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What about shoes? Any that reduce pressure or jarring of discs?

AKguyAAKguy Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Alternative Treatments
For example those dorky looking Z-Coil shoes have me wondering if they would help reduce stress on backs? Anyone tried them? Other solutions/brands you've found helpful? Thanks for any input.


  • My old co-worker swears by them. She actually wears them all of the time. She would like to buy a franchise. Her whole family wears them all the time.....

    I think that having good support is important. I think some good orthotic inserts is a good idea. I have been buying a brand for sbout $6-7 and putting them my shoes that are big enough to house them- feel great on my feet.

    I think on the old board there was a thread on feet/support. I will look for it later.


  • I swear by New Balance, and they are opening up several "custom fit/order" stores. Good value for the quality. Merrills are good too but pricey.
  • My feet like Clarks dress and sandals or Nike Tennis shoes. I use inserts for high arches. I buy them at Walmart for $5.00 and they work as well as the custom orthotics that I had made for $250.00. I can tell a real difference in my leg, knee and hip pain when I wear the wrong shoes. For those of you who do like Clarks I got a really good deal on a few pairs at 6PM.com. Am I allowed to post that here?
  • I bought a pair last summer when I had plantar faciaitis. They helped me make it thru my work day, although my work day consist of 8 yrs driving & 2 hrs on my feet. I quit wearing them after my foot healed. The spring coils kept on loosening up & had to lock tite them to keep them from turnning. I don't think I would spend the $225.00 for another pair. Plus the gasoline I work around when loading & unloading my truck was eating up the ruber pads. I know I'm suposed to put the gas in the tanker & in the station tanks, But s*#t happens. ;)
  • I'm glad this question was posed as I've been wondering about that myself!

    I think I'll check out the New Balance line.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,846
    I firmly believe in the proper shoe/sneaker will make a difference.

    For shoes, I swear by Merrill and Clark. I have about 6 pairs of different types of Merrills. From casual, summer light wear, to formal. I use an older pair of Merrills when I am in the garden working. I can even you one of the pairs of Merrills, for light walking.

    For sneakers, I use only New Balance. For me, the 8xx series (which they change number series often,so I dont even know if they make the 8xx any more) The provide the best ankle and instep support for me. Also,since I have a wide foot, the Nwe Balance are great for me. I use them for Walking and when I am using the Treadmill or Elipitcal machine

    For Sandals, I use Clark. Has to be type with ankle support
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Tanker ... thanks for the info. I've never known someone who owned these, so good to hear about reliability of the springs. And Julie, thanks for the info about your co-worker. Wonder if she's had reliability problems?

    Since I was curious, I popped in the the store that sells these, to see what they felt like.

    I've been "living" in some cushy Merrills since my surgery, as they are very easy to slip on, and are very comfortable. So that was my reference point and the Z-Coils felt pretty good, based on about 5-10 minutes of walking around. They do have a pretty supportive and stiff inner (too stiff?), and the walking seemed fairly smooth. So I picked up a brochure and asked my PT about them (I was already scheduled to see her today).

    She said she's never seen them, but other patients have asked her about them in the past.

    Her main concern is pronation and instability in the back if the spring is allowing too much lateral motion. That wouldn't be good for the lower spine. She suggested I talk to my podiatrist to get his opinion about these, to see if he recommends them. I see that Doc working out at my gym sometimes, so perhaps if I get a chance, I'll ask him his opinion some time.

    If you are considering buying some comfortable tennis/running type shoes, I bought some Brooks shoes last summer that I found comfortable (after trying virtually every shoe in the store). So you might try both the Brooks and the New Balance as a comparison. They are both good brands and before my back troubles, I usually bought New Balance.

  • I was hooked on clarks for yrs. They were the only shoe that would help one of my problems (I'm hi mantanance)
    Problem with clarks is that they were out, and they are expensive. I decided to try custom made othotics and I will nevery deprive my feet every again. The results are amazing incredible Im not saying I am pain free that will never happen how every thouse problems are for now solved, its worth it.
  • Merlles and New Balance really hep my back.
    For work boots I wear Echo's in all three types of shoes and boots i use the red insert from the walking company.
    Helps tons with my lower back pain.
  • New Balance work best for me, too. Thanks for the info on the "custom fit" stores....
  • FYI to all you Clarks folks, ask about their frequent buyer program! I swear by Clarks. They are expensive however it is nearly impossible to buy spiney-friendly, comfortable, non-ugly, cute shoes. Especially in the summer! I tried all kinds of other shoes that were less expensive, returned them all just as Clark's summer line came out with all kinds of cute new stuff.

