Tips for Choosing Comfortable Footwear for Pregnancy
Our congratulations to the new mom to be! Now, shoes for pregnancy probably haven’t crossed your mind too much in the early days; it’s understandable. But, we promise, as time goes on, you will be crying out for some comfy shoes if you don’t get this handled fast.
See, as your baby bump grows and your weight increases, it’s going to add a great deal of strain to your spine and your pelvic region. Your body will naturally try to counter-balance this added weight by engaging the muscles in your lower body to take on more of the load. Your legs will work harder and, in turn, so will your feet. A few pairs of good shoes for pregnancy are going to really help your poor little feet during this time. So, what makes a good pair of pregnancy shoes? That’s what we’re going to explore in this article!
Best Shoes for Pregnancy
You probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear that the best walking shoes for women are also an ideal selection for pregnancy footwear. Think about what a good walking shoe comprises of comfort, strength, and a firm grip — all of the things that you’d want, basically. Of course, though, shopping for pregnancy shoes is just a little more complicated than that.
Why Choose Shoes Specifically for Pregnancy?
As your body naturally distributes the extra pressures and strain put on it by the added weight, more work will be required from the legs and feet. As a symptom of this, the legs, ankles, and feet will become red and swollen. You might find particular discomfort in the arches of your feet, especially if you have naturally flat soles. During this period, your swollen feet will require shoes one size larger than you normally wear. Therefore, shopping for some comfortable shoes to prepare for pregnancy is non-negotiable, really.
Shoes for the First Trimester
You might be tempted to still wear your usual cool shoes in the first few months of pregnancy. Indeed, you can ‘’get away with it’’; your feet will not be swollen in these early days, and so your regular pair will still fit. You also won’t find yourself under added weight strain or with balance issues — yet. You’ll probably even be tempted to keep wearing high heels and stilettos during this time.
At the end of the day, you’re going to do what you do, but we strongly advise that you change the types of shoes you wear in the first trimester anyway. Your body will undergo a lot of strain in the following six months. So why not be kind to your body and prepare it for the challenging times ahead? The last thing you want is lower back pain, pain in the arches of your feet, or painful toes, caused by wearing tight and uncomfortable footwear.
If your work/job prefers you to be in smart leather boots with some sort of heel, you can abide by those rules in this period by wearing flat-heeled shoes with very low heels. This means you’ll still be meeting company policies but will save your back and pelvis from unneeded discomfort.
If you live in a cold climate, the winter will require you to wear some shoes with really firm grips. You absolutely wouldn’t want to slip over on an icy step or sidewalk while being pregnant. Winter boots with big grips often go with heels. Be sure to go shopping for some winter footwear that meets not only all your pregnancy needs but also the season. So, you want durable shoes, with a firm grip, warm lining, low heels (or no heels at all), and comfortable. You can’t go far wrong with a pair of UGG boots (right the way through your winter pregnancy).
Shoes for the Second Trimester
Okay, months 4-6. Things are starting to get a bit more serious now. Your legs and feet will be getting swollen and sore. High-heels are absolutely a no-no from here-on-out, and even the low ones that we recommended in the first trimester are better off to be avoided if possible. Comfortable shoes with supporting arches and no heels are what you need now. Considering they’re going to be one size larger than usual — a shopping trip is now inevitable.
If it’s summertime, and you have a choice, we’d recommend some canvas style beach shoes. These will be super light, flat-heeled, and one of the most comfortable shoes we can think of. The reason we recommend these over flip-flops is that the latter is backless and, therefore, might slip off your feet. Sandals are a no-no because their straps can be painful around the ankles. So, go for the canvas beach shoes and make sure that the pair you get leave plenty of wiggle room for your toes or, even better, are open-toed. Don’t worry about unsightly toe-nails; you can simply employ those best baby nail clippers you’ve already got to take care of that!
For in the office, you’re going to get yourself some smart-looking loafers. These can come in soft leather, suede, or velvet. Loafers have a soft heel and, if you buy one size larger, will offer plenty of support and comfort. But don’t rely on them outside during the winter. Their grips are insufficient for icy or wet terrain, and you’ll likely slip at some point. Switch to a good pair of UGGs before venturing outside.
Shoes for the Third Trimester
Our recommendations for months 7-9 don’t change from the second trimester. Your feet will definitely have some swelling and discomfort at this point. So, even if you have managed to escape buying some new women’s shoes in the second trimester, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to avoid this purchase now. You’ll need larger size shoes for ultimate comfort and support. You might want to try some ‘’air’’ soled sneakers at this point, which are perfect walking shoes in all seasons. Who knows, maybe your boss will understand and even let you wear your brightly colored sneakers in the office too!
Really though, you want to be staying off your feet as much as possible in the third trimester — no need to put your body under unnecessary strain and risk slipping over. Protecting your baby and saving your energy is key. Your lower back and pelvic regions are going to be painful regardless – walking a lot simply isn’t going to help matters.
Buying Trendy Pregnancy Shoes
So far, we’ve spoken about the best shoes for swollen pregnant feet, stability, and safety. But we know you would want to remain trendy during your pregnancy. And the good thing: manufacturers are aware of this too! So, they make a host of greats shoes that are ideal for this time. We’ve already mentioned UGGs, but there are so many other cool options out there! Any ‘’air’’ soled brightly colored sneakers will do the job, and they are the height of fashion right now. So, it’s fine — shop to look good too!
Overall, Thoughts on Pregnancy Shoes
As said, when you first realize you’re about to become a mom, thinking about the appropriate shoes for the next 9 months is probably FAR from your mind at that moment. That’s understandable, but just know that getting your shoes handled for this time is of paramount importance. You don’t want to be living in reaction, but rather be pro-active about it. What we mean by that is, don’t wait to be suffering from agonizing lower back and pelvic pain in month two of your first trimester before you stop wearing high-heels. Pre-empt the pain and make the switch before you suffer.
Some pelvic and lower back pain is going to be inevitable in the later stages of pregnancy, so it just makes sense to be wearing comfortable shoes throughout and doing yourself a favor where possible.
Do any experienced moms out there want to add something you feel we’ve missed? Maybe you wore high-heels all through your pregnancy and completely disagree with what we’ve written here? We’d love to hear from you, if so. First-time moms, have you got your comfortable pregnancy shoes prepared for the months ahead? Is there anything you still feel unclear about? Let us know!
Betti Wilson is a happily married mother of 3, living in Oxford, England. During the day, she’s an assistant at a postnatal chiropractic clinic while at night she writes feverishly on her ‘’Moms Blog’’ about all topics — including footwear.