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Meet the Inventor

 Alvaro Z. Gallegos, Inventor of Z-CoiL® Footwear 


Al Gallegos“I have always believed that life would reward my father for his contributions to society,” says Andrés Gallegos, President/CEO of Z-CoiL Footwear and son of the footwear inventor Al Gallegos. “His success is directly related to his unique personality and his willingness to do things differently.”

Differently is exactly how Alvaro Zenas Gallegos has approached life. He’s taken risks, and beaten great personal and professional odds, while remaining true to his commitment to family and his mission to help people find relief from pain.

Born in Del Norte, Colorado, Al lived on the family farm until he joined the U.S. Air Force to serve as a fighter and test pilot from 1951 to 1957. Following his time in the Air Force, Al reconnected with his parents in northern New Mexico and began his entrepreneurial career. On June 26, 1960, Al married Marcella Lopez, and at the same time that they were adding children to their family, Al was developing and selling several businesses, eventually moving the family to Santa Fe and then to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1980 Marcella passed away, leaving Al with their eight children, ages 2 to 18. Al felt that the best thing he could give his children was a healthy father, so he took up running as a way to improve his health.

Suffering from joint pain brought on by the impact of running, Al dreamed of a shoe with a coil in the heel that would reduce the shock to his body. He waited several years, believing that one of the big shoe companies would surely develop this obvious idea. Finally, in desperation, and facing the end of his running days due to pain and joint wear and tear, Al took matters into his own hands and cut up a pair of his running shoes so that a conical coil could be glued into the heel area.

Several prototypes later, Z-CoiL® footwear was born. Though he was laughed at and ridiculed in his odd footwear, Al was undaunted and happy to be running again without pain. Over the next few years, Al received requests from other desperate people who wanted to try his coil shoe idea. When his unusual concept proved to be helpful to a growing number of people, he began to focus on bringing a pain relieving shoe to the market.

Al’s son, Andrés, a pharmaceutical product manager, changed careers to join his father in realizing his dream. Father and son faced great challenges, but never gave up. What began as an innovative concept has since grown into a thriving company that is helping thousands of people across the country realize a better quality of life.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2009 12:04 pm

    I bought a pair of Z Coils because I was on my feet for long intervals doing bone marrow donor drives to try to save my child, Kailee and others like her and at the end of the day my back really hurt. Wearing the Z Coil shoes my pain went away and I could stay fresher longer. I strongly recommend Z Coils as terrific shoes, especially for folks who spend extended periods of time on their feet. Good news is Kailee found her match and is fine now and I still suggest Z Coils as great shoes! Sincerely, Owen Wells, Dad of Kailee

  2. October 3, 2009 11:34 am

    I’m an inventor too.

    Fold a firm head pillow in half and shove it at the foot-of-the-bed between your flat and fitted sheets to create a “toe rest pillow”. Gently rest “just the toes” on the curved area to discover the soft comfort of support against gravity’s downward pull on the feet.

    “Blanket lifts” relieve the discomfort of tangled or tightly tucked sheets, heavy blankets, or distracting pets at your feet. Tall people may not have enough room to “toe rest” unless they have a tall person’s bed or a bed extender; their only other option is to place their feet between two of these “toe rests” to at least enjoy a “toe tent”.

    It also helps to put the toe pillow(s) at the head board area and sleep in the opposite direction with your head at the foot-of-the-bed. This will save on the amount of time in bed making and reduce the amount of throw pillows needed to decorate at your head board. A head/foot board guarantees you will not kick your “toe rest pillow” out of the bed during the night.

    This is also a must have for anybody with toe, foot or ankle problems, diabetics that have sensitive feet, or for persons recovering from foot or ankle surgery.
    P.S. reference for the built into the “longer” bed model, with patent pending custom sheets for interested business partners.

    MY toe SPACE pillow is trademarked.

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