The Best Shoes to Wear When Pregnant

Pregnant woman sitting at work with swollen feet in heels

What Are the Best Shoes for Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, your body changes to accommodate your growing bundle of joy. Normal weight gain, hormones, and swelling can affect the size and shape of your feet. Wearing pregnancy shoes that are comfy and supportive while improving your fit with Foot Petals® shoe cushions and inserts can help relieve discomfort from swollen, pregnant feet so you and your little bean stay cozy and safe.

Pregnant woman shoe shopping

How does pregnancy affect your feet?

Natural weight gain and rising hormones that make your joints more flexible to prep for labor also affect the joints, tendons, and ligaments in your feet. Your foot arch might fall flatter, making your feet longer. Weight gain and swelling from the extra fluid in your body cause your feet to seem wider. Being pregnant can change your shoe size and this change may or may not be permanent.

These pregnancy symptoms are normal, but they can cause problems with your foot health. Your feet absorb a lot of stress during pregnancy and the added pressure and structural changes may lead to overpronation, plantar fasciitis, and heel, arch, or ball of foot pain. The extra weight at the front of your body can also throw off your center of gravity, increasing your fall risk, making stability crucial.

Swelling feet and foot pain usually start around the second or third trimester. Wearing comfortable, supportive shoes in the right size can help reduce swelling and relieve aching feet. While you’re shopping for a new maternity wardrobe or baby clothes, you should also buy new shoes while pregnant to support your swollen feet.

Pregnant woman on couch holding swollen foot

What to Look for in Shoes for Pregnant Women

The best pregnancy shoes have good arch support, a practical design, and comfortable cushioning to help with swelling. Only buy shoes you like that complement your personal style. It’s important to buy pregnancy shoes that fit from the start rather than breaking in shoes, so consider going shoe shopping in the late afternoon after you’ve been on your feet most of the day.

Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight, have flat support, or are made of flimsy materials. It’s usually best to ditch the flip flops and high heels and instead opt for pregnancy shoes with better stability and support. Here is what to look for in the most comfortable shoes for pregnant women:

  • Slip on/off: Bending over to tie your shoes is tough when pregnant. For the most comfortable shoes, opt for a pair of slip-ons whether they’re no-tie sneakers or cozy canvas shoes.
  • Spacious toe box: Shoes with extra room in the toe box are best for wide or swollen feet. Add a ball of foot cushion to support your toes and prevent sliding and calluses. For more customized comfort plus shock absorption, consider an air gel ball of foot cushion.
  • Arch support: As you gain weight and your joints loosen, shoes with good arch support help alleviate pain and reduce foot fatigue. An arch support cushion or plantar fasciitis insole gives your feet the support they need.
  • Plenty of cushion: Shoes with cushioned midsoles absorb shock to put less stress on your feet, making them less tired or tender, which may help reduce swelling. Add discreet cushioning to any shoe with a ¾ insert cushion for all-day comfort.
  • Lightweight: You’re carrying enough added weight as it is when pregnant, so avoid putting unnecessary stress on your body by wearing lightweight shoes with soft, flexible soles.
  • Breathable fabrics: Mesh, canvas, and other breathable fabrics keep pregnant, swollen feet cool and cozy while also allowing a little bit of stretch where you need it.
  • Size up: Most physicians advise buying shoes a half to a full size bigger than your pre-pregnancy shoes. Using a padded back of heel cushion to absorb shock and spot cushions for trouble spots can make new pregnancy shoes fit more comfortably.
  • Slip resistant: With your stability already compromised, the last thing you want is a slippery pair of shoes. Make your pregnancy shoes slip-resistant with no-slip grips that adhere to the bottom of your shoes for instant traction on boots, flats, sandals, wedges, and more.

Woman placing ¾ shoe insert into tennis shoe

The Best, Most Comfortable Shoes for Pregnancy

Foot Petals cushions and shoe inserts for pregnancy shoes absorb shock to reduce stress on your feet while adding cushion and support where you need it most. By solving common shoe problems like blisters, rubbing, and more, Foot Petals encourages good foot health for all women. Make Foot Petals an essential addition to your maternity wardrobe along with the following best shoes for pregnancy:

Best Shoes for Swollen Feet

Canvas slides are the best pregnancy shoes for swollen feet. They are lightweight, slide right on and off, and feature breathable, flexible fabric that comes in tons of colors or prints to match your outfits. Add an air gel heel cup cushion to your canvas shoes for added stability and customized comfort.

Woman placing air gel heel cup cushion in canvas tennis shoe

Pregnancy Shoes for Work

Before you take maternity leave and begin prepping for baby’s arrival, you’ll want comfortable pregnancy shoes to wear in office. You can never go wrong with a pair of slip-on ballet flats as long as they’re wide enough and you have shoe cushions for flats that add cushion and arch support.

Flats with arch support cushions inside

Heels for Pregnant Women

Generally, heels for pregnant women are not recommended as they put more stress on your feet, lack support, and throw off your balance. Instead, opt for wedges or heels that are short, sturdy, and wide for better stability. Your heels should have tread or no-slip grips and arch support plus ball of foot cushioning to reduce stress and prevent pain.

Woman placing ball of foot cushion inside women’s heel

Athletic Shoes for Pregnancy

Gym shoes are the most supportive pregnancy shoes. If you engage in regular physical activity per your doctor’s advice, a pair of athletic shoes like mesh sneakers or walking shoes will support and cushion your feet for safe, comfortable activity.

Woman sitting on steps placing black shoe insole into black tennis shoes

Best Summer Pregnancy Shoes

The best shoes for pregnancy in summer are slides and sandals with arch support and flexible or adjustable straps. Sandals let swollen feet breathe without restricting them. Strap cushions can also help reduce any friction or rubbing and ball of foot cushions for sandals reduce pressure on your toes.

Woman placing ball of foot cushion for sandals inside sandal

Winter Boots for Pregnant Women

Winter can be a challenging time to be pregnant if you have swollen feet. To make it easier, wear boots that are non-slip, comfortable, and warm with extra give. A short, sheepskin boot or stylish winter boots with wider calves that stretch are a couple of recommendations.

Booties with no slip grips on the bottom

Use Foot Petals for Comfortable Pregnancy Shoes

If you have swollen feet while pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Wearing comfortable pregnancy shoes with cushion and support can help alleviate swollen feet. Foot Petals shoe cushions and inserts offer discreet comfort and style for pregnant women looking for a way to make pregnancy shoes more comfortable.


NHS. (2020, December 3). Swollen ankles, feet and fingers in pregnancy.

The Best, Most Stylish Shoes for Pregnancy. (2022, May 6). Healthline.

Best Shoes for Pregnancy, According to a Podiatrist (2022, March 30) What to Expect.