Footwear

The 7 Best Shoes For Pregnancy Reviewed – 2018

From lower back pain to swollen feet – these are only a couple of the joyous changes that 9 months of pregnancy brings! Wearing the best shoes for pregnancy can minimize discomfort, which comes as part and parcel of the overall pregnancy experience.

We’ve reviewed the best shoes for pregnancy and outlined our faves below. We considered comfort, flexibility, stability and durability in recommending our top picks.

We have included shoes that can be worn for walking and light exercise, several for everyday use, and one that can be dressed up. Regardless of what look you’re going for, we can assure you they’re all comfortable.

We hope you find our guide valuable!

Quick Answer: The 7 Top Rated Shoes For Pregnancy

  1. Skechers Sport Women’s Empire Fashion Sneaker
  2. Vionic Women’s Agile Kea Slip-on
  3. Skechers Sport Breathe Easy Lovestory Mary Jane Flat
  4. Propet Women’s Travelfit Slide Walking Shoe
  5. Birkenstock Arizona Birkibuc Sandal
  6. Orthofeet Women’s Walking Athletic Shoes
  7. New Balance Women’s 711v3 Cross Trainer

For more of my recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Folding Treadmills, Home Gyms, Rowing Machines.

Best Pregnancy Shoes

 Skechers Sport EmpireVionic Agile KeaBirkenstock Arizona Birkibuc
editorschoice
Upper:Mesh fabricMesh fabricSuede
Sole:SyntheticRubber Synthetic
Style:SneakerSlip-onSandal
Sizes:5-11 Wide,Narrow,Avg6-11 Wide,Narrow,Avg5-15 Wide,Narrow,Avg

Pregnancy Shoe Reviews

 

Skechers Sport Women’s Empire Fashion Sneaker at a Glance:

  • Slip-on
  • Bungee-laced
  • Mesh fabric upper
  • Faux leather heel panel
  • Wide sizes available in some colors
  • 19 color options

The Skechers Empire Fashion Sneaker is our Editors Choice for the best shoes for pregnancy that are versatile and sporty. Not only are they cute, they feel great.

With enough cushion to support fitness activities, these sneakers are also fashionable enough for everyday wear. The lightweight design feels comfortable but they don’t scrimp on support. These shoes fit true to size.

These Skechers offer generous arch support, a particularly important thing to consider when selecting shoes for pregnancy, as poor arch support can lead to unnecessary pressure on your joints. Poor arch support also places you at an increased risk for foot and ankle injuries.

Their convenient bungee-laced design means no fiddling with laces to tie. The bungee-laces keep the shoe snuggly on your foot without binding. The insole is made from memory foam and the outer mesh fabric can be easily cleaned with spot-cleaning.

Overall, we recommend the Skechers Empire Fashion Sneaker for pregnancy because of its comfort and support. On top of these two crucial qualities, we also like its reasonable price and look.


Vionic Women’s Agile Kea Slip-on at a Glance:

  • Textile upper
  • Removable insole
  • Rubber outsole
  • Slip-on design
  • Wide sizes available in some colors
  • 9 color options

The durable Vionic Agile Kea Slip-on is another great choice for footwear to use during pregnancy. The maternity shoe comes in array of colors – from muted hues to more vibrant ones.

Its convenient slip-on design means no laces to fight with. There’s enough comfy cushioning for all day use, but not so much that it compromises stability and support. The upper portion of the shoe is stretchy but hugs your feet enough to keep them stable. While the fit is snug, they don’t bind or cause discomfort.

These pregnancy shoes don’t allow for any adjustment to their width; so when trying to accommodate swollen feet, you should consider ordering ½ to 1 size larger than your normal size.

While we find these less stylish than some of the other ones we looked at, the support and ease of putting them on and taking them off makes them a worthy contender with others in their category.


Skechers Sport Breathe Easy Lovestory Mary Jane Flat at a Glance:

  • Woven mesh upper
  • Rubber sole
  • Strap closure
  • Wide sizes available in some colors
  • 7 color options

The Skechers Breathe Easy Lovestory Mary Jane Flat is versatile in that it looks great with jeans, capris, and shorts and can also be worn with skirts. Its elastic connector allows for give, while not being too loose. It comes in seven neutral colors.

These comfy shoes for pregnancy from Skechers have a more more feminine design than the Skechers bungee-lace model. It’s also slightly easier to put on and take off. If you’re looking for aesthetic appeal and all-day comfort combined, this is an optimal choice.

