Women’s shoes do not need to fit tighter than men’s– No one likes to have their toes squeezed! Footwear brands that care about their customer’s foot health and comfort need looser toe fit. Let’s explore how women’s shoes are fitting tighter and how we can resolve this problem.
Women’s shoes fit OVER 15% tighter in the toes than men’s shoes. While Heeluxe has seen this sort of tightness since inventing quantified fit in 2015, the large SmartLast database makes it easier to see this difference on 1000s of shoes. This is true for all categories of shoes, including casual, run, and occupational/work footwear, as seen in the graphs below.
Women’s Casual (17.7% tighter fit in toes than Men’s)
Women’s Run (16.8% tighter in toes than Men’s)
Women’s Work (19.2% tighter fit in toes than Men’s)
The Heel Fit Problem
Women’s shoes fit looser in the heel…but only in certain shoe styles. Casual shoes fit women’s heels 22% looser (0.5psi) than men’s. In contrast, men’s and women’s work boots, running shoes, and hiking boots have similar fit. Dress shoes follow the opposite pattern, where Women’s fit 180% tighter (5.5psi) than Men’s! In next month’s blog we’ll explore why women’s dress shoes fit tighter in the heel.
How do we fix this? Last makers, footwear brands, and testing labs need to work together to develop comfortable toe shapes that improve comfort. If you want to be part of the revolution and find out how we will improve your brand’s fit, let us know by contacting [email protected]