By Andrew Liszewski
While they might look like they came from a grade 6 science fair project, the Z-CoiL line of shoes are apparently very real. Their most striking feature, the Z-CoiL itself, is made of steel and serves two purposes. First, it slows the rate of impact experienced by the body when taking a step, since it absorbs a lot of that energy as the coil is compressed. Then as the foot moves forward to take the next step that energy in the coil is released, giving you a small boost.
Unfortunately the shoes just look plain ridiculous, and I’d gladly choose to live with any pain if the alternative involved me wearing these things in public. Maybe the running shoe version could be useful as a way to intimidate another athlete, since they look like they enhance your jumping ability about 100 fold, but if you walk into a job interview wearing the dress shoe version, you’re walking out unemployed.
The Z-CoiL equipped shoes are available directly from the company’s stores, and you’re looking at about $200 for running shoes, $220 for dress shoes and $190 for sandals. I would probably recommend the Titanium Spring Insoles from Hammacher Schlemmer as a cheaper alternative.