multiple pairs of shoes for best shoes for pregnancy

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From nausea and weight gain to heartburn and lower back pain, pregnancy can be an uncomfortable time. After all, your body must undergo a slew of changes to accommodate your growing bundle of joy. But did you know the size and shape of your feet can change, too?

It’s true. Many expectant parents experience swelling in their legs, ankles, and limbs. The good news is you don’t have to settle for tired and tender tootsies.Below are 12 comfortable,supportive, and (yes!) stylish pregnancy shoes.

Pregnancy is a time of miraculous developments in the body. Some of these changes might be unexpected, including changes in the size and shape of your feet. The combination of increased weight and rising levels of hormones such as relaxin, which makes joints more flexible during pregnancy, can impact the body all the way to your toes (and feet). This means that during pregnancy foot arches may drop slightly increasing foot length (and perhaps shoe size) by 2 to 10 millimeters (mm).

You may also notice your feet look slightly wider due to weight gain and normal swelling during pregnancy. Not everyone will experience noticeable or long-lasting changes in their feet during pregnancy. But in some cases, foot changes such as arch drop may be permanent and remain even after pregnancy, which might lead to an increased risk of foot and joint problems like arthritis and pain later on in life.

When shopping for pregnancy shoes, there are a few things to keep in mind. Each pair should be comfortable and breathable. The soles should be soft and flexible and will likely be more comfortable with a good deal of arch support, particularly in the later months when you’ve gained more weight and your joints and ligaments continue to loosen.

Heels should be low and skid-free, and you’ll want to choose a shoe that’s lightweight. After all, the last thing you’ll want or need is the stress of carrying more weight. Probably the further along you get in your pregnancy, the less appealing it will be to don a pair of heels.

You may also want to size up. In fact, it’s advised you buy footwear that is a size or half size bigger. Finally, it’s important to find shoes that you like and that fit your style, so you’ll enjoy wearing them regularly!

Casual shoes like sneakers and flats typically work best during pregnancy because they offer more comfort and foot stability without pinching or squeezing your feet. Slides and sandals are breathable and help keep your feet cool. However, even low heels designed to provide arch support and comfort can be ok for your feet during pregnancy.

As for how we made our selections, well, nothing beats firsthand (firstfoot?!) experience. Many of these picks were favorites of Healthline Parenthood’s writers and editors. We also spoke with several new and expectant parents for their favorite picks, and — of course — we consulted online reviews.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $50
  • $$ = $50–$100
  • $$$ = over $100

Best shoes for swollen feet

TOMS Alpargata

  • Price: $
  • Pros: breathable, flexible fabric upper; lightweight and easy on-and-off to slide into comfortably
  • Cons: canvas construction may not be waterproof or warm enough in cooler climates; insoles may not provide adequate arch support for folks with flatter feet

Many people swear by TOMS, pregnant or not. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and run true to size. But with flexible fabric and removable insoles, these Alpargata flats are the perfect pregnancy shoe. Plus, their canvas construction has a lot of give, meaning these shoes can (and will) grow with you.

Best supportive shoes

Vionic Walker

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: sturdy construction offers optimal arch support and foot stability
  • Cons: lace-up sneaker design makes them less convenient to take on and off

If you’re looking for a solid, supportive shoe, look no further than the Vionic Walker. These sneakers are designed to move, breathe, and increase balance and stability.

The midsole absorbs shock, which reduces stress, and this particular style features Vionic’s Advanced Motion System technology, which combines their podiatrist-designed orthotic insole with a flexible outsole. They also come in a regular fit and wide width.

Best shoes for walking

Skechers GOWalk

  • Price: $
  • Pros: optimal arch support in a lightweight design
  • Cons: upper mesh fabric is lightweight but may not be weatherproof for rainier climates

Lightweight, flexible, breathable, and slip on, the Skechers GOWalk line gives you the added support and comfort you need in pregnancy. What’s more, many GOWalk sneakers feature arch support, which is key if your feet have flattened.

See more of our picks of the best walking shoes for women.

Best shoes for winter

UGG Classic Mini Bootie

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: comfortable and warm with easy on and off
  • Cons: may not be suitable for indoor wear and warmer climates

Want the comfort of slippers with a little more style? Look no further than the UGG Classic Mini Bootie. These soft, warm shoes are weatherproof and water-resistant. They have a zip-up closure, for easy off and on, and each shoe has a supportive Treadlite by UGG midsole.

Best shoes for summer

Dr. Scholl’s Originalist Sandal

  • Price: $
  • Pros: convenient sandals with added insole support for indoor year-round and outdoor warm weather
  • Cons: may not offer optimal arch support or foot stability for regular wear or for women with flatter feet

Sandals are a go-to for many expectant parents — and for good reason. They’re open, stylish, flexible,and breathable. These beauties from Dr. Scholl’s are no different. Plus, the strap is adjustable, ensuring the perfect fit.

Best shoes for work

Vionic Minna Ballet Flat

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: convenient and easy on and off with added arch support; great for versatile indoor and outdoor wear
  • Cons: open flats may not offer adequate foot stability especially for wider feet

If you’re looking for a cute, comfortable, and versatile work shoe, consider the Vionic Minna Ballet Flat. These gorgeous slip-ons come in a wide variety of colors and styles. They even have a textile lining to keep your feet cool and dry.

