Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet in 2017: Buyers Guide and Review

I think you will agree with me when I say that finding the best running shoes for flat feet is not easy!

People with flat feet are not considered to be good runners, but the truth is that they can make excellent runners with proper training and quality footwear.

Quality footwear ensures reduced injuries and successful running sessions. Those with flat feet are no different from the rest it is just that the process has to be gradual and the person has to wear the correct shoes for flat feet.

Some of the injuries that people with flat feet experience are because they wear shoes that do not suit their feet. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the best running shoes for flat feet.

Top 10 Picks of Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet for Men & Women

NOTE: All 10 flat foot running shoes reviewed here have men and women versions.

We grouped the shoes into traditional stability running shoes, cushioned support stability running shoes, fast stability running shoes, motion control running shoes, and neutral running shoes to help you easily find the right flat foot shoe.

A. Traditional Stability Running Shoes

They are highly recommended since they have a low arch, good cushioning, and most of the flat foot runners who have used them have given their thumbs up.

Below are some of the traditional stability running shoes for flat feet.

1. New Balance 1260v6 Stability Running Shoe

Aiming to help athletes achieve their goals, New Balance is known to design the finest shoes with an excellent fit and optimum support. The 1260vs Stability Running Shoe offers a combination of style and functionality.

To provide you with superior stability, the midfoot is designed with a full-length ABZORB feature together with T-Beam support that is an effective shock absorber for a comfortable short or long runs.

The heels are engineered for a lesser amount of impact for use with heavy strikers.

Cushioning is enhanced as it made with better and higher quality materials. The shoe has the REVLite feature in the forefoot for a “pillow” soft, bouncy feel.

With the modern look and design, the upper is constructed using a synthetic TPU air mesh, and it also comes with a blown rubber sole and dual density midsole.

Pros

  • Works for pronators
  • Provides good support
  • Does not run small
  • Has plenty of toe room
  • Helps improve some chronic foot pains

Cons

  • Shoelaces are a little short
  • A bit wide on the heel

Verdict:

Trust New Balance to always come up with a great design and comfort to the highest level. The 1260vs Stability Running Shoe has improved stability and excellent overall look that meets both the needs for a highly functional and stylish running shoes.

Its meant to provide support for over-pronators as well.

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2. Nike Zoom Structure 19

With enhanced flexibility and breathability, this Nike Zoom Structure 19 boasts an advanced knitting feature on the upper section of this shoe.

It provides a high range support and an adjustable lockdown but still maintaining its light weight.

It adds comfort and fit so it will be a breeze to wear when tending to different activities that may involve a lot of running, walking or standing on your feet for hours.

It is designed with triple-density midsole foam, which is specifically helpful in slowing down the rate of pronation and making your stride more of a natural run.

Furthermore, the rubber crash trail on the outsole sides also provides a natural feel when used. Moreover, it comes in tons of color combinations to suit your taste and preference.

Pros

  • Sturdy support especially on the ankle
  • Does not slide or slip when used
  • Comfortable when walking and running for hours
  • Great stability
  • Fit to size

Cons

  • A bit heavier for a running shoe
  • May rub on the heel more causing callous

Verdict:

Nike Structure versions are great, and there is noted improvement in each version.

The Air Zoom has a low arch, and for a flat foot, it fits well. The last two versions have seen significant improvements especially when you look at cushioning.

The Air Zoom Structure 19 delivers quality, stability, and still provide a cushioned run.

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B. Cushioned Support Stability Running Shoes

If you are overweight and recently started running, then these are the shoes you need to buy for maximum support and a comfortably cushioned run.

Below are some of the support stability running shoes.

3. Asics Gel Kayano 22

If you think that the previous Gel Kayano has all the best features for a perfect pair of running, walking and working out shoe, then you have not seen the revolutionized Asics Gel Kayano 22.

It has upped its game and comes equipped with the improved version of FluidRide that is 15% lighter yet manages to have 20% more bounce back.

One of the best features of the Gel cushioning is it has excellent shock absorption element that improves your natural gait.

Hence, it is perfect to use for mild or moderate overpronators.

