During their pregnancy, women generally start planning for the obvious things: new clothes to accommodate their growing belly, the growing discomforts of morning sickness, changes to their daily schedules etc.
The one thing many women tend to forget about is the swollen feet that come with the territory too, although they learn about this pretty early during their pregnancy.
Most of their old pairs of shoes won’t fit and it can be hard to find ones that do – but they do exist.
The question is, what are the best shoes for pregnancy?
There are many factors that need to be taken into account – the most important one being comfort.
Some other things you need to think about with regard to pregnancy footwear are: slip-on shoes, being breathable enough to help alleviate pressure on the foot itself, good arch support, a low heel to keep your foot as flat and as comfortable as possible, and rubber soles to feel more comfortable to walk in.
As you can see, comfort is a very important factor when it comes to choosing the best shoes for pregnancy.
Comfortable shoes will do more than just give you something nice to walk in – they’ll also help prevent a lot of potential injuries and illnesses that can occur when walking with swollen feet.
The injuries are those you would expect to happen regardless, such as getting a cut from a sharp object due to a lack of protection around the foot area.
Some other common injuries that might occur thanks to the new shape of your foot are aches and sprains around your ankles, or even slipping and falling because you aren’t used to your new feet yet.
These problems will probably only be a concern early on, though, and will become nearly negligible once you get further into your pregnancy when you’ve become used to walking with your ‘new’ feet.
The real issue is the diseases and infections that can develop from having a poorly fitted pair of shoes.
Athlete’s foot tends to be the main culprit.
This is a fungal disease that occurs in people who wear uncomfortable shoes that make them sweat between their toes quite a lot – and this is bound to happen at some point while you are pregnant.
But it’s not the only fungal disease you have a chance of developing on your feet.
Various forms of toenail fungus can also occur when you wear walking shoes that are too tight and that make your nails dig into the fabric.
Of course, nasty fungi aren’t the only concern and there are plenty of other problems that can develop from wearing uncomfortable shoes, including plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis usually occurs when women wear high heels too often, but is also known to develop if you walk often and put pressure on your plantar fascia, which is the part of your foot that provides shock absorption.
It’s more common with pregnant women when they get swollen feet as the extra pounds of baby weight increase the chances of it occurring.
And, since our feet play a vital role in the comfort of our entire body given that they interact with other surfaces the most and carry our weight the majority of the time, you might also find yourself suffering from hip and back pains thanks to poorly sized shoes.
Blisters are also a lot more of a common occurrence for pregnant women, especially if they wear uncomfortable footwear – and shoes can get really uncomfortable really quickly, so resolving the issue as soon as possible is essential.
Finally, you may suffer from varicose veins, an unfortunate side effect of the increased volume of blood that is pumped through your veins during pregnancy and that walking tends to exacerbate.
It tends to be a mild concern and is generally more of a cosmetic issue, though it can develop into something bigger. You should see a doctor if you notice a problem so they can assess the situation for you.
All this is why choosing the right pair of pregnancy shoes is important and the designs of the best pregnancy shoes take most, if not all of these issues into account.
Here are some that might be of interest to you.
1. Propét Women’s TravelFit Slide Walking Shoe
First on our list is a simple pair of slip-on shoes that are half-way between a slipper and a pair of regular sneakers, retaining the comfort and look of both.
They are constructed out of a fully breathable mesh to keep your foot aerated and lower the risk of any of those nasty fungal diseases from occurring.
In addition, they have a flexible, synthetic sole and a wider width to accommodate your feet if you suffer from swelling.
The bungee cord laces help with the dynamic foot adjustment as well, removing the need for you to keep bending uncomfortably to re-tie them, as you would with regular laces.
The design also helps you keep flat feet and shouldn’t be overlooked when considering new foot apparel, especially because these shoes come in a variety of different colors to keep your feet looking stylish during your pregnancy.
2. Skechers Sport Women’s Empire Fashion Sneaker
If you’re looking for a pair of athletic shoes that double as slip-ons without looking the part, Skechers has you covered.
