If you had to guess, would you say that men and women have similar
or different choices when it comes to running shoe colors? Do you
think running shoe colors conform to typical gender stereotypes,
with more blue shoes for men and more pink shoes for women? We asked
ourselves these questions based on comparing our personal
experiences and came up with a theory that there was a difference
in both color availability and shade.
To prove our theory, with data, we analyzed the running shoes
website that aggregates running shoes from 213 retailers and writes
in-depth reviews. For all shoes available in the United States, we
collected the gender the shoe was marketed for, the color category,
the brand, and the model name.
To better understand the running shoe market, let's start by looking
at the color and gender classifications of the 8,884 available
Men's vs. Women's Shoes by Color
Percent of Total
After we found out there was a clear contrast between men and women's
color choices, we wanted to know how the shades and lightness differed
between genders. For example, blue, a stereotypical color for men, was
pretty popular for women too. However, did this mean that both men and
women had navy blue, royal blue, and light blue to choose from?
To answer this question, we looked at all non-neutral colors and
identified the most dominant color of each shoe. Then, to allow for
easy comparison between genders, we used each shoe's hue, saturation,
and lightness to cluster the data into similar groups.
Now, let's explore the spectrum of colors available through three
different lenses: the cluster colors, the actual shoe colors, and
lightness. Each available shoe is represented below as one circle.