Gender it a gimmick ??

Most women's running shoes of my size are much cheaper than the men's. I'm not picky regarding the color as long as it's not pink or mauve. But what bugging me is some shoe makers (nike, mizuno, asics ) start to sell "gender specific" shoes. I wonder if this trend is only a gimmick or it makes a real difference. I agree that men and women don't have same physiology. But I'm not sure the differences are significant enough to justify two types of shoes.      


  • Interesting that they spell out the differences.  Kind of neat.
  • But both men and women have themselves very large physical spectrum and lots of theses characteristics overlap each other.  
  • Interesting question. I guess the only way you can answer this definitively is if you get a study population of female runners to try the men and women models of the same shoe and do the same for a population of male runners and see if it impacts their performances/injury rates any. Offhand, I would think that "gender-specific" (what should properly be called "sex-specific") features have less of an impact in less structured, minimalist footwear.
  • I envy you for being able to utilize women's shoes- my feet are too damn big. Generally, I'd suspect if you fit into the shoe- your weight, etc. is close enough to give it a go. LOTS of close out opportunities ;-)  Keep in mind running shoes are marketed heavily to non-runners, so as an athlete it often puts you outside the box from the start.

  • edited June 2013
    Jay Dicharry says that running in shoes (any shoes, women's or mens) mostly negates the small differences in the way men and women run.

    When they came out with gender specific socks, I knew it was a gimmick.
  • I haven't seen any women's shoes being cheaper than men's shoes.  However, men's haircuts are cheaper at the salon compared to women's.
  • Well, try to find something cheaper than these in men shoe.


    I wear 8.5 to 9.5 men size and I can find very often same size (10 to 11) in women shoes for fraction of the price. I bought recently a pair of women seeya (size 42) for only $25 because this size was hard to sell.


  • Gender neutral Vibram kso for $36.95

    If someone wears a size 5 women's shoe and is okay with last year's model, they will also save money compared to someone who wears a size 8 shoe. There is more of the population about the mean.
  • Your link doesn't show any KSO and the men size 41 Bikila sells much higher than  36.95.  


    I'm glad that I bought one pair of women of kso, size 42, from REI several weeks ago, before most of them are gone.

    If you find men vibram kso around $30, Please let me know. I will buy another two pairs.


    * Vff is not gender "neutral". The top of men's is noticeably larger than the women's.   


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