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. This comfort comes in all shapes, from the comfort of certain foods she wishes to eat when she’s feeling food cravings, the flexibility of the clothes she’s wearing that allow her free movement and plenty of breathabilities, to the comfort of lightweight shoes that allow her to stand, walk, and simply go about her regular life without having to experience any type of unease. Pregnancy shoes, although rarely manufactured to serve this type of wear alone, have the difficult task of giving women an easy time putting on their shoes at the beginning of the day, getting around at their job or while running their regular errands, then being able to easily take those shoes off after a long day.
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. Over the course of a pregnancy, a woman’s feet can grow even a full size up, making her previous shoes no longer able to fit her feet. 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. It’s because of this changing foot size throughout pregnancy, that it’s necessary to invest in a pair of shoes that are loose fitting and comfortable enough to fit even if there has been a change in foot size.
- Toms Classic
- Elasticized Gusset
- Clarks Breeze Sea
- Adjustable Thong Strap
- Hook-and-Loop Closure
- Bearpaw Emma Short
- Extra Cushioning
- Sheepskin Fur
Pregnancy shoes provide the necessary room for feet growth, as well as the inevitable swelling that occurs as a side effect of walking and standing while carrying the added weight of the baby. In addition, a good pair of pregnancy shoes will be easy to put on and get off, seeing that with the progressing of a pregnancy, all women will find it harder to bend over in order to tie their shoelaces or secure a flimsy sandal strap.
10 Best Pregnancy Shoes
1. Toms Classic
Toms shoes are made with a textile upper with an elasticized gusset, which means you get a stretchy, breathable and lightweight shoe that will follow the shape of your foot and won’t feel too hot. The inner is lined either with leather or a vegan material, depending on your choice, which ensures you can wear these for an entire day without feeling any discomfort.
The outsole on Toms shoes is made out of a mixed rubber material, making them an excellent choice if you want something soft, but protective underfoot. They are great for walking, seeing that they provide great flexibility, and will stand the test of time thanks to a good make and durable materials used in the production process.
Cost and Value
Toms shoes cost about average compared to the other items on this list. They are a good choice if you want a closed toe pair of slip-on shoes that you’ll be able to wear with any outfit. Seeing that the canvas upper stretches with wear, they are a great choice for pregnancy shoes, although they will require a slight break in period.
- Lightweight Fabric
- Mixed-rubber Sole
- Durable Outsole
- Elasticized Gusset
- Need breaking in
- Only available in medium width
2. Clarks Breeze Sea
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.
EVA Midsole and Footbed
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.
Cost and Value
These shoes rank low to average on this list when it comes to price. This means that if you opt for the Clarks Breeze Sea, you will be getting a comfortable pair of slippers you will be able to wear for prolonged periods of time and even adjust to your current needs without having to pay too much for said comfort. Additionally, they are available in over 15 colors, meaning that you are sure to find the pair that will be perfect for you.
- Adjustable Strap
- EVA Sole
- Complete Openness
- Hook-and-Loop Closure
- Design peels in rain
- No half sizes
3. Crocs Classic
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.
Cost and Value
Crocs shoes come at a great price, which makes them the perfect purchase for a pair of sandals you can wear for your off hours. Though it may not be suitable for wear anywhere your backyard, these shoes offer excellent value thanks to their comfort-oriented design and breathable, odor resistant upper.
- Removable Heel Strap
- Ventilation Ports
- Shock-absorbing Sole
- Roomy Fit
- Massaging Footbed
- Only suitable for casual wear
- Not adjustable
4. Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
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.
Yoga Mat Footbed
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.
Cost and Value
This shoe is definitely a bargain being the least expensive shoe on the list. They will offer you with a unique design that’s fashionable, but also very comfortable thanks to the soft cushioning footbed and the stretchy upper. This makes these shoes a perfect purchase for a summer pregnancy, but also if you are just in the market for a pair of comfortable sandals.