The upper part is also thoughtfully enhanced with the seamless construction that offers you maximum support and excellent stability without the need for any additional stitching or two-piece construction as other normal models have.

This lace-up flat foot running shoe comes with a removable insole and covered with mesh overlays for breathability and keeps your feet cool and dry.

This modern and stylish running shoe features a re-engineered heel clutching system for a better and more secure fit.

So whether you are off for a long run or a walk, you will be assured of a pleasant experience and excellent impact protection.

Pros

  • Has ample cushioning
  • Great for overpronation
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Flexible to wear
  • Recommended for those with plantar fasciitis

Cons

  • The design can be a bit narrow on the toe part
  • Tighter and smaller than previous Kayano models

Verdict:

A perfect distance running shoe, the Asics Gel Kayano 22 offers a high athletic quality shoe that provides you with great fit and comfort for a natural stride regardless if you are walking or running in short or long distances.

Its outsole is designed to be textured for better grip.  Thus, safe to use as it keeps you from sliding or gliding on slippery or rocky pathways.

You will like that it is available in a wide range of colors options.

There is a new version, the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23, but we opted for Asics Gel Kayano 22 since the Kayano 23 is too narrow and end up not fitting many people.

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4. Saucony Omni 13 Running Shoe

The Omni 12 had excellent features, and the Omni 13 continues to build on that.

There is a new power grid to improve its midsole area for a better feel and experience that makes the Saucony Omni 13 Running Shoe preferred by many for both running and walking comfortably for hours.

The power grid is a lightweight and fine quality cushioning pad that provides the user a comfortable and soft ride than other known shoe models.

The upper design integrates an Arch-Lock and Support frame technology to ensure a good fit.

At the same time, it provides outstanding balance and stability as it also features an 8MM heel-to-toe offset on its cushioning to keep the same height on your heel and forefoot.

The flat feet shoe has an all-over mesh look that makes it breathable and has reduced stitching on the forefoot.

It is also designed with a hydraMax collar lining, run dry moisture-wicking insides and a fully decoupled SRC crash pad for added comfort and support.

Because there may be instances that we could be running in dim and low-light conditions, it comes with reflective components for enhanced visibility.

Pros

  • Excellent support your the arches
  • Good cushioning
  • Stable and light
  • Has been recommended for ankle pronation
  • Recommended for those with foot or ankle issues

Cons

  • Tends to squeak
  • A little stiffer than some models

Verdict:

A take-off from the previous Omni model, Saucony Omni 13 has additional advanced feature for better performance and experience. Moreover, even with all the improvements and extra features, it is still lightweight, hence, comfortable and great to use.

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C. Fast Stability Running Shoes

Several years ago motion control and stability were primarily associated with clunky or heavy shoes.

However, as shoe technology advances this presumption has been dropping because these days fast running shoes have stability, motion control, and still manage to be lightweight.

You can use running shoes during daily training sessions, but they are better suited for quick runs or during racing day.

Below are some of the fast stability running shoes.

5. Mizuno Wave Catalyst Running Shoe

Mizuno aims explicitly to offer products equipped with unique and outstanding features that help improve athletes’ performance.

From its soft mesh upper covering that makes it flexible to use to its highly responsive wide sole that provides the right amount of cushioning for increased protection without having to slow down your turnover.

For great support and light structure, the shoe is designed with steep waves under the arch area.

This fan-shaped wave plate also helps achieve smoother landing for a more pleasant feel and use.

It also features the U4ic midsole platform so you will have a fast and responsive run the entire time and the X10 mid-foot landing area for durability of use.

It snugs in your heel and forefoot for added comfort and fit.

With its rubber sole, it has the lace-up design and comes with a breathable upper, padded tongue and collar and features your typical 3D Mizuno fit, hence a smoother ride and support.

For those familiar with the Mizuno, you will undoubtedly recognize its resemblance to both the Sayonara and Elixir models.

