Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Exercise Your Feet

At least now and again you exercise other body parts--your arms, your legs, your abs--to strengthen them. What have you done for your feet lately? Even walking, while healthful, exerts a pressure of more than 125,000 pounds per mile per foot for a 120-pound person, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. No wonder those dogs are barking! Aging can bring on aches and pains, but don't let them sideline your workout. In fact, staying active is one of the best ways to lubricate joints and ultimately ease stiffness.

Here are some exercises experts recommend to relieve achy feet and help prevent or heal from injuries:

To relieve toe cramps and strengthen calf muscles
While standing, raise your toes. Hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times. Curl your toes. Hold and repeat. Point your toes. Hold and repeat.

To relieve foot cramps or arch pain
Massage the bottom of your foot by rolling a small ball under the ball of your foot for about two minutes.

To strengthen arches, relieve toe cramps, ease pain in the ball of your foot
Place a small towel on the floor just in front of your bare foot. Without moving your heel off the floor, try to grasp the towel using only your toes. Repeat five times.

To speed recovery from plantar fasciitis, common cause of heel pain
Sit in a chair barefoot, with ankle of the affected foot on opposite knee. Using the same hand as the affected foot, grab the toes. Flex the ankle forward and pull toes toward shin. Hold the stretch for a count of 10, then relax. Repeat 10 times. Perform the sequence at least three times a day.

Please check with your doctor before starting any exercise routine. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view our medical disclaimer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions about Z-CoiL® Footwear

Below is a quick list of commonly asked questions about Z-CoiL® footwear. If you have additional questions, please ask!

What types of painful conditions may be alleviated by wearing Z-CoiL® footwear?
Z-CoiL®-wearers have reported significant relief from the pain associated with many medically-diagnosed conditions, including:

  • Heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsal pain
  • Lower back pain and sciatica
  • Arthritis and other common joint pains

Will Z-CoiL® footwear help me jump higher?
No, but you will land softer.

How soon before I can expect results?
The relief our customers experience may be immediate, or may occur gradually, over days or even weeks. Some people enjoy complete relief from pain when wearing their Z-CoiL® shoes; others achieve only partial relief, though they may be able to reduce the amount of pain medication they take.

Is Z-CoiL® footwear stable?
Many customers report that they actually feel more stable in their Z-CoiL® footwear than in regular shoes. The coil in the heel is cone-shaped, and so it compresses straight down, following the line of least resistance rather than tipping. The flexible coil also absorbs some surface deviations to protect the ankle.

Does it take a long time to get used to wearing Z-CoiL® footwear?
Most people get used to wearing the footwear right away. Others may take several hours or even a couple of days to adjust to the extraordinary feeling of the shoes. If this is the case, we suggest you wear your Z-CoiL® shoes for a few hours each day at first, and gradually increase that time until you feel more comfortable in them.

It is also normal to experience some soreness in your legs during the first few weeks of wearing Z-CoiL® shoes, due to the increased mobility they provide. If you continue to experience pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back while wearing your Z-CoiL® footwear, however, you should take them off and return to your Z-CoiL® distributor for a footwear adjustment.

Can objects get caught in the open coil?
Small rocks or loose materials may occasionally get caught in the coil, but they should be easy to remove with a simple shake. We do recommend caution around cords, wires, hoses, and chairs with rungs, which may catch in the coil.

Can I drive wearing Z-CoiL® footwear?
Yes, but be careful not to let the floor mat or pedals catch on the coil. Also be aware that the shoes’ thick cushioning may reduce your “feel” for the pedals. You may need to move your seat back an inch or so to compensate for the thickness of the forefoot cushioning. If you feel unsafe driving in your Z-CoiL® footwear, wear other shoes.

Can I use my Z-CoiL® footwear to play sports?
Our customers have reported using their Z-CoiL® shoes for walking, running, hiking, golf, and more, although we do not recommend them for sports that involve significant lateral movement, like tennis. You need to be the judge of how Z-CoiL® products will work for you. Many people have been able to become more active and get back in the game because of their Z-CoiL® footwear.

Can I use custom orthotics with them?
You certainly can. In fact, Z-CoiL® footwear makes an ideal footbed for custom orthotics. Skilled Z-CoiL® fitters will ensure that your prescription orthoses fit in your shoes properly. Your prescribing healthcare professional may even be able to work with the Z-CoiL® fitter to further enhance the performance of your orthotics.

