Best Shoes For Pregnancy Back Pain

Pregnancy is a time of great joy and excitement, but it can also be a painful time. Many women experience back pain during pregnancy, and we often recommend wearing shoes that provide extra support for the arch of the foot.

When it comes to pregnancy back pain, your footwear can make a big difference in how much you suffer. Shoes with good arch support, like running shoes or athletic sneakers, help stabilize your feet and reduce strain on your lower back.

If you’re looking for the best shoes for pregnancy back pain, here’s what you need to know:

Go for good arch support

The key to finding good shoes for pregnancy is finding ones with good arch support. You want something that will stabilize your feet and keep them aligned properly so they don’t put too much pressure on your lower back or pelvis while walking around all day long.

We recommend wearing athletic sneakers or running shoes during pregnancy if possible (as long as they fit well — see our tips below). These types of shoes are designed specifically for high levels of activity and support both the foot and ankle very well so there’s less stress on these areas when you’re moving around all day long.

Best Shoes For Pregnancy Back Pain

Commerce Photo Composite

During pregnancy, your body changes dramatically, from your hair down to your feet. Swollen feet during this time can lead to pain and discomfort, and since modern life makes it difficult to go barefoot for nine-plus months, this may be a time to invest in a few pairs of new pregnancy shoes.

Tested & Approved

All of these on this list are great options, but the New Balance Nergize V1 Sneaker was the best overall because of its lightweight design, overall style, construction, and comfort. If you’re looking for something for everyday use, the Allbirds Tree Runners are casual and breathable.

Though there are some pregnancy-specific shoes on the market, there are many more shoes that are also suitable for this time. We searched for the best ones that offer a good fit, support, flexibility, and durability, and you can still put them on by yourself when you can’t reach your toes.

Based on our research, here are the best pregnancy shoes on the market that are sure to bring some much-needed comfort to swollen feet.

Best Overall: New Balance Nergize Sport Sneaker

4.7

New Balance Fuelcore Nergize V1 Sneaker

New Balance

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Reasonable price for sneakers
  • Memory comfort soles

Cons

  • Require laces
  • Sizes run small

What do buyers say? Good Housekeeping also picked the New Balance Nergize Sport.1

What do buyers say? 80% of 5,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Available in a wide range of colors, the New Balance Nergize Sport Sneaker is stylish, lightweight, and close to perfect as a pregnancy shoe. We chose these as our top pick because of their lightweight design and cushioned inner sole. The last thing a pregnant person needs is to lug around extra weight on their feet, so this featherweight sneaker is a great choice.

The sneakers feature a memory sole insert that provides a plush cushion to the feet and has a supportive, snug fit to accommodate sore, swollen feet. Under normal circumstances, New Balance recommends going up a half-size in these shoes, so you may want to consider going up a full or full-and-half size bigger to accommodate your growing feet.

Materials: Synthetic upper, rubber outsole | Wide Sizing: Yes | Size Range: 5-12

Best Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed

brikesntock-arizona

Zappos

Pros

  • Easily adjustable design
  • Made from high-quality materials
  • Sole is designed to mimic the foot

Cons

  • Sometimes need to be broken in
  • No wide sizes

Birkenstock sandals offer support and shock absorption, so they’re a good choice whether you’re pregnant or not. However, we particularly like them for pregnancy because you can easily adjust their width with the buckles. Additionally, since the upper part of the sandal is made from soft leather, it offers just enough stretch to accommodate a swollen foot without getting permanently stretched out of shape.

The sole of the sandal is made with a layer of foam designed to mimic the shape of the foot, so it offers good arch support and shock absorption. Our favorite feature of these shoes is that you can easily slip them on and off without bending over or tying any laces. As wonderful as the soles are, though, these sandals often need a little time to be broken in to reach their full potential, so it’s a good idea to buy these early in your pregnancy to get that process started.