- Flexible Thong Strap
- Yoga Mat Footbed
- Rubber Sole
- Less arch support
- Feet may slide out occasionally
5. Vans Core Classics
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.
Waffle Tread Outsole
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.
Cost and Value
These run in the upper end of the low-side of cost association. They are made with decent materials and should hold up well during a pregnancy. Moreover, they are slip-on, comfortable, and easy on the ankles.
Elastic Side Accents
Waffle Tread Outsole
6. Vionic Tide II
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).
Cost and Value
The Vionic Tide II costs average when compared to the other items on this list. Though you might find the price tag a bit too steep for a pair of flip-flops, you need to take into account the excellent support and cushioning these will provide you with. For a combination of easy to slip on and durable in a relatively thin shoe, these sandals make for a uniquely valuable purchase.
- Deep Heel Cup
- Pronounced Arch Support
- Rubber Outsole
- Padded Upper
- Might need an adjustment period
- Take longer to dry
7. Bearpaw Emma Short
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.
Cost and Value
These boots cost a bit above average compared to the other footwear on this list. They provide good value, especially if you live in a colder climate and need warm but roomy boots that will get you through a pregnancy. Although they aren’t water or snow resistant, they can be treated with water repellent, which will make them last longer.
- Extra Cushioning
- Easy to Pull On
- Flexible Outsole
- Sheepskin Fur
- Rubber Outsole
- Completely closed style
- Will be damaged by water and snow
8. Reef Sandy
Most flip-flops are a bad choice of footwear if you need good support, but this particular shoe provides anatomical arch support allowing for a more comfortable feel when walking. Because of this supportive fit, you will find that your alignment and posture are improved, relieving much of the back pain you might be experiencing from being pregnant.
EVA Brushed Footbed
The fact that these sandals feature an EVA brushed footbed makes them a really comfortable footwear option, as they will mold to your feet, giving you plenty of cushioning and shock absorption. The part in touch with the soles of your feet has a sandy texture, ensuring you don’t stand at risk of losing a shoe due to your foot slipping out.
Cost and Value
The Reef Sandy ranks low on this list when it comes to price. With the arch support and sandy texture separating it from other shoes of this kind, it’s a great purchase for the pregnant woman looking for casual footwear that will work just as well at the beach as it will in the park, the city or the home.
- Arch Support
- Sandy Texture on Footbed
- Full-width Polyester Strap
- Rubber Outsole
- Triple-density EVA Construction
- Run small
- More suited for narrow feet
9. Birkenstock Arizona
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.
Cost and Value
These shoes run around the higher end of the cost compared to the other shoes on this list. While the initial cost may be high, the amount of comfort that this shoe can provide to feet throughout a pregnancy can make it all worth it. An added bonus is that they are extremely durable, and the soles can even be repaired or replaced should you need to do so.
- Cushioned Footbed
- Smooth Straps
- Shock-absorbing Midsole
- Anatomically-correct Arch Support
- Textured Outsole
Run slightly big
Won’t do well with water and extreme heat
10. Alegria Paloma
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.
Cost and Value
These shoes rank high on this list when it comes to price. Nonetheless, they are a great option for almost all-weather wear (though we wouldn’t advise wearing them in the snow) due to their natural leather upper. They’re easy to clean with just a damp cloth and have an excellent outsole and insole which are completely comfort-oriented, focused on giving you the best possible wearing experience.
- Mild Rocker Bottom
- Promotes Proper Posture
- Leather Upper
- Removable Insoles
- Can Fit Custom Orthotics
- High price
- Can be a bit squeaky
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Pregnancy Shoes
Comfort/Adjustable Strap/Cushioned Footbed
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/Deep Heel Cup/Stability
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.
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.
Traction/Rubber Outsole/Textured Outsole
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 pregnancy shoes will ensure that, despite this change, you have sure footing on any ground you have to walk on. That’s why an outsole with good traction can be crucial in preventing you from slipping and falling. Look for rubber outsoles, especially ones marked as slip resistant, which will ensure that you have a better grip of the surface underfoot, but also that you don’t have to worry about walking on wet surfaces or highly polished floors.
