Now you can “run on clouds.”
This is the tagline behind a new Swiss running shoe company, On, which has “taken the Singapore running scene with speed.”
To develop the perfect running experience
On, a company developed in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2010 by three time World Duathlon Champion and multiple Ironman winner Olivier Bernhaud and his two friends, had aimed to find a way to develop the perfect running sensation, fusing the running experience together with engineering expertise, to create this “ideal product.”
So On, a running shoe that was fully engineered in Switzerland, was born.
On has apparently reinvented the running shoe to put you one step ahead of evolution. Clever rubber pieces called Clouds cushion your landing and then disappear completely for a natural run and an explosive takeoff at the same time. On creates the unique combination of comfort and speed, according to the company.
Said Walter Tan, General Manager of Outdoor Venture, the sole distributor of On in Singapore and Malaysia, “On has been tested and proven to be excellent in maximising running performance and meeting individual goals. We are very proud to be the exclusive On distributor in Singapore and Malaysia.”
The perfect combination of comfort and speed
Billed as the perfect combination of comfort and speed, the On shoes basically combines the benefits of a soft training shoe together with a firm and fast racing shoe. So you can land on a sandy beach, or push off from a firm running track, with these shoes.
Added Laura Pollino, 29, in the international sales division of On’s headquarters in Switzerland, “On has really innovative and superior cushioning technology; the thing that sets us apart is the individual clouds that give you the chance to have a cushioned landing, but at the same time, a firm takeoff.”
She added, “It cushions not only the horizontal but also the vertical forces so this means that when you run, it is a forward motion and those forces are being cushioned as well. Also the soles of our shoes contain the SpeedBoard, which follows your own running gait and gives you the chance to propel and have a fast transition and takeoff too.”
On’s Clouds are in the form of hollow pods on the sole of the shoe the stretch back on impact to cushion the landing and then lock firmly to form the solid foundations required for a powerful push off. The result is supposed to be a new running experience that is fast, light and agile.
These findings are also supposed to be backed up by research by Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, which had apparently confirmed that the patented CloudTec system substantially reduces athletes’ heart rates and blood lactate levels.
Targeted at all runners and sports people
The On shoes are targeted at all runners and avid sports people. Said Pollino, “We are a brand that has a comfortable shoe for everyone.”
She continued, “Whether you are picking up running for the first time, or training for your first marathon, or perhaps even a basketball player or cyclist who wants to slide into a comfortable shoe after your workouts, then that is possible too.”
3 – 4km test run
At a Singapore media launch event for the On shoes, we were loaned a pair and were invited to test the shoes on a short 3 – 4km run around the Marina Bay area.
While 3 – 4km was by no means enough mileage for me to fully get a good grasp of what the shoes are all about and how they really feel when running, I think that the On shoes generally need some time to properly get adjusted to.
When I had first put on the shoes, I could feel the Clouds underneath my feet; it had seemed a bit wobbly at first. I felt unbalanced at that point and I wondered how I was going to run with them at the beginning.
But when I ran with the shoes, the first couple of kilometres wasn’t too comfortable. It had just felt like there had been something constantly underneath my feet when I was running.
Towards the end of the run though, something happened – it had felt as though the Clouds under my feet were slowly but magically disappearing and the shoes were beginning to become a tad more springy; unfortunately though, when the feeling of the Clouds under my feet seemed to be improving somewhat, then the run had ended.
As Pollino summed up, “ The On shoes can feel a bit wobbly at first and we understand that people may not be accustomed to them. But the feedback that we generally get about the shoes is, wow this is different; it’s very wobbly, but we let them run and jump around in the shop and the clouds start to get firm and give you the cushioning where you need it.”
It would have been nice to be able to take the shoes out on a longer run and see how they would have stacked up after more mileage, though.
Mok had shared during the media launch event, “With the On shoes, I find it a lot easier to run off the bike in an Ironman; I am a strong biker but I tend to struggle with the run; it takes about three to five kilometres for me to find my groove, but with the On shoes I am back into the game after the first kilometre and I find that I can hold my pace well. That is what I love most about the shoes.”
The On Cloud range of shoes are available at Running Lab stores across Singapore.