The design and construction of this Skechers’ mary jane-style shoe suggest they are durable and should stand up to the test of time.

At first use, this shoe may dig a bit into the heel but this will likely resolve after they are broken in. With its woven upper, this mary jane allows for air circulation. The memory foam provides good cushioning, while the the rubber sole supports stability, decreasing your risk of slipping or twisting an ankle.


Propet Women’s Travelfit Slide Walking Shoe at a Glance:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Slip-on design with bungee lace
  • Wide sizes available in some colors
  • 5 color options

The Propet Travelfit Slide Walking Shoe is a sporty-looking style which comes in 5 colors, and it’s the only closed-toe shoe we reviewed that can claim to be truly slip-on. This design is super convenient for women later in their pregnancy, when touching your toes can be considered an Olympic feat!

Propet’s Travelfit comes highly recommended by us for those women who have significant swelling in the feet and ankles. Those who need arch support should also check out this one out. It offers a blend of comfort and convenience, thanks to its open design and sturdy arch support.

We like that the mesh upper is breathable. The open heel also helps with keeping your feet cool and dry. The Propet has a bungee lace to adjust to the size of your instep. This adjustable feature is handy for swollen, pregnant feet.

The Travelfit are comfortable shoes for pregnant women that are lightweight and a slip on design. The heel has a lip which keeps the shoe in place, and provides additional stability. They also dry quickly in the event you run into inclement weather.

The shoes fits true to size, but if you need an additional insert (i.e., orthotics), there is plenty of room to add one.


Birkenstock Arizona Birkibuc Sandal at a Glance:

  • Suede
  • Anatomical footbed
  • Dual adjustable buckles
  • 26 color options

The Birkenstock Arizona Birkibuc Sandal is another viable option for treating your feet well when pregnant. You can’t really go wrong with an original Birkenstock.

Known for their anatomically designed soles, Birkenstock has a well-earned reputation for comfort. They also hold up, proving themselves to be a reliably durable shoe. They will still be around long after baby is born.

Once seen as a clunky, manly shoe that came in boring browns and tans, Birkenstock has modernized their look with some fun new colors. Since their introduction years ago, they’ve become increasingly more popular with women. I suppose we women realized what we were missing!

These shoes are a good choice during pregnancy because their wide design provides stability and the non-slip sole protects against trips and falls. One other benefit of the Birkenstock Arizona is the ease of putting it on. A convenient feature of this Birkenstock is the buckle which allows you to select the fit that works best for your size foot.

Those who haven’t warmed up to the admittedly masculine style of the original Birkenstock might want to consider their thong sandal.  You can check it out here: Birkenstock Women’s Gizeh Birko-Flor Sandals. Just be aware, if you aren’t used to wearing thong-style sandals, that space between your toes may need to get used to it.


Orthofeet Women’s Walking Athletic Shoes at a Glance:

  • Fabric upper
  • Gel-padded heel
  • Anatomical arch support
  • Removable insoles
  • Wide sizes available in some colors
  • 3 color options

Orthofeet hit it out of the ballpark with their athletic walking shoes. Their innovative technology includes air pockets under a padded heel, reliable arch support, a roomy toe box, and flexible mesh. These all come together to create a superb choice in for pregnant women.

Considering the fact these are orthopedic shoes, designed for people who have foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, you might imagine they’re clunky and homely; but we find a couple of the colors pretty stylish-looking.

These walking shoes fit true to size. The base of the shoe is wide, providing a good foundation for maintaining your balance. They are breathable and flexible, but the fabric upper and sole aren’t so giving that you feel unsteady on your feet. The fabric portion of the shoe is soft and there’s no digging into your foot.

The only (small) annoyance we find with these shoes is the laces come untied easily due to the material they’re made from. They aren’t the most lightweight shoes on the market, but they don’t feel heavy. Overall, they feel hardy and appear to be well-constructed.


New Balance Women’s 711v3 Cross Trainer at a Glance:

  • Rubber sole
  • Memory foam insole
  • Fabric upper
  • Wide sizes available in some colors
  • 7 color options

The New Balance Women’s 711v3 Cross Trainer is a great pick for the pregnant woman who plans to continue exercising throughout her pregnancy. For those who enjoy light weightlifting, it offers a good foundation for maintaining your balance.

These shoes can be worn for fitness as well as for everyday use. They go well with casual wear- they’re especially cute with jeans.

