I was sent a pair of the Airia One sneakers ($190) to review. The Airia One sneakers were designed to be a minimalist shoe with the sole designed by Vibram who creates the barefoot running shoes. The shoes are very light, with breathable mesh and have a unique design with an irregular and sharply angled sole and upward-pointing toe. Research was conducted to develop the angles and with the goal of maximizing responsiveness for runners.
“Airia One has an asymmetric design which combines a zero drop with a 6 mm drop sole. This allows you to run with less ground contact time and helps to keep the power in the stride more in line with the running direction.”
The shoes are only for running – not meant for walking. If you go to the website, the shoes boast that they”can help you run faster” and offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
These were hard to adjust to! When I took my first steps, they felt very awkward with the odd angled soles. I did not feel like I was running barefoot because of the soles, but I felt like I was forced to land on my mid-foot. After a few miles, I seemed to settle into a natural stride and feel more natural. After my first run of 3 miles, I was sore in all different places. I pronate, and I felt like I was pronating even more as a result of the shoes. I missed my standard sneakers and was afraid to run in these for more than a 4-miler.
I feel like these would be a great shoe for a neutral runner that wants to improve speed. If you enjoy the bare minimum or want to try out a middle ground between barefoot running and running with sneakers, give these a shot!