These shoes not only make sure the soles of your feet are comfortable with their flexible, rubber sole, they also make sure to keep the upper half of your foot properly situated and aerated with a very softly knitted fabric and a bungee-style lace.
Their size options will accommodate any foot, even the largest ones.
The one unique benefit that Skechers women’s shoes have is their relaxed fit design.
This design focuses mostly on the sole, where the part that connects to the sole of your foot is made out of memory foam connected with fabric lining to keep your foot comfortable at all times, even when moving quickly.
There is also an outer rubber sole that’s flexible and has good traction to make sure you don’t slip and fall at any point, and a sole in between the two which is light-weight and offers shock absorption just in case.
Separating specific sole roles into separate layers gives these shoes and sneakers a longer durability without adding too much onto the price tag.
And naturally, the overall design sports solid arch support to keep the top of your foot comfortable and prevent any potential sprained ankles and the like.
They also come in a number of different colors and designs so you can find ones that match your clothing style more easily and still be a fashion icon within your social circle, regardless of the situation.
3. TOMS Women’s Black Canvas Classic
Inspired by the unique Argentinian alpargata shoe design, these slip-on shoes are perfect for pregnant women who want an alternative to most of the athletic slip-on shoes on offer.
They are also, unintentionally, one of the best shoes for pregnancy.
Well, because the original founder of TOMS simply wanted to represent a part of Argentinian culture and it just so happened that his design is perfect for pregnant women everywhere.
The rubber sole helps relieve the pressure by preventing the foot from interacting with uneven surfaces and helps the shoes keep good traction in any weather.
The breathable canvas construction allows for added breathability around the rest of the foot, keeping it aerated and cool at all times.
The arch of the shoe is made out of latex to allow for extra elasticity and to better fit a swollen foot .
The same goes for the elastic V in the back that makes slipping the shoes on and off a breeze without the need to bend over all the time to make sure they still fit.
The upper’s canvas construction comes in a variety of different designs as well.
I know how important looking good is for some of you mammas on top of feeling good, so I made sure that most of the shoes on my list have at least some customization options so you can find the right colors to fit you and your style perfectly.
An added benefit is that TOMS matches all shoe purchases made in their stores with a donation of a pair of shoes to children in need worldwide.
Initially, it was just in Argentina, where the idea for TOMS shoes came from, but, as time went on, the cause spread around the world.
4. Crocs Women’s Swiftwater Sandal Sport
Luckily, it’s not all closed up athletic and canvas shoes, sandals are also some of the most ideal types of footwear for pregnant women and Crocs delivers in spades.
Dubbed the Gladiator sandals (and for good reason), these sandals will work in any environment – even during the blistering heat of scorching summer days.
Whether it’s the sandy beaches, a pool of water, or simply taking a stroll or going out with your friends at night, these bad boys will help keep you and your feet stay comfortable and sweat-free.
That’s because these sandals were constructed in such a way that they help channel any water or sweat away from their soles as well as being made from a rather flexible material that stretches with your swelling feet.
This means you can use them after your pregnancy is over, so you won’t have to resell them or throw them away.
The rubbery soles with flex grooves ensure that traction is kept at all times, whether you’re walking around on dry land or coming out of the water after a gentle and relaxing soak, ensuring you won’t slip and hurt yourself.
And, thanks to the design of the sandal, there is no need for any cumbersome fabric to cover your foot, leaving your arch and the rest of your foot free to breathe with only a few stylish straps to surround them – even allowing you to get a bit of a tan down there.
And, as with the previous products, they have a great variety of designs, allowing you to keep your footwear as stylish and as trend-setting as always.
Plus, they’re a pretty affordable budget option despite looking so good, so keep that in mind when shopping for your new pregnancy footwear.
5. FLY London Women’s Gore-Tex Chelsea Boot
An odd inclusion on this list given that boots are notoriously hard to get in and out of, but I wanted to give you some options besides sandals and athletic footwear.
And these can even be worn in rainy weather without getting your feet soggy and uncomfortable, while still retaining all of the qualities good shoes should have for your pregnant feet.
