Integrative Nutrition for Women's Health 

The Best Running Shoes During Pregnancy

Congratulations on the pregnancy mama! Continuing to run throughout your pregnancy can be a great way to support your mental health, while providing some great health benefits to you and your new baby! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of choosing the right running shoes and present a curated list of the best options available. Finding the right running shoe for you will not only make your runs more enjoyable, but also support your ever changing body during pregnancy and postpartum.

Understanding the Importance:

Support for Changing Body:

The female body will change a lot during pregnancy, influencing our running mechanics and the type of footwear essential for providing adequate support. One of the biggest change many women face is the weight gain. Although it’s completely healthy and recommended to gain weight during pregnancy, the added weight can add extra stress on the body during runs. Investing in a good pair of running shoes can help minimize the added stress and prevent injury.

Another important change that happens during pregnancy is the increase of certain hormones like relaxin and progesterone. These two hormones can make your joints more flexible and loose. This change can impact our feet, which can cause our feet to become wider and flat. This is one reason pregnant women may need to buy bigger shoes during pregnancy. So to support this, we want to buy running shoes that will support the arches of our feet. It’s also recommended to incorporate specific exercises into your routine to maintain the strength of intrinsic foot muscles, preventing the arches from collapsing.

Important Tip!

Before you buy new running shoes, see if you can find a local running warehouse in your area (or something similar). Most running warehouses will provide a free running analysis to help you determine which shoe would be best for you! The process is pretty easy. You will run on a treadmill while someone observes your running stride to then determine which shoe might be best for you. You can also try their online support where you can submit a video of your running and they will analysis it for you.

Criteria for the Best Running Shoes:

1. Arch Support: how it may help

  1. Weight Distribution: Pregnancy leads to a natural increase in body weight, and this extra weight can place added stress on the feet, including the arches. Arch support helps distribute the increased weight more evenly across the foot, reducing the impact and potential discomfort during running.
  2. Stability and Balance: As the body undergoes changes during pregnancy, including hormonal fluctuations and a shifting center of gravity, maintaining stability and balance becomes essential. Arch support in running shoes provides the necessary foundation for stability, minimizing the risk of trips, falls, and injuries.
  3. Preventing Overpronation: Pregnancy hormones, such as relaxin, can cause joints and ligaments to become more flexible. This increased flexibility may lead to overpronation, where the foot rolls inward excessively. Arch support helps control pronation, maintaining proper alignment and reducing the strain on the feet and lower limbs.
  4. Alleviating Discomfort: The additional weight and changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy can contribute to foot discomfort and fatigue. Arch support helps alleviate this discomfort by providing extra cushioning and maintaining the natural alignment of the foot, allowing for a more comfortable running experience.
  5. Preventing Plantar Fasciitis: The increased stress on the feet, combined with hormonal changes, can make pregnant women more susceptible to conditions like plantar fasciitis. Arch support aids in preventing or alleviating this painful inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue connecting the heel to the toes.
  6. Adapting to Foot Changes: Pregnancy often leads to changes in the shape and size of the feet, such as an increase in width and a potential decrease in arch height. Arch support helps accommodate these changes, ensuring that the running shoes provide a comfortable and supportive fit throughout the pregnancy.

2. Breathability: how it may help

  1. Temperature Regulation: Pregnancy can lead to an increase in body temperature, and physical activities like running can further elevate it. Breathable running shoes facilitate better airflow, allowing heat to dissipate and helping to regulate body temperature. This is crucial in preventing overheating, especially during more strenuous workouts.
  2. Reducing Swelling: Pregnant women often experience swelling in the feet and ankles due to increased fluid retention. Breathable materials in running shoes promote better air circulation, which can aid in reducing swelling by preventing excessive heat and moisture buildup around the feet.
  3. Comfort and Dryness: Running generates sweat, and during pregnancy, the body may produce more sweat than usual. Breathable shoes wick away moisture, keeping the feet dry and comfortable. Dry feet are less prone to irritation, blisters, and fungal infections, contributing to an overall more pleasant running experience.

