Airia One // Running Shoe Review


I received these shoes last fall from Airia to try out and review on the blog. I was curious to try them, because they are definitely the strangest shoes I've ever seen.

As you can see, the toes are created to point up, so these are shoes only for running, not even for walking. The design is supposed to (from the Airia website) "better optimize the forces of the stride into forward momentum." Testers have reported that the shoes have helped them run up to 7% faster.
Airia shoes are designed in Sweden and are not currently available to buy from retailers in the United States. They do, however, offer free international shipping and 30-day returns in any condition. With a $79 price tag, these shoes are a fair price when compared to your typical running shoe from Brooks or Saucony or a brand like that.

The website does state that these shoes aren't for everyone, so they're kind of a gamble as far as whether or not you will like running in them. 

So what did I think?

First, just as far as the materials they're made out of, these shoes are of really good quality. The upper part is an open mesh with nylon topping; the bottom is Vibram ICE Trek rubber.
It's a strange feeling when you first put them on, because your toes are pointed up, and the sole has bumps on the outside that kind of make your foot turn in. The shoes came with a paper telling me to work up to wearing them for long runs by running only a mile or two at a time, eventually building up to a 10k. Similar to the concept of a minimalist shoe, these work your calves more than a regular running shoe, so that takes some getting used to as well.

However, once I got going and figured out the rhythm I needed to run with them, I actually really liked the Airias. I can't say for certain whether or not they made me faster, only because--to be completely honest--I never tried timing myself and actually racing in them, and I never wore them consistently for my runs. However, I can definitely see how the curved design would use forward momentum to help you go faster.

I can't give these a solid recommendation only because, like I said, I don't think this type of shoe is for everyone. But with free shipping and a 30-day guaranteed return with the shoes in any condition, they might be worth checking out if they sound interesting to you. You can find out more about the shoe, the company, and some FAQs on the Airia website. Thanks to Airia for letting me try these shoes out!

*I did receive a pair of Airia One shoes for free, but all opinions are my own.

What brand of shoes are your favorite? 
Do you think you would ever try a shoe like this?
Allison said...

Woah! I have never heard of shoes like this . . . that's a really cool/interesting/weird/apparently successful idea. I feel like they wouldn't be for me since I'm unhealthily attached to my New Balances, but maybe once (if) they come to the US, I can give them a trial run.

Ali said...

These sound interesting! Also, cheaper than what I normally spend on a shoe, so that's a bonus. I'm thinking about looking for a new shoe now because my trusty Saucony Hurricane's seem to be giving me piriformis pain whenever they start to break down (like now) at not quite 400 miles. No bueno. I have a new pair in the box waiting for me, so we'll see. But free shipping is kind of calling my name!

The Lady Okie said...

Yeah, they are really interesting. I put off writing the review for a long time, because I wasn't quite sure what to say about them. I honestly didn't wear them on long enough runs to be able to say whether I would like them for long distances, but I can see how certain people would like them. It's an interesting idea! And it's a minimalist feel with the way the shoe fits. Works your calves.

Rach said...

They definitely look interesting. I'd be curious to try them on, but I don't run enough to invest in them.

Sarah @ Sometimes Photojenik said...

I've never heard of shoes like this but they look interesting! I think it'd be fun to try them for awhile. Do you feel like they had good arch support? I'm not brand loyal but I'm in my second pair of Mizunos that I've LOVED. They're kind of "hard" shoes but they're really good support because I pronate pretty bad. Yay shoes!

Unknown said...

I've been a Nike runner for a long time. They work good for me.

Mandy Jackson said...

Sounds interesting! I've been an Asics die-hard for years but I'm always so tempted/scared to venture into other brands. Do you have a go-to shoe for distance running?

Kristin said...

I've never heard of these but they might be interesting to try! I'm kind of sold on my Mizunos, though. I need something with a lot of cushioning and support when I run!

sydni said...

so interesting!

Gingi said...

Great review! I am actually on the prowl for some new running shoes! <3 -

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

I like these shoes! They look funky. How did this company go about finding you? Do you know?

The shoes sound a lot like zero drop with the whole transition thing but I'm going to be honest, I don't believe any company that tells me a shoe will make me faster. I think training and speed drills are what makes a runner fast.

Glad you got the fun shoes and I hope you continue to enjoy them. Now you just need to e-mail GladSole and have them send you a pair to review!

Ashton of Dressu said...

Wow, this pair looked so pretty! Too bad I have had a number of bad experiences with "curved" design shoes - I always find myself wobbly when I wear them! I noticed it has a nylon mesh, too. How do you clean it?