Monday, December 8, 2014

Checking Out the Non-Conventional Running Shoes

Between my sister and I, we both have tried out quite a few pairs of running shoes over the past couple of years. One thing we have both learned is to never judge a pair of shoes on how they look. Some of the goofiest looking shoes have performed wonderfully while some of the prettiest shoes were only so-so.
 
I was given the opportunity to try out a pair of shoes called Airia. I have never heard of these shoes before so I decided to take the opportunity to see what they were all about.
 
When you first look at the shoes, your first thought would probably be they look a little odd. Surely not your typical running shoe (with the curved toe box). When I first put them on they felt almost like a track shoe that I wore in High School.  They were definitely light weight. 
 
They claim to help you run up to 7% faster.  Also they are hard to walk in since they are specifically for running. After trying them on you realize why. The soles of the shoes are not completely flat,  which makes them difficult to walk in.
 
Like any good training plan, you are suppose to work up your mileage. Since these are not your typical running shoe you are suppose to ease into your miles as well to see how your body responds to the shoe.

 
When I tried them on my first thought was that they may be a hair too big. Even though I only had a thumbs width between my toe and the end of the shoe. The top of the shoe was very roomy as well. Even if I went down a size that wouldn't change. I even looked up a Youtube video of someone testing the shoes out, and they even looked like the top of their shoe was big, so I assumed that's just how the shoe is made. 
The first time I took them out it took me a few minutes to get used to running in them. I could definitely feel the unevenness of the bottom of the shoes. It didn't feel uncomfortable, just different.  Shortly after I started I began to get use to the feeling and I didn't mind it. It almost felt like it gave me an extra push off with each step I took. I ran about a mile or so and I felt pretty good. I didn't even feel like they were too big (like I thought earlier) because my feet were not sliding at all. I could start feeling my calves getting tight a little and I told myself I better stop because even though I feel good now, it may catch up to me. I didn't want to bite off more than I can chew right away and be too sore to try them out again soon. 
 
The next day I decided to go out for about two miles and see how they felt. This time I felt my glutes getting tight a little bit.  Trying these shoes out almost feel like taking on a new fitness routine. The first couple of days you are sore from working muscles you are not used to working. But after awhile you get used to how they feel, and your muscles don't feel as sore.
 
After several short runs and getting familiar with the shoe I was excited to test them out for a 5k to see if they really were going to help me run faster.
 
I took the route I normally run when I do a 5k around my neighborhood. The run went well. I was trying to not focus on my GPS too much but rather run on feel. At the end of my run I looked at my watch, and I ended up running about a minute faster than I normally do. Could it be the shoes? Maybe. Could it be that I was just having an "On" day? Maybe. But either way I did it faster than normal and felt good during it.
 
So my final thought: 
These shoes are certainly something you have to get use to. Even after several runs with them I can still feel the muscles in my legs working. Would I wear these for a marathon? Probably not, but these would be perfect for shorter distances such as 5k and 10k. My conclusion is that they are more of a racing flat than a distance or trail shoe. I do have a 10k road race coming up in the near future that I may wear them for to see if they make a difference with my time. 

Have you ever tried the Airia shoes or a nonconventional running shoe? What did you think? ~L

( I was sent these Airia running shoes free of charge. All opinions are my own)

35 comments:

  1. This is really weird, but they look exactly like my middle school cheerleading shoes!

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    1. Haha yeah they kind of do look like a cheerleading shoe. They surely are flexible enough.

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  2. I've learned to stop worrying what shoes look like, because what matter is how they feel! I just got Altras and I think they look big and weird on my feet, and will definitely take some getting used to!

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    1. I have recently tried Altras as well and have liked them too.

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  3. When I tried these shoes and felt the bump under the ball of my foot, I thought it felt like an extra push off just like you did. A 10K race sounds like a fun way to test them out.

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  4. I've heard of these shoes before, but I have never tried them. I don't know if I would like them or not.

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    1. They are definitely something one would hsve to get used to.

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  5. I've never heard of that brand before. I always try on shoes, whether running or dress, because comfort is huge for me.

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    1. They are from Sweden so that's why you may have not heard of them.

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  6. I've seen those shoes with their crazy toes before, but I haven't tried them. It's weird that they actually seem to work different muscles than normal shoes.

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    1. Actually once you had them on. You couldn't feel the curve at the toe.

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  7. I've never heard of nor seen these shoes - I like the colorful accents on them, but would be afraid to try them...I'm too injury-prone to tempt fate with something so different.

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    1. Yeah I wouldn't recommend it to people that are injury proned. Though I've heard that they may help with plantar fasciitis.

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  8. I was contacted by them to review this shoe. I'm on the fence as it sounds kind of gimmicky. I mean, its like the basketball shoes that are supposed to make you jump higher. But they seem to stand by their product and they actually tell you to try them in a race setting to prove they work. Maybe I can try them out.

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    1. It's definitely worth trying out for. You never know unless you try them.

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  9. I have not tried the brand before, but they seem similar to Altra's or Skora. I love a lightweight shoe for the treadmill or short run, I use Altra's, but have found I hurt in them if I try to run more than a 10K. I still like cushion i guess. It is amazing how much faster you went though!

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    1. I have a pair of Altras I started to wear too that I like. I have never heard of Skora. I really like a lightweight shoe for shorter distances to help you run faster.

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  10. I've never tried these shoes or any type like this before.
    But I can say I agree with your comment about never judging a shoe by how they look. I come from the days of running (okay when I was 12-14) when running shoes quality and type weren't based on like they are today. Different colors on the shoes meant different things, to help people buy the right shoe for them.. I remember having some not so cute running shoes in Jr. High but they were actually one of the top shoes at the time. It took my dad forever to convince me to get them (he was an experienced runner and knew what I didn't.) So because of my past, I completely agree sometimes looks mean nothing! How they feel and preform means everything!

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    1. Yes totally agree. Never judge a book by its cover.

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  11. They contacted me to try a pair of their shoes too... now I'm nervous. I didn't know they were so 'weird' - as in, gotta get used to them.
    They're very 'unusual' looking too - hmm... maybe I'm hoping mine get lost in the mail now :)

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    1. Well they are something you have to get used to. If you don't have any upcoming events or are not injury proned I would try them out.

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  12. I really do not fluctuate with shoes so this would not be for me. However, it will be interesting to see if you are faster for your 10k!

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  13. Yes that's what I am wondering. Hope I will have room for another pair of shoes to fit in my luggage.

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  14. I haven't tried a non-conventional running shoe but these sound pretty intriguing. Congratulations on the 5k time!!

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  15. I've never heard of these. Glad they seem to be working for you. Will be interesting to see if they help in your 10K.

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  16. I was contacted by them to review these also. But I don't like to veer from my shoes because that usually causes me to get injured. Glad you seem to like them!

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    1. You probably made the right decision. I can see people not liking these for that exact reason. I am fortunate that I am not injury proned, that's one of the reasons I decided to try them out.

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  17. Those are a little different!! I got a pair from Skora, light weight and a little strange but I did run a little faster in them but I can only use them for a 5K, any longer and my left ankle swells . They remind me of them. Fun to try new stuff!

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    1. Yes. I think they are great for short distances but wouldn't recommend them for longer ones.

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  18. They definitely look a little different from what I'm used to. I'm a diehard Asics gal :) if only shoes weren't so expensive I'd love to try tons of different brands out.

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    1. Yes they surely are not your typical running shoe. I recently switched from Nikes to Asics for my longer runs and I have really like them as well.

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  19. These look great. I love them.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.