Pros

  • The sole specifically stays longer
  • Excellent material
  • Stylish color combinations
  • Provides excellent support
  • Is wonderful in long runs

Cons

  • Sizes are narrower and tighter as compared to other models
  • May not be as flexible as most would hope
  • Not the lightest or softest running shoe you can find in the market

Verdict:

This everyday trainer will provide you speed and support in a multi-color look and unique features.

You can also count on its durability and stability as it is designed with the needs of the athletes in mind.

Its vital component is the wave plate that provides structure and heel strike transition. Unlike other shoe brands, the cushioning bounces quickly as opposed to others that are plush.

The heel-to-toe transition is quite smooth; it has a superb stability which encourages a faster run. A perfect shoe for flat feet.

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6. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15

Many people who have tried any of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS models swear by its stability and comfort.

This updated Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 has all the fantastic and top notched features of the series and made it even smoother and more lightweight.

It has an extended crash pad and the enhanced snug lacing system that will provide maximum support every step of the way.

The upper is made of good quality mesh with breathable element linings to provide better flow of moisture and keep feet cool and dry even when used the entire day.

You can count on the long-lasting use of this durable pair of running shoes in high-wear areas of the outsole.

Other great features in this flat foot shoe include rubber sole, adjustable saddle design, and the omega flex grooves for a more organic forefoot movement.

Pros

  • Has great support
  • Comes in various pretty colors
  • A good fit to those with narrow feet
  • Reliable to use for running and walking long distances
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • The cushion in foot bed did not hold up very long
  • A little narrow on the side for some users
  • May not be the lightest running shoe you can have

Verdict:

Though many mentions that it is a tad narrower on the side, the arch support it provides is, however, remarkable and it is a solid pair of flat feet shoes to use for long runs, exercise or for marathon training.

It helps correct pronation and good to use if you normally have foot and calf pains from walking and standing for hours.

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D. Motion Control Running Shoes

Below are shoes that can be suitable for heavy-set runners who are looking for best shoes for flat feet to provide maximum support to their feet.

The shoes described below are designed with motion control in mind.

7. Brooks Beasts 14

Moderate to severe overpronator and flat feet will require reinforced stability and excellent cushioning to give them comfort and superior support when walking or running short and long distances.

To achieve that, this running shoe is equipped with full-length DNA midsole for a custom cushion that quickly adapts to your stride and pace.

Also, it is designed with a full-length segmented crash pad that mainly works for a heel-to-toe transition in your gait.

This Brooks Beast 14 features a reconstructed breathable mesh upper that is made from lightweight synthetic materials that provide excellent fit as it hugs your feet with ease.

It comes with an updated BIOMOGO midsole for a long-lasting plush while being eco-friendly.

Keeping your feet in a cool and pleasant condition while being confined inside the running shoes is made conveniently possible with the mesh upper and the sock liner technology that these running shoes use.

You can be assured that your feet will be fresh and dry the entire time.

Added to that is the soft fabric lining for a more natural feel.

Other features include the Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar for optimum control and the Omega Flex Groves to allow freer forefoot movement and flexibility.

Pros

  • Provides great support
  • Comes with an excellent ankle support
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Best for pronation
  • Increased stability

Cons

  • Sizes are smaller and narrower compared to normal sizes
  • Some says it is a little bulky for a running shoe

Verdict:

Even those with high arches will find these running shoes comfortable and great to use.

Aside from comfort, keeping your feet happy and cool is one of Brooks Beast 14 priority.

Hence it is armed with features that ensure it will have a proper breathable and soft overlay for a more natural feel and experience.

It is quite heavy as it weighs about 14 ounces and is mostly recommended for large runners. Its foot-bed is very flat which is suitable for runners who overpronate severely.

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8. Saucony Guide 9 Running Shoe

For running shoes for flat feet, comfort and support are highly essential, especially when used for running and long walks.

The Saucony Guide 9 Running Shoe features a breathable mesh upper to ensure maximum fit and with the GLEXFILM technology that provides exoskeleton support.

The EVERRUN midsole comes with a dual density compression foam that ensures superior cushioning during running, allowing you to run longer, stronger and faster.

It comprises a more durable foam blend that provides livelier performance as it enables high continuous energy return.