Best heels

LifeStride Pascal Pump

  • Price: $
  • Pros: sturdy low heels with added arch support and nonslip sole tread
  • Cons: may not offer adequate foot support and stability for wider feet

With a wide body, low heel, and padded insole, the LifeStride Pascal Pump is perfect for pregnancy. Bonus: LifeStride shoes have added arch and heel support for extra balance and stability.

Best slip-ons

Dansko Berry

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: Comfortable slide-on mules/clogs for easy on and off
  • Cons: May not offer adequate foot support or stability for flatter feet

Clogs are beloved by doctors, nurses, and other “on your feet” professionals, and for good reason. Their wide body allows your foot to really spread out. They also slip on and off.

Dansko Berry clogs are comfortable, stable, and durable. Plus, they feature a hook-and-loop strap — which can be used as a slingback or in front, for a versatile look.

Best running shoes

HOKA Bondi 7

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: lightweight design with added sole and arch support for comfort
  • Cons: mesh upper construction may not be weatherproof in all climates; lace-up design makes them less convenient to take on and off

HOKA is one of the best brands of running shoes — by far — and their Bondi 7 sneaker offers unparalleled comfort and support. It’s all thanks to the rubber soles, cushioned midsoles, breathable mesh construction, and shock absorption system approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).

Best hiking shoes

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: great casual shoe with optimal arch support and foot stability for regular width and wider feet
  • Cons: lace-up design makes them less convenient to take on and off; more rugged in appearance than other sneakers

With a wide body, breathable fabric, and molded arch, the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator is rugged, stable, sturdy, and super supportive. They are also comfortable and durable, and they come in regular or wide width.

Best sandals

Sanuk Yoga Sling Flat Sandal

  • Price: $
  • Pros: casual and convenient to take on and off; great for indoor wear year-round and outdoor wear in warmer climates
  • Cons: may not provide arch support for people with flatter feet; less foot stability and support

Sanuk’s yoga slings are perfect for pregnancy. Why? Because they’re cute. They’re comfortable. They’re breathable. They have a supportive ankle strap, and they have a footbed made from real yoga mats. It’s like walking on air!

Best slippers

Vionic Gemma Mule Slippers

  • Price: $
  • Pros: cozy slippers with built-in arch support
  • Cons: may not offer adequate foot stability for folks with flatter or wider feet

While it’s imperative to have comfortable shoes during pregnancy, comfortable slippers are just as important — especially during those last few weeks and months, as well as right after giving birth when you’re recovering in the hospital, at the birth center, or at home.

For a reliable pair, consider the Vionic Gemma Mule Slippers. Why? These beauties are soft, snuggly, and supportive. They also have the APMA seal of acceptance.

Choose shoes that provide adequate support and stability for your body and foot type. Ask your doctor or midwife about orthotic insoles to wear with regular shoes. If you have diabetes or gestational diabetes, it’s even more important to find the best footwear. Look for shoes that are breathable, supportive, and that don’t squeeze or pinch your feet or toes.

No matter what shoes you wear, it still important to avoid standing for long periods of time. Find time to kick them off and put your feet up. Also try foot and ankle exercises while seated. Pregnancy can cause more swelling and water retention in the feet and ankles, so it’s important to help improve blood circulation by going for a walk, doing light stretching exercises, and elevating your feet when sitting.

The best shoes in pregnancy are the ones that feel comfortable on your feet! This can be different for everyone. For many, arch and foot support is important during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester when the weight gain is greatest due to your growing baby and when joints are most flexible. Many people like some cushion in their shoes, especially toward the end of pregnancy. Most people will want to avoid wearing flimsy footwear with thin soles and little foot support, as well as shoes with hard and inflexible soles. Cushioning and arch support can help keep your feet comfortable during pregnancy.

Can I wear heels while I’m pregnant?

Yes, but it’s important to look for heels that offer built-in arch support and foot stability. Also look for lower heels and rubber treads for comfort and safety. Several brands are designed with foot health in mind for everyone, pregnant and not. The further along you get in your pregnancy, the less comfy heels are likely to be — because general mobility gets a little more challenging, your center of gravity will change, and well, you’ll just want to be comfortable!

Do your feet get longer when you’re pregnant?

Your feet can get longer when you’re pregnant. This happens because the arch of the foot may drop slightly during pregnancy. Foot and ankle swelling can also increase your feet by a half size or more.

Will my feet go back to their normal size after pregnancy?

Some people may find that their feet go back to their normal size after pregnancy. However, if your arches have dropped and you have flatter feet, your feet may remain longer than before pregnancy.

Can I walk around barefoot while I’m pregnant?

While walking barefoot sometimes has its health benefits, during pregnancy most people will want to keep their feet supported with the right footwear. Wearing the right shoes can help prevent excess arch drop and keep feet from getting too flat. You can still walk barefoot for short periods of time outdoors on grass or indoors on soft carpet, but walking barefoot on harder surfaces during pregnancy will probably be uncomfortable.

Your feet will change during pregnancy. That’s a fact. But you don’t have to be “barefoot and pregnant” for 40 weeks.

With a little investment and (of course) some trial and error, you can find a comfortable pair of shoes to keep you stable and stylish. The right shoes are also important for foot and joint health and overall well-being during and after pregnancy.