Can Women Wear Men’s Running Shoes?

Whether you’re having trouble finding a pair of running shoes that fits properly or just like a different design aesthetic, you may have wondered if you could wear men’s running shoes as a woman. Will they suit you, and is it okay to consider buying them?

A woman can run just as well in men’s running shoes as she can on her own. Men’s running shoes are suitable to purchase if they fit you well, regardless of the brand, structure, color, or fact that your feet are wider.

Choosing the appropriate running shoes is crucial to expressing oneself through style. While general gender-based shoes are on the market, it may still be challenging to locate the correct pair.

Let’s dive into the specifics, but the answer to “can guys wear women’s shoes?” is definitely yes! Figure out why it is.

Can Women Wear Men’s Running Shoes?

Women Wear Men's Running Shoes

Yes, women can wear men’s running shoes. You shouldn’t have any issues if the shoes don’t cause any discomfort because of a major size difference or instability.

If you have slightly bigger heels than typical and are seeking comfortable and best shoes for running on concrete or in the woods but can’t find a nice pair in your gender’s department, you will save a lot of time and money by purchasing men’s running shoes.

However, whether you have narrow heels or not-so-wide forefeet, the following differences between women’s and men’s shoes may help you decide whether or not to purchase a pair.

Difference Between Men’s Shoes and Women’s Running Shoes

difference between men and women running shoes

Are men’s and women’s running shoes the same? It is a query that may be answered by looking at these primary differences between the two categories of shoes. 

  • Physical Differences
  • Different Sizes
  • Different Midsoles
  • The Effect Of Weight
  • Differential Pronation

1. Physical differences

Women’s feet are structurally different from men’s in that they are smaller overall. Thus, it is what you first notice.

Women’s feet are generally shorter and significantly thinner than men’s. To fit a bigger forefoot, the female shoe is often thinner overall and narrower in the heel area. Men’s shoes, on the other hand, are often broader.

It is the same width from heel to toe. Therefore, since the standard sizing more precisely matches the form and size of men’s feet, those with narrower or smaller feet may discover that they feel better at ease in women’s shoes.

You must try on all the shoes you wish to wear since each brand has a slightly different size standard.  

Even if a shoe is labelled as being for both men and women, it might still have a different midsole or heel support, which could change how it fits and how much it weighs.

2. Different Sizes

Shoe sizes for men and women aren’t the same. Normal women’s shoe size range from 6 to 11. Similarly, men’s shoe sizes run from 8 to 13.

While there are certain sizes that both sexes wear, such as an 8, there is still a significant gap between the sizing of men’s and women’s shoes. Obviously, this is because men and women have substantially different foot structures.

It’s simple to convert women’s shoe size to men’s. If you want to convert a woman’s shoe size to a man’s, just add 1.5. If you wear a size 7 women’s shoe, you will wear a size 8 and a half men’s shoe.

Note that these measures are not precise and only account for the shoe’s length, not its width.

3. Different Midsoles

Midsoles play a crucial role in running shoes because of their cushioning, stability, and impact absorption. Running shoes for men and women have different midsole materials.

The midsole of men’s running shoes is often firmer and heavier. On the other hand, women’s shoes have a lighter and softer midsole.

The difference between male and female midsoles results from the gender difference in muscle mass. If we compare a guy and a woman of the same height and shoe size, the male will be 15% heavier.

4. The Effect of Weight

Women weigh less than males of the same height and shoe size because their muscle mass is 15 % lower than men’s. As a result, the midsole of a women’s shoe absorbs 15 per cent less shock with each step.

To compensate, the midsoles in women’s shoes are often thinner and more padded than in men’s shoes.

In addition, although flex grooves are cut into the forefoot of both men’s and women’s shoes, the grooves on women’s shoes are substantially deeper.

Because of the greater difficulty in flexing the midsole due to a smaller lower body mass in women, these grooves have been included.

5. Differential Pronation

The pronation—or inward rolling of the foot during weight-bearing activities like running or walking—is one of the most noticeable differences between the lower backs of men and women.

The width of the Q-angle determines how much the feet pronate. The Q-angle is formed by the quadriceps muscles and the kneecap for those unfamiliar.

