Saturday, October 23, 2004


The Alaskan Statewide Nurses Convention was held at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage. Nurses from all over the state of Alaska attended. Many vendors were also in attendence including The Shoe Box with Z-Coil shoes. Many speakers and vendors were from the lower 48. Nursing schools and medical equipment outnumbered all other vendors.

Z-Coil shoes was among the biggest hits. We were not there to sell but to educate nurses about the shoes and their abilities for themselves and their patients. One vendor's husband from Spokane, Washington wore the Blue/White Freedoms. His wife tried them on and is heading to their local store as soon as she gets home. She does many conventions and stands on her feet all day.

We gave away a free pair of Freedoms in a drawing held on the last day of the convention. Jason from Glennallen, a nurse, left the convention an hour early to be sure he got his shoes before he had to go back home.

Many people tried on the shoes....nurses and vendors both. All were very impressed and wanted to purchase the shoe on the spot. Next week will tell the tail. We should be very busy.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Last week I had a young girl of 10 in to be fitted for Z-Coils shoes. This is a real guttzy kid!!! She was born without a leg and has not let it stop her or slow her down. The Shriners buy her a new protheses every year but at her age that isn't fast enough. She grew over 3.5 inches last year and this is causing some real problems with body pain. Her and her mother were in about 6 weeks ago to see if maybe when she got her new leg that the Z-Coils would help her to be able to walk better and "maybe, Mom, I'll be able to run"! Like I said, she isn't letting the situation get her down.

When you have one side growing and the other isn't, all the muscles are lax on one side and pulled tight on the other. This causes the hips to be uneven, her back leaning to one side and pressure on the good knee.

She came in wearing her new leg. Posture was much improved but as she walked she rolled. Her protheses attached at the hip. To make it walk, she had to throw her weight. This causes muscles on the good leg, her hips and back to tighten. She rolled out on her good foot. This all combined made her walk very haltingly.

When she got her Z-Coils on she got up to start to walk and I was amazed that she was not having any problem with the little "bounce" they have. I let her walk around about 15 minutes and then began the adjustments. I turned the coil at the rear of the shoe and stopped her from rolling with her foot. Because the artificial foot was a little thinner than her natural foot in depth, I added a white insole heel to lift it to keep her hips as even as possible. I tought her how to do a "lock lace" lacing system to help hold the artificial foot in place in the shoe and she could use it on the other shoe if she wanted to try running. This would hold her tighter in the shoe so she would have no fear of loosing in while running.

I gave her a lecture on what to watch out for so she would not get the coil hooked on anything.

She will be back in about a month so I can check on her progress.

She was grinning when she left and her mom was amazed at the results! She stated that they may be funny looking but what a great aid for her child.

Friday, October 15, 2004

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Lending Support to Sore Soles

Lending Support to Sore Soles: "A spring in your step is one thing. A spring in your shoe is another. But the makers of the Z-Coil shoe promise that their curious-looking footwear brings immediate relief from heel spurs, arthritis pain and other ailments that dog people's dogs.

With an exposed steel spring glued to the heel, Z-Coil shoes are designed to provide extreme cushioning. In addition to the spring, Z-Coils contain a plate system dubbed the Z-orthotic, which can be adjusted to correct for gait problems such as overpronation, which occurs when people roll their feet inward as they walk. Z-Coil Footwear says this combination of stability and shock absorption not only eases pain but also helps heal and prevent nagging conditions such as plantar fasciitis, which affects the arch.

An estimated 75% of Americans will experience foot problems at some time in their lives, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association, and millions suffer from knee, ankle and back ailments. Z-Coils are billed as a therapeutic solution. Available in several models, including running sneakers, hiking boots and clogs, they're sold only at authorized dealers, and the price ranges from $150 to $260 per pair.

The quirky footwear was born in the 1980s, when inventor Al Gallegos, a heavy runner at the time, had a butcher slice apart his shoes so he could glue a spring inside to relieve his chronic heel pain. After years of research and testing, his company started retailing the Z-Coils in 2000 and expects to sell 130,000 pairs in fiscal year 2004.

