Z-Coil Shoes to Fight Plantar Fasciitis

If you have chronic plantar fasciitis or a heel spur, you may be willing to try just about anything to find relief. Z-CoiL shoes claim to be the answer. It's even in their tag line: "Pain Relief Footwear." They have a built-in orthotic and 200% more cushioning than regular running or walking shoes. But their claim to fame and why you may have noticed them is that they have a big, partially-exposed spring in the heel of each shoe.

Z-CoiL Liberty Grey
Photo from Amazon 

Z-CoiL Shoes for Problem Feet

Shoe stores selling Z-CoiL shoes have many testimonials of happy customers. They were invented by a runner, for runners. While they come in athletic styles, they also have dress shoes for men and women, sandals, boots, and models where the coil is not exposed.

But all Z-CoiL shoes have some common elements. Inside is a rigid Z-orthotic designed to equalize pressure over the sole of the foot. They have a cushioned, rocker-bottom forefoot that aims to give a natural rolling motion with each step. Then there is a coil spring at the heel, attached to the shoe's upper component and the heel pad. Shoes vary in the styling of the upper and whether or not they encase the coil so it isn't visible.

The spring is adjustable in 90-degree increments, which Z-CoiL uses to provide more or less motion control for overpronation. The spring and the heel pad can be replaced separately from the upper, which could add to the life of the shoe.

While Z-CoiL shoes are available online, there are some major benefits to purchasing in-store where you can be properly fit and have the coil adjusted to match your motion control needs.

Z-CoiL shoes are designed to relieve various kinds of foot, leg, and back pain by mitigating the impact of each step.


Nurses and other hospital workers with plantar fasciitis problems have given testimonials about the benefits of wearing Z-CoiL shoes while providing patient care. Medical professionals have to be on their feet much of the day and many nurses easily log over 10,000 steps during the workday alone. To make matters worse, the floor surface of most hospitals is hard and unforgiving. But these shoes can help feet feel more comfortable. A cushioned shoe can reduce the impact, while a metal coil in the heel provides maximum cushioning.

For outdoor use, there can be issues with the coils collecting leaves and debris from the sidewalk, grass, or when walking on natural trails. However, you can buy versions of these shoes that have the spring covered or retrofit the pair you have to enclose the spring.

Inside, Z-CoiL shoes have a rigid orthotic that may be right for some people, but certainly not for every individual. For chronic plantar fasciitis sufferers, this footwear could be worth a try.

One of the biggest disadvantages of this product is the steep price tag, which can range from around $150 to $300 or more, depending on the specific style. That said, it is probably worth the money if you have significant foot pain and the shoes work for you. Additionally, the manufacturer offers a 30-day, risk-free trial, so you can get a refund if they don't work for you.

Other Coil and Spring Shoes

Spira Shoes also use a coil to cushion impact and come highly recommended by foot care experts. The wave coils used by this footwear brand are completely encased within the sole, and the shoes look no different from other running, walking, or casual shoes. They also do not weigh more than typical shoes (as some Z-CoiL shoes do) and are readily available through a variety of vendors

2 Sources
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  1. Z-Coil. Comparison chart.

  2. Z-coil. Coil settings.

By Wendy Bumgardner
Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events.