Are Women’s Shoes more narrow than Men’s

Women Elegant Shoes

No one likes making the flop choices in choosing the shoes, especially the girls. Maybe the quote was true, “Give a girl the right shoes and she will conquer the world”. Have you ever seen both men’s and women’s shoes together, then you may have got a question are women’s shoes more narrow?

Women’s shoe sizes at 1.5 size lesser than men’s are equivalent in terms of length. The width size remains the same but women’s shoes would be narrower in the heels area and wider in toes and forefoot areas.

Let’s say you need women’s size 8.5, if you want to wear men’s shoes, you would buy a 7 size. This difference is in terms of length. However, the normal width in women’s shoes is B where as it is D in case of men’s shoes. Hence, you would go for women’s shoes as width parameter will suit you well in women’s shoes.

Lets say your width is more and the general width provided in women’s shoes does not fit you, then you can choose men’s shoes.

History behind the narrow shoes

The narrow shoes for women didn’t emerge suddenly, but it comes with a strong history. There is a long story behind the narrow shoes which you should know before you get the answer.  

In the 10th century in medieval China, foot binding is the most common for higher-class women. The women’s feet will be strapped at a very young age and this will leave the women will small and delicate feet.

In the 12th century, there was a popular shoe style which is Pauline. It has a super-narrow pointed toe and it is completely made of leather. The shoe is especially dedicated to upper-middle-class people and a higher society of people. 

When you fast forward the time to the 21st century, then a pointed toe or a narrow shoe is considered a symbol of style and wealth.

Now that there is history of pushing narrow shoes as a habit for women, this brings to an important question. So, do women prefer narrows shoes?

Do women prefer narrow shoes?

As per the National Shoe Retailer’s Association, 33% of women’s feet will be narrow. This does not mean women prefer narrow shoes. The width of shoes is the main factor in deciding the size of the shoe that fits women. Other size parameters such as heals, forefoot play an important role too.

Once the shoe fits, women prefer shoes which make their foot look narrower compared to other shoes. More narrower is considered more beautiful.


Women’s feet size is increasing with passage of time.

A few years back, if you ask the size of a shoe to a woman the maximum size they will say is 7, but now the shoe size is going to 8.5. In both USA and UK, women are born more taller and heavier and hence require more wider shoes than before.

Maybe considering this, the stores are launching different styles of narrow shoes as well as wider shoes. Women wear all types of shoes that fit them well in terms of comfort in all the areas such as forefoot, toes, heals, and overall shoe width. And sometimes this means, they can buy men’s shoes and wear.

However, with time, both narrower and wider shoes are used based on preference.