Best Pregnancy Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
One of the most important things a woman expecting a baby needs to be able to have at all times is the luxury of being comfortable. Women’s feet can grow quite significantly during pregnancy because of the weight gain that occurs when carrying a child. The feet flatten and widen, making the arch less pronounced, thus lowering the natural shock absorption and flexibility of the foot. In addition, due to having to carry extra weight, women’s feet can also swell more easily when walking around, which can add to the discomfort of wearing regular shoes. Pregnancy shoes provide the necessary room for foot growth, provide ample support and cushioning and are easy to put on and off. The list below looks at the 10 best pregnancy shoes currently available for purchase.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
- Clarks Breeze Sea
- Crocs Classic
- Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
- Alegria Paloma
- Vionic Agile Kea
- Propet Travelfit
- Birkenstock Arizona
- Vionic Tide II
- Vans Core Classics
- Bearpaw Emma Short
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Pregnancy Shoes
1. Clarks Breeze Sea
Unsuitable for Rain
No Half Sizes
Any pregnant woman looking for simplicity in their favorite pair of pregnancy shoes is looking at a definite top contender with the Clarks Breeze Sea. This is a shoe that will take mere seconds to put on, with its simple slip in flip-flop style having you ready to go in mere seconds. The lightness and openness of this shoe make it one of the easiest shoes for a woman to move around in, without having to worry about developing any discomfort as her feet start to swell during the day.Read more
These flip-flops have an adjustable strap that allows for loosening or tightening to each individual person’s needs, which comes in especially handy when you are going through changes that occur even on a daily level. This means that the Clarks Breeze Sea is the perfect choice for when the feet continue to grow larger or for immediate comfort for when the feet start to swell. The fact that they are adjusted with a hook and loop closure is just an added bonus which makes them so much easier to use.
What makes these shoes so comfortable is the EVA midsole and footbed. This foam material is one of the top choices for athletic shoes, seeing that it provides excellent shock absorption, as well as a soft cushioning effect that doesn’t flatten or wear out too easily. These flip-flops are designed to give you a lightweight, easy to use product at an affordable price.
2. Crocs Classic
Removable Heel Strap
No Adjustable Closure
You might be a high heels type of girl, but you will find that during pregnancy, you are bound to appreciate a comfy, laid-back pair of shoes. A cushioned, lightweight, open, and no fuss style will give you everything you need, especially for casual wear when comfort can, and should, become a priority. The Crocs Classic clog is an excellent choice of footwear as it provides you both with the necessary comfort, but also with a stable, slip-resistant fit that will work well even on wet and oily surfaces.It also provides plenty of breathabilities thanks to the cutouts in the forefoot of the shoe.Read more
One of the great things about the Crocs Classic clog is the heel strap you can wear either over the top of the shoe or that you can use as an additional strap that will provide you with a more secure fit, ensuring these don’t slide off your feet.
What makes Crocs a great shoe, especially if you find that your feet have a tendency to swell throughout the day. The roomy fit is made so as to give you an upper that is not supposed to touch your foot while wearing, meaning that you will remain comfortable even after a considerable amount of swelling. Additionally, the fully molded Crocs Croslite material offers a perfect combination of support and cushioning, and is even odor resistant.
3. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
Flexible Thong Strap
Yoga Mat Footbed
Lacks Arch Support
Feet May Slide Out
This uniquely designed shoe provides extra comfort to the feet and a cool fashionable style that will get attention from all of your friends and family. The feet can slip in easily without the difficulty of having to bend over. It also features a stretch thong fabric as opposed to a regular thong style which comes in particularly handy to prevent rubbing and developing painful spots.The rubber sponge outsole is an excellent feature, seeing that it will keep you protected, but with the flexibility and traction, you need to keep you comfortable and sure-footed.Read more
What makes this shoe really unique is the fabric thong strap which stretches in two ways in order to cradle your feet. This means that you get a customized fit that can change throughout the day, while you aren’t required to do anything - no need to adjust straps, tie laces or buckle any buckles, these shoes will do all the work.
