Are Avia Shoes Good for Running?

If you’re a runner searching for your next pair of shoes, you may be wondering if Avia shoes are a good option. With so many running shoe brands on the market, it can be tough to know which ones live up to their claims of comfort, support, and durability.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Avia running shoes, their features and technologies, who they’re best suited for, and how they compare to other top brands like Brooks, Asics, Saucony, and more. We’ll also cover some frequently asked questions about Avia shoes for running at the end.

An Overview of Avia Running Shoes

Avia is a running shoe company that’s been around since 1979. They were initially known as Cantina & Huebner before rebranding to Avia in 1987. The brand focuses on affordability while still using innovative design features and technology in their shoes.

The majority of their shoes cater to neutral runners looking for basic running shoes rather then specialized shoes for overpronators or trail/off-road runners.

Some of the main features Avia running shoes boast include:

  • Cantilever heel design for a smoother transition
  • Lightweight materials like ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)
  • Shock absorption insoles
  • Removable sockliners that accommodate orthotics
  • Durable rubber outsoles
  • Reflective accents for visibility

Avia shoes tend to cost between $50-$120 USD depending on the specific model and technologies included. This positions them firmly as budget-friendly running shoes compared to options from premium brands that can cost upwards of $150 or more.

Do Avia Running Shoes Deliver On Comfort?

When evaluating a running shoe, comfort should be a top priority. You want something that feels good mile after mile, not a shoe that starts rubbing and causing pain into your run.

Overall, most Avia running shoes provide a comfortable feel thanks to features like:

  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Lightweight mesh uppers
  • Molded EVA midsoles and footbeds
  • Flex grooves in the forefoot

The combination of cushioning, flexibility, and breathability allow most Avia shoes to be comfortable for mid-distance training runs and some recovery days.

However, some Avia models have received feedback that they feel overly stiff, especially when new. Breaking them in seems to help, but it’s not ideal to have to break in an uncomfortable shoe just to make it tolerable later.

Other Comfort Considerations

Some runners do report that Avia shoes run small or narrow. Trying them on in-store rather than ordering your normal running shoe size online is best.

Many Avia shoe options also lack significant arch support. So if you need arch support or orthotics, you’ll want to look for a shoe that specifically states it has removable insoles. Not all Avia models have this feature.

When it comes to cushioning, while adequate for mid-distance runs of 5-10km, the level of cushioning is not quite as plush as premium shoes from some other major brands. So marathon runners or long distance trainers may want something more protective.

How Do Avia Running Shoes Perform?

In terms of performance metrics like responsiveness, durability, traction, and support, Avia running shoes earn decent but not outstanding marks.

Most Avia shoes use ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) foam in the midsole. EVA provides cushioning and shock absorption but generally doesn’t have as much bounce back or energy return as premium midsole foams like Adidas BOOST or Brooks DNA AMP.

So while Avia shoes can cushion impact decently on straightforward runs, you lose a bit in terms of propulsion. The level of responsiveness likely won’t satisfy strict performance runners looking to set PRs. Casual and mid-level runners are more the target audience.

Outsole durability tends to be quite good thanks to high abrasion rubber in common wear zones. But some models use a lot of exposed EVA foam which predictably wears down quicker. Traction from the outsole treads is generally reliable on dry paved surfaces but lacks aggressive gripping lugs for wet or slippery terrain.

When it comes to pronation control and arch support, Avia running shoes are quite basic. You won’t find stability mechanisms seen in structured shoes from brands like Asics, Saucony, Mizuno or Brooks. Again, Avia targets the neutral runner who doesn’t need significant motion control. If you have flat feet or overpronate severely, you’ll want to look at options with more corrective features.

Who Are Avia Running Shoes Best Suited For?

So given their features, performance qualities and areas for improvement covered already, which types of runners are Avia shoes best matched for?

In general, Avia excels at making affordable, straightforward running shoes best suited for:

  • New runners
  • Runners on a tight budget
  • Neutral runners without pronation/balance issues
  • Mid-distance training (5-10km) rather than marathons
  • Occasional/light running (under 15-20km per week)
  • Basic paved running rather than trails

The brand lacks options for severe overpronators requiring stability or motion control. They also don’t specialize in maximal cushioning for longer distances, trail terrain demands, or speed workouts.

