Bringing comfort and style to South African shoes
In 1978, Michelle’s Footwear was established as a manufacturer of leather footwear for women in South Africa. Well known in South Africa through its Froggie trade name, the company has become a leader in the leather footwear market. The company manufactures shoes in a variety of styles from sandals to moccasins under its Froggie and Soul of Africa brands.
Froggie Shoes is the only shoe manufacturer in the world that does 3D laser scanning measurement surveys of women’s feet. “Over 500 women of all ethnic groups, aged 21 to 69, have participated by having complete 3D foot measurements taken by a qualified podiatrist,” states the company website. The results show that one in three South African women needed wider shoes and Froggie has the solution to that with a selection of shoes designed for fuller feet. Froggie is always actively conducting research on comfort and fit of shoes so that each customer is satisfied.
Its shoes provide a number of different features including adjustable features for flexible fit, underfoot comfort, flex technology, allowing for more freedom of movement, and high quality, soft leather.
Cushioned soles and flexibility
The Froggie brand under Michelle’s Footwear puts an emphasis on the comfort of its shoes. Froggie notes on its website that “the sole beneath our feet also has a vital role to play in decreasing step shock.” Because of this, Froggie works with materials scientists to develop and patent new compounds and designs. These are used in mid-soles and outer soles. “We’ve found new ways to mould the outer soles so that the actual tread pattern becomes a shock absorbing unit—the same kind of innovation you’ve come to expect in specialized sports shoes,” states the company website.
The cushioning in Froggie shoes has a “micro-bounce effect” which promotes blood circulation. The company also puts an emphasis on working with recyclable and renewable resources for its soles. It is also free of PVC, which can be toxic to the environment.
Flex technology is an important part of Froggie shoes. Froggie shoes are flexible, so they move with the feet. Feet naturally contain a mechanism that keeps blood circulating and this mechanism depends on the movement of the ball of the feet. Flexibility in Froggie shoes allows the foot muscles to move freely, promoting balance and stability.
Design and development
Froggie’s team of skilled staff includes materials scientists, design innovators, mould makers and podiatrists, bringing together a dedicated team of individuals. Its shoes are designed specifically so that they are ultra-comfortable. The company website says, “Before our shoes reach you, the prototypes and models are fitted and worn by a fitting panel of size-accurate ladies who are trained to assess every detail in comfort. New styles are submitted to wear trials that can last weeks, by experienced testers who report on every aspect of long-term comfort.”
Quality control ensures the consistency of shoes and the company always bears in mind that every person is an individual and all feet are different. Within this, Froggie has an in-house podiatrist that does research and development.
Shoes with Soul
Another outlet of Michelle’s Footwear and Froggie are Soul of Africa Shoes. These shoes go toward the unemployed in Africa. “When you purchase one pair of Soul of Africa Shoes, you are supplying leather and a needle to a previously unemployed woman. You are also helping to provide food, shelter and education to a child that is affected by AIDS,” states the company website. Soul of Africa is a non-profit charity organization.
“What fuels us is the belief that we can make a difference in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children affected by AIDS in South Africa, while tackling unemployment though the sale of hand-stitched products,” states the company website. With a purpose to create self-sustainable employment by teaching unemployed women in South Africa to hand stitch products that get sold in Froggie stockists and retailers is the key to its existence.
Froggie has worked with a leading podiatrist on “Froggie’s Own” products that contain no animal ingredients. This includes an apricot foot scrub that contains apricot kernels and volcanic pumice for exfoliation. “The deep cleansing formula eliminates dead skin cells leaving your feet feeling soft, smooth and fresh,” states Froggie’s website. The company has also created an African Mint Massage Butter which contains Geranium essential oils.
One of its best-selling products is the Tea Tree Heel Balm, which moisturizes cracked and callused heels. “With Tea Tree, for its incredible healing properties (anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial) this heel balm’s rich consistency will pamper and comfort your feet on contact,” states the company website.
Michelle’s Footwear and the Froggie brand have years of experience in the footwear industry. With a commitment to comfort and with the understanding that all women’s feet are unique, the company has created a respected brand for women’s shoes and foot care.