In fitting with its name, this shoe features a yoga mat footbed which gives the comfort of one walking on a regular yoga mat. It will give a soothing feeling to any woman’s feet as she walks throughout the day. Furthermore, you will be happy to hear that these shoes are vegan and vegetarian-friendly, meaning that no leather or animal products were used in the making of these.
4. Alegria Paloma
Mild Rocker Outsole
Extra Depth Fit
These Mary Jane style shoes by Alegria are an excellent choice, not only if you are expecting, but even if you just appreciate footwear that is made to offer the best possible comfort level. All Alegria shoes are built on a mild rocker sole which has the function of easing your steps and giving you plenty of energy return so that you aren’t left feeling fatigued even if you’ve spent a considerable amount of time walking. In addition, Alegria soles promote correct posture, aligning your ankles, knees, and hips, thus preventing back pain, as well as the development of bunions and other foot problems. With the added weight that will come as the baby grows, this is crucial, seeing that you will be distributing it in the proper way, without putting unnecessary stress on any of your joints.Read more
Alegria shoes are famous for their removable and replaceable footbeds constructed of a combination cork, memory foam, and latex, which are built so as to completely follow the contours of your foot, providing you with the perfect combination of cushioning and support. This will prevent arch pain, but if you require specially made orthotics, you can even substitute the original footbed with your own.
Alegria shoes are made using the highest quality materials, which includes the upper. With leather covering your foot, you will reap the benefits of its protective properties, while not having to sacrifice breathability and comfort. In addition, these shoes are made with an Extra Depth fit, which allows for more space in the toe area, preventing any pinching or irritation.
5. Vionic Agile Kea
Corrects Foot Alignment
Reduces Heel Pain
The Vionic Kea is a simple, adorably colored slip-on sneaker. It has the essential Vionic support, and its upper is constructed out of mesh and twin gore panels in the vamp. The footbed of this sneaker is removable mesh-covered EVA, and the outsole is durable rubber. The Vionic Kea comes with the innovative podiatrist-designed FMT technology which provides superior orthotic support, relief, and stability. It is not only there for comfort, but it also realigns your feet back to their natural position. Time to reclaim your footsteps with the Vionic KeaRead more
The original, Vionic patented FMT Technology reduces over-pronation, or inward rolling of the foot during walking. It helps relieve common aches and pains, such as heel pain from plantar fasciitis, knee pain, and even lower back pain.
Two gore panels in the vamp ensure that the Vionic Kea is a perfect fit. They stretch to accommodate your foot and allow that quick and easy slip in and out of the shoe which saves precious seconds when you’re in a hurry.
6. Propet Travelfit
Requires Breaking In
A design which is easy to use and even easier to fall in love with - the Travelfit is here to make your life simpler. It is a minimalistic, mesh upper that has all the hallmarks of a great walking shoe - an uncomplicated way in and out, unparalleled comfort, and being an incredibly low-maintenance shoe.Read more
Another champion in the category of walking footwear, the Travelfit effectively combines the casual, sporty style of an everyday sneaker with all the performance of a good walking companion. Now you don’t have to compromise between being fashionable and comfortable as you embark on your long walks in the concrete jungle.
The Travelfit is exceptionally breathable with its mesh upper, and yet it is also protective, with a rubber toe cap at the front. We honestly can’t think of a design which will make your life more easier. This Travelfit is amazing in all aspects, from comfort to traction, to how quick and effortless it is to take care of. If you’re looking for that perfect everyday shoe, you found it!
The Travelfit has a stretchy neoprene collar and a pull tab in the back which allow you to slip into the design without any problems. Due to the resilience of neoprene, this collar won’t stretch out or lose shape no matter how long you wear the sneaker for.
