Z-Coil Shoes to Fight Plantar Fasciitis

Z-CoiL Women's Freedom Shoe
Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you have chronic plantar fasciitis or heel spur you may be willing to try just about anything. Z-CoiL shoes claim to be the answer. It's 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.

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 to view.

All Z-CoiL shoes have 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 a step. Then there is a coil spring at the heel, attached to the shoe upper 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.

Z-CoiL shoes are best bought at a store where you can be properly fit for them and the coil adjusted to match your needs for motion control. They can be bought online, but then you would not have the benefits of a proper fitting.


I interviewed several nurses and other hospital workers with plantar fasciitis problems wearing Z-CoiL shoes while giving patient care. They have to be on their feet all day on the job, and as many pedometer studies show, nurses often easily log over 10,000 steps during the workday alone. The floor surface of most hospitals is hard and unforgiving. A cushioned shoe can reduce the impact, while a metal coil in the heel would provide maximum cushioning.

For outdoor use, I think you'd have trouble with them collecting leaves and debris from the sidewalk or when walking on natural trails. However, you can buy versions where the spring is 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, it could be worth a try.

One of the biggest challenges is the price tag, which is substantial. It is probably worth the money if you have foot pain and the shoes work for you. They offer a 30-day risk-free trial, you would pay only shipping to return them for a refund in that period.

Other Coil/Spring Shoes

Spira Shoes also use a coil to cushion impact and are highly recommended by footcare experts. The wave coils are completely encased within the sole, and the shoes look no different from other running shoes, walking shoes, or casual shoes. They also do not weigh more and are readily available through a variety of vendors

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