The dense, rubber outsole allows the boot to keep proper traction even when trudging through puddles and muddy terrain, while the leather covering keeps your feet insulated from the elements above.
Normally, leather is what makes boots hard to put on, but these boots come with flexible side-goring that will let you slip your feet in and out of them easily.
Plus their soft, cushioning footbed provides ample wiggle room for your feet.
The one downside is that the arch support isn’t as great as with the athletic shoes and sandals on this list, but at least they’re the best option for the rainy fall and spring seasons, something other brands can rarely boast about.
And, as promised, these FLY boots also come in a number of colors and patterns, letting you personalize your look the way you want to without having to rely on someone else’s opinion of what looks good for you or not.
6. Orthofeet Best Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
Remember when I mentioned that plantar fasciitis was one of the major problems women have to face during pregnancy if they wear uncomfortable footwear?
Well, if that’s something you’re struggling with or fear it might be your greatest concern, Orthofeet has made a pair of shoes specifically designed to tackle that problem.
Known as the world’s number one orthotic shoe, Orthofeet’s athletic shoes are designed to be as soft and comfortable as a fluffy pillow.
From the slick, ergonomic design of the sole to the breathable, mesh weave of the covering, these puppies have it all.
The best part about them is the sole, which has so many layers of padding you’ll think you’re walking on a cloud.
The ergonomic sole is lightweight and provides superb arch support for your feet thanks to the multiple cushioning layers that are stacked atop one another.
The first layer is the orthotic insole, which helps keep your feet straight and prevents any blisters from developing or bunions from forming due to uncomfortable footwear.
The second layer is the midsole constructed out of foam padding to help with shock absorption in case you have to deal with a lot of uneven terrain on your daily walks.
Then the third layer is a unique one that’s actually a soft cushioned seat for your heel, giving it an extra layer of shock absorption on top of the foam padding since that’s the area that gets impacted the most during walks.
And finally, the fourth layer is the rubber outsole that helps your shoes keep traction for easier movement on any surface and to help reduce the risk of slipping and falling on your butt (or worse).
Not only does this design help with many of the listed problems – from bunions and blisters to plantar fasciitis – but it also helps combat diabetes through the added comfort and stress relief these shoes can provide, just in case you’re someone who is suffering from this horrid affliction.
While they don’t sport as many color options as the previous choices on this list do, any option is always welcome, though the more fashion conscious moms might find the lack of variety a drawback.
The one minor, but actual downside of these shoes is that they have common, tie-on shoe laces, though they’re easy enough to swap out with something a bit more friendly for a pregnant woman.
7. Sanuk Women’s Yoga Sling 2 Sandal
Here’s yet another set of sandals for all you mammas who prefer a stylish design over that of the more athletic shoes, and for those of you who like showing off your perfect manicure and your new nail polish.
Sanuk’s sandals are something of a budget option, but that doesn’t mean that they lack any of the comfortable qualities the other shoes on this list possess.
If anything, being affordable without sacrificing on the quality makes them all the more desirable.
The two-way stretch knit upper part means the sandals resemble middle eastern footwear and can make you feel exotic just by simply sliding them on.
The design keeps your foot mobile while still making sure that it won’t slip out of it so easily.
The insole of the sandal is made out of EVA foam (think yoga mats), providing that much needed comfort for your soles.
Meanwhile the outsole is made out of a rubbery sponge which, while providing less traction underneath, will provide more comfort to the foot overall – just make sure you don’t run in these, oh and watch your step!
The best part is that over 50% of the materials used in making these shoes are recycled, meaning that you’re going green when purchasing a pair of these.
While they don’t have a green pattern option for these shoes (which would have made a great segway into this), they do have a crazy high number of other ones, almost double any of the other ones on the list.
And not just varying shades of gray and black, but colors that are more personalized to your mood and preferences.
I may be old-fashioned and my fashion sense might be tacky, but my personal preference is for the rose palm design (one that I’ve purchased for myself) and I can’t describe how good they feel to wear. E
specially now that my pregnancies are over, for now.
