As to the female footwear being generally often minimalist - I fully agree; perhaps there is a cause-and-effect connection with my lack of "transition pain"?
Could be - I guess you ought be a step ahead of game if you are used to open shoes, "non-cushioned" footwear and regular bare footedness. I'm typically barefoot at home, and the rest of the time I wear shoes. I wear trainers (sneakers) for exercising really. I'm hoping I'll have a slight edge on the transition too.