Materials: Leather upper, synthetic sole | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 5.5-11.5

Best Everyday: Allbirds Tree Runners

4.6

Allbirds Tree Runners

Allbrids

Pros

  • Machine washable
  • Sustainably made
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Shoelaces
  • No wide sizes

These are the shoes for anyone looking for style, comfort, and sustainability. They feature a knit upper that’s made of breathable, lightweight eucalyptus fiber and a foam midsole that’s made with carbon-negative green ethylene-vinyl acetate Brazilian sugar cane (which is good news for the planet).

We know from experience that these sneakers feel like a feather on the feet, and they come in a variety of stylish colors. While it would be nice if they didn’t require laces that have to be tied, we think the casual and versatile style and small environmental footprint make up for it.

Materials: Knit upper (with eucalyptus fiber), Brazilian sugarcane midsole | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 5-11

Best Flats: Minnetonka Anna Ballerina Flat

Minnetonka Anna Ballerina Flat

Zappos

Pros

  • Elastic topline allows the shoe to stretch
  • Footbed is cushioned and molds to the foot

Cons

  • Don’t offer ankle support

Finding supportive flats can be difficult whether you’re pregnant or not, but it’s not a lost cause. We added the Minnetonka Anna Ballerina Flats to our list because they have a cushioned footbed that will mold to the foot a little bit to provide arch support and stability. Additionally, the elastic topline offers extra flexibility so that as the foot swells throughout the day, the shoe can stretch along with it.

These flats come in two basic colors, so you can wear them with just about anything, and a hard textured sole helps provide stability. One important note, Minnetonka suggests sizing up if you’re between sizes, so keep this in mind when sizing up for swelling.

Materials: Leather/textile upper, synthetic sole | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 5-11

Best Running Sneaker: Brooks Women’s Ghost 13 Running Shoes

Brooks Women's Ghost 13 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros

  • Fitted mesh upper
  • Neutral support offers comfort and stability
  • Designed to absorb shock

Cons

  • Price

Whether you’re running after a toddler or running on a treadmill, your pregnant feet need the proper support, and Brooks Ghost 13 Running Shoes are a great choice for both activities. They’re designed for running but can definitely be worn daily. In fact, according to Dr. Mendeszoon, running shoes are one of the best options for pregnant people suffering from swollen feet because they provide stability and are better at absorbing shock than any other shoe.

The shoes offer neutral support, meaning they’re comfortable but not so soft that there is no compression. The upper mesh conforms to the foot, offering just enough pressure to soothe aches and pains.

Materials: Mesh and 3D print upper | Wide Sizing: Yes | Size Range: 5-13

Best Slip-On: Kizik The Prague Slip-On Sneaker

Kizik The Prague Slip-On Sneaker

Amazon

Pros

  • Upper made from breathable mesh canvas
  • Super comfortable foam outsoles
  • Look of laces with a slip-on design

Cons

  • Basic styles

These slip-on shoes are made with soft, comfortable foam outsoles, and they’re perfect for anyone who finds their feet aching throughout the day. We really like the design of these shoes because, although they have laces to give them more of a sneaker look, they’re actually slip-on (so no having to bend over and tie anything). They’re made from a lightweight and breathable canvas mesh and have a basic style that isn’t flashy, so they will go with just about anything.

Materials: Canvas and vinyl | Wide Sizing: Yes | Size Range: 5-12

Best Splurge: Birdies The Vesper Flat

Birdies The Vesper Flat

Birdies

Pros

  • Memory foam footbed with arch support
  • Stylish and well-constructed
  • Very comfortable

Cons

  • Upper isn’t a breathable material

Yes, these are on the pricier end, but they’re also incredibly comfortable, well-made, and stylish. Our favorite thing about them is the memory foam footbed that’s not only super cozy but also provides arch support and stability.

These shoes also feature a leather suede upper that allows just enough stretch to accommodate the foot without getting too stretched out. Finally, these shoes are also made with a durable rubber sole that won’t wear down quickly.

