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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.
When picking the right clothing and shoes for women, sometimes the brand makes a difference. That's why you'll find a great selection of the best names and styles in women's shoes and clothing, whether it's women's slip-ons from Skechers, The North Face jackets, OluKai flip-flops, Levi's jeans, Converse sneakers, Under Armour hoodies, or UGG slippers. Going for a more formal look? Shop Naturalizer pumps, Sam Edelman heels, Vionic slingbacks, and much more.
We chose all the shoes in this roundup based on feedback from the women on our test team, as well as test results from our RW Shoe Lab. We also researched the market, surveyed user reviews, spoke with product managers and designers to find the best of the best. Every shoe was evaluated over the course of hundreds of miles, with attention given to overall performance, comfort, ride, longevity, value, and yes, even style—because who doesn’t want to feel like they look good, even alone on a trail? Here are our favorite running shoes for women this year.
For a responsive midsole and lightweight, springy ride with excellent energy return, you don’t have to spend a fortune—these Floatrides cost $100 (or even less, when you can snag a deal). Some of our testers described the shoes as feeling like “fast slippers,” with a comfy fit and a solid performance at everything from distance to threshold pace. In the first version, we just had one complaint about the shoe—the traditional lacing system didn’t hold the tongue in place mid-run. However, the 2 has improved the upper to reduce any sliding.
The women’s casual boat shoe driving moc is a true Twisted X original! Handcrafted in durable fabric and full-grain leather, the boat shoe driving moc makes an unforgettable statement about true comfort and style in casual footwear. Blending together a traditional boat shoe profile, moc toe design, and integrated comfort technology that provides timeless quality and style. The SD foot bed, composite XD insole, and the Twisted X driving moc outsole combine to produce one of the most comfortable casual shoes you can find. From a relaxing stroll to spending the entire day on your feet, our driving mocs will have you redefining comfort.
In general, women tend to have 15% lower body mass than men, this means shoes must have a deeper groove that can provide greater flexibility, which, translates to a smooth and natural toe-off motion through the running patterns of the foot. Seasoned runners agree that a little less foam in the overall cushioning of a running shoe goes a long way for female runners.
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