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

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