March 19, 2010

Reader Question: Help, I’m Pregnant and Going to Disney World, I Need Cute Comfy Shoes!

Reader Question

Hi there!  Love your blog!

I am going on a trip to Disney World in late May (God help me) with my husband's family. Our 2.5 year old will be along for the trip, and I will be about six months pregnant.

I am trying to find comfortable, breathable shoes to wear for this trip, that are also cute and stylish. My feet are wide to begin with, so pregnancy swelling+Disney crowds+heat and humidity will probably turn them into Fred Flintstone feet.

I'd appreciate any suggestions you can come up with. I'm feeling desperate.

Shani

PS: This trip was not my idea.

Answer

Disney World.  At the end of May.  Whilst 6 months pregnant.  With a preschooler.  And your in-laws.  On your feet.  He’s probably telling you it won’t even be very hot that time of year, but, of course, he’s never carried a fetal furnace in utero.  Sounds like a baby moon to me!

Of course this wasn’t your idea–your sanity would be questionable indeed if it were–but we both know you’ll have a blast celebrating with your family and spending your last few months as a three-person family unit.  S. and I agree, though, you are going to need some serious footwear to get you through your trip and through the summer.  

First, however, I think you might be entitled to some spa treatments.  Maybe with all that family fun going on, you could swing some mommy time.  Please check out the spas and get a massage for both of us.  My back is aching just thinking about your trip.

Secondly, I must warn you that I stuck mainly with true comfort brands, which are generally on the pricier side.  What I’ve found, however, is that when I buy cheap shoes that look comfortable, they invariably are anything but, which I usually discover after wearing them outside, rendering them un-returnable–more money down the drain.  With the exception of the Privos and the TOMS shoes, which are S’s pick, I tried each of these on today and all were comfortable enough, and cute enough (for comfort shoes), to be your every day go-to shoe.  So, without further ado, here are my quick picks for spring/summer comfort shoes:     

Birkenstock Gizeh in Metallic Silver ($80)

Birkenstocks!?  You say.  I ask for cute.  I ask for stylish, you give me Birkenstocks!?  Yes, I know, but after a brief break-in period, these will be the most comfortable shoes you have ever owned and they accommodate wide, pregnant, and even Flintstone feet insanely well.  I hadn’t worn Birks since my high school granola stint, but I fell in love with the Gizeh in metallic silver when I was pregnant with my first.  I’ve worn them going on three summers now and they still look really good while getting more and more comfortable.  The thong toe has a more feminine and streamlined (dare I say sexier!?), kind of Egyptian feel than your standard unisex Arizona and it’s classic enough to get you through several summers.  Another of Birk’s more feminine styles is the Lennox in Graniglia Rame ($72 on sale).  I’m also intrigued by the Gizeh in Mocha Chain ($140), but I haven’t seen them in person and it could all go hideously wrong, so be wary. . . 

Birkenstock Gizeh in Metallic Silver Birkis Lennox in Graniglia Rame Birkenstock Gizeh Leather in Mocha Chain


TOMS Classics ($44 – $54) 

I was ambivalent about TOMS shoes at first.  I looked at them and my first reaction was: these are the anti-Ked–an opposite, but equally heinous, comfort shoe.  That was before I became a full-fledged convert.  Now I love them.  I want them.  I need them.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s the One for One program–they give a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes they sell.  That kind of thing always gets me.  I haven’t been able to pul the trigger on a pair yet though, because the variety is sort of debilitating.  What I really want is the Baobab Sunset Classics, but they’re sold out ‘till May and I’m not known for patience.  Also on the hot list: Olive Canvas ClassicsPurple Tangier ClassicsNatural Burlap Classics and the Navy Canvas Classics.  Love these with all denim, maybe with leggings, definitely with breezy summer dresses and skirts. 

