you stay comfortable.
The midsole has built-in shock absorption and the uppers are flexible enough to accommodate a foot 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.
- They are slip-ons.
- They have memory foam.
- The uppers are flexible.
- They do not come in wide sizes.
Best Slip On Pregnancy Shoes
Unless you plan to have your husband to tie your shoes for you every morning, you’ll be switching exclusively to slip-on shoes sometime mid-pregnancy when you can no longer reach your feet. Choose ones that you can easily slip on hands-free, but that also provide adequate arch support to keep your feet comfy.
These shoes have an orthotic insert included to help keep your feet happy, healthy, and comfortable. The upper is made from breathable mesh, which will allows 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.
Best Arch Support Shoes for Pregnancy
You don’t want your feet to ache - or your hips, or your back, or your neck. Paying close attention to the level of arch support in your shoe can make a world of difference in your overall comfort.
This shoe combines the comfort of an athletic shoe with the ease of a sandal. The slip-on design will allow 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. It is also breathable to help to keep your foot from overheating when you wear it. Finally, they are lightweight and offer good arch support to help prevent joint pain or injury.
- They are breathable.
- They are lightweight.
- They have arch support.
- They are slip-ons.
- They do not offer ankle support.
- It does not specify if soles are rubber.
Best Sandals for Pregnancy
Your feet need to breathe in the warm weather, and they’re probably going to swell, too. Sandals are a great option as long as they fit well and don’t have the potential to be a tripping hazard. Choose sandals that won’t require you to bend down and fasten them, and that also offer good construction and arch support.
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 help keep your feet happy.
The contoured foot will offer arch support, and the low heel will keep your foot in a proper anatomical position.
- They are waterproof.
- They have traction.
- They are slip-ons.
- They have cushioning.
- They are not available in half sizes.
- The uppers are made of a plastic/synthetic material.
Best Pregnancy Shoes for Swollen Feet
Not only are swollen feet a major annoyance, they can also be painful. To prevent even more pain (and blisters), choose shoes that provide plenty of room for your feet without constricting them.
These shoes are great for your swollen feet because they don’t have a restrictive ankle, allowing ample room for them to expand if need be.
The shoes tend to run a bit large, and the canvas can stretch, keeping your feet comfortable even while retaining water without becoming super uncomfortable.
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 some 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.
- They are not available in wide sizes.
- The canvas may stretch.
- It does not specify that the sole is rubber.
Best Pregnancy Shoes for Summer
Your whole body is overheating, and that includes your feet. In the summertime your feet need to breathe. Choose sandals with good support that will keep you comfy but also provide space for your feet to expand as your pregnancy progresses.
Flip-flops are the perfect solution to hot, swollen pregnancy feet - but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring and ugly. Not only are these sandals cute, but they’re great for your feet.
They have built-in orthotics and good arch support which are designed to help keep you (and your joints) comfy all day. Designed in conjunction with podiatrists, they also have a textured outsole. This helps with traction to prevent slips and falls.
- They were designed by podiatrists.
- They help to realign your feet.
- They allow space for your feet to swell.
- They have traction on the bottom.
- They do not provide ankle support.
- The sandals are not adjustable.
- It's uncertain whether the sole is rubber or not.
Best Pregnancy Shoes for Back Pain
If you’re struggling with back pain, you need to be nice to your feet. Choose shoes that have well-cushioned insoles, rubber soles to absorb as much of the shock as possible, and good arch support.
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.
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.
- They are designed for foot health.
- They offer ankle support.
- They have good arch support.
- They absorb the shock while walking.
- They have laces.
- They are expensive.
- They may be too hot in summer.
Best Pregnancy Shoes for Winter
You need to keep your feet warm, but you also need to make sure you’re not slipping on the ice outside - all while making sure your ankles can still fit into your footwear. For winter time, choose shoes that have a rubber sole, supportive (but flexible) upper, and full foot coverage to keep those tootsies toasty.
These boots are waterproof and lined with fleece to help keep your toes warm and dry during the winter months. Their fit is loose, so they still offer plenty of room for your expanding feet and ankles.
While they will need to be fastened, the simple zipper is easier to manage than traditional laces. And the low heel and non-slip soles will help to keep your feet solidly and comfortably on the ground to help prevent slips.
- They are waterproof.
- They are non-skid.
- They are lined with fleece for warmth.
- They need to be zipped.
- Sole material is not specified.
Best Dress Shoes for Pregnancy
Though comfort is king, fashion is still important. For events where loafers or flip-flops won’t do, choose shoes with a low, wide heel (avoid stilettos, ladies) to keep your feet happy and prevent you from losing your balance.
These shoes have memory foam in the footbed to keep your feet from aching after a long day. They have a wide, low heel that will provide some shock absorption and keep your foot in its proper posture, helping to prevent joint pain.
They’re made from textiles and synthetic materials, and while they may not be as flashy as the shoes you used to wear, there are 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.
- It has memory foam in the footbed.
- It absorbs the shock of impact when walking.
- They have a very low heel.
- Some reviewers found that they rubbed.
- They run a little small.
Best Boots for Pregnancy
Sometimes mama just feels like wearing boots - and with these, she still can. Boots for pregnancy should have some give to accommodate your expanding ankles, and should be easy to pull on so you don’t have to bend down and zip them up. But most importantly, make sure they have a non-skid sole so you don’t have any accidents while wearing them.
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 to still enter.
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.
- They are slip-on.
- They are vegan-friendly.
- They have a low heel.
- They have a rubber sole.
- They are not waterproof.
- Elastic on some styles are brightly colored.
Our Top Pick Is...
My top pick are the Skechers. Not only did I wear them throughout my pregnancies, but I’m still wearing them to this day - even though I can tie my own shoes again. They’re super easy to slip off and on, incredibly comfy through even the longest days, and provide adequate support to prevent joint pain or injury. Plus, they’re cute.
It’s easy to overlook the fact that your footwear needs will change during pregnancy when everyone’s main focus is on your growing belly. What’s been the most unexpected change you’ve encountered while pregnant?