Materials: Leather upper, rubber sole | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 5-1

Best Slippers: Vionic Women’s Gemma Mule Slipper

4.1

Vionic Gemma

Zappos

Pros

  • Podiatrist-designed
  • Adjustable hook-and-loop closure
  • Deep heel cup offers extra stability

Cons

  • Terry cloth can wear down quickly

Available in a wide range of colors, these slippers feature an adjustable hook-and-loop closure across the top that allows for the perfect fit. Additionally, they have a deep heel cup for extra stability, and the footbed hugs the feet, providing cushion and support. Plus, the soft terry cloth is super warm and cozy.

We love the hard, non-slip sole to give a little extra protection and stability. Our absolute favorite thing, though, is that these slippers were podiatrist-designed, so you can feel confident that they are both comfortable and good for the feet.

Materials: Polyester terry cloth upper and footbed | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 5-12

Best Sneakers: Ollie Gray OG Sneaker

Ollie Gray OG Sneaker

Ollie Gray

Pros

  • Breathable
  • Machine washable
  • Stretchy toggle laces

Cons

  • Designed for everyday wear, not sports

These are some of the only shoes that are made specifically for pregnancy, and they have the features many are looking for at this time in their lives. Made with a knit fabric that is both breathable and stretchy, the sneakers can be worn all day regardless of how much your feet expand. They’re super lightweight, providing plenty of stability and shock absorption without adding stress to your tired body.

The features that we appreciate the most, though, are the heel pull and stretchy toggle lace. Together, these features ensure that you don’t have to bend over and tie the laces. These sneakers come in three fun colors, and they’re safe to clean in the washing machine.

Materials: OG Stretch Knit body, vibram sole | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 6-11

Best Winter Boots: UGG McKay Water Resistant Bootie

UGG McKay Water Resistant Bootie

Amazon

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Removable insole for better sizing
  • Super warm

Cons

  • Ankle height isn’t ideal for deep snow

These booties are super warm, cute, and easy to pull on and off without having to completely hunch over. They’re available in three neutral colors, and they’re waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about snow ruining the leather.

The booties are lined with UGG’s trademark shearling and wool combination that is soft and warm, and they will conform to your foot as you break them in. We know that every pregnant person’s foot isn’t the same, so we like that these boots come with removable insoles, allowing for a more custom fit.

Materials: Leather upper, shearling and wool lining, synthetic sole | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: 5-11

Best Without Laces: Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker

Dr. Scholl's Madison Sneaker

Amazon

Pros

  • Available in several color options
  • Perforated upper offers breathability
  • Stretchy upper is great for swelling

Cons

  • Platform sole may feel heavy

Let’s face it, bending over becomes harder and harder as pregnancy progresses, so slip-on shoes are a must. Additionally, according to Dr. Mendeszoon, “Shoes that have a mesh unit and breathability are very important [during pregnancy] as feet change and get bigger.” The Dr. Scholl’s Madison Slip-On sneakers check both of these very important boxes.

These sneakers feature a perforated upper, offering breathability, as well as some extra stretch along the top, allowing space for the foot to swell during the day. The footbed and cushioned insole are specifically designed for support and comfort. Finally, these sneakers are available in an assortment of colors, so you’re sure to find one to your liking.

Materials: Textile upper, synthetic sole | Wide Sizing: In some styles | Size Range: 5-13

Best Insert: Dr. Scholl’s Work Insoles

Dr. Scholl’s Work Insoles

Amazon

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Designed to provide all-day support
  • Fits into any sneaker, boot, or slip-on (not sandals)

Cons

  • Provides support and relieves pain, but doesn’t address swelling

If your shoes still fit, but your feet ache during pregnancy, maybe an insert is a better option than trying to find new shoes. There are a lot of different options out there, but we really like Dr. Scholl’s Work Insoles because they’re designed to offer support and comfort to anyone who spends a ton of time on their feet all day.