The cushion is soft but enough to give its users good support and responsive run. Known for their topsole construction, the Saucony Guide 9 brings cushioning closer to your feet.

Lightweight and flexible, it has a rubber sole, and from the arch, the shaft measures roughly 2.4”.

Its other notable element and feature include tri-flex outsole that also helps achieve smoother ride and for moderate pronation.

Pros

  • Helpful for those with plantar fasciitis
  • Great quality
  • Provides stability when worn
  • Excellent insole support
  • Comfortable sole and padding

Cons

  • It is a little tighter on the toe area
  • Runs a tad smaller than others

Verdict:

Whether for daily or occasional use for running and working out, you would love to use this Saucony Guide 9 Running Shoes.

It is also helpful in providing adequate support and comfort because it has excellent fit and cushioning.

Most people who have been wearing this shoe model have a positive experience wearing it even during a heavy-duty performance.

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E. Neutral Running Shoes

Some runners are satisfied with neutral running shoes. These kinds of shoes lack the luxury of motion control and stability.

Some of these runners thrive even without these add-ons. Below are some of our top picks for neutral running shoes.

9. Nike Lunarglide 7

The Nike Lunarglide 7 does not fall under the category of neutral shoes, but the support it provides is so weak that it is considered to be a neutral running shoe.

It is considered to be a top choice for many neutral runners especially those that compete in long races due to its subtle support system.

This subtle support comes as a relief when runners become fatigued, and their running form degenerates.

Nike Lunarguide 7 is made with the plush Lunarlon foam, which provides its users smooth and superior cushion for a comfortable walking and running experience.

This soft feel and its lightweight quality that allows strong, light, and straight gait are notably one of its standout features.

The flymesh on the upper is what makes it tad lighter and gives a better fit than other models.

Aside from the flyknit upper element, the flywire cables are designed to increase breathability and keep your feet cool and relaxed even with the whole day use.

With the rubber sole, the shaft is about 3.1” from your arch. The internal bootie and the seamless mesh overlay ensures secure and proper fitting and provides excellent support and stability.

It is flexible to wear as well as suit its users varying gait types and pace.

It is especially recommended not only for your everyday use but also for long distance speed running and even for quick turnover fitness and training exercises.

Pros

  • Foot bed is soft and comfortable
  • Ideal for lightweight cross training
  • Feels very light on the feet
  • Stylish and great fit
  • Good cushioning

Cons

  • Too soft. The sole can be at least firmer
  • The insole is a bit narrow for those with wide feet
  • Top toe coverage could have been thicker

Verdict:

Perfect for your daily use either at work or exercise purposes. Your feet will thank you for the excellent comfort and responsiveness that is great and advantageous on your flat feet.

The Nike Lunarglide 7 is also built to meet the needs of those who have overpronation.

Also, with its versatile and flexible function, style is not compromised as it provides you lots of color options to choose.

Whatever your style and preference, you will surely find one to match your taste.

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10. Saucony Echelon 5 Road Running Shoe

This road training shoe is designed with a stabilizing midsole and a removable footbed for orthotics, as a result of the massive research of Saucony on the biomechanics of top athletes.

Carrying its brands’ trademark fit, feel and performance, Saucony Echelon 5 Road Running Shoe features the POWERGRID cushioning, Sauc-fit system and the foundation platform.

With its run dry water-resistant lining, it provides 20% more cushioning for an increased impact protection than its previous models.

Thus, regardless of the speed, run miles and different types of gait, your feet are comfortable, stable, and will not get hurt or injured.

The Sauc-lacing system does not only make a good fit but at the same time gives you the outstanding support you need on the midfoot and arch area and so its wide platform.

Pros

  • Great cushioning
  • Sole is stable
  • Great fit
  • Lightweight
  • Flexes comfortably for toes when striding

Cons

  • The interior tends to deteriorate quickly with frequent and excess rubbing
  • Does not have an excellent arch support

Verdict:

This Saucony running shoe, more than anything, provides comfort and stability when walking and running. Like most running shoes, it has a rubber sole and made of synthetic nylon.