Testimonials from satisfied customers are posted on the Web site -- but the company also points to evidence from independent tests. In 2001, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories found that a Z-Coil shoe offered 50% more heel cushioning and more than 100% more toe cushioning than an unnamed, high-end running shoe. A separate analysis by Los Alamos National Laboratory had similar results and concluded the Z-Coil spring returns energy to the foot, instead of just absorbing impact. But neither test asked injury sufferers whether Z-Coils offer better pain relief, and no studies have investigated whether the shoes promote healing. (Click Title To Read More)"

June 1, 2004; Page D4

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Testimonial: Back Pain

I bought a pair of the casual Z-Coils last week in Anchorage from Mary at The Shoe Box.

I think you should sell bed sheets with them though, I don't want to take mine off and the heels are sure rough on sheets at night!

Seriously, I have had constant lower back pain for years, literally years, caused from injuries and operating heavy equipment and now standing on concrete and climbing stairs for eight plus hours daily.

The first day in Z-Coils I had so much relief I felt guilty, and after three days wearing the shoes I have to remember how it used to be hurting constantly. I have no lower back pain and can walk immediately after driving rather than having to stand by my vehicle acting like I'm looking for something until I can get my feet/legs to move.

These shoes have done more for me in less than a week than all the years of going to different type doctors.

Tom Brewer
Anchorage AK

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

How I Got Into Z-Business

My mother was in Nakiski, Alaska visiting a friend she had gone to high school with. Now, that is a miracle in itself, as they are in their 70's and they know where each other lives and one isn't pushing up daisies.

They went up to Kenai, Alaska, about 15 miles away, to get some plants for her friend yard. While at the greenhouse my mother saw these goofy looking shoes with coils on the back and asked about them. She was told they were for pain. The lady sold them and then let you return them if they didn't fit. So, Mom got a flyer telling all about them as she was not sure of my size.

When she got back to Anchorage, she called and told me about these crazy looking shoes that were suppose to help with pain and that she had a flyer about them and would put it on the refrigerator so I could pick it up the next time I was over.

Several weeks went by and I had been to her house a few times but we had both forgotten about the flyer.

Early one morning a friend from the Kenai area called and was telling me about the shoes as they knew I had just started working a new job and was having real problems with my hips as the concrete aggravated my arthritis. They said they were selling like crazy there.

Later that night about midnight, I went to bed but just couldn't seem to get comfortable. I finely dozed off and out of no where I hear:

"Don't buy them, sell them".
W h a t....
Something goofy is going on....I rolled over and finally dozed again and I heard it again,

"Don't buy them, sell them".

Now something is getting real goofy...what am I suppose to not buy, but sell? (I didn't think of the shoes as it had been way over 12-14 hour since I had talked to my friend).

I finally got to sleep and about 4:30 AM I sat straight up in bed and said,"it's those damn shoes!!".

The next day I got up and headed to my mothers and got the flyer, came home and went upstairs to my friends and had them go on line and see if they could find out where to get them. We got the number.

The next day was a Monday and I called and asked if they were looking for dealers. I asked for information to be sent to me. (I had never had a pair on my feet.)

I got the information and of course it said you had to have a pair and like them before you could be a dealer.

I called and order my shoes and the day after I got them I wore them to work. No more pain! That was Aug 3 of 2000 and I opened the store on Nov 1, 2000. We had to wait till they got an order in October to get our first order of shoes.

NOW THE REST OF THE STORY: My father was a diabetic and heart patient. He passed away Feb 7, 2000. Before his death he had lost both legs just below the knee because of diabetes but was still able to walk with prostheses up to the day of his death. My mother and I started The Shoe Box from the life insurance he left her. After we became dealers, we found out that Z-Coil was working on a diabetic shoe. This has not progressed to well to date but is still something they are working on. After selling Z-Coils to many diabetic people, I have found how much they have helped with this affliction.

I believe these shoes are the new-age answer to many health issues and I guess someone "up there" thought the same thing. Don't know where the voice came from that told me to do this but when things get tight I just say "OK you better help me out here or I can't get the bills paid" and it seems to work every time.

Now I guess you have most of my story. The rest is - we were the first retail Z-Coil shoe store other than the one the company has in

Shoe Box Mary

P.S. My mother now suffers from Alzheimer's so doesn't work in the store any more. She use to come in from time to time just to lace shoes or what ever but she isn't driving anymore so once in a blue moon my brother will drop her off for a couple of hours and she will lace shoe.

4240 Old Seward Hwy. A15 (Map)
Anchorage, AK, 99503
Email: Mary L. DeZarn
Phone: (907)336-7463