Understanding the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Tennis Shoes
May 24th, 2012
Customer’s often ask: What is the main difference between men’s and women’s tennis shoes?
Other than the likeliness of the color pink being involved in the styling, there are far less obvious differences. The main difference between men’s and women’s shoes is the width.
Most men’s shoes come in a standard D width, with 2E and 4E being the wide options. The standard width for women’s shoes is the B width, with D being the wide version for women’s, and 2A generally meaning the more narrow version.
The width also differs in the toe box, with men’s shoes being wider and more squared off at the toes and women’s shoes being narrower and rounded off into an oval shape at the toes. The reason behind the rounded off toe box is to dig in for that extra push off the court with the extra surface area, which is not as important in a men’s shoe because men have stronger legs and foot muscles to push off.
The construction of the soles also differs as well, because women strike the ground with their heel much less than men do. The Q angle (the angle of the legs extending from the hip) is much wider in women, which cause them to pronate (feet tilting inward) more.
That is why when purchasing a women’s shoe, it is important to find one with good midsole stabilizers to compensate.
The Women’s Adidas Barricade 7 has excellent midsole support, as well as the K-Swiss Bigshot. If you are accustomed to running shoes, you can still find great tennis specific support with a running shoe feel from the Asics Gel Resolution 4.
And last but not least, there is the issue of styling.
Women’s shoes are much more thought out by companies when it comes to design and colors, and many women will be instantly turned on or off on a shoe just by a first glance.
It is important to find a shoe that looks good, but remember that finding the right women’s tennis shoes can mean the difference between thousands of dollars worth of podiatrist appointments, and a comfortable fit that is also great for court performance.
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