3. Adjustability and Room to Grow: why it may be important

  1. Foot Swelling: During pregnancy, it is common for women to experience swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs due to increased fluid retention. Running shoes with adjustable features, such as laces or straps, provide the flexibility to accommodate varying levels of swelling, ensuring a comfortable fit throughout the different stages of pregnancy.
  2. Changes in Foot Size: The hormonal changes and weight gain associated with pregnancy can lead to changes in the size and shape of the feet. Running shoes with room to grow account for potential increases in foot size, providing the necessary space for the feet to adapt to these changes without causing discomfort.
  3. Adapting to Arch Changes: Pregnancy hormones, such as relaxin, can affect the arches of the feet, potentially causing them to flatten or widen. Running shoes with adjustability features allow pregnant women to customize the fit, providing adequate support for the evolving arches and minimizing the risk of discomfort or foot issues.

Top Picks:

1. Hoka Bondi 8

The Hoka Bondi 8, has gained a lot of popularity and is known as the brands most cushioned shoe Although lighter than the Bondi 7, it prioritizes comfort over weight, making it ideal for pregnant runners. Suited for pregnant runners, beginners, heel strikers, and those seeking a dedicated recovery run shoe, it offers a neutral design with a broader sole that adds stability to your stride. If you seek a plush and comforting running shoe, the Hoka Bondi 8 is a top pick.

Hoka Bondi 8

2. Saucony Women’s Ride 17 Sneaker

The Saucony Ride 17 is an ideal choice for pregnant women seeking comfort and stability during their runs. With its updated wider fit and midsole side walls providing excellent foot support, it ensures a comfortable and secure on-foot feel. This bouncy trainer is designed for everyday miles, allowing expectant mothers to focus on their run without compromising comfort or stability.

Saucony Women's Ride 17 Sneaker

3. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe

The New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13, a wonderfully cushioned daily trainer, offers a soft and bouncy feel perfect for pregnant women. This versatile shoe excels in both high-mileage sessions and occasional speedier runs, making it an excellent choice for all-around comfort during your pregnancy workouts.

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam x 1080 V12 Running Shoe

4. Nike InfinityRN 4

The Nike Infinity Run 4 emerges as an excellent choice for pregnant women seeking a comfortable and supportive running shoe. With its plush cushioning and innovative design, the shoe provides optimal shock absorption, reducing impact on joints during walks or light jogs. The Infinity Run 4 also boasts a secure fit and adaptive support, accommodating potential changes in foot size and shape during pregnancy. Its breathable materials help regulate temperature, while the wider sole provides added stability, promoting confidence and balance for expectant mothers. Whether for casual strolls or low-impact exercises, the Nike Infinity Run 4 prioritizes comfort and support, making it an ideal companion for pregnancy fitness routines.

Nike InfinityRN 4 shoe

5. Nike Invincible 3

Crafted for pregnant runners seeking utmost comfort, the Invincible 3 offers maximum cushioning to support each stride throughout every mile. Featuring plush and responsive ZoomX foam, it provides stability and a refreshing feel, ensuring comfort during various activities. In essence, this shoe promises to deliver an all-day, feel-good experience no matter the endeavor. Paired with versatile and easy-to-style colors, the Invincible 3 becomes a go-to choice that pregnant runners won’t want to take off, combining both style and unbeatable comfort for every step of the journey.

Now go out and get your runs in mama!

I hope you found this blog post helpful! Running during your pregnancy can be such an awesome tool and outlet. Having the right shoes can make your running journey more enjoy and keep your body healthy – this includes your pelvic floor!

If you have a favorite running shoe not listed here, please comment below so other runner’s can check them out!


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Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning Reviveh will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep the the site running. As always, I value full transparency and only work with brands I trust and love.

Pregnancy, Running




The Best Running Shoes During Pregnancy

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