It is lightweight and gives your feet the “pillow” feel. True to its size, its upper design makes sure it has optimum fit so you will have a great time running and walking in your Saucony shoes.

Unlike the Nike Lunarglide 7, the Saucony Echelon 5 is designed as a neutral shoe with a flat foot-bed that can accommodate even the flattest foot.

It lacks a support system which ensures that your run continues naturally without any interference.

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What is a Flat Foot?

The arch of your foot is made up of the metatarsal and tarsal bones that are strengthened by tendons and ligaments.

This allows your foot to support your body in an erect position with minimum weight load. The height of every arch determines your foot type and pronation.

Different types of flat feet

Image courtesy of www.thion-medical.com

You can check your arch height by undergoing the wet feet test. The lower the curve, the less distinct the curve of your foot becomes.

If a person with a low curve takes the wet feet test, they leave a nearly complete footprint. Such a person is more likely to have an overpronation than one with a high arch.

Overpronation often leads to injuries. Therefore, flat is used to refer to an arch that rests on the ground completely.

What are the disadvantages one has to endure having a flat foot condition?

Though it is something no one would ever wish, there are, however, some who are unfortunate to have developed such condition.

According to statistics approximately, more than 25% of the adult population have flat feet. It is quite alarming considering these disadvantages and obstacles of having one:

  • Swelling of your feet
  • Difficulty in wearing regular shoes as it will not be comfortable especially on long use and makes your feet appear uneven.
  • Long workouts, walking and running causes severe pain
  • Having a hard time moving your feet
  • Lower pain radiation

What Causes Flat Feet?

Many people may not know how flat feet develop and what causes it. It is essential to be aware, so you will know what to do and avoid to keep your feet happy and in excellent condition.

It is mostly concluded as people’s arches develop during childhood, flat feet can grow over time.

The following are the factors that contribute to flat feet:

  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Illness and some issue involving your nerves
  • Those with diabetes are also prone to have one
  • Damaged tendons through years of wear and tear
  • Overpronation from running long distances like marathons
  • Injuries on your feet and ankles
  • Having poor arch and using shoes that do not offer proper and adequate arch support
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history and background

We may not have developed it from childhood or have any history in the family; it is still somewhat possible to acquire it later in life.

What are the symptoms?

Considering the demographics, how will you know if you are developing flat feet? These following symptoms will key you in:

  • It is difficult to stand in your feet or do any foot movement.
  • You are experiencing back and leg pains
  • Your feet gets tired easily that it is hard to manage long walks, jog or run.
  • The arches and the heel areas on your feet are often painful.
  • Your feet become swollen especially on the inside bottom.

Once you experience any of these, a visit to the doctor may be needed to properly address and diagnose the problem.

And if in case you indeed have flat feet, you can immediately solicit for the treatments and medication for prevention of severe damage and cure.

How to Cure Flat Feet?

Regardless of the degree of the problem, certain treatments may be advised by the doctor to help cure your flat feet.

If however, it does not cause you any pains or difficulties, then these medications will not be required.

Flat foot running shoes

Just make sure that you take extra care with your feet and use the proper running shoes for flat feet when walking, running or working out especially on long distances, high speed, and intense performance.

  • Stretching exercise
  • To relieve pain and lessen the swelling, rest your feet and apply ice.
  • Using pain relief treatments like anti-inflammatory
  • For the inflammation, doctors may suggest certain injected medications
  • Orthotic or arch support devices, braces, casts or shoe modification can help correct your flat feet.
  • Use of special customized shoes can help reduce pain and allows you to use your feet
  • Physical therapy

On your end, you can perform basic and homemade treatment such as avoiding some activities that could strain and overly stress your feet, like long runs and high-impact sports such as basketball, hockey or football.

Wear proper footwear to provide your feet the support it needs and make it comfortable.

In some cases, it could be very severe that surgery is your only option to clean and repair your tendon or fuse the foot and ankle joints to a corrected and fixed position.

The procedure may also include grafting the bone to your foot for the arch to rise more naturally, tendon transfer, or the osteotomy or changing the shape of your bone.

