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A New Season Sole Wellness Check In

We take sole wellness and style very seriously here at FRANKIE4. That's why to celebrate self-care and a new season, we thought we’d sit down with our visionary founder Caroline McCulloch to get her expert podiatrist advice.

Our Q&A with Founder Caroline McCulloch


We take sole wellness and style very seriously here at FRANKIE4. That's why to celebrate self-care and a new season, we thought we’d sit down with our visionary founder Caroline McCulloch to get her expert podiatrist advice.
1. What foot conditions did you see most often when you were treating?

From my experience, plantar fasciitis (heel pain) was a very common occurrence. My husband Al (FRANKIE4 co-founder and podiatrist) agrees, citing heel pain and forefoot pain as the most prevalent issues.   

When Al and I had our podiatry clinics in Brisbane, we were the first to stock retail footwear in a clinical setting. We could see the power the right shoe can have on a patient or customers pain relief.  

It’s why I developed FRANKIE4—I knew if I could make my footwear designs a reality, under the feet and available to all women, then I could help alleviate, cure or prevent foot pain for many more women.  
2. What’s the simplest way people can care for their feet?

A sensible first step to looking after your feet is footwear. What’s simpler than putting on a great pair of shoes every day? Women shouldn’t compromise—they deserve a great foundation for every step.  

3. What’s better at home, barefoot or slippers?

Our home is often a playground of hard, flat, and unforgiving surfaces, so it’s a firm no from me to barefoot walking on tiles, wooden floors, cement, etc. Generally speaking, adults should have a comfortable pair of house shoes. They needn't be slippers; our slides are a fantastic house shoe too.  

4. Do shoes really need to be broken in or should they be comfortable right away?

Thanks for askingit’s a topic that makes my eyebrow twitch. Through my work and FRANKIE4’s designs we strive to debunk what I believe is a myth that your shoes need breaking inand that shoes should have a stiff heel counter.  

Read more here about our previous research into FRANKIE4’s expertly balanced heel counters and how our designs address the breaking in period, particularly our sneakers.

5. Can foot conditions like bunions and neuromas only be treated with surgery?

No, surgery isn't the first step in treating bunions and neuromas. Read my blog posts on neuromas and bunions for more information and in-depth information we’ve worked together to collect expert opinions from professionals in the know.  

6. What foot problems do people encounter as they age?


A common rear foot problem is plantar fasciitis (heel pain) and a common forefoot problem is Morton’s neuroma. Hallux valgus (bunions) is also a common forefoot concern with age. Age can certainly be a contributing factor to suffering from these conditions. The neuroma, bunion and heel pain blog posts also explain how our footwear helps.  

7. Can an arch be changed in adulthood?

Yes, the foot can flatten with age for many reasons. What's important is how we help reduce foot symptoms that are common with a foot that is flator over pronates/excessively pronates or has prolonged pronationinto adulthood.  

Our brand ethos is about soft support. Comfort is king at FRANKIE4. Our footwear helps support the adult foot by supporting the arch and offloading the heel with a footbed made with curves, contours and materials we prefer. Our soles work with our footbeds to further optimise the foundation. 

8. Are heels bad for your feet long-term?

We’re not here to debate the potential negative effects of high heel shoes – we know they are not great for your feet. But we’re also not here to tell you to stop wearing heels – life is too short to not wear styles you love.  

Academics have been studying the effects of high heel shoe wearing for decades. In addition to potentially making our feet sore, high heels may contribute to pain and dysfunction from the feet right up to the lower back due to changes in joint and soft tissue loads, muscle activity, and walking patterns.  

That’s why we’ve created a better way, with original footbed and our new LuxaLite™ version for our Luxestep collection. We describe this as a streamlined, podiatrist-designed footbed which is contoured and moulded with varying densities to deliver slimline, targeted cushioning and support without compromising on style. It has cushioning targeted where higher pressure is most common—this enables footbed compression where your foot craves it in a fashion heel. 

More of my take on all things heels can be found here 

9. Why did you start FRANKIE4 and what foot health problems were you hoping to solve by starting FRANKIE4?

I suppose to add to above our Sole Saver Pack was invented for two main reasons.  

1. To enable women to customise their fit, because without the right fit the support can’t be truly enjoyed by our customers.


2. To enable women with a Morton’s neuroma, reduce compression across their forefoot. Anyone suffering this condition knows the wrath of an irritated neuroma caused by tight fitting shoes. Our half footbeds enable our footwear to better house a forefoot with a neuroma. It’s also a god send for a bunion begging for more room. Women don’t necessarily need to opt for wide fitting shoes they don’t loveour half footbeds in their FRANKIE4’s is often their solution.  


You’ve seen it here first; sole wellness is in, and we couldn’t agree more.  

“You can maintain your style standards without sacrificing comfort and movement. And you don’t have to choose between a sleek silhouette or a chunky footbed for comfort underfoot.”
“The new way of thinking about shoes, and the impact they have on our overall wellness, should consider the science and style behind the shoe…”
“FRANKIE4's are as comfy as it gets, from the sole hero footbeds to the triple-layer support for arches and the heel counter for heel support. You won't believe how good they look, too."
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