Best Shoes for Pregnancy

Last Updated: May 14, 2024
Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

By Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

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During pregnancy your body goes through a lot of changes, I mean a lot! And surprisingly, foot changes are one thing that a lot of women experience during pregnancy.

For some women, the changes are temporary and they go back to their original size after pregnancy but for others, the changes in their feet (or even just one foot) are permanent.

Are you curious about what kind of foot changes you might experience during pregnancy and looking for the best shoes for your pregnancy journey? This article has all this information and more so lace up those boots and let’s get down to it!

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Foot changes during pregnancy

According to the NIH, “Studies have reported increases in foot length, width, and volume during pregnancy.” (source) It’s a tale as old as time, you get pregnant, your foot grows, and it’s never the same again, right?

While this is the case for a lot of pregnant women, it’s not the case for all pregnant women!

In addition to some women’s feet permanently expanding during pregnancy, some women also have temporary foot and ankle changes during pregnancy due to swelling.

Swelling, especially in the lower extremities, is pretty common during pregnancy. 

What to look for in shoes for pregnancy?

Two big things you should look for in shoes during pregnancy: comfort and support. Your feet are not the only thing that might be changing during pregnancy. The least you can do is invest in a pair of comfortable shoes to support you on your pregnancy journey.

Another important thing to note is that a shoe with adjustable laces is ideal during pregnancy. Remember just a minute about when we talked about feet and swelling during pregnancy, well having something you can adjust to accommodate your potentially expanding foot can be a game changer.

You will probably want to avoid strappy sandals and flip flops, especially towards the end of pregnancy. Not only can the straps cut into swollen feet and be downright painful, but the majority of flip flops and sandals offer little to no support. 

Best shoes for pregnancy by style

Some kind of tennis shoe or athletic shoe with a good supportive base is going to be your best bet for pregnancy. Athletic shoes, if matched with the right kind, should offer ample comfort and support.

I know it’s not an option for every pregnant person to wear athletic shoes during their entire pregnancy, so here are some other good options. I will go into detail about some specific shoes below but here are some more general suggestions.

  • Closed-toe loafer or flat
  • Thick strap sandal with a supportive base
  • Cushioned flip-flop with thick and stretchy straps
  • Low or no heel boot or bootie

Best shoes for pregnancy: Top picks

1. Kizik Madrid Slip On Sneaker

The best thing about this shoe and the reason that it’s so pregnancy-friendly? Kizik offers hands-free convenience. You don’t have to bend down to put your shoes on – music to every pregnant person’s ears, amirite?

Made with hands-free technology, you adjust the shoes once and enjoy easy on, easy off from there.

In addition, this lovely shoe also offers a removable and washable sole with high-density, contoured foam insoles. The outsoles are extra cushy to provide comfort even if you have to be standing on your feet all day.

The shoes are breathable, made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and vegan materials. They are also offered in a handful of different colors to meet your fashion needs!

2. Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Sandal

I know I said to try and avoid the strappy sandals and flip flops but these are different! They have thick straps that can easily be adjusted (with big buckles) to accommodate a growing foot.

They are made with a contoured cork footbed with arch support. It creates custom support with wear, making these shoes so very comfortable. 

Easy to slip on and off, Birkenstocks are known for their comfort and durability. A perfect shoe option for a summertime pregnancy!

3. Allbirds Tree Loungers

You can wear this shoe with everything! It’s a cute, easy, slip on that can be dressed up or down if needed. Expect all day comfort with these shoes that have an enhanced cushioned foam midsole. They are both cute and functional! 

Made with a thermoregulating breathable material, these shoes excel at regulating body temperature and keeping your feet comfortable and dry all day long!

They can be washed on a cold, gentle cycle in a delicates bag and left to air dry. If done according to instructions the shoe should not lose any shape or performance after being washed.

A great option for anyone during pregnancy but especially for that someone looking for a comfortable work shoe or something they can dress up just a tad!

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4. MUSSHOE Mules

A great option if you are looking for something a little nicer without a heel or wedge. It comes in 20 different colors and patterns, including several neutral, go-with-everything colors.

One thing I like about this shoe and just mules in general is that they are so easy to slip on and slip off. You don’t have to worry about getting your heel in place, you just slide your foot in, and off you go!

These are made with a padded, ergonomic footbed that provides both comfort and stability. And even though they are comfortable, they aren’t exactly a substitute for a super supportive sneaker so reserve these for date night and special occasions.

5. CUSHIONAIRE Suede Pull On Boot

Like a pair of Uggs but without the Ugg price tag. With a faux fur lining and memory foam insoles, you will be styling and comfortable in these cute boots. You can find these shoes in over 10 colors and patterns. The outer material is made of a water resistant, genuine suede leather. 

Perfect for a chilly winter pregnancy or just something comfy to lounge around the house in!

6. Sketcher Women’s Go Walk Joy Sneaker

These shoes might not be the most chic shoes you’ve ever laid eyes on but we’re going for comfort and support, remember? If you don’t believe me on this one, you can check out the almost 90,000 4.5 star reviews on Amazon!

They are lightweight, breathable, and just comfortable. Goga mat insoles with high rebound cushioning makes the comfort unmatched. What’s more? You can wash these shoes in the washing machine, on a cold, gentle cycle, and leave them to air dry. 

Now I know I said these might not be the most stylish shoes on the planet but they do come in lots (over 25) of bright and fun colors, like the bring pink shown below!

7. DREAM PARIS Women’s Wedge

Of course I had to put at least one “fancy” shoe on the list! I know this probably isn’t the fanciest shoe you’ve ever laid eyes on but also trying to keep your comfort in mind. These shoes are so comfy, you might even forget you are wearing a heel.

They have a 3D ergonomically designed insole that offers cushioning for the forefoot, arch support, and shock absorption in the heel. The heel is just over 1.5 inches, offering a very subtle little boost to your wardrobe without completely sacrificing comfort.

These are a great option for the person that needs to get a little dressy, whether for work or for fun, during pregnancy!

Wrapping up

Before I go, I just want to point out that changes in your feet are one of the many changes your body undergoes during pregnancy. There is a good chance you will experience changes in your breasts, skin, GI tract, hair & nails, and more!

If you want to learn more about your changing body in pregnancy be sure to read the articles listed below!

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Liesel Teen, RN-BSN

Liesel Teen

BSN, RN, Practicing Labor and Delivery Nurse

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