What's the Difference Between Men's and Women's Feet (and Cleats)?

The Ida community is full of amazing female soccer players. We love the game and, being players ourselves, we design women’s cleats with female players at the forefront of our minds. 

When we’re chatting to players on the field and in teams, one question that crops up a lot is “what’s the difference between men’s and women’s feet?”. We have boiled it down to the four main differences you need to know if you’re a soccer player. The differences may be subtle but the impact is huge.

Keep these in mind when you’re investing in your next pair. 

Related Article: How to Choose the Right Soccer Cleats

women's soccer cleat features wider toe box, higher arch for enhanced comfort, kangaroo leather, narrower heel cup to avoid blisters, and no break in time.

1. Size

Most obviously, women tend to have different sized feet to men and children yet we often wear cleats that are slightly too small (children’s) or too large (men’s) in order to access different color ways, or because there are no women’s soccer cleats available at all. 
Find Your Size: Ida Sizing Guide

2. Shape

It’s not just that women have smaller feet than men. Characteristics including the arch height, the lateral side of the foot, the toes, and the heels of women’s feet are different to men’s. Women’s soccer cleats are designed to grip our heels and support our arches and toes. The front of a women’s cleat is also wider compared to the heel than a man’s, allowing for women’s wider toe box.
“Having a thinner heel makes a big difference for most players, who feel like they're slipping on the boot. For me, there was an impact on the change of direction, acceleration and deceleration.” -- Kat Goff, Gold Coast United

3. Pressure Loads

Due to women having different body sizes and shapes from men, the pressure load on their cleats is also different. For example, women’s hips are set slightly wider apart which is hugely important when considering where to place studs on the cleats. Stud-configuration on cleats designed specifically for women results in you having reduced pressure on the sesamoid bone (under the foot) as the studs spread the pressure out. When studs are in the wrong place (or designed for men’s pressure loads), it can lead to metatarsalgia or sprains.

4. Traction for Multi-Direction Movement 

Women’s soccer cleats are designed with an improved fit for the cutting motions needed when playing. If you’re wearing men’s cleats when darting quickly in different directions, your body will be compensating to support your feet in places the cleats are not. Over time, this fatigues the overworked muscles in both your feet and higher up your body, and increases your risk of injury.  When choosing your next pair of cleats, your aim should be for your feet to be able to replicate as natural movement as possible. Wearing cleats that don’t quite fit the shape of your feet or support your weight over a sustained period of time will impact your performance and can ultimately result in injury.
“Awesome Boots. I was very skeptical to buy boots online, as I usually have to try on multiple pairs of boots and compare before I find the right ones, but these boots fit me perfectly! They are incredibly comfortable from the moment you put them on your feet, and you can tell just by looking at them that they are good quality. They feel so much more supportive than other boots that I have previously owned, and got through a preseason and summer soccer competition with no issues at all! They look amazing and they feel amazing, I definitely recommend!” -- Sophie Scott
At Ida we focus on making cleats for women because we think there are enough men’s cleats out there already. Since we started creating our cleats we’ve had some pretty great feedback from Australian soccer players.
“I love these boots! They are so incredibly comfortable and I really look forward to stepping into them before training. A lot of boots don't feel as comfortable or supportive due to how thin and stiff they can feel but this is not the case with the IDA boot. They are so soft and give your foot a huge hug! They are so supportive around the ankle and allow for good change of direction. I am such a fan of the clean and chic design. I would highly recommend!'  --Tash Rigby, Perth Glory FC Captain
You can watch our Co-Founder Laura break it down further on IGTV or check out Ida boots for yourself!
The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.
You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered