Life·10 min read

14 Comfy Shoes for Pregnancy, Postpartum, and Beyond

Comfy shoes for pregnancy and beyond
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Allbirds
Sep 9, 2022

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Having a baby can get uncomfortable enough as it is. The last thing you need is a pair of shoes that make things worse. If you’re nervous about investing in anything new when your feet may change size during pregnancy, know that it’s still very possible to buy comfortable, practical shoes you’ll wear long after delivery.

Podiatrist Dr. Robyn Joseph explains that a few things are going on during pregnancy that can cause issues with your feet. First, due to changing hormones, it’s harder to regulate body temperature, which means you need shoes that are breathable (think mesh or leather) or wick away sweat (socks can help with this too — look for a cotton-poly blend).

Then, as your ligaments stretch, your foot can actually flatten more, which is one reason some people need to size up during and after pregnancy. It also means support is really, really important. “Every step you take, we have 26 bones, and all those ligaments and joints, and we want to support them,” Dr. Joseph says. (If you’re not buying a pair of shoes with built-in arch support, a separate insert — over-the-counter or custom — can also help.) Swelling is another common issue, and if it affects you, you may want to try light 15 mmHg compression stockings in addition to roomier shoes.

Many of the shoes we’ve pulled together below have the qualities Dr. Joseph recommends, but some are also just really convenient and are pairs we’ve tried ourselves and loved. Because slip-on shoes are worth their weight in gold when you can’t see over the end of your belly or your hands are full of all the 5,492 things babies seem to need at all times. Read on and get ready to refresh your closet.

Psst…this is part of our Relatable Fashion Week series. For more of our recs for your pregnancy and postpartum wardrobe (and beyond), click here.

Classic sandals you may already own…

Ask any group of recently pregnant people which summer shoes they recommend, and we guarantee at least a few will say Birkenstocks. They’re supportive, they don’t have laces you need to tie, and, maybe most importantly, they’re forgiving of size fluctuations (since the buckles are adjustable). Pick a pair that can be dressed up, and you may not wear any other shoes all summer long. ($86.25+, Birkenstock)

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A more affordable (and washable) version…

Not looking to spend $100+ on a pair of sandals? These are a great casual option with the support and adjustability of more expensive Birks. And they’re easy to wash — something you’re about to appreciate a lot more in life. ($49.99, DSW)

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Super-comfy slides for around the house (and beyond)…

When you want maximum comfort in a simple slip-on, these are a good call. Oofos are made from a special type of foam and designed to absorb extra impact and decrease stress on your feet. Plus, they’re machine-washable. ($59.95, Oofos)

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“Regular” shoes you can just step into…

Warning: Buy one pair of these, and you may find yourself converting to a Kizik-only closet. These shoes look like traditional lace-up sneakers, but are designed to be hands-free. When you step in, the back of the shoe crunches down to let your foot in, then pops right back up behind your heel. You’ll appreciate this during your third trimester, but also when you have a baby/little kid to run around after. Win-win. ($99+, Amazon)

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Slip-ons that are easy and cute…

Allbirds Tree Loungers are light, breathable slip-ons that can go in the washing machine when dirty. If you don’t mind a shoe you’ll need to tie (ahem, get a partner/friend to tie for you) — or just want something for colder weather — these wool runners are also a good option that will stretch a little to fit your potentially larger-than-usual feet. ($100, Allbirds)

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Supportive shoes for people on their feet all day…

While the structure of these clogs is on the more rigid side, they’re a longtime favorite for those who spend hours on their feet (e.g., people who work in hospitals or restaurant kitchens). They’re also available in three different width options. ($130, Dansko)

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Breathable clogs with an open back…

If you like clogs but want something lighter and more flexible, this mesh pair fits the bill. They have a lip at the back so they won’t fall off easily, but you can also fit a supportive insert inside. ($69.95+, Amazon)

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Flip-flops that still support your feet…

Perfect for throwing in your hospital bag or wearing on quick postpartum walks, these casual-looking flip-flops have way more support than your typical cheap beach shoe. They’re simple but cute, and will still fit when your feet and ankles are swollen. ($21.90+, Nordstrom)

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Slip-on flats made from recycled materials…

With the caveat that they don’t offer much support, these flats are a popular pregnancy choice because they look professional but feel more relaxed on your foot. They’re washable and come in several different styles (like round and pointed flats, slip-on sneakers, and more). Also cool? They’re made from plastic bottles. ($165, Rothy’s)

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Higher-end leather flats that are still comfy…

And have a super-convenient design that makes ’em easy to tote. These 100% leather shoes — with foam-cushioned insoles and rubber soles — are foldable for packing or keeping in your work bag, and will settle into shape around your foot. They come in tons of different colors and patterns too. ($185, Tieks)

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Sneakers with extra support and comfort…

On’s Cloud sneakers get rave reviews for both comfort and convenience (no need to tie the laces every time you wear them, since they’re fixed in place). These shoes provide the ultimate cushioned experience, plus they’re made of 44% recycled material. The mesh is breathable and antimicrobial, and the heel is molded for a really secure fit. What can we say? Skimm HQ loves this shoe. ($139.99, On)

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Rain boots you won’t need to pull all the way up your leg…

If you’re pregnant in colder months or just rainier weather, you might find yourself in need of a rain boot. But pulling anything all the way over your ankles and halfway up your leg might also seem, well, unrealistic. This classic, much-loved brand offers ankle boots in nine different colors (plus four more glossy ones). ($150, Hunter)

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Strappy sandals with extra support…

Birkenstocks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, we get it. So if you want a strappier sandal, these ones — from a brand known for supportive, pain-alleviating shoes — have the vibe you’re looking for combined with excellent support. ($99.95, Vionic Shoes)

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Slippers to support you around the house too…

Even when you’re just home bingeing Netflix (or washing bottles, pump parts, and baby clothes 24/7), support is really important. These slippers have arch support plus an adjustable top that’s perfect for swollen or simply bigger-than-usual feet. We’re obsessed with the colorful prints, but this pair comes in a bunch of solid options as well. ($48.99+, Vionic Shoes)

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