7. Birkenstock Arizona
Anatomically-Correct Arch Support
If you are in the market for a pair of shoes that are not just comfy, but also secure, durable and anatomically supportive, then any pair of sandals by Birkenstock will prove to be a good choice. Simple to use and quality oriented, these shoes feature two leather straps which you can adjust to fit your foot shape, and you’ll have an easy time putting these on as all you need to do is slide your foot in. Arizona also features a cushioned footbed as well as a textured outsole that will give you excellent grip on all surfaces.Read more
The footbed of the Birkenstock Arizona is anatomically correct and is made out of cork which is an excellent material when it comes to shock absorption. Lined with soft suede, this ensures you get a cushioned and breathable surface touching your feet. The more you wear a pair of Birkenstock sandals, the more customized the fit will get, seeing that they will, over time, take the shape of your feet.
This shoe features two straps which are made out of natural leather, making them soft and flexible enough so as to mold to your feet perfectly. In addition, the straps are lined with a layer of suede to keep them from irritating your feet, while the two adjustable buckles allow for adjustment so you can have the perfect fit, without having to worry about your feet slipping out of the shoe.
8. Vionic Tide II
Deep Heel Cup
Pronounced Arch Support
Arch Support Needs Getting Used To
Long Drying Time
The Vionic Tide II is definitely one of their best pairs of shoes to date. Made for anyone with foot problems, especially those who need good arch support and a cushioned feel, these flip-flops provide the wearer with a soothing and healing wear experience, perfect if you need some help coping with the increased weight and swelling. This shoe features a podiatrist-designed deep heel cup footbed for better stabilization, as well as a rubber outsole which makes them slip resistant.Read more
The footbed of these slippers is made with a deep heel cup, a feature designed for maximum support. It will cradle your heel, preventing it from rolling outwards or inwards, thus realigning your body in a correct way, taking stress off your joints and back. Furthermore, a correct foot position will prevent too much stress being put on certain areas of the foot, including the metatarsal area in the front.
A small stylish shoe like this would seem on the outside to be flimsy and easily worn out. However, this is not the case with the Vionic Tide II, which is made with an EVA foam midsole, there for cushioning and support, and a TPR outsole which is hard wearing and durable, ensuring that you have a secure footing for plenty of time. An added bonus is the fact that these shoes will even work well with water should you want to take them to the beach, or wash them off with a hose (note that they will need to dry overnight).
9. Vans Core Classics
Elastic Side Accents
Waffle Tread Outsole
This pair is great for usability, as the slip-on feature with elastic side goring makes them suitable for those days in which your feet may be swelling. Furthermore, these will look good heading to the store or even to a doctor's visit for a checkup. Moreover, they are comfortable and can help reduce the fatigue associated with those sometimes tiring and aching feet. The canvas upper is flexible and will not restrain your feet with too much pressure.Read more
The low-profile design is great for swelling ankles and feet, as you will have the room you need on those days you might face this inevitable moment. Additionally, the design is sleek enough to go with many wardrobe choices.
This outsole has the ideal traction for shopping at the mall or walking down the sidewalk for some low-level exercise. They make a wonderful pair for daily, casual excursions.
10. Bearpaw Emma Short
Easy to Pull On
Unsuitable for Rain and Snow
Winter Use Only
These boots might possibly be the perfect pair of shoes for anyone who is expecting (or just wants a really comfortable pair of boots). The Bearpaw Emma Short provides ease of use seeing that they are a breeze to slip on, security when walking around, and all-around comfort. The shoe features sheepskin fur originating from China, a synthetic outsole that is flexible and non-marking, making this boot style great for both outdoor and indoor use. You will find that these boots are comfortable enough for all-day war, without sacrificing warmth that you will need during the colder months.Read more
These boots are lined with natural sheepskin, originating from China that has been dyed and treated in order to provide you with a comfortable but good looking boot. The upper is made out of soft suede that will follow the contours of your foot perfectly, so you don’t have to worry about these boots developing any sore spots on your feet, making them perfect for walking around all day in.
