It may surprise some folks, but women’s feet are not just smaller versions of men’s feet.
Without stepping on any politically correct toes, there are actual physical differences in male and female foot structure.
Knowing these differences can help your significant other look out for each other’s feet.
(image by i.imgur.com)
A study by Wunderlich and Cavanagh of 300 men and 500 women in the U.S. Army concluded that there are biologic differences between male and female feet.
The study found that women have a wider forefoot, shorter arch length, and shorter metatarsals (toe bones) compared to men.
This study was done to find structural differences between the female and male foot, which could help in the design of women’s shoes.
Men have a higher foot length-to-body height ratios than females. The differences in foot length between men and women is usually proportional to height.
There are also differences in cartilage between men and women. Ladies have a 20 percent to 25 percent lower volume and surface area in the subtalar, talonavicular, and ankle joints and up to 16 percent thinner cartilage.
Hammer toe is four to five times more common in women. In 1991, approximately 209,000 bunionectomies, 210 hammer toe corrections, 66,500 neuroma resections, and 119,000 bunionette foot procedures were performed.
When it comes to wearing shoes, other studies have shown that 88 percent of women wear shoes too small for their feet. Additionally, pain caused by an ill-fitting shoe can increase the risk of falling and hamper mobility, which may lead to injury. This is particularly significant in the elderly population.
Numerous studies have examined footwear in elderly patients at the time of a fall and have shown that a high percentage of those who fell were wearing slippers. The flexibility of slippers and their lack of stability contributes to tripping and falls.
We still have a long way to go when it comes to differences between the female and male foot. As knowledge of the health care needs of men and women advance, so will information about the foot and ankle of both sexes. The more we learn, the better we can treat men and women as well as their specific needs.
If you have foot pain, do not let it go untreated or it could very well get worse. Get your foot looked at today so that tomorrow is pain-free.
Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak make an appointment with a foot and ankle doctor about your foot and/or ankle needs.