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When I bought my current pair of hiking boots, the brand/style I tried on and liked was out of stock in the womens version, so the storeperson offered me the mens ones instead. I tried them, liked them, and have used them for hiking ever since. They are incredibly comfortable and provide a ton of ankle support.

So I can't help but wonder: did I miss out on anything by not getting the women's version? In what way would they be "better" for me as a woman?

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2 Answers 2

I think that there are three reasons for special women's gear and clothing: fit, appearance and marketing. If you are happy with the man's boots you have got, if they fit you well, there's nothing to be gained by the women's model.

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While this is by far not a universal truth, in general, women tend to have more slender feet than men. Then again - some women have wide, plate-like feet, and some men have thin feet.

Also, I've noticed that women's hill shoes tend to be 'prettier' (I'm not sure why - I doubt that this is actually a consideration for most hillwalking women - but that's just my opinion).

However, as you've discovered, not all feet are equal - and not all boots. If you were to try men's boots from a different manufacture or even design, then you might not find them as comfortable. The only real way to compare the fit is to have both the men's and women's version of the same boot in the same size, and see how you go over comparable walks.

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I think the wideness factor is the real reason, Although it probably doesn't apply to hiking boots as much as just regular shoes(I've never seen a "wide" size for men's shoes, women's shoes have that designation though). Obviously though, as long as it fits and is comfortable its really all about sizing convenience. –  crasic Jun 21 '12 at 20:58

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