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German company Pregnidos has designed a range of adjustable shoes specifically to cater for pregnant women suffering from swollen feet. They have recently launched their summer collection, featuring lace-up and strappy sandals. I tested the ankle boots, which come in three colours – black, blue and red – and in sizes 36 to 42. All of the shoes feature simple fastens – such as looped laces or Velcro – to minimise the effort required to get them on and off and slip-free soles. Many feature slightly wedged soles for better balance and weight distribution.
On first inspection, they look rather lumpen and ungainly – these are not the shoes to wear with an elegant dress. But they are practical.
What are the main benefits of the Pregnidos Alpha shoes?
These boots are designed to give lots of space for swollen feet. They have a sturdy non-slip sole, to help keep you safe and upright, and they have side zips to make getting them on and off easier, with minimum time spent bent over your bump.
How comfortable are they?
The boots are seriously roomy inside and can be adjusted using the fold-out tongue, so no matter how swollen your feet are, you’ll be able to get them on. I have naturally wide feet, and they’re swollen, but these boots were almost too big for my feet. My toes didn’t come close to the sides or end, and I got them in my usual shoe size.
If, like me, your ankles are even more swollen than your feet, the boot shape isn’t ideal – it was tricky to loosen the ankle area enough, without making the rest of the boot too loose.
The soles are thick and sturdy rubber, with a small wedge, which gives plenty of cushioning when you’re carrying extra weight, and makes them ideal for walks around muddy parks. Inside, they’re shaped to support your arches. The first time I wore them I didn’t use the removable insoles, and found them surprisingly hard after I’d been wearing trainers a lot, but the insoles definitely helped.
Are they breathable and waterproof?
I was worried they’d be hot and sweaty, but the perforated suede makes them breathable and not sweaty at all.
The weather has been mild and a bit wet when I’ve been testing them – I haven’t tried them in freezing or boiling temperatures. The manufacturers don’t describe them as waterproof, and I think the suede would eventually let water in if you wore them in a really heavy downpour, but they’ve kept my feet dry when I’ve worn them in the rain.
The thick sole keeps your feet out of puddles, and the logo-shaped bumps across the base of the sole meant they felt reassuringly non-slip, even on wet floors.
Are the Pregnidos Alpha shoes easy to get on and off?
There are zips up the insides to make them easier to get in and out of. I found they still took more effort and tugging to get on than trainers, although the leather does get softer, and therefore easier to get on, the more you wear them.
Are they stylish?
In a word, no, not in my opinion. Although it’s obviously subjective, I’d say these are definitely substance over style. The spacious toe area and thick sole mean they look a little like clown shoes. But once even my trainers started rubbing, these were the shoes I reached for. You definitely wouldn’t wear them to glamorous occasions.
Do the Pregnidos Alpha shoes feel durable?
They feel well-made. I’ve only been wearing them for a couple of months, so it’s difficult to know for certain how long they’d last. The sole is sewn on, rather than glued, which bodes well for longevity.
Are they good value for money?
At €149 (around £132), these are expensive. So value for money depends on a few things – how early in your pregnancy your feet swell up, how swollen your feet are, whether you’d wear them once baby has arrived, and how many babies you hope to have.
If your feet only swell up in your third trimester, then you’re potentially only going to get 3 months’ wear out of them. But if your feet are too swollen to fit into any of your other shoes and you’re wearing them every day, then they work out at only €1.65 a day. If you’re hoping this will be the first of many pregnancies, then obviously you’ll get more wear out of them, which will make them a better investment.
The company says they will feel equally comfortable after pregnancy. But I think I’d find them too big if my feet weren’t swollen, and I got them in my normal shoe size. I’m also looking forward to being able to wear my normal shoes again! So I don’t think I’ll wear them when I’m no longer pregnant.
Would you recommend this to other pregnant women?
If your feet are too swollen to comfortably fit into any of your ordinary shoes, and you spend a lot of time walking or on your feet, then these are ideal for you. If your feet are only a little swollen, you’ll probably get more use out of a decent pair of trainers in a bigger size.
Where can I buy the Pregnidos Alpha shoes?
They are available directly from Pregnidos.
A comfortable pair of sturdy boots for really swollen feet. They won Bronze in the Made for Mums Awards 2019, for their practicality, but they won’t be winning any style awards from this mum-to-be.
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