Comfort Picks from Expectant Moms

Though a pair of 4-inch heels may once have been the go-to look, for many moms-to-be, flats often become the new wardrobe staple. And other features take precedence as well, such as shoes with easy on-and-off access. Here, Footwear News polled pregnant consumers about their buying habits during the nine-month wait.

1. Lillith Bear, 30, actor

Salt Lake City

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “Tall boots, dressy or casual, like Uggs. In the summer, I wear flip-flops.”

Best styles while pregnant: “I’ve never been a heel person, but I’ve sworn them off while pregnant. I also needed more support than flip-flops provided and invested in a pair of Chaco sandals. They have great support and are lightweight and easy to get on and off. I can still wear my Uggs, but being so warm during pregnancy, I don’t wear them all day. I’ve added Rocket Dog tennis shoes. The support is good, and they close with Velcro, making them easy to put on. [I also bought] Danskin slippers.”

Keepers: “Chacos. They’re better for your feet than flip-flops, but way more expensive. I’ll buy whatever tennis shoes look cute, though Velcro is nice and speedy if you’re running around after kids.”

2. Manju Jacob, 30-something, law firm marketing department

Orangeburg, N.Y.

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “Heels, at least 4-inches high. No matter what the occasion, my feet had to look cute. I never thought about being practical. I always carried Band-Aids and moleskin for the blisters.”

Best styles while pregnant: “During my first pregnancy, and now in my second, my footwear has changed drastically. My feet and back ached after walking around in heels. I’m currently wearing rubber-sole flats that are lightweight and allow room for swollen feet. I’m looking for styles I can slip into quickly. I like Skechers, and I’ve also bought Aerosoles and Chinese Laundry.”

Keepers: “I love heels, but now only wear them for special occasions. I’ve switched to simple black flats so I can keep up with the commuter lifestyle. Maybe in a few years, when I’m not rushing home, I’ll go back to the box of heels under my desk at work.”

3. Jennifer Conrad, 25, full-time mom

Edgewater, N.J.

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “I almost always wore heels. I own about 12 pairs of Christian Louboutins, Gucci and Manolo Blahniks.”

Best styles while pregnant: “I still wear my Louboutins, but not all the time. I’ve bought a lot of flat boots that include Michael Kors black ankle boots, two pairs of Uggs that I live in when running errands, along with Minnetonka flat boots and Frye knee-high flat boots. I also fell in love with flat motorcycle boots from Zara on a kitten heel, knee-high boots from Sigerson Morrison and cowgirl ankle boots from Boutique 9.”

Keepers: “I love how the Michael Kors ankle boots look with everything. They have buckles and zippers. I might not have purchased them before I became pregnant because I would have spent $400 on heels rather than flats. I’ll [continue wearing] all the boots I purchased. You just have to know how to dress up flats.”

4. Elisha Wachman, 29, pediatrician

Boston

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “I’ve always been a comfort girl when it comes to shoes. Dansko clogs have been my favorites since medical school. I have three pairs and wear them just about every day. I’ll occasionally wear flats on my days off and flip-flops in the summer.”

Best styles while pregnant: “I’ve stuck with my Danskos. They’re very roomy for my occasionally swollen feet and have plenty of support. They also slip on and off, so I don’t have to bend. I tried wearing flats a few times, but they were a bit snug and didn’t have the support. At home, I wear sandals with a cushioned bottom.”

Keepers: Dansko clogs

5. Nico Szczerba, 28, specialty department, gourmet supermarket

Rye, N.Y.

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “I live in flip-flops and Birkenstocks in the summer, and Keen, Rocket Dog and skate shoes in the colder months. Classic Chuck Taylors are a must. I’m also known to wear my Acorn slippers for [outdoor] shoes. I’m not one for heels.”

Best styles while pregnant: “Into my second and third trimesters, my feet swelled. At work, I had to ditch my slip-resistant Croc sneakers because they weren’t supportive. I was having major sciatica problems, so I wore Keen hiking sneakers. Outside of work, I had a pair of lightweight foam Birkenstocks I found at Famous Footwear for $21. They weighed almost nothing and had enough arch to get around.”

Keepers: “My wardrobe is similar to the way it was before my pregnancy.”

6. Katrinka Marquand, 31, nursing student

Los Angeles

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “Heels — the higher the better.”

Best styles while pregnant: “I haven’t added any, however, I am wearing my running shoes much more often.”

Keepers: “I still prefer heels, but because this is my second pregnancy and I’m chasing after a toddler, comfortable shoes like sneakers are my preference now.”

7. Clair Windsor, 31, writer

Brookline, Mass.

Pre-pregnancy favorites: “My shoe collection includes everything from high-top Converse sneakers to 4-inch Manolo Blahniks. My go-to shoes were Lanvin flats, Loeffler Randall Matilde boots and Balenciaga booties with a 3-inch heel.”

Best styles while pregnant: “At the start, I could still walk all day in my fancy heels with no aches and pains. That changed when I hit my sixth month. Wearing heels became a safety hazard so I started wearing flats or my shoes with tiny heels. The Loeffler Randall boots have been a life saver. They’re stylish, easy to take on and off, and have a teeny heel. I’ve added my first pair of Aerosoles. I got cute, flat, fringed ankle booties and flat suede boots with three buckles up the sides. I also bought a pair of Frye Paige boots in a gorgeous saddle-brown leather with tiny studs all over.”

Keepers: “I’ll keep wearing my new shoes and boots. Right now, I can’t imagine wearing anything higher than a 1-inch heel. I’m lucky I found some great, reasonably priced options.”

 

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