These shoes run a little small (½ size) and they seem narrower than your average cross trainer, so pregnant women would do best ordering these in a wide and possible consider a full size up; There’s less arch support than some of the other shoes we reviewed. Pregnant women with flat feet should be aware of this, as they need extra support in that area. (Note: there is sufficient room for an insert if need be)

For additional ankle support and comfort, the 711v3 has foam padding along the inside of the heel. The memory foam insole is protective against excessive impact. They are lightweight. Overall, we give the New Balance 711v3 a thumbs up.


Pregnancy Shoe Comparison

Pregnancy Shoe UpperSoleStyleSizesRating
Skechers Sport EmpireMesh fabricSyntheticSneaker5-11 Wide,Narrow,Avg4.4 / 5.0
Vionic Agile KeaMesh fabricRubber Slip-on6-11 Wide,Narrow,Avg4.3 / 5.0
Skechers SportWoven meshRubber Flats5-11 Wide,Narrow,Avg4.3 / 5.0
Propet Travelfit SlideWoven meshSyntheticSlip-on6-11 Wide,Narrow,Avg4.2 / 5.0
Birkenstock Arizona BirkibucSuedeSyntheticSandal5-15 Wide,Narrow,Avg4.4 / 5.0
Orthofeet WalkingWoven meshSyntheticSneaker5-12 Wide,Narrow,Avg4.3 / 5.0
New Balance 711v3Woven meshRubber Sneaker5-12 Wide,Narrow,Avg3.9 / 5.0

How To Choose The Best Shoes For Pregnancy

best pregnancy shoes

Fit

Considering the majority of pregnant women deal with swollen feet and ankles, you should look for a shoe that’s roomy enough to allow for swelling, but not so loose that the shoe makes you more prone to tripping.

Shock Absorption

Shock absorption is an important consideration. You’re carrying around a lot more weight than your body is used to. In order to protect your knees and other joints, it’s wise to choose a shoe that can buffer the impact from daily activity.

Heel

High heels are not recommended for use during pregnancy. You’ll do best sticking with lower heels, and ones that are broad. A low, broad heel will help you to maintain your balance. So, forget those chic stilettos (at least until the baby comes!)

Breathability

The ideal shoe for pregnancy will be breathable. Sneakers made with a mesh upper or sandals are crucial for minimizing the uncomfortable build up of moisture.

Design

Slip-on designs are more convenient and easier to manage as your belly (and everything else) grows, though there’s an array of options on the market that range from true slip-ons to your traditional laced up shoes. Some of these include pull-ons, either with or without a bungee-lace.

Support and Stability

Finally, the shoe should be flexible and roomy, but no so much that your heel slips out of it. It should give sufficient ankle support. Improper fit puts you at risk of stumbling, tripping, or twisting an ankle.

FAQ’s For Pregnancy Shoes

best maternity shoes

Q: What issues can wearing poor shoes during pregnancy cause?

A: Wearing the wrong shoe during pregnancy puts unnecessary strain on parts of your body that are already uncomfortable, like your feet and lower back.

In addition to causing unnecessary discomfort, the wrong shoes won’t provide sufficient stability.  As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes. Without proper stability, you’re more likely to lose your balance.

Q: How do I determine what my “pregnant” shoe size is?

A: Did you know that during pregnancy the size of your foot can increase by ½ to a full size? And yes, they will probably stay that way! If your old shoes are feeling unusually snug, it’s probably time to go up ½ a size. If you can barely fit your feet in them, you may need to go with a full size up.

Take note of how your old shoes feel around the instep. If your shoes are binding and digging into your feet, you should consider ordering a wide. All of the shoes we reviewed also come in a wide version.

Q: Do lightweight shoes provide sufficient support?

A: There’s no reason to assume that a bulkier shoe will provide more support than a lightweight one. With today’s technology and synthetic materials, there are many lightweight shoes out there that provide all the necessary qualities to protect your feet and ensure your pregnancy progresses in (relative) comfort. Just make sure to research all aspects of the shoe before committing to one or the other.

Most of us take exceptional care of our bodies when we’re pregnant; for example, we watch our diet closely when eating for two. Why should we treat our feet with any less kindness?

Actually, picking the right shoe isn’t only about keeping your feet comfy. The right shoe will help minimize back pain, reduce the likelihood of injury to your joints, and will encourage stable balance.

We hope our reviews and guide help you on your quest to find the perfect shoe – one that will make your pregnancy more enjoyable (or at least tolerable!)


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best pregnancy shoes to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of shoes I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

Support
Comfort
Value

The Skechers Sport Women's Empire Fashion Sneaker is our Editors Choice for the best pregnancy shoe with a combination of support and comfort.

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