Why You Need The Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet

If you are a runner and your feet are flat, you should be careful when choosing running shoes.

The arch of your foot is designed in such a way that it absorbs shock which could otherwise go to your hips, ankles, feet and even the knees.

A flat foot could result in your ankle twisting or even overcompensation of your knees.

Runners with flat feet undergo several difficulties as the arch has to contend with supporting three times the usual body weight.

Shoes Technologies

Best running shoes for flat feet

For several years now shoe technology has been on the rise and manufactures have been producing shoes that provide comfort to flat feet runners.

Most of these shoes for flat feet have excellent stability, motion control and offer good support.

Flat feet runners require sufficient support thus having a shoe with the maximum support is what any flat feet runner should want.

However, it is not a necessity to have motion control shoes since some of the flat feet runners thrive even when using neutral shoes. You can try both and see with one fits your foot best.

Tips for Flat Feet Runners

You have already chosen a shoe that suits you, but that does not guarantee you an injury-free run unless you take great care of your feet and body.

Below are some tips you can follow to reduce injuries:

  1. Run Barefoot: if it is possible to include barefoot runs on your schedule then do it but only on soft surfaces. Barefoot runs stimulate & strengthen the natural muscles of your feet which in turn improve your feet’s ability to absorb shock.
  2. In cases where running barefoot is not an option, you can try flexible shoes. Flexible shoes such as Nike Free have the same effect as running barefoot when training the muscles of your feet.
  3. Lastly, try picking a ping-pong ball using your toes. It is a simple exercise that you can do when you are relaxing or even watching TV.

Key Features to Consider When Buying Good Shoes for Flat Feet

men running shoes for flat feet

Having flat feet will keep you from using any random or trendy shoes even for walking and running short distances because it will easily cause your feet to get hurt.

Blame it on your atypical arch, but when choosing flat feet shoes that suits your needs, you should take the following into account.

1. Stability and Great Support

Those with flat feet should consider buying stability control shoes because they are made and designed with lining foam in the right areas, and adequate cushioning specifically on the arch zone of your feet.

Therefore, they are more comfortable and have more responsive support when used especially for prolonged running and walking.

2. Motion Control

It provides all the excellent support needed for your flat feet, even for those with low arches that suffer overpronation as it is built with the superior upper construction.

The motion control shoes keep the arch in the right position so you can keep up with all the walking running and working out with your friends.

3. Breathable

Ventilation is essential as it keeps your feet from getting uncomfortable, provides proper flow of air and keeps moisture at bay.

Regardless whether you have flat or normal feet, the breathability feature will eliminate the bacteria that may cause problems in your feet and allows you to be more comfortable and confident in your shoes all day.

4. Cushioning

Those with flat feet understand and know their need for sufficient cushion on their shoes to give them the ample support and comfort they need.

Cushioning is a great aid for shock absorption.

It helps your feet not to get hurt easily and protect you from impact so that you will have a better and more pleasant experience.

5. Flexibility

women shoes for flat feet

Though firm support for your feet is essential, this does not mean you have to sacrifice flexibility as best running shoes for flat feet should allow you to walk, run and glide as natural as possible.

Flexibility also improves fit, which is an important factor to enhance effectiveness and keep your feet comfortable when doing all your routines.

6. Durable

We want our shoes to last.

Running shoes for flat feet are usually more costly than the normal shoes. Thus, an essential factor to consider is its durability for long-lasting use and withstanding daily and intense performance.

Though it is a tease that most shoe companies would release newer and more advanced versions every year, we would want to make sure to have our shoes not give up on us quickly even with rigorous training and running exercises.

Conclusion

It may not be possible to get rid of your flat feet, but regular exercises can be of great help when trying to deal with this condition.

All you need to do is get a nice a pair of sneakers for flat feet running shoes and do a couple of exercises that will strengthen your muscles, improve balance and flexibility of your feet.

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Irene Sanders
 

I am an assistant store manager at the largest independent footwear retailer in North America. I have over 5 years experience in the footwear sector having worked previously as a store sales representative helping people find the best men's, ladies, and kids footwear.

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