BY RHONDA S. SANDERS 810-452-2665 firstname.lastname@example.org
FLINT TWP. — Shoe Prints outgrew its former home at Red Wings Shoes, a work and hiking specialty shoe store on Linden Road.
So owners of the well-established store decided to move all of their non-Red Wing brands to a new 1,700-square-foot store at 4205 Miller Road in the Valley Plaza, said Dennis Alexander, manager.
Opened in August, Shoe Prints specializes in “comfort shoes’’ for men and women including therapeutic and diabetic footwear, said Alexander who is a Certified Therapeutic Shoe Fitter trained to help choose the right shoe for people with diabetic and arthritic feet.
Brands offered for diabetics include p.w. minor, Aravon, Aetrex and Dunham. These tend to have wider and deeper toe boxes to minimize toe rubbing, Alexander said.
Dansko, Klogs, Keen, Merrell, Clarks, New Balance and Alegria are among comfort shoe brands carried at Shoe Prints. It also stocks a full line of Jobst diabetic socks and Superfeet pre-molded arch supports which are the brand worn by the Detroit Pistons, Alexander said.
Shoe Prints filled a niche that needed to be filled, he said.
Sizing is another specialty.
“We try to get the hard-to-fit sizes,’’ said Alexander. Those range from a woman’s 4E to size 13 and from size 7 to size 20 E6 in men’s special order shoes.
An ex-football player came in to buy an 18 5-E from the Dunham’s line which specializes in larger sizes, Alexander said.
Another Shoe Prints specialty is to mate comfort with style. Having foot problems is no longer a deterrent to buying a stylish pair of boots embroidered with colorful flowers or suede shoes decorated in leopard print or metallic swirls.
Those styles fit a sign in the store proclaiming: “Finally the shoes I have to wear are the shows I want to wear.”
“Companies are realizing they can’t just make Frankenstein shoes,’’ Alexander said of the clunky, dull styles that used to be all that was available for people with foot problems.
Shoe Prints’ shelves are filled with fashionable footwear.
Women looking for cushioned high heels can find a selection of the Softt brand of shoes and boots that includes platforms and fashionable finishes in suede and patent leather.
The Alegria line is popular with nurses who are on their feet all day. The fashionable and functional brand have removable footbed inserts that can be replaced when worn out or taken out to accommodate wider feet, Alexander said. The colorful shoes are covered in animal prints, metallics, graffiti, geometric and other designs.
“The nurses absolutely love them,’’ Alexander said. “They have scrubs to match the shoes and shoes to match their scrubs.’’
Eighty percent of Shoe Prints sales are to women, Alexander said.
Shoe Prints also offers onsite shopping at area hospitals. Including recent sales visits to Hurley Medical Center. Genesys Hospital and the Bay Medical Center.
Shoe Prints also sells shoe care items and offers washing, polishing and stretching services.
Alexander is one of three employees. Store hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sundays noon-5 p.m. The store can be reached at 810-410- 4212.