Here’s a little story about how I discovered On, a young Swiss athletic brand based in both Portland and Yokohama, Japan. A few months ago, I went to a specialty running store to buy new sneakers and while perusing the usual suspects, I came across a shoe that I’d never seen before. I didn’t recognize the logo, and when I picked it up I tried looking for more identifying marks, finding none but an ON on the side. What I didn’t know was that I had stumbled on a new-ish brand that may also have puzzled many other runners in the market for new kicks.
Like the typical nerdy runner who geeks out about new gear, I looked up On and discovered that the company is about 6 years old and has won design and technology accolades—most recently the ISPO Gold Award for the Best Performance Shoe 2015/16. Their patented CloudTec® sole that combines the benefits of a soft training shoe and a firm and fast racing shoe distinguishes them from other brands, plus they’re mission is to make running fun (I’m sold!). Founded by former top athlete Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann, and Caspar Coppetti, the On concept was developed together with a Swiss engineer, who worked with the latest technology to create a shoe that was lightweight, yet solid and strong. Test runners were enthusiastic and talked about the sensation of “running on clouds”, thus the name.
On’s “Clouds”, which are hollow pods on the sole of the shoe, stretch back on impact to cushion the landing and then lock to form the solid foundation required for a powerful push-off. They say it kind of feels like landing in sand but pushing off on solid ground. See them in action:
So what else is exciting about On? They’ve just released an all-black, limited edition version of their Cloud shoe. The awesome dark knight of running shoes, this model’s dark-space inspired reflects the tagline “Defies gravity. Absorbs light.”
This limited release has their patented Zero-Gravity sole, and all black everything—from the metal rivets down to the reflective black logo; it’s the blackest running sneaker I’ve ever seen, even Darth Vader would approve.
On sneakers are available from more than 2,500 specialist running stores in 50 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia-Pacific and online at on-running.com.