Necessity is the mother of invention, and nowhere is that more apparent than the history of Z-CoiL®, the World’s Leading Pain Relief Footwear.
One Runner’s Pain Relief Mission
My feet hurt all the time, but not while I’m wearing Z-CoiL shoes! I work on my feet all day at Wal-Mart and these shoes really do put a spring in my step! At the end of the day, I’m not as tired as I used to be before wearing these shoes! Anyone who has foot problems and/or has to be on their feet all day long should invest in a pair of Z-CoiL shoes! You won’t be sorry! Thank you!
– Janet R., Springfield, Missouri
Alvaro Z. Gallegos was running an average of seven miles a day when he started experiencing all the typical injuries associated with running: heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, hip pain and back pain. Although he owned a shoe store and had access to all types of running shoes, he was unable to find any product that eased his pain and allowed him to continue running. So, Al decided to make his own.
Realizing that impact was the source of all his pain, Al reasoned that a spring to act as a shock absorber in the heel of the shoe would reduce the impact; the spring would also provide energy return, which would help him run farther and faster.
After a number of experiments, Al found that a three-inch-wide conical steel coil worked best. He had a local butcher cut open his soles, glued in the springs and went for a run…”and it was glorious!” The coils worked exactly as intended, providing pain relief and, as it turns out, protecting him from new or exacerbating old running injuries.
A Manufacturing Partner Willing to Gamble
The popularity of Al’s coil shoes with friends and family prompted Al to search for a shoe manufacturer that would make these shoes available to the millions of people suffering from running-related injuries. But most manufacturers weren’t interested. Finally, Al found an ad from a small South Korean shoe manufacturer looking for new clients. Mr. Yong Oh Lee, who had made shoes for Nike and Reebok, was willing to take on the challenge of creating Al’s innovative new shoe for $50.
Over two years, Mr. Lee produced a number of prototypes. In 1995, Al patented his design and with 2,000 pairs of Z-01 shoes, billed as the “best running shoe ever,” Al, joined by his son Andres, a pharmaceutical product manager, opened the doors to Z-Tech, Inc. in Albuquerque, NM.
Expanding the Pain Relief Mission
It didn’t take long before Andres began to realize the true benefit of his father’s spring-heeled, impact-reducing shoes—pain relief. At the same time, advances in technology made a built-in, rigid orthotic possible for Z-Tech shoes. Much the way a car’s steel frame supports its shock absorbers, this firm platform inside the shoe combined with the coil in the heel and thick cushioning in the forefoot provided even better overall support for the foot, and so the next generation of footwear—the Freedom 2000—was developed.
The revolution in footwear design prompted a rebranding. Z-Tech, Inc. was renamed Z-CoiL to better reflect the nature of the product and the company’s new mission—to launch a whole new Pain Relief Footwear industry.
Where We Are Today
Over the next several years, Z-CoiL experienced exponential growth as news spread about the pain relief these shoes delivered. Z-CoiL expanded its network of authorized distributors across North America at the same time it expanded its own corporate staff and facilities. In In 2005 Z-CoiL launched its retail franchise opportunity, and in 2007 it began enlisting Affiliate Vendors who carry the Z-CoiL line in addition to other comfort and pain-relief footwear products. To better serve customers in remote areas, Z-CoiL began offering Internet and telephone sales and a new 30-day risk-free trial policy in 2010.
Al Gallegos, inventor and innovator, now in his early eighties remains actively involved with product research and development for Z-CoiL Pain Relief Footwear, where he also serves as Chairman of the Board. The company’s President and CEO, Andrés Gallegos, was honored as Small Business Person of 2005 by the New Mexico Small Business Administration.
Adopt Our Mission
Z-CoiL Pain Relief Footwear has allowed millions of people to find relief from impact-induced lower body pain and resume healthy, active lifestyles, and you can join them! Shop our full line of pain relief footwear to find the style and support that’s right for you.
For New Shoe Retailers
Join our network of retailers who change lives for a living. Z-CoiL gives your customers what no other shoe, medical or orthopedic device can offer. Fill out our 1-page application to get started. Learn more about how to become an authorized Z-CoiL distributor.
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World’s Leading Pain Relief Footwear