About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Saturday, April 17, 2010

New running shoes with a secret weapon

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a new pair of shoes with a new technology. These shoes are so high tech that they have been banned in the Boston marathon for giving runners an upper edge. USA Track and Field, the national governing body for track and field, has strict rules against competitors using performance enhancing substances as well as performance enhancing gear. My shoes violate rule 143.3 (a) which I will get to in a minute, but first you may be wondering why I bought these controversial shoes?

The company that makes my new kicks is headquartered in El Paso, TX where I live. El Paso is also known for other shoe manufacturers; namely cowboy boot makers like Lucchese Boot Co. Yes, I am a proud owner of a pair of Lucchese boots also. In buying my new running shoes, I hoped I was helping a local business and their employees in these tough economic times. I started to research the shoes and decided on the trail running model, but the cost was $175. I’ve never paid more than $100 for a pair of running shoes, because they are often worn down in as little as three months with all the miles I put on them.

Finally, after several months of procrastinating, I found a sale. The shoes were now $120 because this model was being discontinued. Now was the time to buy so I went to the store and tried them on. They fit well and felt good so I purchased them. After I paid and the shoes were being bagged, I noticed printed on the box “Made in China”. So much for supporting our local labor force. At least my cowboy boots are still made here in the USA.

Now back to this new fangled technology in my Spira shoes. The secret weapon is the WaveSpring Technology.  That’s right, there are springs in my shoes which claim to absorb more shock from the impact of running. Spira also claims that the springs return energy back to you with every foot strike which keeps you from getting as tired and reduces recovery time. I’m not sure that I buy all the hype, but I do hope that the midsoles with metal springs will last longer than the gel, air, and shocks, in my other running shoes.

And about this USATF rule number 143.3 (a), which states,”… Such shoes, however, must not be constructed so as to give the competitor any unfair additional assis¬tance, including the incorporation of any technology which will give the wearer any unfair advantage, such as a spring or similar device.” Elite runners are afraid to compete in Spira shoes because of fear of being disqualified. To counter runners’ fears this new shoe company was, at one time, offering a million dollars to any runner who won a major marathon and was disqualified.

I don’t have to worry about competing in my new Spiras as I never come close to winning a race and I don’t really think anyone in the ultramarathon trail racing community really cares. There is no money in our sport. We just run ridiculously long distances up and down ridiculously steep mountains for the fun of it. Oh yeah, and maybe for a belt buckle. See you on the trail.
The coveted 100 mile finishers buckle

Spira graphics used with permission from Andy Krafsur,CEO - Spira Footwear

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