Can Women Wear Men's Running Shoes?

Running is one of the most popular sports and fitness exercises for people from all different walks of life. The fact that it’s so accessible and doesn’t require tons of expensive gym equipment adds to its popularity. Plus, it’s very effective at getting the heart rate up, burning calories, and providing the body and mind with a ‘runner’s high’ that makes people feel strong, confident, and healthy after completing a run.

However, there is more to successful running than meets the eye. If you’re wanting to get serious about it as either a hobby or exercise regime over the long term, it’s vital to use a good training programme so you continually improve. This requires having the right gear to run in.

When it comes to running gear and exercise gear in general, one size never fits all and everyone has different body shapes and sizes. For women with larger than average feet, it can be tempting to try to use male running shoes when searching for extra-large sizing in women’s shoe models. However, this won’t produce the best running from its wearer. In this article, we look at why.


There are a few key differences between men and women’s running shoes that are important to remember when women are looking to buy a new pair of trainers.

Narrower heel

Even when women have the same length foot as a man, they still should not be tempted to buy a male shoe as a woman’s foot is more likely to have a narrower heel. If you purchase a pair of male trainers as a woman, your foot is likely to slip around while running and not give your heel and ankle ample support for when you’re on your run.

Overall width

In addition to having a narrower heel, male shoes will be wider in the toe as well. Again, this is a key reason why women should not be tempted to buy male shoes, despite being long enough for them to wear. When the toe is too wide on a person’s foot, it means that the shoes they are wearing will not fit properly. In the case of trainers that are too big, the toes will move around too much causing an ineffective running style.


While it won’t affect a person’s effective training, male and female trainers are designed differently in terms of aesthetics. Women’s shoes come in different styles than men’s shoes, and it’s usually quite easy to tell the difference. While this is not a concern for everyone, it may limit a woman’s choices of men’s shoes that they’re interested in wearing.


Getting a good fit in your running shoes is imperative for the most effective training possible. Why exactly is this?

Protects against injury

If your shoe does not fit properly, you are far more susceptible to injury. This is due to you naturally overcompensating in areas that promote a running style that is more prone to falling and putting pressure on your joints.

Lessens impact

A good running shoe that fits properly will reduce the amount of impact you feel through your foot, ankle and knees. As a result, you will be able to run longer, faster and harder as well as more regularly. Additionally, running in shoes that lessen impact on your knees and ankles is key for your long term health. While running can help your cardiovascular fitness and help maintain a healthy weight, putting your joints under strain can cause problems to your body further down the line – for example, arthritis and damaged cartilage. For that reason, wearing shoes that minimise impact is key.

Stops chafing and blisters

We’ve all worn a pair of shoes that do not fit us correctly and the result is chafing on our feet or blisters. These can become very painful, and when it comes to running shoes, having small injuries or open wounds on your feet promote an ineffective running style that does nothing to improve running performance. Plus, blisters will prevent you from getting back out and training frequently as you’ll need to wait for them to heel properly first.

Wearing the right running shoes for you and your body is a key way to ensure that your performance is not impeded or hindered in any way when you’re on a run. In fact, the right shoe can help enhance performance by promoting better training, improved movement and protecting your body. For these reasons, it’s important for women with large feet not to cut corners by finding a men’s shoe that fits in length. The good news is that there are plenty of options that exist for all different types of women’s feet. Always make sure to try on a pair and lightly wear them around the store before purchasing.

updating...please wait