‘I’m a Mom of 4 and Footwear Designer, and These Are the Only Shoes I’d Consider Wearing While Pregnant’
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.
How does pregnancy affect foot health?
The additional weight gained during pregnancy can make your feet wider, and increased water retention may cause them to swell as well. Some studies show that there can be actual structural changes in your feet during pregnancy—the increased weight on your joints may cause your arches to drop.
What should you look for in a maternity shoe?
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
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. They have a removable footbed and also have the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
Material: EVA upper and footbed
Colors: 9 different colors, including black, blue, camo, jade, and more.
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. They’re also treated with a water repellency treatment so you can wear them even during inclement weather.
Material: Sheepskin upper, sheepskin lining, wool insole, suede heel counter, Treadlite outsole
Colors: Chestnut, charcoal, black
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. The lugged outsole will make sure you keep a firm grip on the ground throughout the day.
Material: Leather upper and lining, synthetic sole
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 and just a touch of a heel, and the cushioned footbed will keep your feet feeling comfy. Choose from a variety of seasonal colors or prints, or go all out and opt for the Jeweled Gold Sparkle.
Material: Suede, rubber sole
Colors: 3 classic colors (black, cheetah, gold), and 12 seasonal colors
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. The sheepskin lining will wrap your feet in cozy warmth. Plus, no socks needed (you’ll know what we mean).
Material: Sheepskin upper and lining, wool and lyocell-lined footbed, Treadlite outsole
Colors: 12 different colors, including black, chestnut, olive, and more.
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. With a suede upper and gold studded trim, these clogs will add style to any outfit.
Material: Suede upper, wooden midsole, rubber sole
You get the best of both worlds with these mules that offer a chic upper in black leather paired with a forgiving cork insole. The cushioned footbed and rubber outsole will support every step you take. Jeans, joggers or maxi dresses will all look complete with these.
Material: Leather upper and lining, cork footbed, rubber outsole
Colors: Black, brandy, Brie, cornbread
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.
Material: Textile upper, mesh covered EVA footbed, rubber outsole
Colors: Black/grey, grey/pink, navy, vapor
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.
Material: Fabric upper, rubber outsole
Colors: 38 different colors, including sand grey, khaki, white, black, and more.
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.
Material: Leather, manmade, fabric, or suede upper; non-slip outsole
Colors: 7 different colors, including black, metallic snake print, mauve, and more
Best maternity shoes for swollen feet
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. And they’re machine-washable for easy care.
Material: Flexible knit upper, EVA outsole
Colors: 15 different colors, including black, white, leopard, and more
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.
Material: Wool upper, faux shearling lining, cork footbed, manmade outsole
Colors: 6 different colors, including grey, pink, beige, and more
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.
Material: Stretch fabric upper, faux fur lining, air infused outsole
Colors: 6 different colors, including grey, black, brown, and more
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.
Material: Suede upper, cotton lining, cork footbed
Colors: Black, rose, sand, coffee
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, arch support, are very stretchy to get into, and they’re machine washable. PLUS (and this is big), they come in wide for the *swelling*.
Material: Breathable mesh upper, traction outsole
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