Best Foot Forward: Women’s Feet Aren’t Just Smaller Versions of Men’s

Although most people pay attention to whether a shoe is designed for a man or a women, not as many people realize the importance of choosing socks that are designed for the feet of men or women, too. Moreover, there are even fewer people who realize the difference that proper sizing and fit makes in socks when it comes to proper foot comfort as well as the prevention of soreness and painful foot conditions.

That said, it isn’t just consumers who don’t know the difference between a man’s foot. Researchers have determined that many shoe and sock manufacturers don’t truly know the shape of a woman’s foot, and those that do have this knowledge aren’t doing very much with it.

According to Penn State University’s Peter J. Cavanagh, a researcher, it is high quality sports shoes where a woman is most likely to find a shoe that is designed to conform specifically to the anatomy of her foot, as opposed to that of a man. The reason is that there are few footwear manufacturers that have gone to the trouble of studying this issue in any great depth.

The majority of women’s footwear product makers base their newest models on the shape of the previous ones. Typically speaking, the original was based on a version of a man’s shoe that has been scaled down.

The problem is that women’s feet are not simply men’s feet in a smaller size. Major sports shoe manufacturers have measured the differences between the feet of women and men, but they do not publish their findings, so it is difficult to tell how much each company knows. Some studies have been conducted and published in peer reviewed journals, but they have been relatively limited.

The Penn State study, which was published under the names of Cavanagh and fellow researcher, R.E. Wunderlich, studied a large sample of young individuals in order to better understand the shape of their feet. They found considerable differences between the dimensions of the feet and legs of men and women. Men have feet that are wider and longer than women, when compared to their height. They discovered four foot shape variable differences between the sexes.

Another study by researchers at the University of Tuebingen’s Department of Sports Medicine’s Medical Clinic in Germany also looked into the differences between men’s and women’s feet. They used a 3D foot scanner on 847 people. They determined that the differences were important enough that shoe design should be altered and they expect that wearing footwear that does not take these differences into account can lead to foot pain and deformities.

Thorlos has gone to great lengths to understand feet in general, the differences in size and shape between men and women, as well as the requirements of various foot conditions. This is why Thorlos socks come in 13 different sizes, allowing each pair to match a specific men’s or women’s shoe size. Wearers are assured a perfect fit and optimal foot protection. This extensive range of Thorlos Everyday Comfort casual padded socks are made in the specific style of women’s (ECCXW / ECCCW) and a men’s (ECCXM / ECCCM). The women’s style is designed specifically for the female foot shape, including a custom toe box, a smaller heel pocket, and extra stretch yarn in the ankle area, to ensure the one of the best socks fits available for women.