A while back, after the Indiana Veterans Marathon, I was contacted by Airia Running wondering if I was interested in trying out their running shoes. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, but as you know, I had some over-use issues that prevented me from running on a regular basis. I was trying to maintain some kind of fitness level and at the same time heal from injury. That’s not the best time to try new shoes.
Finally, this past weekend, I was able to test them out. After my 12 mile run, I slipped them on and ran a mile, slowly trying to get a feel for them.
Before I tell you what I thought of the shoes, I’ll give you a little background on what they claim on their website. The company is based out of Sweden and claim to have created shoes that will make you run faster. In short, the shoes force you to run “the way we were meant to run”, which I will get into later in this post. As a point of interest, these shoes took 12 years to perfect!
When I first got the shoes and opened the box, i thought, man, are these things going to get dirty fast. I suppose they will go with everything, but the bright white won’t last for long especially if your running through Pittsburgh’s raining seasons, which I do. So, if you’re fanatical about keeping your shoes clean looking, this may be one downside. I was also thrown off by the way the toe box angles up, but when you run, this isn’t really that noticeable.
One of my favorite things about these shoes is how darn light they are. I typically train in Brooks Adrenalins (stability shoes) and they are heavy, even by normal running shoe standards. These are even lighter, or feel lighter, than my Brooks Pure Flow racers. I consider that a bonus.
When I first put them on, they felt too big. I tried to walk around in them despite the fact that the website very clearly states – THESE SHOES ARE NOT FOR WALKING IN. Clearly, because they feel very awkward to walk in. Amazing, when you start running, they don’t feel awkward anymore – they feel kinda normal. They didn’t feel big when I started running either.
I didn’t run that far in them, but enough to notice a difference in my running mechanics. The biggest thing I noticed was a fatigue in my calves. They do claim to change the way your body works while running and may cause muscle soreness in unusual places until you get accustomed to them. As a matter of fact, they recommend running several shorter runs before attempting anything as long as even a 10K. They also DO make you run the way you’re supposed to run. Strike on the ball of the foot and roll off the big toe.
I liked these shoes when I ran in them a little more then I originally thought I would. But like most runners, have a “fear” of trying new shoes and messing with my stride. I’m having a hard time figuring out when I’m going to give these shoes a real chance. I’m in the middle of training and trying to adjust to new running mechanics sounds a little scary. But when the marathon is over, I may give these a serious chance. If they really can make me run faster, why not.
The shoes retail for $190, so slightly higher than your run of the mill running shoes, but not a ridiculous price. If you want to research and read more about these, visit the website Aria Running.
Looks like more snow is in the forecast this weekend runners. I better get those Yaktrax ordered!