What Shoes Are Best During Pregnancy?


Dear Fitness Expert,
wearing a pair of flip flopsI am in the first stage of pregnancy. Your site is of great help to me and lots of my fears regarding pregnancy and changes which would occur have already vanished. But this one question is bugging me again and again.

Is is unsafe to put on high heels (including platforms) during pregnancy? If yes during which trimester? What kind of footwear do you recommend during pregnancy?


I'm so glad Pregnancy.org has offered you peace of mind as well as answers to your questions. That is why we are here! We always recommend that you keep an open dialogue with your personal physician regarding any questions. But as the fitness/nutrition expert, I have been asked the question regarding high heels versus safety many times. The answer is a bit tricky.

High heels -- or the principle of standing tall on the balls of your feet -- poses no danger to your baby. However, two problems do arise with women who are pregnant:

  • First, many women report feeling more clumsy. Although scientific research shows no medical reason for this and the debate continues whether women really are more prone to injury, the fact remains that many women say they feel more clumsy. Our recommendation is an easy one -- if you feel awkward or clumsy, stay away from high heels and platforms. In all likelihood, there is no danger for your baby but a strong chance of you spraining an ankle or worse.
  • Second, as you move through the pregnancy, your joints begin to loosen in preparation of child birth. For this reason, many experts suggest expectant mothers stay away from high heels because you could cause injury to yourself -- sprained ankle, pulled muscle, hip injury.

But the most common complaint in regards to wearing high heels is the discomfort it brings to the lower back, which is already tender due to the changes occurring in your body. While there is no medical reason NOT to wear high heels, it is our feeling that it is always better safe than sorry and flats, tennis shoes, sandals are always best.

NOTE: As you reach the latter part of your pregnancy, it is also recommended that you avoid sandals, clogs and/or flip flops that are slick on wet surfaces or you can fall out of. Running shoe are best -- there are many cute, stylish shoes you can find that will provide great traction and support to your foot and lower back.

-- Alex

Alexandra Allred

Alexandra Allred is a former member of the US Women's Bobsled team, is an accomplished martial artist, and continues to teach kickboxing while juggling her career as a full-time writer and mother of three. She has interviewed hundreds of athletes, models, actresses, trainers, doctors, and health/fitness experts as she sought to find answers to her own questions about working out while pregnant, arranging breast-feeding around a training schedule, diet when pregnant and breastfeeding, and encouraging her whole family.

Alex is the author of ten books, including Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sports and Entering the Mother Zone: Balancing Self, Health & Family. We're excited to have her on board!