The perfect shoe can feel like a gift from the heavens. Imagine – walking around without the feeling of any aches or pains, even with a baby bump… One can dream.
The perfect pregnancy shoe exists and with this guide you may just be able to find it.
Chances are that you already have accumulated a large collection of shoes for every occasion. Do you really need another pair just for pregnancy.
The answer is YES.
Why? Lets start at the beginning.
According to the ACOG:
Being pregnant; particularly in the later stages of pregnancy is quite a painful experience.
Aches and pain
In particular around the back, hips, legs and feet.
You know what that means?
Simple things like standing and walking can quickly become agonizing.
A good shoe can help alleviate many of the pains that come on after spending a whole day on your feet while pregnant.
Officially there is no such thing as maternity shoes. if you want to invent some, be sure to think of me when you strike it rich.
Then what shoes do you wear when you are pregnant?
Until someone invents a purpose made pair of shoes for pregnancy, you will have to make do with shoes that are not only comfortable but supportive.
Before we look closer at maternity friendly shoes, I will answer a commonly asked question:
Can you still wear high heels while pregnant?
The short answer is..
Ohhhhh… Why not?
Jennifer Shu of BabyCenter says it best:
Your weight increases and your body shape and center of gravity change, making you walk differently (and less steadily). In addition, ligaments tend to be looser during pregnancy, which can lead to joint instability and muscle strain. A fall during pregnancy could hurt you and possibly your baby – so think twice before adding height to your growing girth.
Jennifer Shu – Pediatrician
Now of course there are going to be one off occasions when you will need to wear heels while pregnant, be it a birthday, wedding or similar occasion. During these events you might want to stick to a smaller heel.
Just remember, you feet will definitely ache the next day!
What types of shoes should you wear when pregnant?
The women in the picture above are holding the answer in the palms of their hands.
Out of all the different types of shoes available, two clearly stand out as being suitable for those of you that are expecting:
- Flats – The go-to pregnancy shoe. Stick to flats that you can easily slip on, you don’t want to be bent over trying to tie fiddly shoelaces. Choose a pair with good ankle support.
- Sandals or flip-flops – Slide them on without bending over at all. How cool is that? Unless you want to wear them with compression socks (don’t go out in public), this may not be a good solution for Winter. Swap them out for fuzzy slippers in the colder months.
But not all flats and sandals are created equal.
Some will be much more suited to pregnancy than others. That’s why you need to consider:
Qualities of the perfect pregnancy shoe
There are 3 things you need to examine when deciding on whether or not a shoe will be suitable to wear during your pregnancy.
Easy to put on
It’s amazing just how hard a little extra junk in the front can make simple tasks.
Your feet are all the way down there. and reaching over your growing belly to put on shoes will become a huge chore.
Choose a shoe that you can easily put on without the need to bend down. Slip-on shoes without laces are particularly suited for pregnant women.
Have you ever walked only to discover that with every step it feels like your ankle is grinding into your foot? This may very well be because your shoe is not providing enough support.
With added baby weight your joints are going to be under more stress than usual, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.
Yep… Pregnancy; the gift that keeps giving.
By choosing a shoe with ankle and arch supports you can reduce joint pains associated with walking if not eliminate them altogether.
A little extra room
Buying shoes early in your pregnancy?
You are going to want to have a little bit of extra room for when your feet and ankles swell. And they WILL swell. As your pregnancy progresses your once fitting shoe will feel like an anaconda trying to squeeze your foot off.
Jumping up half a size (or even a FULL size) larger than what you currently wear will allow you to remain comfortable when the swelling suddenly strikes. Until the swelling comes you can always wear an extra pair of socks to fill in the extra room.
An added bonus to comfortable shoes is that they will allow you to remain standing for longer periods of time before your feet begin to fatigue.
Unbeatable pregnancy shoes
Now for the exciting bit. I am going to give you real-world examples of shoes ideal for pregnant women. Whether you are in the first trimester or the third, your feet will thank you for pampering them with these great shoes.
Are you just looking for a good all-round shoe? One that is perfect to wear around the house but will hold up to a good walk around the park or trips to the shops and to top it all off, maybe… just maybe look cute enough to match your maternity outfit?
Look no further:
Sketchers Women’s Go Walk
- Lightweight slip-on with breathable mesh and convenient heel-pull loop
- Ortholite footbed and resalyte cushioning
- Agion odor-treated lining
It is actually hard to believe that this shoe is not targeted exclusively at pregnant women as it fits just about every criteria you could look for in a maternity shoe.
Once you get over the comfort you will be able to take in just how good the shoes look. Even peering out from behind your swollen belly, these shoes look good and are available in a variety of cute colors to match the rest of your maternity wear.
