Wednesday, August 25, 2004 > News > Health -- Unsightly Z-Coil shoe adds spring to step > News > Health -- Unsightly Z-Coil shoe adds spring to step: "Imagine wearing a miniature innerspring mattress on your foot. Or sinking your heel into a portable BarcaLounger.
Both images come to mind in the Z-Coil shoe.
With what appears to be a sawed-off pogo stick springing from its sole, it's a fashion misstep in full stride. But if you can stand the looks � the ones you'll get from passersby, not to mention the dubious aesthetics � who's complaining?
The Z-Coil is to Bruno Magli as an operating-room smock is to designer lingerie. Think practical over pretty. Think power pumps for pain relief.
And expect the steel-spring heel to sink an inch or so on contact, the better, theoretically, to protect you from two common conditions: heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.
Dr. Virgil Woods, a doctor of rheumatology, won't leave his house without a pair. Neither will Lisa Taylor, rheumatoid arthritis patient who credits 'those funky shoes' with helping her relearn to walk correctly after 13 knee surgeries.
'When you're jogging on asphalt, it feels like you're on the sand at the beach,' said Woods, 55. 'Two other rheumatologists who see me wear them made fun of me. Then they asked where they could get a pair.'
Taylor, 36, found out about Z-Coils from a friend. 'She told me they made a huge difference for her back and knees,' Taylor said. 'She wanted me to try them on. I did, and I couldn't believe the difference.'
For Taylor, who had worked several months with a physical therapist in perfecting a heel-to-toe walking rhythm, the Z-Coils were the equivalent of prescription training wheels. 'The design of the shoes made me do all the steps of how to walk without having to think about it,' she said. "

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