Monday, October 11, 2004

Funny looking shoe gets serious results

While the peculiar Z-Coil shoes are on the fringe of fashionable, to people suffering chronic pain they’re as beautiful as a pair of ruby slippers.

Shoe Safari in Old Town Silverdale opened its doors in February 2003 and hopes to spark a footwear revolution.

While at a Seattle hospital visiting a relative, Hugh and Dody Solaas had their first run in with the Z-Coil. A nurse was wearing a pair of the funny looking shoes and told the Solaases that without them, she would not be in nursing.

“It piqued our interest,” Dody said. “We went and bought a pair over in Burien and we were sold. My arthritic knees went away, my sciatica went away.”

Hugh’s painful foot ailments disappeared. The couple came out of retirement where they were living in Hansville to open the Shoe Safari on Byron Street where “adventures in pain relief” are an everyday occurrence.

Each of the shoes has a built in orthotic, which is custom molded to the foot. That is attached to the coil at the heel. The shoe, developed by lifelong runner Alvaro Gallegos of New Mexico,
lessens the impact of running or walking.

The shoes range in price from $139-$249 (NOTE: Today, prices are $197-$261).

A triple fracture to his ankle left Rick Tibbs with nerve damage, pain and the inability to find shoes that fit comfortably.

In a matter of weeks after wearing the Z-Coils, he said he no longer needed to take pain medication or spend hours in a therapeutic hot tub for relief.

“My back stopped hurting, my feet stopped hurting,” Tibbs said as he tried on a pair of work boots recently.

“The reason we’re getting these kinds of results ... is because this is the first totally engineered orthotic piece of footwear on the planet,” Hugh said.

The average person walks about 8,000 steps a day and each time the foot meets the hard surface “micro-trauma” occurs, its effects traveling up the skeleton Hugh said.

“The feet are the foundation of your whole skeletal system and it’s just like a house, if the foundation is bad the rest of the house is bad,” Hugh said.

The Solaases have a binder that is quickly filling with letters of appreciation from customers.

“The only drawback is the cosmetic part of the shoe,” Hugh said.

There are 13 different styles of shoes including sandals, clogs and boots.

“My mission is to help people relieve their foot knee and back pain,” Hugh said. “But the gratification I’m getting far exceeds that original thought. Just the idea of people coming back
after purchasing the product and thanking me for selling them the product makes it the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done.”

By Tracey Cooper
Central Kitsap Reporter
November 2003

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Shoe Safari Customers and Their Z-CoiLs

We are multiple Z-Coil owners and have been happily wearing them on and off our jobs for over a year.

Listen to what they have to say

source: your2feet at the puyallup fair

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Testimonial: As a practicing physician for the last 27 years...

As a practicing physician for the last 27 years, you could say that I am one who "stands on her own two feet." Literally, though, I have been standing on my feet for much longer, first as a medical student, then as an intern and a resident, and after 11 long years of medical education, my feet have continued to stand firm at the bedside of my patients.

I entered my residency with a shoe size 9, and I finished my training with a hefty size 10. Endless hours on call, all of them mostly standing, finally led to a fallen arch. Now, in my mature years, I have become a wiser, more experienced physician - with painful feet. My left foot has post-traumatic arthritis, and I feel a deep, piercing pain in my right heel from plantar fasciitis.

One weekend about three months ago, I limped into a medical meeting in Houston in my most expensive European shoes, outfitted with a heel pad and an insert, both of which had become of little value towards alleviating my pain. As I dragged myself past the booths displaying various technological exhibits, I noticed a booth with some funny-looking shoes, and an even funnier name: "Cra-Z-CoiL." To my surprise, I saw a number of physicians lined up in front of the booth waiting to try on those shoes. I decided to join the line, hoping the wait wouldn't be too long, since standing was becoming increasingly unbearable. When my turn came, I chose a pair of black sneakers. I stepped into them and I began to walk, and I walked, and walked, and walked, like a toddler fascinated with her first steps. I told my husband, "Please pay the lady and ask her to pack up my Mephistos; I am not getting out of these shoes!" And I haven't. The next day I bought my second pair, the black clogs, and I have not used any of my (many) other pairs of shoes since.

Recently we spent almost three weeks in Germany, where I walked the almost exclusively historical pebbled roads all day long, secure and pain-free in my Z-CoiLs. I had to tell many Germans where to find information on these shoes, which really piqued their curiosity. At the airport, several security agents smiled when my Z-CoiLs showed up on their screens; they probably thought I was just a funky traveler, and my shoes were returned to me with all respect. Some people think they look weird, while others say they are really cool. I think they are my feet now, the ones I lost during an exciting but demanding career. And, except for bedtime, they go with me everywhere, from the treadmill to the most elegant evening, since I know nobody will actually mind my coils or find them unattractive; it is my big smile and contentment that will really catch their eye!

Christina Stemmler, M.D.
Houston, TX

Monday, October 04, 2004

Shoe Safari - Contact Information

3594 NW Byron #103 Oldtown (See Map)
Silverdale, WA, 98383

Phone: (360) 307-0755
E-Mail: solaas at earthlink dot net

Z Shoe Store Etc., Commercial

Z Shoe Store Etc., CommercialCheck out the Z-CoiL TV commercial from Z Shoe Store Etc, Scottsdale, Arizona. (Click Title)

Friday, October 01, 2004

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."

(Click Title to Read More)

By Jack Williams
Union-Tribune Publishing
April 26, 2004

Interview: Hair Dresser with Bad Back

Audio Interview: My name is Gay and I've had my Z-CoiL hiking boots for five, six, seven, eight, nine months now and...

Your2Feet: Puyallup Fair September 2004