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Pregnancy Shoes: The Complete Buyer's Guide

By Babe

Swollen feet, ingrown toenails, fallen arches –— these ailments and more might be super common during pregnancy, but they can make shoe shopping while pregnant a little tricky.

Most women size up by a half or even whole size while pregnant, so now is as good a time as any to invest in some comfortable new shoes. 

There are some factors to keep in mind when shoe shopping while pregnant, though, including the sizing, comfortability, and practicality of the shoes you’re looking for. 

As your guides to all things pregnancy, we’ve gathered the answers to all of your questions here.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about buying shoes while pregnant below. 

Why Do I Need New Shoes? 

Pregnancy is all about change (not least of all the changes happening in your body).

Your hormones are working overtime to get you ready for giving birth, especially relaxin, a hormone that relaxes (get it) and loosens your joints and ligaments. The purpose of relaxin is to prepare your hips and birthing canal for delivery, but it actually impacts ligaments over your entire body, including your feet.

Thanks to relaxin, you may experience foot pain and fallen arches, which necessitate orthotics… or a new pair of supportive shoes.

Another cause of your changing feet while preggo is the rapid increase in blood volume. More blood helps carry additional oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby, but it also takes up more room in your body.

Thanks to gravity, most of that blood ends up pooling in your feet and ankles. This is one of the main reasons why many women experience swollen feet during pregnancy and why you may need to size up your shoe closet for the next several months. 

It might be tempting to put up with the discomfort for a few months for the sake of saving some money on new shoes, but trust us, your comfort and well-being during this time are a lot more important. You’re growing a new human, after all — you deserve shoes that fit. 

Hop on the carriage, Cinderella; we have the shoe secrets here:

Personalize Your Shoe Search

The most important thing to consider when looking for new shoes is how your current shoes are fitting you.

Are they too tight on the sides of your feet? Perhaps you need wider shoes. Are your toes pinching? Try sizing up.

Or maybe your shoes fit you fine, but recently your arches have been aching. In that case, you’ll want to look for shoes with better arch support or orthotics to insert into shoes that you already have. 

Every woman’s experience with shoe sizing and pregnancy is different, and no solution is one size fits all. You’ll only be able to find the best solution for YOU by paying attention to how your shoes are fitting right now and your individual needs, rather than what everyone else is doing. 

Factors To Consider

Aside from your own individual sizing needs, there are some other factors that you’ll want to consider when shopping for pregnancy shoes. The shoes should be made of a breathable fabric, with a flexible sole and (preferably) some arch support.

Try to avoid heels, and if you can’t resist, choose low ones. Higher heels might become less and less appealing the closer you get to your due date. Look for lightweight shoes (the last thing you need is more weight on your feet!). Of course, style — there’s no point in getting shoes that you don’t even like that much! 

Our Favorite Shoes to Wear While Pregnant

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to footwear. Whether you normally prefer wearing heels, sneakers, or flats, you can incorporate these preferences into your pregnancy shoes to make them your own!

During the first and second trimesters, you may feel comfortable enough to continue wearing similar style shoes as in your normal life. Once you reach the third trimester and your toes disappear, though, you might want to select some comfier kicks.

Let us walk you through our four favorite types of shoes to wear while pregnant:


The easiest shoes to put on while pregnant (or anytime, really) are also our favorites, slip-ons. Slip-ons are easy to dress up or dress down, making them versatile and appropriate for any occasion. And the best part is how loose and comfortable they are — perfect for accommodating swelling ankles and feet. 

Slip-on shoes can come in nearly every style. You might invest in a pair of slides for taking the garbage out in the morning or funky clogs to pair with your favorite maternity dress for a girl’s night out.

This style of shoe can be styled with pretty much any outfit, which is why it takes the cake as our pick for the comfiest style of shoe to invest in when shoe shopping for two.

Shoes With Arch Support

There’s no better way to ease your aching arches than with a good pair of supportive shoes. We’d specifically recommend looking for a comfy pair of sneakers designed for walking, as those will have the most support to take the stress off of your arches.

However, you can find arch support incorporated into a whole manner of shoe styles, including stylish wedges and sandals. 

Low Heels

Once your tummy starts taking up a lot more size, you’ll likely want to stick with the flat and comfy shoes. The added weight of your growing babe puts a lot of strain on your feet. However, certain occasions just call for more style, and at some point, you might find yourself reaching for a pair of heels to get the job done.

In that case, try shopping for a comfortable, well-fitting pair of low heels. Kitten heels or low wedges can add a bit of style and flair to even a casual look, like our comfiest maternity jumpsuit, without sacrificing your comfort.

Platform Shoes

Another way to add some style and personality to your look without sacrificing your feet is with platform shoes. Platform shoes really do it all (kind of like moms!). They are an icon of 1970s flower child fashion but later adapted to be the symbol of 90s era grunge. Basically, whatever you’re nostalgic for, platform shoes can fill that need. 

Whether we’re talking platform Converse, Doc Martens, or even platform sandals, platforms can add an inch or two of height and dress up any fit with ease without losing the stability of a flat shoe.

Plus, platforms have never been more trendy: It’s a win all around. 

What Else Can I Do to Support My Feet While Pregnant?

When it comes to pregnancy foot woes, finding the right pair of shoes is only part of the puzzle. If you’re dealing with ailments like plantar fasciitis or fallen arches (which, BTW, are very common during pregnancy), you might need to take extra steps to find an appropriate remedy for your pain. 

The first thing you should do in the case of any persistent or serious pain is to contact your doctor or healthcare provider. They’ll be able to assess your condition and provide appropriate suggestions to help you find relief.

It might be something as simple as staying off your feet for a few days, or they may recommend orthotics or pain relief solutions such as OTC meds or prescription steroids. Talking to your doctor is the best way to ensure that you’re getting as much relief as possible. You’re growing a tiny human inside you; the last thing you need is another issue to worry about!

Some Steps To Feeling Better

In the meantime, there are some other steps you can take to take care of your feet and ankles. Stay off your feet as much as possible if you’re experiencing pain, and avoid intense cardio like running or dancing. You can also ice your feet periodically throughout the day – use an ice pack or ice massager wrapped in a thin towel for no more than 15 minutes at a time. 

There are some products that can help ease your pain and swelling, such as orthotic inserts and compression socks. Or, for a self-care moment, try massaging a swell-relief lotion into your feet, legs, and ankles to reduce swelling and manage any pain. 

When you’re growing a baby, you’re going to grow too – that’s totally normal! You might experience swelling in your feet and ankles, and you might even go up a half size (or more) in your shoe size.

Just because you’re a supermom in training doesn’t mean you have to suffer in silence!