Aren’t Z-CoiL® shoes considered high heels?
Not at all. The Z-CoiL® heel, when uncompressed, is only about 1/2 of an inch higher than the cushioned forefoot. When the coil compresses, an average distance of 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch, the heel is level or just slightly higher than the forefoot. This minimal heel rise is beneficial to most people, helping them achieve a healthier, more erect standing posture. In the rare event that this is not the case, the coils can be adjusted to a lower effective heel height.

How long will my Z-CoiL® shoes last?
The steel coils can last a lifetime, though the rubber heel pad will probably last between six months and two years with normal use. People who put their Z-CoiL® footwear to hard use may wear through the pad in three months, while those who go easy on their footwear have been known to wear them for several years. Fortunately, even if the heel pad does wear out, there’s no need to buy a new pair of shoes. The coil/heel pad assembly can easily be replaced by a Z-CoiL® distributor at a minimal cost.

By comparison, most running or comfort shoes with EVA or gel-based soles have a life of 200 miles or 3 months, at which time their cushioning is reduced by 50%.

Some of your shoes have optional foam heel covers; why don’t you cover up the coils on all your styles?
We do make an Enclosed Heel System™(ECS) that is optional with our Z-Duty Work Boot and Z-Walker styles. The ECS is designed to address workplace safety concerns, in environments where objects are more likely to get caught in an open coil. The molded foam material that encases the coil slows the speed at which the coil compresses, which dampens its shock-absorbing capabilities to some degree, although a stiffer coil also proves useful when a person is picking up heavy objects.

At first, many people are taken aback by the appearance of our shoes, yet those who put them on and experience incredible relief from pain soon see them in a different light!

Can I order Z-CoiL® footwear over the Internet or by phone? There is no Z-CoiL® store near me.
Z-CoiL® footwear is sold only through stores by authorized Z-CoiL® distributors trained in our custom-fitting process. We believe that a personalized fit is essential for maximizing the amazing pain relief benefits of our shoes. If there is no store near where you live, you may find one the next time you’re traveling. New Z-CoiL® stores are springing up all over, too; be sure to check the Store Locator on this website periodically for new locations opening in your area.

Where are Z-CoiL® shoes manufactured?
Z-CoiL footwear is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the products are designed and engineered. Our products are manufactured in South Korea. Al Gallegos had tried for years to find a U.S. shoe manufacturer willing to produce his unusual shoes, but they all laughed at his idea and turned him down. At last he found a willing partner in South Korea who had 20 years of experience, which included making products for Nike® and Reebok®.

Will my insurance cover some of the cost of Z-CoiL® shoes?
Because Z-CoiL® footwear is designed for pain relief and incorporates a medical-grade orthotic, you may be able to get a prescription for the footwear from your doctor and receive some level of reimbursement from your insurance company. Check your health plan to see whether your insurance covers prescription orthotics. Some employers also have safety or workplace shoe reimbursement programs. Check with your HR Department. Some Z-CoiL® distributors accept Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards with your doctor’s prescription. You can then use your doctor’s prescription and store receipt as justification for the medical expense.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Z-CoiL Founder Spotlight - Al's Run for the Senate!

You're probably aware that Al Gallegos has long been an avid runner, and that he invented special shoes designed to help reduce the pain and injuries that plagued him as a result.

What you may not have known is that Al has also run in two major political races! True to his nature, Al wanted to help improve the lives of people in his New Mexico community, so he ran for a state senate seat in 1972 and again in 1976. Though he didn't win, he continued to stay active in many civic and community organizations.

"I wanted to get into politics because I thought I had some good ideas about ways to help people, but I think I'm reaching more people with the footwear," Al says, looking back. "I think we are on the leading edge of something that can change a lot of lives."

Please click here to read a full article recently posted in Farmington, New Mexico's Daily Times newspaper.

Friday, December 5, 2008

NMHU Ergonomic Study on Z-CoiL

This is a video of an ergonomic study conducted by Wayne Scheler at New Mexico Highlands University. The study centers around Ergonomic Implimentation to reduce Plantar Pressure.

Thanks Wayne, and great job!

Top ten tips for a proper shoe fit

In continuing with the conversation yesterday, here are the top 10 tips for getting a proper shoe fit provided by The National Institute of Health.

