How little Spira Shoe Company stole the show from Nike

What do you do if you are an unknown pipsqueak company with a killer idea, going up against a giant with an almost unlimited marketing budget?

On April 16th at the biggest running event of the year, the Boston Marathon, tiny Spira Shoe Company of El Paso, Texas, stole the show from Nike.

For two thirds of the race, two unknown Kenyan runners led, wearing brilliant yellow Spira shoes. Spira shoes have a superior design to their competition aside from just their color. Tiny springs are put into the heel of the shoes. This idea is getting traction in the footwear community but has not been deemed kosher by the running mavens. The Spira guys did not expect to win the Marathon. They just wanted to be noticed. And for one hour 32 minutes of the two hour, 10 minute race, they were front and center.

Nike can buy every track star on the planet (the winner did wear the swoosh), but the talk of the race was these two wannabee Kenyans with the incredibly yellow shoes.

Spira had promised the Kenyan rabbits $150,000 if either won the race. If the runners had won the race they would have had to forfeit the marathon’s official prize because of the spring shoes, but Spira was pretty secure these unknown runners weren’t going to finish first.

Unknowns do not win the Boston Marathon, but this year one did – Spira

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One thought on “How little Spira Shoe Company stole the show from Nike

  1. AvatarRon

    True, Spira stole the show at Boston, and the technology behind their shoes greatly reduces the impact of feet pounding on pavement.

    Now the downside–I’ve owned 2 pairs of Spira Classic walking shoes. The soles of the first pair wore out after 2 years of use. I purchased another pair on June 13, 2007 and the soles were worn all the way through (you could see the springs protruding) within 8 weeks.

    Obviously, they have the technology, but their (Chinese) quality control is terrible. Not what you expect from a company that manufactures $100+ shoes.


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