Colonial Heights, VA (PRWEB) August 4, 2008
A controversial running shoe that features actual springs built into the base of the shoe, a design intended to reduce impact force on a runner's body, will be worn not just in competition at the Olympics this year but--if a direct-marketing company headquartered near Richmond, VA, has anything to say about it--also on the treadmills and walking paths favored by the nation's Baby Boomers.
firstSTREET, an online and catalog marketer that spotlights products designed for active seniors, recently noted that one of their best-selling items, spring-powered Spira shoes with their patented and much-discussed WaveSpring technology, would be headed toward the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Olympic marathoner João N'Tyamba, from Angola, has announced that he will be wearing Spira shoes for his sixth Olympics appearance in track competition, despite the fact that the shoes have not been approved by the IAAF.
The controversy over Spira footwear began with widespread media speculation about the shoe's propulsive energy return, seen as a possible unfair advantage afforded two Kenyan runners who wore the shoes in the 2007 Boston Marathon. Advertising for the shoes acknowledges that they have been effectively "banned in Boston."
But the 40-year-old N'Tyamba, who will this year serve as Angola's flag bearer for the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing, says he is not too worried about wearing a shoe not cleared by the IAAF.
"If the shoe is banned," N'Tyamba said in a July press release from Spira Footwear, "why do so many athletes win big marathons wearing them? I hope to do the same in Beijing."
Why indeed? Chris Fawcett, COO of firstSTREET, says that Spira's WaveSpring shoes have been among the best-selling of all firstSTREETproducts since they were introduced online and in the firstSTREET catalog in February.
"The metal springs in these shoes offer the same kinds of advantages to everyone from the professional runner to the Average Joe with knee or hip problems to folks who just stand on their feet a lot. The cushioning in these shoes is unsurpassed, which should add to reducing stress and fatigue, highly important benefits to our active Baby Boomer demographic."
Spira literature defines the shoes as energy efficient, designed to store energy when you step and release it when you push off, to give each step taken a little extra boost. Spira says that the return of energy allows users to walk, run or stand with less strain on the body while reducing impact on the joints--"all major concerns," says Fawcett," for a 40-year-old marathoner or a 60-year-old casual walker."
The company markets three styles of Spiras--racer shoes, trainer shoes and walker shoes--currently selling them on its Web site for $129.95.
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