  1. The size of your feet changes as you grow older so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.
  2. Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other, so fit your shoe to your larger foot.
  3. Don't select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but by how the shoe fits your foot.
  4. Low-heeled shoes are more comfortable, safer, and less damaging than high-heeled shoes. Women should not wear a shoe with a heel higher than 2 1/4 inches.
  5. During the fitting process, make sure there is enough space (3/8" to 1/2") for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up.
  6. Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
  7. Don't buy shoes that feel too tight and expect them to stretch to fit.
  8. Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping - the shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.
  9. Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to make sure the fit is a good one.
  10. The upper part of the shoes should be made of a soft, flexible material to match the shape of your foot. Shoes made of leather can reduce the possibility of skin irritations. Soles should provide solid footing and not be slippery. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.

Our goal here at Z-CoiL is to provide the maximum amount of pain relief that our shoes can offer our customers. As mentioned yesterday, when Z-CoiL® shoes are properly fitted, they can provide substantial, if not complete, pain relief for many conditions affecting the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Perfect Fit – Custom shoe fitting from Z-CoiL

More than 43.1 million Americans—one in every six persons—have trouble with their feet, mostly from improperly fitting shoes. We’re all susceptible to foot and ankle injuries, but we can reduce our risk by wearing properly-fitting shoes that conform to the natural shape of our feet.

Every customer interaction at a Z-CoiL® store begins with a proper shoe fitting (be sure to give yourself ample time). In addition, trained and authorized Z-CoiL® distributors are able to adjust our footwear in many ways to accommodate your special needs. When Z-CoiL® shoes are properly fitted, they can provide substantial, if not complete, pain relief for many conditions affecting the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Below is a general walkthrough of our fitting process:

Selecting the Appropriate Shoe
We will explain the design of the shoe, help you select the footwear that is most appropriate for your activities, and make sure the shoe is sized properly. Then you will be asked to spend about five minutes walking around the store to experience the “feel” of this unique footwear.

While you are walking, we will check your toe room, arch support, heel fit, and shoe width. We will also ask you to be specific about the pain you are experiencing so that we can focus on those issues.

Making Adjustments
Unlike most footwear on the market, Z-CoiL® shoes are adjustable. Once we examine the shape of your foot and the way you walk, we can make a variety of footwear adjustments to provide the maximum support and comfort possible—all while you wait.

We can adjust for flat feet, high arches, wide feet, bunions and corns, hammertoes, heel spurs, neuromas, and many other conditions that can be responsible for foot pain. We can also balance the shoes if you tend to over-pronate (feet roll in) or over-supinate (feet roll out).

If you are experiencing joint pain, you may have developed a pattern of walking that is putting too much pressure on the affected joint. In many cases, we can make adjustments to the footwear to relieve pressure on the joint.

Continuing Customer Care
Many of our stores maintain a “Fitting Card” for each customer that documents the adjustments made to their footwear. If they ever need to come in for an adjustment, the store has their fitting history on file.

As a valued Z-CoiL® customer, you will receive FREE fitting adjustments from any participating Z-CoiL® distributor throughout the country, for as long as you own your footwear.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from Z-CoiL Footwear!

Thanksgiving is a time of great joy, warm thoughts and sincere gratitude.

All of us here at the Z-CoiL Corporate office would like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and may all the days ahead be filled with happiness, peace, and prosperity.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Z-CoiL® Founder, Al Gallegos, Interviews with Dr. Bob Martin

While attending a Grand Opening Celebration for a Z-CoiL store in Gilbert, Arizona, Al Gallegos had a chance to share his unique pain relief solution with radio host Dr. Bob Martin and all of his listeners.
Dr. Bob Martin"The Dr. Bob Martin Show" is the largest syndicated alternative health show in the U.S., with listeners tuning from over 100 cities across the country, in Canada, and around the world via the Internet. His interactive call-in programs focus on giving listeners health information that encourage the motivation, confidence and conviction they need to heal themselves - a perfect match for Z-CoiL® Pain Relief Footwear®!

Their lively discussion prompted dozens of listeners in the Phoenix area to stop by the Z-CoiL store and Meet the Inventor of Z-CoiL in person. Al was so busy, he says, he didn't even get a chance to sample the delicious buffet that store owners Ken and D.A. Carter had generously provided for the event.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Foot Pain by the Numbers

Millions of American adults, or one in six, who have foot problems; the ratio increases to one in three over age 65.

