Most of us will never keep pace with an Olympic runner. But a Texas-based company?s shoes could help you run faster--and recover more easily--whether you?re an occasional 5K-er or a marathoner.

El Paso?s Spira Footwear has been around for more than 10 years, steadily winning over fans with its unusually lightweight (7.8 ounces), spring-laden shoes. Featuring the company?s patented WaveSpring technology, the shoes are engineered to absorb shock and provide cushioning, paving the way for longer and more efficient workouts, not to mention fewer post-run aches and pains.

Andy Krafsur, founder and CEO of the company, made his first pair by cutting the midsole out of a running shoe, adding two springs, and sealing it closed with duct tape. Flash forward from the creation of that rather ad hoc model to now and you?ll see impressive style improvements. This fall, the company will release its Stinger 2 racing model ($100) in highlighter colors of yellow and orange, capitalizing on the current neon trend in athletic apparel.

Fashionable and comfortable? Spira may have solved the age-old form-versus-function problem for once and for all.

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