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Men's vs Women's shoes

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and so too do feet, which is why

buying a pair of running shoes is a personal choice. Importantly,

men’s feet and women’s feet have some rather significant

differences that are factored in when companies make gender

specific shoes.

FOOT SHAPE

The shape is the biggest difference between men’s and women’s

shoes.

A woman’s running shoe last is designed to be

wider at the

forefoot and narrow at the heel. The men’s equivalent male shoe

last is generally wide from heel to toe. Shoes are not personal fit,

but as generic as possible to appeal to the widest market, so its

assumed that as a general rule, men’s feet are wider and larger than

the average woman.

It is vital that you stick to the correct gender relevant to you when

buying a shoe. Often the shoes look the same, with a colour

variation, but the fit will be very different if the shoe is of a good

quality. Women sometimes try on men’s shoes to get the fit that

suits them in the heel area, but the forefoot will be too narrow

generally, causing a potential injury or blister issues.

WEIGHT

Like the fit, the average weight is taken into account when making a

shoe. The average height and weight of a male is on average greater

than a Women, meaning more impact pressure in every step a man

takes compared to that of a woman. Often, the midsole foam

durometer (hardness) of Women’s shoes are softer than the male

equivalent. Durability will become an issue if the wearer is too

heavy, compressing the EVA and deforming the shape of the shoe.

PRONATION

Women more than men are likely to Pronate, due to basic

physiological differences in body shape.

The angle between the quadriceps muscle and the patella tendon,

known as the Q angle, is the key reason why women are more likely

to overpronate. The Q angle is higher for women due to their

naturally wider hips and pelvis. To counteract this, many Women’s

shoes are made from slightly more supportive material.

Understand the shape and biomechanics of your own feet will help

you choose the right shoes for you. No brand is the same, each

making shoes with their own last and size grading. Your shoe is the

key piece of equipment for running, and the most likely piece of

equipment that will cause you a potential issue.

Find the perfect shoe for you