Tuesday, November 09, 2004

heraldtribune.com: Spring comes to town

heraldtribune.com: Southwest Florida's Information Leader: "SARASOTA -- If you happen to see Tom and Janey Jacobson scooting around downtown Sarasota, you'll notice two unusual things about them.

The first is that they're traveling on Segway human transporters -- those 21st century, gyroscopic people movers that allow pedestrians to breeze along sweltering sidewalks without breaking a sweat.

The second is that they're probably wearing space-age, high-heeled sneakers or clogs made by an Albuquerque, N.M.-based company called Z-Coil.

'We're often on our feet six hours a day,' said Janey Jacobson, co-owner of Florida Ever-Glides, which offers Segway tours of the city. 'We were looking for something to make our feet more comfortable.'

The shoes, which come in seven styles from sandals to hiking boots, have two-inch-high coil springs attached to the heels and thick padding in the toes to cushion the impact from walking or running.

They were designed by New Mexico businessman Al Gallegos, an avid runner who suffered from back pain, knee problems, heel spurs and bruises to the plantar ligaments in his feet."

David Coyle (photo) discovered Z-Coil while visiting Phoenix two years ago. He bought a pair for his brother, who was born with club feet and now suffers from arthritis.

"The shoes changed his life," Coyle said. "They made his wife happy and made me realize that this was a potentially life-altering product."

Coyle said the shoes are designed for anyone that suffers from back, leg or foot pain. But his target market is women 55 and older. "They suffer from four times the foot pain that men do," Coyle said.


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