TOMS Tangier Vegan Classics TOMS Burlap Classics TOMS Baobab Navy Classics

Privo Randford ($75) and Arbor ($70)

I love the arch support and flex of Privo shoes.  The styling. . . usually, not so much, but I'm pretty impressed with both the Randford and the Arbor.  Both come in black and bronze, my color picks, and the Arbor also comes in black patent.  One reviewer says they're more comfortable than her sneakers.  Done and done for Disney World.

Privo Radford in Black Privo Arbor in Bronze Privo Arbor in Black Patent

UGG Brook ($100)

I lo-ove any kind of cork sole I can get.  They are super-duper comfortable and shock absorbing.  These are my pick if you want more of a lift for casual diners out and whatnot.  Yes, you’re probably paying a bit for the UGG name but comparable styles are only about $20 less and I trust UGG workmanship.  If you don’t agree, Zappos has a stellar return policy, so they’re easy to try.  These some in black, chesnut, ultramarine and a hard-to-find coral color, all of which I love.  I’d wear these with just about anything: short skirts, jumpsuits, boyfriend shorts and jeans. 

UGG Brook in Black UGG Brook in Chesnut UGG Brook


Mephisto Agacia Sandal in Black Disco ($179)

When I tried these Mephistos on today, I was shocked (and thrilled) by how sublimely comfortable the footbed is.  These are like a daintier version of the Birk Gizeh with a softer footbed.  These come in a variety of other color options, but I just wasn't feeling them.  Black Disco is where it's at.  Or maybe I just like the name. . . 

Mephisto Agacia Sandal in Black Disco

Gabor Flat Gladiator ($150)

Unfortunately, I don’t have a direct link here because this is a UK brand that I couldn’t find on any U.S.-based online stores after having purchased them (for comfort shoe research) at my friendly local shoe repair shop, Dardanos.  Ladies, if you can find, them, try them on.  So-supple-it’s-already-broken-in-leather.  Padded footbed.  Arch support.  Grippy tread.   Hidden, elasticized ankle strap to prevent chaffing.  This is Comfort.  Shoe.  Love.

Gabor Flat Glad


- M.

7 Comments
  • Shani
    March 19, 2010

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel much better now :-) And I promise that a spa treatment will be in my future for this trip (come hell or high water). Thanks again!

  • LilliMa
    March 19, 2010

    I also wanted to recommend SOLE flip flops — not really cute, per se, but they have orthopedic soles and have gotten rid of the foot pain I was getting from wandering around barefoot everywhere. See them at http://www.yoursole.com and good luck with your trip!

  • Mary
    March 20, 2010

    Can I give a shoutout to Merrell shoes? Specifically the Zodiac Maryjane: http://zapp.me/7460171. They are $80 at Zappos but can be found outher places much cheaper. I wore them on a family trip to Disneyland while five months pregnant and my feet felt great the entire time. Plus, I think they’re really cute & versatile–I’ve worn them pretty much every day that I’ve been on maternity leave.

  • Molly
    March 20, 2010

    And then there are Chacos, which are adjustable (for the inevitable foot swelling of a pregnant Mama at Disney). I wore those and *gasp* plain ol’ Nike’s for our 7.5 month pregnant Disney weekend.

  • S
    March 21, 2010

    Wow – is going to DisneyWorld pregnant a thing? Shani, it sounds like you are not alone!
    Thanks for the tips, girls!
    Lillama – I am intrigued by Soles. I’m not totally sold, but they are almost perfect. I love the idea of orthopedic soles in a flip-flop (I LIVE in mine all Spring, Summer and Fall). They are still a touch too sporty for my taste, but I think I’d be sold if they would just thin out the upper part a bit. Having skinny little straps would make them look a little less sporty – and I love that they come in simple, solid colors. Sigh. I should write in. :)

  • Melissa
    March 24, 2010

    I recommend Privos http://www.privoshoes.org. Have owned several styles/pairs and always get compliments on how cute they are. And they are seriously comfortable!

  • Elena Thurston
    March 27, 2010

    What a great post and advice!! Going to San Diego, six months preggo, already wide feet, etc. So exactly what I needed.
    Thanks for all that have donated tips.

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