Product Review – The Airia One Running ShoeBy
I have had dodgy feet for pretty much all of my life. I have high arches, hallux rigidus in my right big toe (due to a suspected broken toe a few years ago) and Morton’s toe (a long second toe which causes pain in the ball of my foot when running). If I was a horse, they’d probably shoot me. So, I was excited to read about a new shoe design that seemed to not only accommodate all my issues, but would make me faster. I was keen to give them a run.
The Airia One incorporates an innovative biomechanical design, which the manufacturer claims affects your stride and alters your muscle usage. This leads to an improved performance. The sole of the shoe is asymmetric; it is thinner on the inside and sharply angled, with an upward pointing toe, which optimizes the biomechanics. The shoe’s inspiration comes from the wheel, with designers stating that it provides the runner with a wheel-like motion that makes running more smooth and stable.
This shoe has been decades in the making, with every aspect of the shoe analysed and tweaked to maximise and utilise the power of the human body. Its designers are convinced that wearing a pair of these running shoes will not only enhance your comfort by correcting poor biomechanics but will also improve your performance. They claim that 8 out of 10 runners wearing the shoes noticed an increase in pace ranging from between 1% and 7%.
The shoes are most definitely geared towards the more serious athlete. It’s not easy to walk in them, so they’re not a shoe to wear when you pop down to the shops or pick up the kids from school. There is a breaking-in period for them; the manufacturers recommend that you run up to 10km in them before you decide if they’re right for you. There can be some calf discomfort when you first start running in the Airia One, but this soon settles as you get used to them.
So, did this shoe work for me?
Running in the Airia One is very comfortable; it’s a light shoe and there is a smooth rolling feel to my gait. The upward pointing toe and the higher outer isn’t hard to get used to. While I wouldn’t walk in them all day, they weren’t a problem to wear before a race and afterwards when I went for coffee and strolled back to the car. I had no calf pain when I ran in them, and since starting to wear them I’ve raced several 5k and 10k events. And yes, I do believe these shoes made me faster. I dropped almost a full minute from my 5k time, and about 30 seconds from my 10k time. I can’t claim that these improvements were from training because at the time of these events, I was being a bit slack and not training terribly hard.
For me and my feet, the Airia One is an excellent design. The shoes are comfortable and running in them feels so natural and easy. My only comment would be that they have less cushioning than my other shoes but this was quickly resolved by adding a softer insole. They’re not just a shoe for people such as me with odd feet. I have running buddies who have also tried the Airia One and have normal feet. They too found them very smooth and comfortable to run in, although we haven’t timed their runs to see if they’re faster. If you’re looking for a new pair of shoes, definitely keep the Airia One in mind. Their unique and innovative design may well make as big a difference to your running as they have to mine.
Shop for the Airia One at http://www.airiarunning.com/