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