So, Women pronate more than men because their hips are broader than men’s, giving them a larger Q-angle.

How to Wear Men’s running shoes

Wear Men's running shoes

Men’s running shoes are designed to provide comfort and support while running, to jog, or to participate in physical activities. Here’s how to wear them:

  • Choose the right size- Make sure to measure your feet and try on different sizes to find the right fit. Your toes must have enough room to wiggle but not so much that your foot slides around inside the shoe.
  • Put on the socks- Wear the type of socks you’ll typically wear for running or exercising, such as moisture-wicking athletic socks.
  • Slip on the shoes- Place your foot inside the shoe and tighten the laces until the shoe fits snugly but not too tightly.
  • Test the fit- Walk around and make sure the shoe feels comfortable and supportive. Check that there is no slipping, pinching, or rubbing in any areas.
  • Adjust the laces- If necessary, adjust the laces for a more secure fit. The laces should be tight enough to keep your foot in place but not so tight that they’re uncomfortable or restrict blood flow.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your running shoes fit correctly and provide the comfort and support you need while you exercise.

How Do Women’s Shoes Differ from the Men’s Shoes?

The most basic difference between men’s and women’s shoes is their shape.

When it comes to running shoes, women often prefer a last that’s narrower in the back and wider up front. The male shoe shape men use typically broad from heel to toe.

Shoes are not custom-made but made as universally as possible to suit the maximum public. Hence it is generally accepted that males have bigger and wider feet than women.

By design, any men’s shoe may suit a woman’s attire, provided that the dress complements the shoe too. Numerous shoe companies, such as Vans, Nike, and Converse, produce unisex shoes that resemble this.

Factors Women Should Consider to Wear Men’s Shoes

women wearing men running shoes

Women can definitely wear men’s shoes. However, there are a number of things you should carefully check before purchasing your preferred kind of men’s shoes.

1- Arch Support And Anatomical Difference

Many people mistakenly believe that women’s feet are just scaled-down copies of men’s feet. However, that is untrue. 

  • Women’s bigger pelvic area
  • They have shorter legs (which is why they often wear pointed heels)
  • Greater Q-angle from the hip to the knee.

Therefore they need additional arch support to prevent their ankles from sliding inward. Women’s feet often have more flexible ankles and more flexible foot ligaments.

Women pronate more than men do for these reasons; as a result, they need more heel support to prevent inward ankle rollover.

Women’s feet often have more flexible ankles and more elastic foot ligaments. Because of the flattening of the arch, there is greater pronation when a woman’s foot strikes the ground when walking.

2- Fit

If you’re thinking about buying men’s shoes, this is the most crucial thing to consider. The fit and size differences vary depending on the brand. However, as a general rule, women’s shoe sizes are 1.5 to 2 points smaller than men’s.

Therefore, if your usual shoe size is US7, you should choose men’s shoes in US5 or US5.5. But other manufacturers don’t provide shoes in half sizes. Therefore, you may need to order two smaller sizes.

Men’s shoes must be tried before being purchased to ensure that they’ll look well and fit comfortably. Ensure that they fit properly if you want to wear them all day.

2- Cushioning

Men’s feet are able to withstand the impact because their muscles are more powerful and their posture is more stable.

On the other hand, women have delicate muscles, and a bigger angle between the hips and knees might induce knee discomfort because the women’s posture must be supported by ligaments that are not as powerful as men’s muscles.

Because of this, some women may need shoes that are designed specifically for women.

These shoes will include anatomical arch support and additional cushioning to reduce the effect of impact on the knees.

Can Women Wear Men’s Dress Shoes or Chelsea Boots?

Many women feel that men’s dress shoes, oxfords and loafers are more comfortable since they dislike flats or high heels that may lead to lower back discomfort or foot issues like foot problems and pain in the ball of the foot for hammertoes.

So, if you feel comfortable wearing them, ladies may dress in casual shoes or Chelsea boots.

No matter what clothing you want to pair them with, I also advise against wearing formal shoes or oxfords with cap toes since they don’t look well on women.

