The Fit: Women-specific shoes are generally designed to accommodate the average woman's foot, which tends to be lower in volume, narrower in the heel, and more slender overall than a man's foot. But when trying on shoes in the store, forget all that and just focus on fit, as your foot may not be average.
What to Look For: Be sure that the forefoot is wide enough for your toes to spread, and that there's no pinching or slipping in the heel. Walk up and down an inclined ramp, checking that your foot doesn't slide backwards on the ascent and your toes don't jam forward on the descent. Problems? Pick another brand, or even try the same model in a men's size. In this case, color and style never trump fit.