Some shoes on this list have required sacrificing either security or simplicity, in favor of comfort or style. The Bearpaw Emma Short boot offers the best of both worlds, seeing that it’s a pull on shoe, which gives you the benefit of being able to just pull it on, making you ready to go in a matter of seconds.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Pregnancy is one of the most physically challenging experiences a woman’s body will ever go through. This means that a pair of pregnancy shoes need to offer her as much comfort as possible enabling an easy, pain-free pregnancy that minimizes the toll carrying and growing a human being for nine months takes on the body. The first feature one should look for when purchasing a pair of pregnancy shoes is a cushioned footbed. One of the best types of cushioning, that made out of foam, will provide the feet with a soft base that reduces the stress of walking and softens the blows on critical areas such as the heel and the forefoot. In addition, the foam will conform to the foot shape giving an individual fit made according to a person’s unique needs. When making your choice of footwear, pay attention if there’s an EVA midsole highlighted, which can absorb more shock, lowering the stress on the ankles, knees, hips, and back. The upper can also be a source of softness for a pregnant woman’s feet provided that it features soft materials such as suede, leather or canvas that stretch and mold to the feet. A good lining is also of great value, and it is best to look for soft, natural materials such as leather or suede, while more advanced options include memory foam and breathable mesh.
Finding a pair of shoes with good insoles is crucial for maximizing the comfort you get out of any footwear. Look for shoes that are made with anatomically correct support, including arch support to prevent the ligaments at the bottom of the foot from having to carry too much of the weight, but also a deep heel cup that can help stabilize and align your body in the correct way. Many of the items on this list feature excellent insoles, from the Sanuk Yoga Sling which has a Yoga Mat Footbed, to the cork found in Birkenstock sandals, to Dansko boots which are made to give you maximum comfort even after hours of walking or standing.
Adjustable straps may also prove to be a crucial cog in finding the most comfortable pregnancy shoe. The fact that your feet will be growing and changing along with the baby, makes it necessary that your shoes are able to adjust to these ever-shifting needs. In addition to growing, you may find that your feet will swell during the day, requiring a larger pair of shoes, or something with a bit more elasticity and adjustability. With an adjustable strap, you can tighten and loosen the fit of your shoes, making for a more comfortable fit. And the type of strap your shoes have is just as important as whether it’s adjustable, seeing that you do not want something hard and rigid cutting into the tops of your sensitive feet. A strap with a soft foam lined fabric could be a great choice for a pregnancy shoe, and you will find that a lot of the shoes on this list feature such straps. This added level of padding will not only provide extra softness between the big toe and middle toe in flip-flop styled sandals but will also provide the necessary stretch for increased comfort.
Arch support is just as important in a pair of pregnancy shoes as comfort. Look for shoes that cradle your feet, and don’t leave you with any pain at the bottom of the foot after a long day. A deep heel cup can greatly contribute to this type of support, as it helps realign the feet into the natural position. This means that the best shoes will stop you from over or under pronating, aligning your ankles, knees, and hips, and take stress off your forefoot area by allowing the toes to spread out naturally and to distribute your body weight over a larger area. Thus, you will be reducing the stress on your feet, making them less likely to swell and ache.
A number of models featured on this list feature ample support, but if you're looking for something different, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding a suitable pair. Running shoes, for example, are made with support in mind, and are often categorized as neutral, supportive or motion control shoes, based on the type of arch they're made for. If you can't find the support that works best for you, just go with a removable insole and replace it with a custom orthotic. This way, you'll be able to enjoy a stylish model, but will also have happy and healthy feet throughout the day.
Furthermore, you want your pregnancy shoes to be stable, and to enable you to take as many steps as possible without the risk of misplaced footing or a sprained ankle. The wider the toe area in a pair of shoes, the more grip you will have on the surface underfoot, allowing you to walk with ease and confidence. You also might want to look into shoes that cradle your entire foot and provide a good, secure fit in order to avoid them from slipping off which could lead to unwanted injuries.
