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Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt.
Fratelli: Top Shoe Brands at Citystars
Stepping inside, you’ll find all the walls filled with choices from floor to ceiling. Stands in the middle of the shop carry even more items to choose from. A range of classical and casual models are available, in a variety of colours, as well a selection of slippers, sandals and accessories.
Caterpillar shoes can be found in Fratelli, in both their newest models as well as older ones from over the years. Classic models, made of leather or suede, range between 500LE and 650LE. The newer designs - such as the more hefty ‘safety’ Cats, are a little more expensive at 650LE-800LE. There are some more casual models that are lighter and less imposing, available in several shades of beige and brown. Bright coloured sneakers can also be found for 400LE-500LE.
Another big brand sold at Fratelli is Merell; specifically made for rocky and rough terrains. Although strictly of the casual kind, they come in a nice choice of colours and exude a style very specific to the brand. They are priced at 500LE-800LE, though there were some discounts at the time of our visit; we found pairs for 300LE.
If you’re looking for simple, black, classical shoes, there are several Sebago models on offer. Sticking black and brown, they come in leather, suede or fabric like espadrilles; a pair will set you back between 390LE and 500LE.
Shoes by Brazilian brand, Sapatoterapia, stood out for their undeniable comfort. While at first glance they seem like any other shoe, a closer look will reveal signature stitching. Their prices are similar to everything else available, with a pair going for 500LE-700LE.
The women’s section is less impressive than the men’s, or maybe that’s just an observation made from a male perspective. Among the things we did notice, a pair of trendy-looking slippers came at 350LE, which we found to be a little steep. Boots and shoes are priced at 600LE-700LE, similar to the men’s.
The nice thing about Fratelli is the availability of shoes sizes and choice of colours. No matter what you have in mind, you are more than likely to find exactly what you need.
While the world’s flashiest brands continue to flood shops in Cairo, there is also an increasing appreciation for comfort and quality as the biggest factors, rather than just the label.
French brand, Sledgers, has just joined the ranks at Mall of Arabia, providing “French Style & Comfort” for both men and women, specially designed with rubber outsole padding to keep your feet happy.
Providing women with a larger set of options, the store also has a dedicated section to Aerosoles; a women's high-quality comfortable shoe brand, displaying a full range of their products.
Located in between gates 18 and 19, the external display of the shop is appealingly lit with bright spotlights that you can’t miss it.
Inside, the shop is split into two sections, with Sledgers products on one side and Aerosoles on the other. Impressively enough, the interior display is widely spread and neatly organised, making browsing of the large collection easy.
Aerosoles’ women’s collection ranges from summer season to winter styles, from evening shoes, party shoes, summer sandals and plain loafers all displayed in various colours and modest designs.
Simple items include a large collection of flat summer sandals (549LE) as well as high-heeled sandals (649LE) and low-heeled sandals (599LE) in a vast selection of fun colours.
More basic designs include earthy-coloured peep-toed shoes with wedged heels (599LE) in smooth floral patterns and vintage sandals with casual low heels (549LE) in black, white and creamy-beige.
The most frequent type of shoe on display at the time of our visit was those suitable for career women, if you will; comfortable, basic and sturdy. Standout items included a variety of practical flat loafers (549LE) available in simple colours, as well as a selection of formal mid-heel shoes (699LE) in chic soothing shades.
While Aerosoles carries a line of handbags, the bags on display were limited – selling at around the 599LE – and fairly standard in style, some used striking blues, oranges and yellows, ideal for the summer season.
Only two products of Sledgers footwear were available for women; overpriced multicoloured ballerinas for (999LE) and a pair of casual, creamy high-heeled shoes (1199LE).
On the other side of the store, the men’s Sledgers footwear displayed a vast mixture of styles boasting good quality casual and classical footwear as well as soft and leathery loafers, all ranging in price from 1099LE to 1499LE.
While everything is relatively overpriced, the wide collection of quality footwear goes someway in pulling in customers. If a simple, quality shoe that will last is what you’re after, it’s worth the investment.