    Oh yes, to my original point. I got $25 off my last pair with my frequent buyer card.
  • FYI to all you Clarks folks, ask about their frequent buyer program! I swear by Clarks. They are expensive however it is nearly impossible to buy spiney-friendly, comfortable, non-ugly, cute shoes. Especially in the summer! I tried all kinds of other shoes that were less expensive, returned them all just as Clark's summer line came out with all kinds of cute new stuff.

    Oh yes, to my original point. I got $25 off my last pair with my frequent buyer card.
  • Winter shoes, no problem. All the above shoes are great on the feet. What about sandals? I'd like a cute pair. Not ones that look like I am going hiking.
  • But I've been thinking about the shoe thing, and I've wondered lately if maybe my legs aren't the same length. I mean from birth they may not have been the same length, but certainly now that my back is messed up more on one side than the other, it has to show up in my posture.

    So does anyone put lifts or extra inserts in one shoe but not the other in an attempt to "realign" yourself? If so, how has that gone, and is there any fear that it would make your particular issue worse?
  • The fact that they come in wide sizes is a plus. I also have a pair of Rockports that I really like, they have extra cushioning in the sole that feels really cushy and absorbs a lot of shock. I can't remember what they are called but this special sole is only on a few styles. The only thing I don't like about these are that the wide size is just not wide enough for me. They were just over $100 I think.
  • I lived in my Z-Coils for the last 2 years. My orthopedic surgeons ( knee) MOther recommended them. Have been wondering about them since the spine fusion. Will wait to ask dr before I try them.
    If you have any trouble with the spring, they will reset it for you. They had to redo one of mine. I felt they were worth the cost. In East Texas they were $185.00. If my dr. says I can't wear them any more I will be trying EBay.
  • I buy my shoes through this on linecatalog and they sell shoes, sneakers, etc foota accessories.

    Plus they have shoes that support orthotic inserts.


    Theyhave great sales and i fyou can get in on those you can get shoes etc up to 1/3rd or more off.
  • sharpie,
    Went back to work a couple of weeks ago and first couple of days around the plant were killer. Then i tried a different pair of shoes. Dexters I think. Made a world of difference. Although I will be traveling most of the time, I will still look on the site for different shoes.

    Thanks again,
  • I bought some of these shoes (Masai Barefoot Technology) and they have worked pretty well for me. I use them on my daily walks after work. My PT has me walking with poles to strengthen my upper back while walking and I find this combination working pretty well for me.

    What I like about them is they have a curved sole (turn up at the front and back), so when you walk there is almost a rocking chair motion. And there is an internal cushion built into the heel, which also absorbs some of the force when putting your heel down.

    They do take some getting used to, and by using the poles at the same time it helps with the instability that is inherent in the shoes.
  • I've been loving my Crocs and Dansko shoes. I wear the Crocs around the house (I have a severe case of plantar fasciitis) because my foot doc recommended it. But the Dansko's I wear to work. They are designed for people who are on their feet all day (nurses, teachers, waitresses, etc.). Even though I have a desk job, I definitely think the Dansko's are helping, due to their fantastic arch support. I have a leg length discrepency, also. Earlier this week, I was casted for a pair of custom orthotics. My foot doc said that he will incorporate a heel lift into the right orthotic, to even out my leg length. I'm hoping that will help alleviate some of the hip and back pain that has recently resurfaced in me.

  • I bought a pair of MBTs a couple of months ago and like them a lot except for the price. The pair I bought was about $240. That said, I would love to have a second pair. I have arthritis in my foot and the curved soles on these shoes really help. I try to wear them at least a couple times a week. Plus, because you have to balance on these weird soles they work out a lot of muscles in your body in the same manner as say, sitting on a swiss ball.
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