When you’re pregnant, your body changes, not only in the foot area but also in the belly and chest, making you change the way in which you stand and walk. This change in posture can result in a worsened sense of stability which is a direct consequence of a changed center of gravity. A good pair of footwear will provide you with a secure grip of the surface underfoot, no matter what it is. This is especially important for those whose daily tasks include a lot of walking, particularly on highly polished or wet surfaces.
When shopping, you should look at the material from which the outsole is made. Rubber is best, as it is both cushioned and grippy, and can usually be found in non-marking versions. The higher the level of natural rubber, the better grip you will have of the floor. Athletic, as well as walking styles will usually include this type of outsole, so if stability is imperative, you should go with a pair of athletic sneakers (such as the Vans Authentic), or a hiking sandal that’ll work well both indoors and outdoors.
Something to stay away from is hard plastic and leather outsoles as these won't give you the necessary stability you need. They are most often found on formal pairs of shoes, so if you need a more presentable pair of footwear to wear to work or to a special occasion, make sure that it has a suitable outsole that won’t put you in harm’s way.
More weight can often mean more heat, and you will find that as your pregnancy progresses, the hotter your feet will get in regular footwear. That’s why it’s important to look for a pair of shoes that will breathe and allow for good airflow and moisture management. Shoes that have perforations are an excellent choice, as are those with a more open design.
If possible, look for footwear made out of natural, breathable materials such as textile, leather, and suede, as these will do better at allowing hot air to escape from your shoes. You might also want to look into shoes that have good moisture wicking properties, in order to prevent the buildup of sweat, and the overgrowth of odors and bacteria in your shoes. Some items on our top 10 list have been specially treated with antimicrobial processes that prevent such things, while others have a replaceable or washable footbed so that you can keep them clean and fresh.
The material used for the lining of your selected pair of footwear will be a good indicator of how said pair will work in terms of airflow and moisture management. Mesh is always an excellent material, but it won't be found in styles such as flats and boots. If you're after something other than sneakers or sandals, then make sure your shoes have a leather lining.
Another thing to consider in terms of breathability is the time of year your shoes were made for. Sure, you can go with sandals and textile in summer, but if you happen to be after a pair of winter boots that'll allow your changing feet to feel comfortable, try to invest in a pair with natural insulation, such as wool. This is a material that'll keep you toasty warm even in extreme cold, but won't trap moisture, allowing your feet to breathe and remain at a comfortable temperature throughout the day.
The upper is equally important, in the realm of material makeup. Although you might not find much of an upper in a pair like in thong sandals, slip-on footwear may very well have a lot of surface area in the upper. This means the material make-up will make or break your feet, so to speak; especially, when considering possible swelling factors.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Not all women experience foot swelling during pregnancy, but if you do, it's important to make sure you have footwear that not only allows for the extra room, but also something that has support your feet need to keep your posture correct, and prevent pain in the back and hips.
Supportive sandals with arch support features, shoes with cushioning, and shoes without pointed or restrictive toe boxes are a good start when you're searching for a pair to help with swelling!
If you're expecting, it's likely that your experiencing some changes in how hot or cold you feel throughout the day.
Your footwear can help moderate some of these temperature fluctuations, just by looking for something that keeps airflow maximized for your feet. Look for open sandals, textile or canvas uppers, or even mesh sneakers can be great! If your feet tend to get cold instead, a good pair of insulated boots are also decent options for consideration.
Other Factors to Consider
It's fairly simple - the heavier your shoes, the more tired you will get from lugging them around for even a few hours. Add to this the fact that you're already carrying around more weight than you're normally used to, and it comes as no surprise that being pregnant is often exhausting.
