**This post is sponsored by Airia Running. I received these shoes from the company in exchange for a review on my blog. I was not compensated for this review. As always, all opinions are my own.**
A few months ago, I was contacted by Airia to test out their new running shoes, the Airia Ones. I was immediately intrigued by the concept of the shoes. The Airia Ones are developed for the sole purpose of making you a faster runner, regardless of your current speed/fitness level. As a competitive 5K runner who is always looking to become faster, I knew that I had to try these shoes out.
Of course, the timing for trying the Airia Ones was a little off for me. Being well into my pregnancy at the time I received the shoes, I knew there was really no way for me to determine whether or not they made me faster. I mean, while my 9 to 10 minute pregnant miles are decently fast (much faster than my pace during my first pregnancy), I can’t exactly push myself to the point I can when I’m not pregnant. But, I made a commitment to at least give them a try, even if I can’t determine for myself what they actually claim to do.
The first thing you should know about these shoes as they are made in partnership with Vibram. When I first opened the box, I was shocked to see the Vibram logo on the sole of the shoe. While I know there is a lot of controversy around Vibram and barefoot running injuries, these shoes are definitely different. They are still a low heel drop shoe, but they definitely have a lot more support than my Vibram barefoot shoes.
The other noticeable thing is that these shoes are made much differently than any other running shoe I have ever tried. The soles of the shoes are made for the biomechanics that go along with most people’s stride. So, it is basically taking the positive aspects of foot strike and forcing you to run a certain way (on your forefoot, instead of with a heel strike), which (from research done on elite athletes) has shown to increase speed naturally. With that being said, they are very adamant that these shoes are strictly meant for running, and quite honestly, there is no way that I could walk around in these shoes all day, even though I would love to since I think they are really stylish and would fit well with my work wardrobe!
So, how did they feel on a run? Well, different for sure. When I first tried them out, I was running early mornings on the treadmill and I was still walking a bit in the middle of my runs. On the treadmill, they definitely felt unnatural for me and quite honestly, I wouldn’t know if they helped with my speed or form since those things are pretty locked in on the treadmill.
But, when I took them out on the road, it was a little different. The shoes definitely still felt strange on my feet since it was a different way for me to run. (And I’ll admit that I’m sure being a bit top heavy with a big ol’ belly surely didn’t help.) I also thought they felt kind of clunky on the road, like I wasn’t light on my feet. But, heck, I don’t ever feel light on my feet these days. However, when I took them off the road and onto the grass, they actually felt a lot more natural to me.
Do I think they made me any faster? Well, no, but I’m not a great example of that at this point. I do, however, think that they will definitely do a lot for my running form and mechanics that could help me become a faster runner. They are definitely not an every day shoe, at least not for me, and are certainly meant to be trainers and not a racing flat. But, you better believe that once Moose arrives, I will be putting these shoes on for some of my shorter runs to help me improve my running form and make me a faster runner. I definitely have some lofty time goals post pregnancy, so I will take what I can get if it’s going to make me a faster runner!