Z-Coil shoes are unique because they have a strong coil under each heel. Though it appears that your heel is lifted quite a bit, it is not because the sole under the ball of your foot is built up to compensate. The coil absorbs the majority of the shock of each step your body would otherwise incur, preventing enormous amounts of back, hip, leg, joint, heel and foot pain in addition to improving conditions in these areas of the body that might already exist. They are ideal for any person on their feet for large amounts of time. My husband was standing on a concrete factory floor eight to ten hours a day, lifting and carrying very heavy objects. His pain level dramatically decreased after wearing the Z-Coils and they are the only shoe he has been able to wear to work for three years. I'm on my feet most of the day taking care of the house and two children under three years old, and they are the most comfortable shoe I've ever worn. (I've been known to take off my Z-Coils at night to put slippers on, only to put the Z-Coils back on because they were so much more comfortable!)
Though initially more expensive than your cheap Wal-Mart or Payless Shoe Source shoes, they last years longer than the others. The rubber sole is made of GoodYear (as in tires) rubber, and is very durable. The uppers are usually at least partially leather and are very durable as well. The coil will probably wear out sooner than any other part of the shoe, but it is replaceable separate from the rest of the shoe and at a fraction of the cost.
Last time I checked, Z-Coil shoes are available in athletic, sandal, mule, and boot varieties. The coils can be of the enclosed or open variety. Z-Coils are extremely comfortable and I wear mine every chance I get!