On Running: ‘Like Running On Clouds’
If you Google ‘best running shoes’, you will be greeted with an eye-watering, 862 million results. Now we don’t know about you, but we don’t have that kind of time to be looking through all those results. Plus you know what it’s like, one person says some shoes are the best thing since sliced bread – while another person wouldn’t touch them with a 10-foot barge pole.
But what if we told you that we think we’ve found some running shoes that are really breaking new ground in the sport and it wasn’t just a marketing throwaway, but seriously, something really special. Well, we think you will find that in Swiss running brand On Running. Described by athletes who tested the shoes as ‘like running on clouds’ and praised by the Wall Street Journal as ‘revolutionary’ technology for runners, it seems we’re not the only ones who think so.
If you hadn’t heard of these guys yet – let us give you the lowdown. Started in 2010 by former professional, three-time world duathlon champion and multiple Ironman winner Olivier Bernhard paired up with two other equally running-obsessed buddies – one of which happened to be an engineer. Operating out of Zurich, Switzerland, they started the venture with one clear goal in mind – to revolutionise the sensation of running. They narrowed this down to the concept of a running shoe that offered a cushioned landing and an explosive take-off, something that was not available in running shoes currently on the market.
Dozens of prototypes later the team eventually made something they were happy with and their hard work started to be recognised and ended up winning ISPO Brand New award – one of the highest accolades for innovation in sport. Athletes who had tried the shoes described the sensation as likened to running on clouds and so their CloudTec® technology was born.
Soon, word started to spread the shoe’s unique feel and capabilities. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich published a paper demonstrating that test-runners wearing On ran at significantly lower pulse rates and lower blood lactate levels than with other shoes.
In 2014 Belgian athlete Fredrick Van Lierde won the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii wearing the On Cloudracer – making it the first professional win for the shoe. Many more successes followed including a second ISPO award for Best Performance Shoe 2014/2015, Nicola Spirig winning Silver for the Women’s Triathlon at the Rio 2016 Olympics and in May 2018 Matt Hanson breaking the Ironman World Record. 2019 marked a major landmark for the company with 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer joining the On team as Co-entrepreneur, a fan of the shoes himself, he wanted to be directly involved and offer his unique experience to the brand to help them develop further.
From the initial success of their Cloud-racer shoe, they have continued to innovate in the running tech space to develop shoes that can handle a whole host of different situations from trail running, workouts and marathons, to everyday use – and while the terrain may change, every shoe maintains the core focus on explosive take-offs and cushioned landings.
On Running believe that running should be for enjoyment and should not be something that is forced. No rigid soles here to tell your foot where to go. They are designed to support the natural movement of your foot with no predefined rolling line, giving the runner the freedom they need to move.
We’re really excited to get our hands on these and we think you will like them too.