Summer shoes – toes out!

Image copyright Courtney Boyd Myers via Flickr

Image copyright Courtney Boyd Myers via Flickr

Now that the summer is coming, once we get through the snow this week, May eek!, it’s important to spend some time thinking about shoes.

As your body grows and blossoms with your pregnancy, your weight increases.  The arch of your foot is the structure that supports this weight and naturally flattens a little bit with the extra loading. This makes your foot temporarily bigger.  Towards the end of your pregnancy you may take up to a whole size bigger.

When considering your summer shoe purchase, things like ‘easy on and off’ are of course important, (gladiator sandals just won’t figure this summer!)  but also, a shoe/sandal that will accommodate your foot in its skinniness in the morning and possibly a bit puffier come evening is needed.

Supporting the arch is probably the most important thing to protect your footshape and keep pain at bay.  Very flat shoes put a little more stress on the arch, particularly if you have tightish calves or are used to wearing heels at work.  Up to an inch of heel is considered good, but it needs to be a broad heel to help with balance and ankle stability.  No stilettos!

No one shoe fits all, let alone suits all styles so there is no perfect answer. Things like Birkenstock and crocs score high on arch support, but are quite flat.  Fitflops generally have some arch support and some pitch in the heel too.  Teva-type walking sandals generally have good support and pitch but are disastrous in the fashion stakes.  Sometimes a compromise can be reached with things like converse/vans by adding an off the shelf arch support but again you’ll need to keep stretching out your calves.

Let comfort be your guide, but spare a thought for your arches!

Equipment & maternity swimwear for antenatal swimming classes

Class gets ready to use floats

Class gets ready to use floats

One of the questions I am often asked by those starting our aquanatal classes is whether they need to bring any special equipment or maternity swimwear and the answer is no, none at all! We provide floats and supports for all attending classes. However a few tips:

  • Most pools prefer patrons to wear hats so make sure you get one that you are comfortable wearing before the class. You can buy them at reception in the National Aquatic Centre.
  • As we do move about a fair bit in the class most of the women find one piece swimwear more comfortable. However specialised maternity swimwear is not essential. You might even find shopping for regular swimwear in a larger size gives you more choice and more value. Some women will add a black bra under their swimsuit for added support.
  • It is highly recommended that you wear flip flops to classes. While pools do their very best to ensure non-slip surfaces, they cannot guarantee it. With the added bump, your balance is constantly changing and it can be difficult to adjust. A pair of flip flops will help you to keep your footing.
Your maternity swimwear should be comfortable for you as you move about

Your maternity swimwear should be comfortable for you as you move about

As I research and develop my swimming classes I do introduce new aids which you may find particularly useful or therapeutic. I am, of course, happy to let you know where I source these aids – just ask at class or leave a comment below.

If a pool where our antenatal classes take place has some special requirement for equipment I will let you know by email when you register for this class.

Lastly the most important thing anyone can bring to a class is themselves! I know sometimes on a rainy evening in November the last thing you want to do is haul yourself back out to a swimming pool. But I guarantee that you will leave the class feeling energised and positive no matter what equipment we use or which swimwear you have on!