Studies on foot shape have shown that women’s feet aren’t just smaller, narrower versions of male feet—there are differences in overall shape that affect shoe fit. Women’s feet tend to be comparatively wider in the forefoot, with a narrower heel. Running shoe makers take this statistical difference into mind when designing their shoes, and generally build their shoes with different heel shapes and sometimes different heel materials between the two models of the same shoe. Companies like Altra, with its Fit4Her technology, specifically design shoes that anatomically mirror a woman’s foot.
If you need shoes for short distances i.e. shoes for light walks, not a noticeable difference. However, this guide is focusing on footwear for women, and the fact is that women’s bodies are much different from men’s. Shoe companies understand that women represented 58% of all the 5k races in the US last year, and providing options that are tailored to their needs is important. Significant feedback has shown that when shoe manufacturers take the differences in biomechanics and physiological composition into consideration with their design, it provides women with a better performing shoe.
The best running shoes for women share the same class-leading features with the best shoes overall—they’re light, comfortable, cushioned, and just supportive enough where you need it most. But that locus of support is where some of the biggest differences between men’s and women’s running shoes can be found. Check out quick reviews below of five of our top picks, or scroll deeper for more in-depth reviews of these and other options, plus buying advice.
If you’ve never tried a thick, pillowy Hoka One One shoe, it’s hard to believe how light they can feel until you slide your foot into a pair. Great for recovery days or when you just need a break from harsh pounding against concrete, the Clifton 6 wraps your foot in foam and centers it over a thick slab of cushioning with a firm heel and soft forefoot. The shoe is slightly curved to help you roll through your stride. This year’s version is the lightest since the Clifton’s original release in 2014, but it is still a better shoe for long miles than speedwork. The upper has been redesigned in an engineered mesh to fit more smoothly and securely, with just enough structure to comfortably cradle your foot.
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When you’re on the lookout for an everyday shoe, from vintage blue ankle shoes, to studded leather casuals, hidden wedges, or sportier barefoot kicks, you can browse the wide array of styles available from Amazon.com. You can shop top women’s fashion sneakers brands like Lacoste, Skechers, New Balance, and more from the comfort of your own home. When you use our search and filter options to find your women’s fashion sneakers, you can quickly narrow your results by shape, size, style, width, closure type, price, and more to make it easier to choose. With free shipping and free returns on eligible items, it’s easier than ever to send something back if you change your mind.
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