Thomas: I have not seen another company put out stronger claims that their product will make you run faster. On the Airia Running website in big text reads “Do you want to run faster?” and “Airia One helps 8 out of 10 to run faster regardless of their current level or running style.” Airia sent me a pair of $190 Airia One to review. I will start with the bad news… the magic shoe that will make you run faster remains the stuff of legend/myth. The good news is that the shoe is interesting and might be a good trainer for someone looking for what the shoe offers.
The way your foot connects with the ground in the Airia One reminds me a little of the first impression of the Newton Gravity I purchased in 2008. You really notice the way you toe off the built up area right behind the toes. It is difficult to land anywhere but on the mid-foot of this shoe. The awkward feeling under the balls of your feet disappears after a couple miles and the stride feels pretty natural. The shoe is constructed from quality materials including the Vibram mid and outsole. The shoe will hold up to miles upon miles of running. The upper fits well with a wider toe-box than you would expect from the pictures.
Adjusting to the Airia One’s unique molded outsole takes getting used to. Often I felt that the shoe forced my foot to pronate slightly. The ride is a little to stiff for my preference, although I think some would really like the firm ride for speed work.
This was one of the tougher shoes for me to review. I was afraid this shoe could cause an injury. The fear caused me to limit my runs in the Airia One to shorter distances (nothing over 10 miles, most runs were 7-8 miles.) Perhaps with time the legs and feet would strengthen to prevent any injuries. The firmness of the midsole eliminated any desire to run long in the shoe. The biggest flaw with the shoe is the marketing claims. They are impossible to back up. I did not dislike the shoe. When I do reviews I try to think if the shoe isn’t my ideal shoe, who would the shoe be a good choice for. In this case, if you like a firm shoe that has a natural run feel (after a couple miles) and want to see if a shoe can actually deliver the promise of faster times, well then this might be the shoe for you.