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Pregnant Shoes

What to Look for in Maternity Footwear


Pregnant Shoes
Adam Berry / Stringer / Getty Images

You've probably already picked out where you're going to shop for all of your maternity clothes, but you may not have given a lot of thought to which shoes you'll wear during your pregnancy. And, if you haven't already, you probably should.

Swollen feet, increased sweating, hormonal changes, and back and leg aches are a few of the bodily changes you might experience during pregnancy. All of these issues can affect your feet, and consequently the shoes you are able to wear while you're pregnant.

If you've noticed that a lot of your shoes aren't as comfortable as they were before you were pregnant, then you'll want to have a look at some of the shoe shopping tips and picks below.

What Pregnant Women Should Look for in Shoes


  • Flats, or low, wide heels - around 2" or lower.
  • Good arch support. This can be accomplish through buying from noted comfort shoe brands, or by using an insert that adds arch support.
  • Breathable uppers (canvas or leather) that won't trap moisture.
  • Shoes that slip-on, as laces may become more difficult to tie.
  • Larger or wider shoes -- swelling may make your regular size and width uncomfortable.

Additional Tips for Foot Care During Pregnancy

  • Wearing socks with closed-toe shoes may increase your comfort.
  • Avoid standing for long periods without a rest.
  • Elevate legs when possible, and if your feet are feeling extra achy, try soaking them.


    Flat Shoes

    Pregnant or not, we could all benefit from wearing more flats. But for many of us, the trick is in finding the really cute ones. Add needing a wide width to the equation, and the task becomes nearly impossible -- the keyword, being "nearly."


      High Heels and Dress Shoes

      I don't have to warn you against spending all of your time in high heels while you're pregnant, because I'm guessing you won't want to.

      Having said that, there may be occasions where you do want a bit of added height, or you feel you need to be a little more dressed up than usual. Or maybe you need to wear heels to the office. In those cases, I still recommend looking for lower, chunkier, and wedge heels, but some women will do okay even in skinny, mid-height heels. You'll have to be the judge of that.


        Evening Shoes and Special Occasion Shoes

        I know, I know, why couldn't everyone just hold off on the special occasions until after the baby has arrived? Fortunately, even when people won't rearrange their plans around your pregnancy, there are still a lot of really great-looking evening shoes with lower heels, in wider widths, and with plenty of added comfort features.


          Loafers: A Good Shoe Choice

          For work, or for running errands, loafers and other slip-ons are a great choice. They provide flat or low heels and a casual, stylish look -- and they're ideal for pairing with jeans or dress pants.


            Sandals : A Must for Warm Weather

            If the weather permits you to wear sandals during your pregnancy, you might enjoy the added air circulation, and their less restrictive nature.

            Sporty styles with arch support and cushioned insoles are a comfortable choice for everyday wear, but if it's style and versatility you're after, look for espadrilles, skimpy metallic thongs, or dressier sandals with low, wedge heels.


              Easily Slip into Mules and Clogs When You're Expecting

              Provided they fit you well, mules and clogs make great maternity shoes. In addition to the built-in comfort features offered by many clog-makers, wearing a solid-soled, flat, or mid-heeled backless shoe reduces pressure on the back of your feet -- plus, they're great for quickly slipping on and off.

              Casual styles are ideal for pairing with jeans or dress pants, while dressier styles work well with jeans, pants, skirts and dresses.

              If you'd like more tips on how to wear them, be sure to check out my article on what to wear with mules.


                Sporty Shoes & Sneakers

                I spend a lot of time in sneakers as it is, and you can bet that if I was walking for two, I'd probably spend all my time in tennis shoes.

                You won't have any trouble finding cute and sporty sneakers that offer plenty of style, but there are a few features you might appreciate during your pregnancy, like wider widths or uppers made from breathable mesh, canvas or leather. Look for those things, and you should be golden.


                  Related Video
                  Soothe Swollen Feet During Pregnancy

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