Sunday, January 22, 2012

Z-Coil Running Shoe

Z-Coil Freedom shoe 
I got a new running shoe with an actual spring on it. Looks pretty gimmicky, but it is very well cushioned.

It is a "Freedom" model from Z-Coil, who makes elaborate footware for people with sore feet. I found them at a store in Dearborn.

The company is based in Arizona, but the shoes themselves are made in Korea. They have a whole line of shoes with different styles, but all with the big bulky spring in back. They make different strengths of springs for different people, and the springs do wear out.

I don't really have a foot problem, but I did have an Achille's tendon injury last August, and I have not really come back. Unlike my Nikes, this running shoe is rigid, and so tendons in my foot don't flex. All the cushioning is done by the big spring.

The disadvantage of this shoe is that it is heavy, at 1 pound, 8 ounces it is literally twice as heavy has my Nike Lunarglide at 12 ounces. The weight of the shoe is noticeable, but OK for training in. It occurs to me that the spring may provide some mechanical advantage like the spring steel limbs that amputees run in, but this is too heavy to race in.

The hope is that as time passes, my foot will get stronger, and I won't have to wear them all the time.