Athleisure Wear

‘I’m a Mom of 4 and Footwear Designer, and These Are the Only Shoes I’d Consider Wearing While Pregnant’

Jenny Altman

Photo: Getty Images/ Sebastian Gorczowski
A lot changes when you’re pregnant, including your feet, so shopping for the best maternity shoes actually becomes a thing. We’re not saying you need to give up your cute shoes forever, but if cute involved a heel or came in the form of a flip flop, you may want to think twice. “I don’t personally recommend high heels for pregnant women given their center of gravity changes,” says Dr. Jane Van Dis, OBGYN and Bobbie Medical Advisor, who also notes that women’s arches change and that swelling causes many women to not be able to wear shoes they currently own.

Since we’re basically being given permission to go shoe shopping...it’s time to shop for cute shoes that make sense. Pregnancy shoes need to give support plus be comfortable and stretchy (the swelling will come, if it hasn't already). Most importantly, pregnancy shoes need to be easy to get on and off, which means slip-on shoes, booties, and sneakers are the answer. There’s nothing with a lace or zipper that you’ll be able to reach by the last weeks of your pregnancy. Maternity shoes need to be simple—in every sense of the word.

Kelsey Jayne, Footwear Design Director at Dansko says it best: “As a mother of 4 (and expecting!), my preferred footwear needs to be easy on/easy off with incredible arch support. I learned my lesson when I developed fallen arches during my first pregnancy many years ago. My go-to shoe has to be cozy—with a friendly toe shape, supportive arch and with the perfect pitch.” Plus, these shoes are great wardrobe basics. Kelsey adds, “I can easily style them while running errands or stopping in for an event at school and still feel put together.”

Without further ado, let's talk best maternity shoes.

Best maternity shoes

dansko
Dansko Kane Herbs EVA Clog — $80.00

Kelsey Jane loves these clogs for their ease to take on and off as well as their versatility for all seasons. This is a softer, lighter clog, so for you clog-lovers this will be an instant fave.

ugg
UGG McKay Bootie — $150.00

Just in time for fall and winter, you’ll love this super cozy ankle bootie. Lined in shearling, there’s not a zipper in sight. During pregnancy (and long after) you’ll appreciate the split side which makes them much easier to take off/on than your other booties.

loafer
L’Amour Des Pieds Loafer — $260.00

A loafer can take you through work days, dinner dates and mom runs, all while looking cute. These leather loafers have a closed, round toe and will stretch with you (as leather does) throughout your pregnancy.

birdies
Birdie The Swan Shoe — $120.00

When you want to feel fancy, whether for an event or a lounge around the house, The Swan Shoe is a winner. They give you the easy on/off with a little extra glamour. Choose from a variety of seasonal colors or prints, or go all out and opt for the Jeweled Gold Sparkle.

ugg mini boot
UGG Classic Ultra Mini Boot — $140.00

It doesn’t get much better than the classic UGG. The ultra mini is the maternity bootie in a nutshell—warm, cozy, and easy to get off and on, without even needing to bend down. Plus, no socks needed (you’ll know what we mean).

veronica beard
Veronica Beard Dacey Clog — $400.00

When you need a little lift, a heeled clog is a great solution for the added height with a steady base. Veronica Beard’s are a favorite of ours, especially since you’ll be able to slip them on and look fab no matter how far along you are.

tory burch
Tory Burch Tory Charm Mules — $280.00

You get the best of both worlds with these mules that offer a chic upper in black leather paired with a forgiving cork insole. Jeans, joggers or maxi dresses will all look complete with these.

vionic
Vionic Nalia Slip On Sneaker — $100.00

Vionic is known for their incredible strength and support—what all soon-to-be moms need to get through these next months. They come in wide (hello swelling) and are *the* answer to a slip-on sneaker when bending down to tie your laces is out of the question.

blowfish
Blowfish Malibu Women’s Fruit Sneaker, — $30.00

Pregnant or not, we can never get enough of these lightweight, canvas sneakers in so many fun colors and prints. Easy to take on and off, these slip-ons are the answer to all of your outfits. Jeans, leggings, maternity yoga pants, you name it, wear these in tie-dye or camo (they come in way more colors and patterns) and you’re set.

naturalizer
Naturalizer Marianne Slip on Sneaker — $85.00

A classic leather sneaker will take you all the way through your pregnancy and beyond. They’re smart and stylish, with the softness (and stretchiness) of leather and the comfort of a sneaker. They come in wide, too, so give yourself some breathing room if needed.


Best maternity shoes for swollen feet

dearforms
Dearfoams Sophie Slip-On Sneaker — $45.00

Get the comfort of those Dearfoams slippers you love in shoes that you can wear out and about. These are so soft, so stretchy, that you’ll happily be wearing them all of the 10 months. The breathable knit material and contoured footbed with arch support may be the most real shoe you can actually wear these days.

birkenstocks
Birkenstock Arizona Happy Lamb — $100.00

Birk wearers, rejoice. Pregnancy is the perfect time for you. This cozy version has a felt wool upper and a wool insole with contoured footbed for support. Slip on a pair of socks for cooler days, or don’t, if you can’t even get socks on anymore.

bzees
BZees Golden Bootie — $85.00

A sweater for your feet, these Golden Booties have all the right features a pregnant mama needs. The Comfort Cone Gel offers heel impact shock absorption and cushioning in all the right places. Lightweight and stretchy, these are also anti-microbial with odor control technology since you know…the hormones.

reef
Reef Cushion Sage SE — $75.00

As your belly grows, you’ll learn to appreciate a backstrap that can flip forward. These classic suede mules have a cork footbed that blends cushioning and rebound support. The strap is adjustable for a custom fit, but seriously, when you can no longer reach down, just flip that strap and slide them on.

sketchers
Skechers Gowalk Arch Fit Sneaker — $85.00

Walking right through your pregnancy, you’re going to need a super supportive sneaker that you can still get your foot into till the end. These Skechers have a breathable athletic mesh upper and are very stretchy to get into. PLUS (and this is big), they come in wide for the *swelling*.

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