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.
Lightweight/Synthetic Sole/No Laces
Pregnancy, and the added weight of carrying a baby already put plenty of stress on your feet. This means that the pair of shoes you opt to wear during this period should not do the same. Try to look for footwear that is lightweight and easy to walk in (for example, Alegria shoes that have a mild rocker sole). Avoid purchasing shoes with a leather outsole as these will weigh a lot – you should opt for foam and rubber instead, as these will make it easier to walk around in. Furthermore, make sure the midsole of your shoes is not too heavy either, and the same goes for the upper.
Another thing you want to avoid with pregnancy shoes is complicated lacing and buckling systems that require you to bend over and spend a lot of time adjusting them to get a secure fit. Even if you are a master yogi, you will find that a belly creates a physical obstacle that can make it simply impossible to reach your feet. Instead of going with a pair of lace-up sneakers, you should opt for slip-on styles or sandals that are easily slid on when you need to wear them. This will eliminate a lot of frustration, especially in the last months of your pregnancy when the baby’s growth rate increases.
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.
- Leather can be durable and long-lasting. It can, however, be thick at times and rather heavy. Consider a pair of boots, for instance. With that being stated, a soft, suede leather is both flexible and comfortable. A slip-on with a suede leather upper can be wonderful around the house or even for a trip to the mailbox on a cooler day. They would not, however, be ideal for a mid-summer fry session outside when the temperatures are extreme.
- Rope sandals can be quite comfortable. They are, more than likely, handmade and can help you look and feel better during your pregnancy. They can be matched to nearly anything in your wardrobe and are utterly cute. Just be mindful, with those sometimes swelling feet, they may cause rubbing and irritation across the topside of your feet.
- Canvas uppers are wonderful at providing flexibility while retaining shape. They are feel-good, casual footwear and go with almost anything, in terms of wardrobe choices. Many slip-on shoes will have a canvas upper, as a choice; especially, when referencing loafer styles. They may not, however, be great at warding away stains, per se.
- Elastic goring is another important aspect of uppers which are, usually, in relation to slip-on, casual loafers. The elastic goring helps to provide a snug fit but will, also, allow the room needed for swelling. The elastic will stretch as your feet increase in size and will return back to normal when the swelling goes down. In other words, this is a perfect setup for pregnancy-related foot and ankle swells.
- Ankle room is paramount at providing you with the comfort you will need during pregnancy. Although not a real issue with say a thong-style sandal, the issue will arise when choosing a pair of winter boots to traverse the snow outside; providing this is the time of year you are pregnant. As such, you will want a pair that is not restrictive in the ankle area, allows for swelling, is flexible, and is lightweight. Fur boots are great in this area; albeit, they may not be waterproof. So, this is something to consider, as well. As for summer gear, a low-profile slip-on is perfect. It has ankle clearance, as it were, and will not impede swelling which can, in turn, cause unwanted discomfort and pain.
- Stretch fabric, as in the kind of cloth you might find in the Yoga Sling 2, is wonderful at giving you a comfortable experience. It stretches with your swelling and wraps your feet in a nice, feel-good sort of way. Remember, comfort footwear can help ease some of those tensions that might arise during pregnancy.
- Straps should be evaluated when considering sandals. They need to have an ease-of-use quality about them. That is, you don’t want to struggle to buckle, so to speak. If you do opt for a hook-and-loop closure, make certain the horizontal edge line of the strap is not too stiff. If it is, you will find yourself constantly readjusting the strap to handle your swelling feet, in order to reduce pain and discomfort. This can become quite an irritation, in and of itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should I get a larger size pregnancy shoe since my feet will grow?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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?
A: 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.
Make sure to check out our guide on how to clean your shoes.
We also have a full guide on how to repair damaged shoes.
We have a guide to getting rid of smelly feet too.