Written by podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab Expert Dr. Jackie Sutera


Oh, baby! When it comes to pregnancy, a lot of women wonder what the most comfortable shoes to wear when pregnant are. It’s important to remember that you should keep your feet both supported and comfortable. Check out our tips for foot care, finding support and what to look for in comfortable stylish shoes during pregnancy.



Support Your Feet.

Doing so can prevent and also relieve painful conditions such as arch and heel pain/plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. Avoid very thin and flat-soled shoes as these can be almost as dangerous, in the long run, as 5-inch stilettos. When ballet flats are too flat and too thin, they usually don’t offer any shock absorption or arch support. Shock absorption is super important, especially with pregnant women’s feet.

Make Room for Swelling.

The feet, ankles and legs will become swollen during pregnancy. You can bring a pair of shoes to a shoemaker and have them stretched, or do it yourself with some over the counter shoe stretchers. This will be a better alternative to having to go up a shoe size to accommodate your swollen feet. Either way, gently stretching out some of the best shoes for pregnancy you currently own to accommodate for swollen toes can be very helpful.


It is also important to drink plenty of water to flush out excess fluids. Avoid salt and caffeine in your diet, which can make your body, especially your feet and ankles, hold onto extra fluids even moreWhat you eat also makes a big difference in how much fluid your body retains. So, instead of looking for shoes for swollen feet, consider these tips that will help you prepare for swelling in the ankle/foot area during pregnancy.

Massage, Rest, Elevate, and Ice. 

These are all great ways to reduce swelling and relieve aches and pains in the ankle and foot region.

Stretch Calves.

Runner’s stretch (against the wall) can be a gentle way to relieve leg cramps.

Don’t Go Barefoot.

Walking around barefoot at home for long periods of time can lead to foot pain, especially during pregnancy when a woman’s feet tend to spread and widen. Closed supportive slippers with arch support and ankle support, extra memory foam cushioning, and shock absorption are your best bet for maternity shoes! Vionic’s Relax slipper offers great comfort and is also adjustable.

Compression Is Key.

Compression sock/stockings can help with swelling and help prevent varicose veins made worse by pregnancy.

Avoid Sky-High Heels. 

Women should stick to heels no higher than 2 inches. First and second trimester women who have gained under 15 pounds can wear up to a 2 inch heel for an event or a few hours. Heels would not be good shoes to wear in the last trimester when women’s feet tend to be swollen and heaviest. If you want something flat, find a pair of comfortable flats that offer proper arch and ankle support. However, if you want a bit of a heel, wedge heels are best because they distribute your body weight across a larger surface area!  Look at some Vionic styles like Coralina which offer good support and are the best shoes during pregnancy. Not only are these great shoes during pregnancy, but these styles complement any outfit.

coralina espadrilles wedge

Add Some Cushion.

What are the best supportive shoes for pregnant women? Some with a little extra support added through insoles! Insoles may help to give flat shoes an arch and extra memory foam cushioning as you’re walking around. Anyone with foot pain or problems may benefit from a more custom device, like a custom orthotic insole made by your podiatrist. Feet are the foundation of your whole skeleton. When your feet hurt, you start to shift your weight and “compensate.”  This causes strain on muscles, joints, tendons, etc. to work in ways they are not intended to which can lead to knee, hip and back aches and pain. Orthotic inserts can neutralize the way you walk and redistribute body weight so that your whole skeleton is in better alignment as you walk. Check out Vionic’s Relief, Active and Women’s Slim Fit orthotic insolesLook for supportive shoes like Vionic’s Minna.

Vionic Full-Length Relief Orthotic for Standing All Day

Pro-tip for Pregnancy Footwear

When looking for a new pair of good support shoes for pregnant women, if you can take a shoe and twist it, or bend it into a ball, it’s a no-go. Shoes with good arch support and ankle support, adequate cushioning and shock absorption will not be so flexible.


You can tell if it has good arch support by looking inside the shoe.  It looks like a bump in the middle (on the same side of your big toe). If your pair of shoes has this, then they’re good shoes to wear.


And remember to look for the three elements of comfort when browsing for maternity shoes: shock absorption, arch support and cushioning. Whether it’s athletic shoes, sandals, flip flops with arch support, or dressier footwear, these three aspects will be important to have in any walking shoe to ensure support for your feet and ankles during pregnancy. For the most comfortable shoes for pregnancy and swollen feet, browse Vionic’s collection of supportive footwear today.

Looking for more pregnancy foot care tips? Check out our 7 Remedies for Swollen Feet During Pregnancy.

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