If you fit the above casual neutral runner criteria though, an Avia shoe could be a cost-effective pick for your purposes and mileage. Just don’t expect a responsive, highly structured shoe used by performance elites. Manage expectations relative to the lower price points.

How Do Avia Running Shoes Compare To Other Brands?

Avia running shoes have carved out an appeal among casual runners, especially those seeking budget-friendly options under $100. But every runner has different needs and preferences. So it’s helpful to compare Avia to a few other popular running shoe brands targeting varying use cases.

Avia vs Brooks

Both brands make neutral cushioned shoes but at different price points. Brooks uses DNA LOFT cushioning for soft landings while their Segmented Crash Pad adapts to foot strike. Expect more responsiveness andbounce in Brooks models but for almost double the cost. Avia competes solidly on price.

Avia vs Asics

Asics excels at stability shoes using guidance technology for overpronation, something lacking in Avia’s selection. Asics also crafts performance shoes for tempo runs and racing using FlyteFoam propulsion foam. You’ll find more athletic demands met by Asics but again for a steeper price.

Avia vs Saucony

Another athletic shoe company, Saucony is renowned for their PWRRUN midsole foam providing a lively, energetic feel. The brand also makes trail running and endurance models — two areas Avia doesn’t compete significantly in. Overall Saucony targets more competitive runners for whom Avia wouldn’t provide enough performance or versatility in terrain handling.

Avia vs Nike

Nike is renowned for advanced comfort technologies like React foam and Vaporfly carbon fiber plates for marathon racing. As a global sportswear leader, you’ll pay a premium for their performance-driven shoes (and marketing!). Avia running shoes compete primarily on affordability rather than racing demands.

Avia Running Shoes: The Verdict

At the end of the day, Avia running shoes deliver on the basics for an appealing price but don’t stand out when comparing high-end technologies and materials against premium brands.

Cushioning, support and responsiveness are perfectly adequate for casual jogging but don’t provide game-changing features for performance runners expecting a fast, propulsive and dynamic ride.

If spending less leaves you with more money for other gear though, an Avia neutral cushioning shoe can certainly fit running needs for newer or less frequent runners. Just scope out sizing/widths carefully when purchasing and manage expectations around support levels.

Within their reasonable price bracket, Avia running shoes are cost-conscious options to consider. You can potentially get several seasons’ worth of light mileage for under $100. Not bad!

Frequently Asked Questions About Avia Running Shoes:

Are Avia shoes good for walking?

Avia shoes provide adequate cushioning for walking, though their strengths lie more on the running side. Look for Avia walking shoes with features like shock absorption, a flexible sole and comfortable upper material if you want something specifically tailored to walking rather than running.

Do Avia shoes run small?

Many reviewers find Avia shoes to fit small, especially in length. Trying them on in-store rather than ordering your normal size online is best to ensure adequate room in toe box and through the midfoot. Others report the shoes feeling overly narrow, so check widths carefully too.

Do Avia shoes have arch support?

Some styles like the Avia Avi-Union include a contoured removable footbed to support arches. But many Avia running shoes lack significant arch or pronation support, putting them in the “neutral cushioning” category rather than stability. If you need orthotics or custom inserts, look for Avia models labeled as having removable insoles that can accommodate inserts.

Are Avia shoes good for plantar fasciitis?

Certain Avia models like the Avia Avi-Verge or Avia Avi-Existence boast excellent cushioning, shock absorption and arch support making them suitable for plantar fasciitis and heel pain.

Reviews indicate they accommodate orthotics nicely too. For plantar fasciitis specifically, ensure any Avia shoe has ample heel and arch cushioning rather than just standard foam padding.

How long do Avia shoes last?

Expect to get 300-500 miles of use from most Avia running shoes with proper rotation. Heavy runners or those consistently logging over 30-40km per week may get less than a year’s use from Avia shoes.

But lighter runners doing mostly walking/casual jogging should find a pair lasts 1-2 years based on online reviews. Higher mileage runners are likelier to need replacing them more often.

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