Friday, November 12, 2004

The Seattle Times: Good-for-you footwear may help posture, but not your social standing

The Seattle Times: Good-for-you footwear may help posture, but not your social standing: "Something's afoot in the shoe industry. Perhaps a backlash against the backbreaking Manolo Blahnik trend, an increasing array of "healthful" footwear has been marching into the market. The emphasis is all about realigning the spine to reduce back pain and joint stress — noble endeavors, to be sure. As a person who suffers from a temperamental lumbar zone, I appreciate the efforts. But as a person who also harbors an interest in stylish shoes, it made me question: Is it possible to have shoes that are both good for you and cute?

Next I explored Z-CoiL 'pain relief footwear.' These shoes emphasize shock absorption via a fat spring under each heel - a totally exposed slinky of a thing that gives the sensation of walking on a pogo stick. But lest you get too carried away with bouncing around, the brochure warns that Z-CoiLs should be worn only in areas 'free of cables, cords, protruding objects, and objects that could catch in the spring.' Apparently I was approaching a brave new world of shoe-based humiliation.

If you find the giant coils dangerous or unsightly (conceivably both), you can have them 'enclosed' in what appears to be a makeshift leather box, resulting in a style most commonly favored by marionettes. (And bringing new meaning to the word 'clodhopper.') How did they feel? Definitely sproingy, though the reverb of the springs caused an unpleasant tingling in my fillings. Again, I was assured I would get used to it. "

By Brangien Davis
Special to The Seattle Times

1 comment:

JOlmsted said...

How long did wear the springy shoes?
Questions for Brangien:

Do you have any pain issues in your feet, legs or back?
Where did you get your pair of Z-CoiLs?
What style did you wear?
Did you have the shoes adjusted?
When you wore the Z-CoiLs, what did you do in them? Run? Dance? Stand in one place for hours at a time? Walk? Jump? Hike? Drive a car? Shop? Go up and down stairs?
What age group are you in? 20, 30, 40, 50
What type of socks did you wear with the Z-CoiLs?