Why do shoe manufacturers assume women have narrow feet?

ftm42ftm42 ✭✭✭
Sick and tired of having to buy men's shoes to get wide fitting. Do manufacturers assume women have long skinny feet? I've heard it so many times - since I was getting fitted for school shoes when I was 5. [I'm now 57]

"Oh yes, Madam, children's feet are wider these days" [in the 70s when I was tiny and my Mum had to buy nurses' moccasins to get them wide enough] - so why not make wider shoes then?

Fast forward to 2021 - "Oh yes, women's feet are wider these days, but you'll have to buy men's shoes if you want wide ones" - so why has nothing changed?

At the end of the day, I choose mens shoes as I can't stand the pain otherwise, but just can someone explain why??


  • In general, womens feet are narrower than mens. That's just how they've evolved, but you'll always get some differences to the norm - some men with narrow feet, some women with wide feet. Companies just cater to their larger market.

    Do some brands not do wider fit for their shoes? I wonder if there are bespoke ones you can get, but I hate to think of what they'd charge!
    Quite a few brands do wider fitting ladies running shoes, Brooks, NB, Hoka are ones that I know of, I expect there's quite a few more too.
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