The average number of miles an American walks each year; two to three times total body weight is placed on the big toe during the push-off phase of walking.

Million pounds of pressure the feet absorb during an hour of strenuous exercise.

Millions of Americans who visit doctors’ offices for foot and ankle problems each year.

Percentage of Americans with flat feet, a condition in which the foot does not have a normal arch.

Number of Americans per year who undergo ankle replacement surgery.

Percentage increase in the amount of body-weight pressure on the forefoot when wearing three-inch high heels; this drops to 22 percent for one-inch heels.

The amount of inches between the end of a properly fitted shoe and the longest toe.

Percentage of Americans who will be affected by plantar fasciitis at some point in their lifetime.

Number of feet in a mile.


Average number of steps in a mile.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Preventative Care for Common Foot Problems

In a recent survey for the American Podiatric Medical Association, 53 percent of respondents reported foot pain so severe that it hampered their daily function. On average, people develop pain in their 60s, but it can start as early as the 20s and 30s.

Yet, even armed with this knowledge, most people do not take preventative measures to care for their feet.

I was recently reading a very informative article by L. Tarkan from The New York Times. In it she discusses the most common foot problems that are associated with aging and whether you should take actions now to prevent them. Here are just a few:

Are you overweight?
The force on your feet is about 120% of your weight. “Obesity puts a great amount of stress on all the supporting structures of the foot,” said Dr. Bart Gastwirth, a podiatrist at the University of Chicago. It can lead to plantar fasciitis and heel pain and can worsen hammertoes and bunions. It’s also a risk factor for diabetes, leading to the next question.

Are you diabetic?
Being farthest from the heart, the feet can be the first part of the body to manifest complications like poor circulation and loss of feeling, both of which can lead to poor wound healing and amputation. Diabetics should have their feet examined annually by a doctor and avoid shoes that cause abrasions and pressure.

Do you have flat feet or high arches?
Either puts feet at risk. A flat foot is squishy, causing muscles and tendons to stretch and weaken, leading to tendonitis and arthritis. A high arch is rigid and has little shock absorption, putting more pressure on the ball and heel of the foot, as well as on the knees, hips and back. Shoes or orthotics that support the arch and heel can help flat feet. People with high arches should look for roomy shoes and softer padding to absorb the shock. Isometric exercises also strengthen muscles supporting the foot.

Do your shoes fit?
In the podiatric association’s survey, more than 34 percent of men said they could not remember the last time their feet were measured. Twenty percent of women said that once a week they wore shoes that hurt, and 8 percent wore painful shoes daily. Feet flatten and lengthen with age, so if you are clinging to the shoe size you wore at age 21, get your feet measured (especially mothers — pregnancy expands feet).

Do you wear high heels?
“The high heel concentrates the force on the heel and the forefoot,” Dr. Gastwirth said. Heels contribute to hammertoes, neuromas (pinched nerves near the ball of the foot), bunions and “pump bump” (a painful bump on the back of the heel), as well as toenail problems. Most of the time, wear heels that are less than two and a half inches high.

When reading the article, I noticed that all five of these questions focused on wearing better shoes to prevent future foot pain and ailments, which of course, is right in-line with Z-CoiL® footwear. In fact, our shoes are specifically engineered for foot, leg and back pain relief and can be adjusted in many ways by a trained, authorized Z-CoiL® Distributor to accommodate your individual needs. Z-CoiL wearers have reported relief from the pain of many medically-diagnosed conditions, including:
  • Arthritis and other common joint pains
  • Lower back pain and sciatica
  • Heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, and metatarsal pain

You can check out many of their testimonials here: http://www.zcoil.com/testimonials

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Z-CoiL® Founder, Al Gallegos, Lifts Spirits at the International Balloon Fiesta!

Despite some stormy weather and a gloomy forecast for the economy, the Z-CoiL® Footwear booth was jumping at the Albuquerque’s International Balloon Fiesta,
October 4-12, 2008.

Al Gallegos made several personal appearances and helped dozens of visitors experience the amazing pain relief possible with his innovative footwear. In fact, this year’s Balloon Fiesta sales were up significantly over last year’s - perhaps because shoes that relieve pain are not a luxury item for many people, but a real necessity!

Did You Know . . .

