Ever heard of “shrink ’em and pink ’em” ?

That’s how shoe companies jokingly brief their designers to create a women’s version of a shoe. Or at least this was the standard until a few years ago.

Last year, women represented 58% of all the 5k races in the USA, 61% of half-marathons and 43% of all marathons.

Finally shoe companies are realizing women are a large part of the running population and  that women bodies are different than men’s.

Wider Q-angles, lower body mass and different feet shape are just some of the physiological differences that grant women different needs when talking about the ideal running shoe.

While the need for women’s specific running shoes isn’t immediately obvious, there are several factors about a typical woman’s biomechanics that require consideration during the design phase of running shoes.

Women’s Biomechanics

Wider Hips Mean Extra Stress

The first factor is that women have larger hips than men, making it more common for women to pronate outside of the normal range.

According to a report by Runner’s World runner’s knee tends to strike women nearly twice as frequently because of the added stress.

To remedy this issue, a little extra support either through slightly different midsoles or outsoles can go a long way.

Lower Body Mass

In general, women have about 15% lower body mass than men, though this can vary among individuals.

This lower body mass means that shoe designers must consider how much foam is necessary in the midsole (women will likely need a little less), meaning that women’s shoes tend to be slighter lower, softer, and lighter than the men’s version.

In addition, groves in women’s shoes tend to be slightly deeper, making it easier to flex the midsole on toe-off and accounting for the lower body mass.

Foot Shape

Engineers also should consider the fact that men’s feet tend to be broader and longer on average.

Women’s feet, on the other hand, have different shape characteristics, especially in the arch, toe, and ball of the foot. To ensure that the sole unit is responsive and fits the foot properly, these factors should be considered.

These are the running shoes we recommend for women.

Which ones do you run in ? Let us know in the comments !

Featured in this roundup

Editor rating
6/10
User's rating
PROS: Decent cushion,  Good traction,  Upper is quite breathable
CONS: Narrow toe box,  Not nearly as cushioned as advertised

Recommended for:  This shoe is designed for all neutral runners who want to log high mileage. The target market includes heavy-set runners.
Editor rating
10/10
User's rating
PROS: Cushion for any runner, any distance,  Incredible grip for a road shoe,  Responsive to upped speeds,  Comfy on the feet
CONS: A little porous during rain running

Recommended for:  This shoe is for anyone who is a neutral runner. Plenty of cushion for long miles, still light and quick enough to push the pace.
Editor rating
5/10
User's rating
PROS: Guiderails support the foot and provide pronation control,  Boost™ foam is comfortable and somewhat responsive,  Custom midsole support
CONS: The toe box is narrow yet has room for upward movement, and I need to loosen laces to a more roomy fit to keep the engineered mesh toe box from pinching.,  I need to use the “heel-lock” shoe string holes to better secure the heel, but the strings are short and uncomfortable on my ankles: awkward design.,  Heavy

Recommended for:  This is a good shoe for those who prize high cushion and stability over a lightweight shoe.

It’s best use is long runs and recovery runs as the heavier weight is noticed when trying to pick up the pace, but, it is more flexible through transition than some comparably heavy models making it a possible speedwork option for those who prefer this type of shoe.
Editor rating
8/10
User's rating
PROS: High amount of cushioning. Perfect for long distance training,  Improved upper material.
CONS: Shoe is not flexible.,  Despite improved upper, toe box still felt restrictive,  Price

Recommended for:  This is best suited for beginner runners looking for an everyday trainer that aids against over pronation. It is ideal for training for long distance races like the half and full marathons.
Editor rating
9/10
User's rating
PROS: Smart use of Flywire to keep your feet secured,  Great rubber coverage on outsole,  Relatively durable construction
CONS: Outsole design picks up small rocks,  Some might find the sole to feel stiffer than previous versions

Recommended for:  These shoes are for casual to advanced runners who want a 10mm drop neutral shoe without the most expensive running tech, but a shoe that still has quality construction.
 
Rating
6/10
10/10
5/10
8/10
9/10
Best Price$98$99$80$135$83
Type Cushioning Cushioning Stability Stability Cushioning
Weight 11.10 oz. oz. oz. 11.30 oz. 10.40 oz.
  Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review Read Full Review




By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close