How Should Running Shoes Fit?

How Should Running Shoes Fit

You should be able to wriggle your toes comfortably in a well-fitting pair of running shoes. When determining whether or not a pair of running shoes is a good fit, it is important to take into account the following:

  • Proper toe fit: The ideal distance between your big toe and the tip of the shoe is one thumb’s breadth.
  • Midfoot and heel fit: Your midfoot and heel should fit snugly (but not too tight).
  • Arch Support:  The arch of your foot should feel secure, and the heel shouldn’t be able to slide around at all.
  • Toe Box: Your toes should move naturally inside the toe box. You shouldn’t feel any pressure on your toes.

When trying on running shoes, do it towards the end of the day, when your feet will be at their widest, and walk about in them to make sure they feel good and give enough support.

It’s best to keep looking for a comfortable pair of shoes rather than settle for the first pair you put on if you’re having trouble finding the correct fit.

Why a good fit is important in running shoes?

Maintaining optimal training efficiency requires a well-fitted pair of running shoes. Just why is that, anyway?

1- Protects against injury

You greatly increase your risk of injury if your shoes do not fit correctly. It is because your body tends to overcompensate in ways that lead to a clumsier, more injury-prone running style.

2- Lessen impacts

By cushioning your foot, ankle, and knee joints, a well-fitting pair of running shoes may help you run longer and safer.

You will be capable of running for longer periods of time, at a higher intensity level, and with more consistency. It’s also essential for your long-term health to use running shoes that are gentler on your knees and ankles.

As a result, it’s essential to wear appropriate shoes that reduce the impact of falls.

3- Stops Blisters and Chafing

Each of us has experienced irritation on our feet or blisters after wearing a pair of shoes that did not fit us properly.

Minor injuries or open sores on the foot may become quite uncomfortable, and when it comes to running shoes, they encourage a clumsy running style that does nothing to enhance running performance.

Also, you’ll need to wait for blisters to heal sufficiently before you can go back out and work out regularly.

Can a Man Wear Women’s Running Shoes?

Yes, Men can, in fact, wear women’s running shoes. It shouldn’t be a problem with the stability of the shoes.

However, since certain manufacturers create running shoes specifically for guys, you must first inspect their cushioned footbed and ankle support to improve their comfort for you.

The size of a woman’s running shoe is another thing to take into account. You may require a different size to wear men’s shoes since the women’s shoe sizing system is different from the men’s system.

Are There Any Running Shoes That Are Unisex?

There aren’t as many adult unisex running shoes available since most shoe manufacturers consider the differences between the two genders’ feet when building a running shoe, as we’ve already discussed.

There are just four that I could find that are suitable for both men and women. These are what they are:


Wearing the proper running shoes is essential to ensuring that your running performance is not compromised.

The proper shoe may boost performance by encouraging greater training, mobility, and body protection.

As a result, ladies with wide feet should not try to save money by buying men’s shoes that are a comfortable width but not an exact length.

The good news is that there are many alternatives available for women’s feet of various shapes and sizes.

Always be sure you try on a pair and walk around the shop in them before making a purchase.


Are men’s running shoes sized similarly to women’s?

The main difference between men’s and women’s footwear is their form. The forefoot of a woman’s running shoe last is meant to be broader than the heel. The male shoe’s last comparable is typically broad from heel to toe.

Are men’s shoes slimmer than those of women?

Typically, a shoe designed for women will have a thinner overall profile, a larger forefoot, and a narrower heel. In general, the width of a man’s shoe from the heel to the toe stays quite consistent.

Are men’s shoes wider than women’s?

Yes, guys have broader feet than women, naturally. Consequently, men’s shoes are broader than women’s, particularly in the forefoot region.

Can women wear men’s shoes comfortably?

It depends on the individual’s foot size and shape. Yes, If they find a suitable size women wear men’s shoes, but it’s important to consider the differences in design and fit, as men’s shoes may not provide adequate support for a woman’s foot.

Can women with wide feet wear mens shoes?

Yes, women with wide feet can wear mens shoes. Men’s shoes are typically wider than women’s, so they can be a good option for women with wider feet.

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