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest balloon convention in the world. It got its start in 1972 with 19 hot air balloons and has grown to feature 750 balloons (the number was limited in 2001 for safety reasons). Up to 100,000 visitors from around the world come to Albuquerque, New Mexico each year to enjoy the spectacle.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November Testimonial of the Month

One of the most rewarding aspects of my position here at Z-CoiL is maintaining our customer testimonial database. It is just so touching to hear how our footwear really changes people's lives for the better. Every month we select a customer's inspirational story to be featured as the Testimonial of the Month. I would like to share those with you each month, and please feel free to add your story to the blog.

Over five years ago, I was anticipating having to use wheelchair because of my Plantar Fasciitis, flat feet, super flexible ankles, and massive pain in both my feet and back. I could only be on my feet for an hour before pain forced me to sit. I had begun to hunch over just to compensate for the pain. I had tried many shoe inserts but with very little relief. I was working full time on cement floors teaching music. On Wednesday, before Thanksgiving, I got my first pair of Z-Coil shoes. On that Friday I went shopping with my daughter for 10 hours with very little pain by the end of the day! I never went back to any other shoes for over four years. I now own six pair of Z-CoiL shoes and they are all I wear. My favorite style is the hiking boot. They give my ankles the best support for those uneven surfaces. Now, I can even wear other shoes for several hours but I always go back to my Z-CoiL shoes. I have traveled to many areas of the world including
the Mediterranean and The Panama Canal. Everywhere I go people ask about my Z-CoiL shoes. Once every two years I return to my foot doctor to get my inserts rebuilt but I still have my first pair of Z-CoiL Shoes and still love them. Because of the quality construction, they are holding up very well. In Rome I even crossed through two feet of rushing water and soaked my boots. They dried out overnight and are just fine. I have saved a lot of money on Doctor bills and avoided surgeries on my feet thanks to Z-CoiL. The best thing of all is NO MORE PAIN!
Thank you so very much.

Bellevue, NE
For even more heart-felt testimonials please visit our website.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Z-CoiL® Pain Relief Footwear® featured on Good Morning America!

It was very exciting to see the anchors of Good Morning America wearing Z-CoiL footwear this morning! That’s right—Diane Sawyer (who was wearing one of my personal favorites, the Mary Jane-style Taos Strap), Chris Cuomo, Robin Roberts, and Sam Champion all gathered Around the Water Cooler with features correspondent Taryn Winter Brill to discuss the “uniqueness” of Z-CoiL footwear.

First Diane Sawyer posed the central Z-CoiL question, “Can they save lives, knees, hips, and even your joints?” Taryn then declared that she was calling this segment “The Water Coiler” and segued into a discussion of shoes that deliver health benefits to your body.
The segment, in my opinion, focused too much on the shoe’s unusual design rather than revealing the health benefits associated with Z-CoiL. I think it would have been far more powerful if Taryn had interviewed an actual Z-CoiL customer whose life has been changed by a pair of shoes.

Still, we’re all very excited to have been featured on Good Morning America! The buzz is already growing and circulating all over the country, according to many of our distributors.

Check out the GMA segment below and let us know your thoughts on this morning’s “Around the Water Coiler!”

Click Here to watch Z-CoiL on GMA

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Relief is on the way! Z-CoiL® is visiting Santa Fe, NM!

November 20-21, 2008
10:00AM - 6:00PM

Z-CoiL® Pain Relief Footwear® is making a special appearance in your area. Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Check out our latest Styles

  • Receive a FREE footwear adjustment

  • Make your old Z-CoiL® shoes look and feel like new again!

Bring a family member or friend with you and receive a SPECIAL GIFT!

Courtyard by Marriott
3347 Cerrillos Rd
Santa Fe, NM

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A new voice in a mature industry

Although Z-CoiL has been in business for over 10 years, we felt it was time to breathe some new life, and new outlets of communication, into the footwear industry. So, we have started a blog!

The Z-CoiL blog is your source for our latest, greatest musings regarding topics relevant to the company, the industry and to you, our customers.

I see this blog as a community hub regarding all things Z-CoiL.

A place where you can learn about the Z-CoiL® Brand, get a sneak peak at new products, meet our distributors from all over the country, chat with other Z-CoiL wearers, participate in exclusive contests and events, keep abreast of the latest health news, and browse our testimonial and photo galleries. There will be even more exciting interactive content so check back often! We look forward to receiving your feedback and engaging in an open exchange of information with all of you all over the world!