The Skechers GoWalk should be the starting point for any woman looking for pregnancy footwear. You can buy them here from Amazon.
If you plan on working until the day you pop then a comfortable set of work shoes is essential, particularly if you spend a lot of time on your feet. Work can be tiring as it is without the added torture that comes with sore feet.
That’s where Dansko comes in.
Dansko Work Shoes
- Leather and or fabric uppers
- Padded instep collar for comfort when walking
- Roomy reinforced toe box for protection with plenty of "wiggle room" for your toes
Dansko make some of the most comfortable women’s work shoes around. Even nurses who spend 12 hour shifts on their feet swear by them.
Made from premium leather, these are a very durable work shoe that will last longer than your pregnancy (great if you were considering another child).
This shoe will allow you to spend more time focusing on your career and less time worrying about your feet. Business moms rejoice!
If the leather work shoe isn’t quite your style then you will be pleased to know that Dansko also makes professional sandals as well. Whatever your job, there is shoe for you. Click here to see the rest of the Dansko collection.
Casual shoes are all well and good but what if you want to get into physical exercise while pregnant?
Pregnant women without contraindications should be encouraged to engage in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity 30 minutes or more, on most, if not all days of the week.
While you won’t be competing in hurdles or the pole volt (you’re pregnant, remember?) there are still some activities like aerobics that you can participate in.
You will find that your newly gained weight will add extra stress to your joints, particularly in up and down movements. A good supportive athletic shoe will allow you to continue your fitness routine while placing minimal stress on your body.
Skechers have done it again!
Skechers Women’s Big Idea Sneaker
You can’t help but have a smile on your face as you slip (that’s right, no laces) these shoes on for the first time. First thing you will notice is just how light they are which is great since you are already carrying around enough extra weight as it is.After walking a few steps the next thing you will notice is just how supportive and comfortable the shoes actually are. Previously complaining ankles now feel like they could carry you and your belly around for days.
Sneakers are designed to form a snug fit around your foot. I strongly recommend going up a size to accommodate room for swelling.
Look out Fall and Winter, pregnant women can rock out in a comfortable pair of boots too!
When choosing a boot, look for a good heal support and either a wide-calf or boots with a little stretch to make room for swelling.
Vibram Wrap Boots
These are like no boots you have seen before. Consisting of shoes and a wrap, You can tighten or loosen the calf of the “boot” according to how swollen you are feeling that day.
The feeling of comfort combined with a stylish look? Not many boots can offer a pregnant women both at once.
While they certainly look cute, the wraps will not be suitable for cold temperatures.
While trudging through the snow to the shops to fulfill your wild pregnancy cravings, you are going to want a boot that is comfortable warm and doesn’t leak.
Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk Winter Boot
If you read my casual shoe recommendation then this boot will look very familiar. Skechers have turned their super comfortable shoe into a boot.
Summer shoes and sandals
If you have swollen feet in Summer then there is nothing more satisfying than cool air blowing around them
A good pair of summer shoes will allow your feet to breath offering enough support to prevent additional aches and pains while you walk around.
Warning: A lot of you will skip over my first recommendation
And that’s just fine, as the old me would have done the exact same thing. But having tried a pair; I must say that if you can get over the judgemental looks of passersby you will experience an incredibly comfortable summer shoe.
Crocs Classic Clog
Okay, so it’s not the most fashionable of boots but they sure do keep your feet toasty and warm. And in winter, comfort is everything!
Yes, I DID just recommend crocs.
Yes, people will look at you funny.
Yes, some people will likely point at your feet.
Yes, some people will likely vocalize their disapproval.
The people judging you are actually the ones suffering. They don’t even realize how uncomfortable their footwear is compared to yours.
If you really cant get past the look of Crocs then I do have another recommendation. One that is just as comfortable but a little more pricy. Sigh… That’s the cost of fashion.
Orthaheel Tide Slide In Orthopedic Sandals
- Suede Upper. EVA Footbed. Durable Rubber Upper.
- Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance
- YOUR NEW FAVORITE SANDALS: The rock star of the Tide Family, Tide Rhinestones is designed with style in mind. Classic...
Whether you call them sandals or flip-flops, these are very comfortable and won’t draw the same unwanted attention that Crocs will.
Like most sandals, there is a wear in period.
Unlike most sandals, the Orthaheel Tide actually supports the arch of your foot. The result? Less ankle pain! Yay!
These sandals are so easy to put on that you can literally walk into them. No bending over required at all! The grip on the bottom of the sandal provides extra traction making them just as suitable for the shops as they are for the beach.
Whether you like it or not; pregnancy brings with it a whole lot of aches and pains. Here is an extra resource to help you deal with your aching body:
You know the drill, leave me any questions, comments, love or hate in the comments below!
Featured image source: parent.guide