Z-Coil Shoes and My Spinal Stenosis

The arthritis in my L5 vertebra makes walking and standing pain inducing activities.  To avoid pain I avoid walking anywhere but short distances.

I also keep pain under control by doing daily exercises my physical therapist taught me, but as things degenerate in my back my walking and standing stamina dwindles.  I’m always trying to find things to help and this week I bought some Z-Coil shoes.  I looked at them a year ago but was afraid to spend the money on something that might not work.  Well, I’ve been avoiding meetings that require walking across campus because even short quarter mile walks can make my feet go numb for a day or two.

Because I don’t want to give up such walks I spent $189 (on sale) for some Z-Coil shoes and I was surprised by how much they helped.  My feet tonight are no more numb and tired than than days I don’t have to walk across campus.

I can’t tell you if they will help you if you have back problems, but I can say they helped me.  I tried to find testimonials on the web and didn’t find many.  So here’s mine for what it’s worth.

Got to tell you though, they are weird looking, and they might even be dangerous if you aren’t careful.  Read the warnings.


They come in many styles for men and women, even sandals.  Newer models even try to hide the big spring, which act like a shock-absorber.  The tension in my lower back started relaxing just hours after I started wearing these shoes.  I’ve even been able to cut back on my anti-inflammation medicine.  Oh, I’m not cured.  Daily activity still wears on my lower spine but I’ve reduced that strain significantly with these shoes.

I can’t promise they will help you with your back problems.  My guess is they won’t with muscle problems at all.  I have degenerative discs that bone wear is pressing on nerves, so I have numbness, tingling and tension more than pain right now.  I think these shock absorber shoes just reduce that wear somewhat – enough so I notice.

It’s something to consider.

JWH – 1/30/12

Update – 2/4/12

Before I tried Z-coil shoes I sometimes had weird sensations when I walked.  Sometimes I’d feel like I was stepping in a hole or slipping on ice for a tiny fraction of a section.  I assumed this happened when I twinged a nerve.  After I started wearing the Z-coil shoes I haven’t had those sensations.

7 thoughts on “Z-Coil Shoes and My Spinal Stenosis”

  1. I’m glad the new shoes have helped you.

    When I saw the shoes, the first thing that popped into my head was Heinlein’s book Starship Troopers:

    “You got a job to do, you go down, you do it, you keep your ears open for recall, you show up for retrieval on the bounce and by the numbers. Get me?”

  2. Sir, my father has the same medical condition (Lumbar Spinal Stenosis) and I am considering getting him the Z-coil shoes. Do you recommend the shoes after your 4 years of usage?

    1. I still depend on my Z-Coil shoes. They allow me to walk for exercise. Does your father have problems walking? If I walk without my Z-Coil shoes, I often feel like I’m stepping in a hole, or slipping on ice, because my nerve gets pressed and creates that weird sensation. The shock absorber in the Z-Coil keeps the nerve from pressed. I’m also over weight. I weigh 216. I think when my right heal hits the ground hard it squeezes that nerve. The Z-Coil lessons the impact.

      Even with the Z-Coil shoes I can only walk about 2 miles before my back wears out.

      I’ve had 3 pair of Z-Coil shoes. I’ve found the all-leather ones last the longest. I get new coils for it every year.

      Does your dad to physical therapy? That’s what’s help my condition the most.

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