These insoles have a massaging gel for a custom fit cushion and shock absorption. Additionally, they provide plenty of arch support and take some of the pressure off the legs and joints. The best part is that all you do is trim them to size, slip them into your shoe, and you’re all set.

Materials: Gel and synthetic | Wide Sizing: No | Size Range: One Size

Best Heels: Naturalizer Teresa Platform Pump

Naturalizer Teresa Platform Pump

Amazon

Pros

  • Designed to look like a regular pump
  • Feature a cushioned footbed for comfort and support
  • Come in a range of colors

Cons

  • Not the most stable shoe to wear during pregnancy

According to Dr. Mendeszoon, pregnant people should avoid heels, as most styles don’t provide enough support and stability (which can cause falls and injury). However, we understand that some outfits and events may call for a pair of cute heels, and for those exceptions, we really like the Naturalizer Teresa Platform Pump. These heels have a small platform and a wider heel to offer more stability than a standard pump, and they’re also made with a contour cushioned footbed for extra comfort and support.

These pumps are available in a range of colors and materials, and they come in narrow, medium, and wide sizes.

Materials: Leather or textile upper, synthetic sole | Wide Sizing: Yes | Size Range: 4-12

Final Verdict

Any of the shoes on this list are great options during pregnancy, but we ranked the New Balance Nergize Sport Sneaker highest because of its lightweight design, overall style, construction, and comfort.

How We Selected the Best Pregnancy Shoes

Before choosing the products for this list, we consulted with Mark Mendeszoon, DPM, podiatrist, foot and ankle surgeon, and Physician Spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association, to learn more about feet during pregnancy, including how to support them and how to avoid injury. Then, we researched dozens of different shoes based on his expert insight and narrowed the list down by considering style, fit, construction, and reviews.

What to Look for When Buying Shoes During Pregnancy

Fit and Support

Shopping for shoes during pregnancy is quite a different experience than pre-pregnancy. According to Dr. Mendeszoon, your feet change and grow like the rest of your body, so comfort and support are important features to shop for.

Make sure the shoe fits well around your ankle, offering enough support so you don’t risk rolling or spraining it because your center of gravity may be off. Additionally, given the extra weight you carry during pregnancy, you’ll want a shoe with extra arch support to help take some of the pressure off the ball and heel of the foot.

Whether you are on your feet all day or you’re sitting down more often than not, your shoes also need to fit well. They shouldn’t cause any blistering, overheating, or cause you to feel a shock with every step you take. To help with this, Dr. Mendeszoon says, “the general rule of thumb is to buy a shoe a half to one size larger [than normal] to allow for feet to swell and to change.”

Flexibility and Stretch

If you’re experiencing swollen feet during pregnancy, it’s likely that they become more swollen as the day goes on, so you’ll want to look for a shoe that will fit you just as well by the end of the day as it does first thing in the morning. “Shoes [that] should be avoided during pregnancy [are] ones that do not have…any give or flexibility to them,” says Dr. Mendeszoon. “Typical examples are high heel shoes [and] hard sole leather shoes, such as penny loafers or dress shoes, and avoiding flip-flops is strongly recommended.”

Look for shoes that have some give but still offer support, like a sneaker with a knit or mesh upper or something with a bit of elastic. Another good idea is to look for shoes that can be adjusted in some way, such as with buckles, Velcro, or laces.

Construction

There is no use in investing in new shoes if they’re not well-made because they probably won’t last you throughout your pregnancy. Generally, you’ll want to pay attention to the seams of the shoes and how well they’re sewn together. Also, consider the materials of the inner and outer soles. Is it durable, or will it wear down quickly?

If you’re shopping for shoes to wear on a regular basis, consider how they’ll hold up in different weather, too. Most of these things are easy to check when you’re shopping in person, but if you’re online shopping, be sure to read through some of the customer reviews to get a better sense of durability and construction.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.