- I’ve been walking up to six hours a day in Provence and some of the French Riviera over the past 12 days. I’ve joined the army marching through France, dressed in cut-off pants, polo shirts and ugly shoes, armed with cameras and iPads. Except my footwear mercifully doesn’t look tragic. Did I say that some of my fellow travellers are much older me and a great deal fitter? Probably shouldn’t mention that. Because I’m walking Provence with FRANKiE4 sandals, I might even catch up to the oldies at this rate.
FRANKiE4 is an Australian shoe company that specialises in orthopedic footwear. I have walked pain and blister free up and down a gazillion cobblestone streets, through stony organic vineyards, in and out of countless cathedrals, and along Roman bridges and battlements. I’ve worn these GENi sandals, and nothing else. At night I might slip my feet into a pair of wedges or high heels, for schleping to and from a restaurant.
When my feet swelled up horribly during the 15-hour flight Sydney-Dubai, I was just grateful to be wearing these rather than sports shoes. By the time I was halfway through the flight to Nice, I was sitting on the jump seat in the galley with ice packs on both feet. The Emirates crew knew exactly what to do. Bless their cotton sox.
The last time I did so much walking was in Paris and London in freezing temperatures, where my Clark’s ankle boots didn’t provide enough support and my sports shoes were akin to kayaks. Felt embarrassed putting them on. I only bought them out of sheer necessity, to give my aching arches a break. Hey, a gal is allowed a bit of vanity!
No such problems with FRANKiE4. The company is owned by Caroline and Alan McCulloch.
Alan has over 20 years experience as a podiatrist, working in his own retail stores and listening to what customers want from footwear. He has worked with elite athletes and extensively studied the biomechanics of the foot and leg.
His knowledge of footwear has developed through working in the technical department of a major footwear brand and many hours in footwear factories. He has a passion for footwear and believes in continual improvement as the best approach to footwear design.
Caroline is a podiatrist and physiotherapist – a rare but optimal background for a footwear designer. Her inspiration has come from years of treating patients and fitting footwear in a busy podiatry practice and footwear store.
I’ve got over two more weeks of walking with FRANKiE4. We’re off to Greece now. My sandal style will look right at home. I’ll keep you posted on how we travel. Here we are at Nice Airport, waiting to get on the plane. Bon voyage to us!
More info: www.frankie4.com.au