Shoes for women vs shoes for men

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Shoes for men and shoes for women: the difference

Usually women's shoes range from Italian size 35/36 to 40/41, and men's shoes from 40 to 45 (here is a guide to Italian size). We could think that a woman with shoe size 40/41 could choose between both men's shoes and women's shoes. However, this is not the case.
The difference is not just in the size, as a man is not only usually taller than a woman, a man is also differently built.

A man's foot tends to be wider, with a more pronounced big toe, and the heel is also generally wider. Just as running shoes are very different between men and women, the fashion shoes you find in our shop are also structurally different. Obviously in reference to normotypes.

So the difference is not only in shoe style and colors: these dateils regard only fashion. There are also shoes for men and for women that are not even so dissimilar. Let's think to a classic derby or oxford shoes that aesthetically are not very distinguishable between men and women, but change at the level of internal structure.

Women brogues made in ItalyFor example, these brogues at a glance look like unisex shoes. If we compare these shoes to a similar men's derby, apparently no difference is noticed apart from the length, since the women's one in picture is a size 37, and the men's one a size 42, in picture on the right.

Men derby shoeGenerally, the male foot has a lower or flatter foot arch, while the female one is more pronounced. Consequently the structure of the shoe must adapt to this, to allow greater comfort and a better fit.
Also, the male foot tends to be wider, so the shoes are wider.

So a 40 in a women's derby and a 40 in a men's derby differ in the following points:

  • the women's 40 is narrower than the men's one in the front
  • the 40 for men is wider not only in the front, but also at the level of the heel
  • the structure of the women's shoe takes into account a more accentuated arch.

Knowing these differences, it is also possible to choose shoes "of the other sex", that is, if a woman has a wider foot she can also opt for a men shoe, and vice versa, if a man has a narrower foot she can choose between models for women.

The same thing applies, perhaps even more rigorously to sneakers. The difference at a first glance seems to be that women's sporty shoes are more colorful and charming. There is actually a lot of difference on a structural level.
Take for example this shoe from Skechers, which looks identical for men and women, apart from the color and aesthetic details.

Skechers shoe for womenOn the left we have the women's one and on the right the men's one.

Skechers shoes for men
The substantial detail is that men need shoes that are wider at the heel and narrower at the forefoot than women, for a difference in physiognomy and consequent stride, which is different between men and women.

Furthermore, in running shoes the degree of support offered in the midsole is also calculated. That is, since the muscle mass is different, the support required by the shoe is different. So usually sneakers for women have a lighter and softer midsole than men's shoes.
So, the difference is absolutely not in style or colors, but there is a structure that changes depending on whether it is a women's shoe or a men's shoe.

Even unisex shoes like the Birkenstocks have very small differences depending on whether it is a size for women or for men. So much so that they leave the choice to the customer by providing the normal fit or narrow fit option.
Birkenstock's trick is to offer an anatomical insole on which to generate the imprint of one's foot with the weight. In this way you get a personalized shoe, with the insole that responds perfectly to the shape of your foot.