8. Birkenstock Women’s Mayari Sandals
Our final entry on this list is another type of sandal, Birkenstock’s Mayari sandals.
What’s unique about this design is that they have a cork footbed.
While many will think that a footbed made out of cork might sound uncomfortable, once you set foot on one, you’ll realize just how comfortable they can actually be.
There is a bit of latex thrown into the cork lining to make your foot stick to the footbed a bit better, but the midsole that’s constructed out of EVA foam ensures the added comfort and shock absorption necessary when walking.
Thankfully, it’s not the EVA that helps keep the traction – that’s the job of the rubber outsole and it does its job well.
The Birkenstocks are marketed as comfy shoes that are simple but effective, a traditional choice and shoe style that has kept people satisfied for over 200 years (with some modern improvements), but there is nothing simple about the comfort they provide.
I can assure you of that at least.
The one issue that might arise is with the two straps that keep the foot in check because they’re not particularly flexible, although they can be easily adjusted with the metal pin buckles.
If your swelling ever gets any worse, make sure to puncture some new holes in them if the ones provided aren’t enough to cover the added girth of the foot.
The Budget Option: Flip-Flops
If you’re not looking for any complicated footwear and just want to keep it simple, or you’re just someone concerned about budget, then you ought to consider getting a pair of flip-flops.
They’re much easier to just slide on without worrying about whether or not you’ll be able to bend over to make them fit.
My personal suggestion for these is the Clarks Women’s Breeze Sea Flip-Flop.
There isn’t much to say about them because, again, flip-flops are made to be simple but effective pieces of footwear.
These Clarks are definitely good quality, though, with the inner and midsole being constructed out of soft EVA foam that helps keep your foot comfortable, while the rubber outsole helps keep you from slipping on almost any surface.
They’re also quite lightweight and you won’t have to bother about adjusting them too much, plus they have the benefit of easy aeration given how open they are on the upper part of the foot.
And, of course, I wouldn’t choose a piece of footwear for you ladies that you couldn’t personalize.
Clarks offers a variety of colors on their flip-flop foot strap that will let you choose the one that fits you the best.
The Main Traits To Look For In Good Pregnancy Shoes
Now that you’ve seen the list, it’s best to give you a more concise idea of what traits some of the best pregnancy shoes have:
Comfort – The main trait mentioned at the start of the article. If the shoes don’t fit, there’s no reason to get them.
Aeration – Having good air circulation in the shoe helps prevent the foot from sweating and accumulating any nasty fungal diseases.
Ergonomic Design – A good, form-fitting design that doesn’t apply pressure on the foot but helps alleviate it is key to leading a healthy lifestyle and preventing any of the aforementioned health problems from occurring, or at least lowering their chances.
Easy To Put On/Take Off – Another key factor as you won’t always be able to bend over and put your shoes on and nobody likes messing with the shoehorn every time.
Finding a pair of slip-ons or just a pair of flip-flops is better than trying to find a pair of boots that might be a hassle to wear.
Finding the best shoes for pregnancy can be a challenging task, but as you can see, there are a variety of choices that will still let you retain as normal of a lifestyle as you can have during this trying time and be free of any discomfort a shoe can cause.
Your comfort is your number one priority as relieving stress from your own body reduces the number of potential complications for the baby as well.
And I know it’s yet another thing to put on your plate, which is already crowded with so many pregnancy must haves, but having the right shoes during pregnancy is important.
You’ll feel almost crippled at the later stages if you don’t have shoes that feel comfortable and are easy to put on without the need to bend over (something you might not even be able to do in your last trimester).
Sure, budget is a problem sometimes and a temporary solution can be to just get regular shoes that are a size bigger, but proper maternity shoes will get you a lot more mileage than regular ones, so do bear that in mind.
It’s the difference between taking one minute to put your shoes on and five to ten if you don’t have anyone to help.
Trust me, I struggled with footwear during my first pregnancy until I learned just how big of a relief having good, comfortable, flexible and breathable shoes was.
This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure for more info.