The shoes you purchase should keep this in mind, which is why choosing a model that's as lightweight as possible is crucial. The best way to start is to look at the materials used. Canvas and mesh uppers should be light enough, while rubber, or even better, foam, in the midsole and outsole should help keep the total weight down. Leather styles, especially those made for autumn and winter will likely pack more mass, so if you're finding that your feet are tired after a long day, you should look into synthetic alternatives that are usually more lightweight.
Wanting to look good, especially in a professional or formal environment is completely natural. However, when you're working on bringing a new life into the world, you should consider putting comfort and health first.
If you're finding that your pregnancy hasn't changed that much about your feet, then you may as well be able to get away with your favorite pair of flats (or even heels if you're that brave). If, however, like most people you find that your feet are swelling, you'll likely have to purchase a couple of new pairs of shoes.
If you're not a fan of hiking sandals, flip flops and athletic sneakers, then we may suggest purchasing flats with a good amount of flexibility in the upper - suede may work perfectly, and a decent amount of cushioning and support in the midsole to prevent issues which would cause pain later on.
There's a number of companies who make supportive and elegant footwear, including Clarks, ECCO, Florsheim and even Cole Haan. Alternatively, you may find that going half a size up and adding your own insoles can also greatly help in providing you with a style that both feels and looks good.
Additionally, as you find your belly growing, you may notice that bending over and tying shoelaces or strapping complicated buckles is too hard, or even impossible. That’s why we made sure to choose shoes which you will be able to put on without too much of a hassle, but that will still be secure and provide a good fit and plenty of traction.To find out more about the criteria used to choose the footwear on this list, or to see what other readers had to ask about the topic, make sure to check out the Criteria for Evaluation as well as the Frequently Asked Questions sections which will give you plenty of additional information you may find useful for making the best possible purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Should I get a larger size pregnancy shoe since my feet will grow?
The right pregnancy shoes should be able to adjust to your growing and swelling feet, so you won’t need to buy a larger size shoe in preparation for the changes that’ll happen. The important thing is to just make sure the shoes you get can be adjusted like the ones that have straps you can tighten or loosen to your foot’s needs.
q: Are heels still an option to wear as a pregnancy shoe?
Ideally you should avoid wearing heels during pregnancy. Doctors say that this period often comes with difficulties maintaining stability, which happens because of the change in body shape and change in the center of gravity. Wearing heels may not only be more difficult in terms of stability, but this type of footwear may become too painful due to the loosening of the ligaments which are unable to offer the support your body is normally used to. The most important thing is to listen to your body and its needs, and not to put yourself or the baby at risk of being hurt due to having fallen. Pregnancy shoes would be the more sensible option for footwear, but heels with a low and stable heel can also be worn if you are required to do so for work or special occasions.
q: Can I still wear my athletic shoes for exercise?
Absolutely you can. It’s even encouraged by doctors for pregnant women to have regular 30 minutes of exercise daily during pregnancy. As long as you are still physically able to put those athletic shoes on your feet, go ahead and get a good workout. Athletic shoes are a good option because they provide you with comfortable and supportive benefits you would otherwise be looking for in pregnancy shoes. These include anatomical arch support, foam cushioning, EVA midsoles and even perforations for breathability.
q: Will I need to buy new shoes after my pregnancy?
It’s possible. Typically women’s feet will go up about one size during pregnancy due to increase in weight and the loosening of the ligaments. If your feet stay the same size they grew to during your pregnancy, then yes, you’ll need to buy some new shoes at a different size. For some women, the feet growth could be temporary, and they may go back to their original size after the weight has been lost and there’s no longer any swelling.
q: What’s the easiest pregnancy shoe to put on?
There’s a good number of different types of footwear options that can be easily slipped on by a pregnant woman without her having to try to bend over to reach for her shoes. One’s personal preference could probably determine what works best for them. Among the top easiest pregnancy friendly shoes to put on would be flip-flops, sandals, flats, and slip on shoes.