Swollen feet during pregnancy (or Edema) is one of those common less attractive pregnancy subjects well known but that no one talks about. However, studies have shown that during pregnancy there is a significant increase in the volume of the feet that is equivalent to 8.5% of the volume of each foot.
This swelling of the feet usually occurs gradually during pregnancy and is often worse towards the third trimester. However, a sudden increase in swelling can be a sign of pre-eclampsia and requires medical attention.
How can swollen feet and foot pain during pregnancy be reduced?
During pregnancy, the body goes through hormonal and anatomical changes, which includes your feet. Not only does the accumulation of liquid cause your feet to swell and affect blood circulation in your legs, changes in body-mass distribution, joint laxity, and muscle strength can all contribute to alterations in gait pattern that can lead to pain or injury to the foot, ankle and hips.
Medical professionals advise that the best way to prevent and overcome these pregnancy symptoms is by proper diet and exercise.
Going for a short walk can improve leg circulation and reduce swelling. Walking and other kinds of pregnant safe exercise won't only be good for your feet, it has been proven to bring more favorable maternal and birth outcomes.
Moreover, studies have shown that footwear has a great impact on foot and general health, alleviating pain and providing comfort.
What shoes are best to wear for swollen pregnant feet?
1.Coral Stretch Knit - Best Walking Shoe
The Coral knit is the perfect walking shoe for swollen feet. With stretchable uppers and a soft protective interior it offers 4 ways to stretch to accommodate any foot shape and swelling that occurs during the day. In addition, it has a cushioning sole with a mild rocker that improves the ease of walking and adds spring to your step. Like all Orthofeet shoes, Coral is designed with a wide toe box, further offering a pressure fit for the toes allowing them to move freely. This best selling style comes in 9 colors to pair with practically any outfit: black, gray, turquoise, white, wool blend gray, black with black sole, lavender, blue and silver. And it practically fits any foot since it is available from narrow width all the way up to extra wide.
2. Francis No-Tie Sneaker
Not only does it have the same stretchable characteristics as coral stretch knit being able to accommodate any swollen foot, it also features a bungee toggle that eliminates the need to tie laces! This is ideal during pregnancy, especially during the later months when it becomes really difficult to bend down because of the growing bump. There will be less fumbling and quick, easy on/off wear. Not only is the upper stretchy, it is quite breathable, promoting air flow when you tend to feel warmer because of the increased amount of blood in your body during pregnancy. Whether you are an active preggo or prefer chilling out, Francis will be your go to shoe throughout the 9 months and after!
3. Lyra - Best Stretchable Walking Sandal
With hormonal changes pregnant women are also sensitive to temperature changes, so there is no question that on a hot day sandals are a great option. Lyra sandals are the best walking sandals for pregnant women when they just need a little cooling off. Made with 4-way stretch fabric, your feet will love the flexible support, yet feel relaxed even when they retain water. The heel strap allows for adjustment for those whose ankles become swollen and is also the easiest way to get your foot in. For those who become super sensitive during pregnancy, the toe post is thin, soft and flat and will barely be felt between the toes. But best of all, Lyra is a healthy sandal and is designed with premium arch support and cushioning. Overpronation will be controlled, your feet will align with the rest of the body, and back pain will be non existent!
4. Florence - Best Comfortable Walking Boots
Boots are always a little tough to put on and usually feel a little snug, even when you are not pregnant, so it can get really frustrating finding a boot that is wide enough to accommodate the swollen foot. Luckly, Florence was designed for small and big feel alike! It is available in an extra wide width, and offers a truly relaxed fit inside because of the extra depth, unique shape and wide, round and tall toe box. The two hook and loop straps and tongue that pull back completely, create a wide opening for easy foot insertion and allows you to adjust the grip around the instep and ankles. Florence are first-class walking boots that will help the pregnant body maintain a healthy posture with its premium orthotic insoles and anatomical arch support. The waterproof version (black with wool detailing around the collar), is perfect for those who need extra protection during the winter months. A waterproof leather upper, with sealed seams and gusseted tongue keeps your feet warm and dry. The sole is made from special rubber and unique tread design for increased traction and grip, even on wet surfaces. The water resistant version has a super plush faux fur interior, even on the footbed, for a toasty warm feel.
5. Louise - Arch Support Slippers for Pregnancy
Not only do you need support when you are out and about, inside the house is no exception. Walking barefoot is a big no no for many reasons but especially when you are pregnant with the extra weight pushing down on your feet and arches flattening them out. Flat feet lead to overpronation, misalignment of the legs and body and unnecessary pain. Louise slippers provide the utmost support, cushioning and protection when you are home. A built in orthotic will hug your arches, cup your heels, and disperse shock forces when your foot strikes the ground. Multiple layers of foam will cushion your feet for a walking on clouds feeling. Breathable, stretch uppers will conform to any shape and offer a pressure free environment for a swollen foot. Louise will feel so good, we guarantee you’ll forget they’re on your feet - you’ll definitely leave home wearing them!
- Dorothy Cassar , Cynthia Formosa (2022) “The Impact of Pregnancy on Foot Health” Malta Journal of Health Sciences.
- Arianna L.Gianakos Adam Abdelmoneim, Gino M.Kerkhoffs Christopher W.DiGiovanni (2022) “Why Do My Feet Hurt?” The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery.
- Kong KL, Campbell CG, Foster RC, Peterson AD, Lanningham-Foster L (2014) “ A pilot walking program promotes moderate-intensity physical activity during pregnancy” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise