Best Shoes for Pregnancy: Happy Feet for Expecting Mothers

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Best Shoes for Pregnancy: Happy Feet for Expecting Mothers

Choosing the right shoes is essential during pregnancy to provide comfort, support, and balance to your changing body. The best shoes for pregnancy adapt as feet flatten, swell, and pronate from extra weight and shifting alignments.

A pregnant woman wearing a pink top and black leggings.
Read on to learn how to select the best shoes for pregnancy with optimal features for this special time, the benefits of proper footwear, style and fit tips, frequently asked questions, and how the right shoes can make those nine months smoother.


Pregnancy’s physical changes often affect the feet, causing swelling, pronation, joint pain, and balance challenges. Shoes that provide arch support, shock absorption, balance, and roomy toe boxes prevent foot injuries and discomfort. Best shoes for pregnancy have adjustable closures, low heels, pillow-like cushioning, and stability elements to accommodate shifting feet.

Athletic walking shoes usually work well. Style and color preferences can be accommodated too. Proper fit allows a half-thumb space at the toes to prevent swelling and irritation. Investing in supportive, quality shoes suited to your foot type and activities is wise during pregnancy to encourage mobility and reduce aches.

How Pregnancy Affects Feet

Fluctuating hormones, extra weight, and realignments put strain on feet:

  • Swelling from fluid retention and increased blood flow
  • Widened, flattened foot arches from pressure
  • Achy joints/heels from carrying excess pounds
  • Stretched ligaments from loosening joints
  • Impaired balance as a center of gravity shifts
  • Braxton Hicks contractions can induce cramps
  • Potential development of bunions or neuromas

Benefits of Good Pregnancy Footwear

Supportive shoes during pregnancy:

  • Cushion feet from the impact of added weight
  • Accommodate swelling and shape changes
  • Improve stability and prevent falls
  • Enable continued activity and exercise
  • Reduce pain from overworked joints
  • Correct pronation and uneven gait patterns
  • Stimulate circulation
  • Can minimize long-term foot issues

Ideal Features of Pregnancy Shoes

Look for these pregnancy shoe attributes:

  • Lightweight design avoids tiring feet
  • Roomy toe box allows swelling and spread
  • Adjustable straps/laces adapt to fit as feet change
  • Low heels around 1 inch for pitch control
  • Shock-absorbing sole cushion joints
  • Arch support reduces overpronation
  • Gripping sole prevents slips
  • Breathable materials avoid overheating
  • Removable insoles accommodate orthotics

Shoe Shopping Tips for Pregnancy

Recommendations for finding the best shoes for pregnancy:

  • Shop mid-day when feet are most swollen
  • Have feet measured and try shoes on both feet
  • Look for wide and extra-depth options
  • Ensure the thumb’s width of space at the end of the shoe
  • Walk around the store to test comfort and fit
  • Consider custom orthotics for arch/alignment
  • Check return policies in case size needs to change
  • Prioritize stability and support over style
  • Choose versatile shoes that work for work and exercise
  • Consider buying a size up to accommodate swelling
Style and Color Considerations

You can still express your style:

  • Athletic walking or running shoes provide great support for casual wear
  • Slip-on or Mary Jane-style flats work for dressier occasions
  • Sneaker wedges add height without compromising comfort
  • Metallic, patent or bright prints inject personality
  • Stretchy shoelaces adapt as feet swell
  • Black, gray, and nude tones elongate the leg

Frequently Asked Questions:

Here are some common questions about the best shoes for pregnancy:

Q1. What are the most comfortable shoes for pregnancy?
Answer: Supportive athletic walking shoes and flats with cushioning and roomy toe boxes.

Q2. When should I buy new shoes during pregnancy?
Answer: Early on to get proper fitting shoes. Some may need to size up multiple times.

Q3. Can wearing heels during pregnancy harm the baby?
Answer: Very high heels affect balance and posture which can indirectly impact the baby. Shorter heels under 2 inches are fine. Low heels with platforms provide stability.

Q4. Is it normal for feet to grow during pregnancy?
Answer: Yes, loosening joints and extra weight often cause permanent growth of half to full size.

Q5. Should shoes be tight or loose during pregnancy?
Answer: Never tight, which constricts swelling feet. Allow a thumb’s width of room at the toe end. Laces help adjust fit.


Pregnancy’s physical effects make proper footwear crucial to comfort and safety. Supportive athletic shoes with adjustability and cushioning allow the feet to swell and flatten without pain. Investing in shoes tailored for the unique and evolving needs of pregnancy encourages activity and prevents lasting foot issues. With the right footwear choices, expectant mothers can stay active and comfortable from the first trimester through the delivery day.

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