The Best Shoes for Pregnant Women Dealing with Swollen Feet

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Pregnancy is an incredible journey that brings about numerous changes in a woman’s body. From morning sickness to backaches, expectant mothers experience a wide range of physical transformations. However, one aspect that often goes unnoticed is the impact pregnancy has on the feet. Swollen feet are a common issue faced by many pregnant women, particularly during the second trimester and beyond. In this article, we will explore the insights of Dr. Andrew Wilson, a podiatrist at Mercy Personal Physicians in Lutherville, MD, regarding the best types of shoes for pregnant women dealing with swollen feet.

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Understanding the Impact of Pregnancy on Feet

During pregnancy, hormonal changes play a significant role in causing swelling in the feet. It is not until the second trimester that foot swelling becomes more noticeable. These changes in hormones lead to a 50% increase in blood volume, which naturally results in leg swelling. Additionally, as the pregnancy progresses, the weight gained puts increasing stress on the feet. Moreover, hormonal fluctuations increase the laxity of ligaments throughout the body, including those in the feet. This can cause the feet to increase in size by approximately half a shoe size, which may not always revert after childbirth. Considering these factors, it becomes crucial to take preventive measures to alleviate foot pain and discomfort.

Choosing the Right Shoes for Pregnancy

When experiencing swollen feet during pregnancy, selecting suitable footwear becomes paramount. Dr. Wilson emphasizes that the most important step in preventing foot pain lies in the initial choice of shoes. By taking proactive measures, pregnant women can reduce the pressure exerted on their feet and enhance overall comfort. Compression stockings also play a vital role in maintaining proper circulation and preventing abnormal fluid distribution. Let’s delve deeper into Dr. Wilson’s insights on the best types of shoes for pregnant women dealing with swollen feet.

1. Supportive Shoes

a. Features to Look for in Supportive Shoes

Supportive shoes are a must-have for pregnant women, especially those dealing with swollen feet. These shoes provide the necessary stability and cushioning to alleviate discomfort. Dr. Wilson recommends focusing on the following features when selecting supportive shoes:

  • Arch Support: A shoe with good arch support helps distribute body weight evenly and reduces strain on the feet.
  • Cushioned Soles: Opt for shoes with cushioned soles to absorb shock and provide added comfort.
  • Wide Toe Box: Look for shoes with a spacious toe box to accommodate any foot swelling and prevent constriction.

b. Recommended Brands for Supportive Shoes

To assist pregnant women in their search for comfortable and supportive footwear, Dr. Wilson suggests the following brands known for producing high-quality shoes suitable for swollen feet:

Brand Description
New Balance Offers a wide range of athletic shoes with excellent arch support and cushioning.
Brooks Known for their running shoes, Brooks provides models that offer superior stability and shock absorption.
Clarks This brand offers stylish footwear options with considerable arch support and cushioning.
Vionic Vionic specializes in shoes that provide excellent support and alleviate common foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
Birkenstock Renowned for their contoured footbeds, Birkenstock sandals provide exceptional arch support and comfort.

2. Slip-On Shoes

a. Benefits of Slip-On Shoes during Pregnancy

Slip-on shoes prove to be incredibly convenient for pregnant women dealing with swollen feet. The ease of wearing and removing these shoes is particularly beneficial when bending over becomes challenging due to the growing belly. Additionally, slip-on shoes reduce the need for excessive bending or tying laces, making them a practical choice during pregnancy.

b. Recommended Slip-On Shoe Styles

Here are a few slip-on shoe styles that Dr. Wilson suggests for pregnant women:

  1. Loafers: Loafers offer a classic and versatile style suitable for casual or professional settings. Look for loafers with cushioned insoles and a low heel to provide optimal support and comfort.
  2. Ballet Flats: Ballet flats are a popular choice among pregnant women due to their feminine appeal and easy slip-on design. Opt for flats with ample toe room and cushioning to accommodate swollen feet.
  3. Mules: Mules are backless shoes that provide effortless style and convenience. Choose mules with a supportive sole and adjustable straps for a secure fit.

3. Adjustable Shoes

a. Importance of Adjustable Shoes during Pregnancy

As the pregnancy progresses, foot swelling can fluctuate throughout the day. Therefore, it is essential to have shoes that can be easily adjusted to accommodate these changes. Shoes with adjustable features allow pregnant women to find the perfect fit for their feet, ensuring maximum comfort at all times.

b. Recommended Adjustable Shoe Styles

Dr. Wilson recommends the following adjustable shoe styles for pregnant women with swollen feet:

  1. Sandals with Velcro Straps: Sandals with Velcro straps provide the flexibility to adjust the fit according to the level of foot swelling. Look for sandals with contoured footbeds to provide arch support and shock absorption.
  2. Shoes with Elastic Laces: Instead of traditional shoelaces, consider shoes with elastic laces that allow for a customized fit without the need for constant readjustment.
  3. Mary Jane Shoes: Mary Jane-style shoes with adjustable straps across the instep provide both comfort and style. These shoes can easily accommodate changing foot sizes during pregnancy.

4. Low-Heeled Shoes

a. Benefits of Low-Heeled Shoes during Pregnancy

Wearing high heels during pregnancy is not recommended, as they can exacerbate foot discomfort and instability. Opting for low-heeled shoes proves to be a wise choice for pregnant women dealing with swollen feet. Low heels offer better support, reduce pressure on the feet, and promote proper posture.

b. Recommended Low-Heeled Shoe Options

Consider the following low-heeled shoe options endorsed by Dr. Wilson:

  1. Wedges: Wedges provide stability and height without compromising comfort. Look for wedges with cushioning and arch support for optimal foot care.
  2. Stacked Heels: Stacked heels are a trendy choice that offers more stability than stilettos. Choose stacked heel shoes with a wide base to enhance balance and minimize strain on the feet.
  3. Platform Shoes: Platform shoes have thick soles that elevate both the heel and the toe area, providing additional support and stability. Opt for platform shoes with cushioning to maximize comfort.

5. Athletic Shoes

a. Benefits of Athletic Shoes during Pregnancy

Athletic shoes are designed to provide superior support, shock absorption, and stability. These qualities make them an excellent choice for pregnant women who want to stay active while minimizing foot pain and discomfort. Additionally, athletic shoes often feature breathable materials that help combat excessive sweating, which is common during pregnancy.

b. Recommended Athletic Shoe Features

Consider the following features when selecting athletic shoes for pregnancy:

  • Breathable Upper: Look for shoes with a breathable upper to keep your feet cool and prevent excessive moisture buildup.
  • Lightweight Design: Opt for lightweight athletic shoes to reduce the strain on your feet and lower limbs.
  • Cushioned Midsole: A well-cushioned midsole provides optimal shock absorption and enhances overall comfort.
  • Supportive Outsole: Look for athletic shoes with a supportive outsole that offers stability and minimizes the risk of injury.


Pregnancy brings about numerous changes in a woman’s body, including swelling in the feet. Understanding the impact of pregnancy on foot health and taking proactive measures to alleviate discomfort is crucial. By choosing supportive shoes such as those with arch support and cushioned soles, pregnant women can maintain better foot health during this transformative period. These changes in a woman’s body, brought on by pregnancy, can place significant strain on the feet. The increased weight and hormonal changes can lead to swelling and discomfort, making it essential to prioritize foot care.


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