Lightweight Cushioned Shoe:
- For efficient runners, forefoot strikers and underpronators who want good cushioning and a light flexible ride
- Good second shoe for fast-paced training, racing and long distance runs
- Won the Avansa Over-all award at the recent ISPO Brand New 2010 Awards for Innovation in Sports
- Weight: 10.0 oz (estimate)
Engineered in Switzerland, made in China.
Well, the production in China is mostly a given, where majority of running shoes (or nearly all of them) are made there but the ON-Running shoe has its roots in Switzerland and no less than the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research has tested and acknowledged the cushioning capabilities of this shoe.
The ON is relatively new in the market making its debut at the International Trade Fair for Sports Equipment and Fashion in Munich last year. It is presently available in Europe, the United States, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia and developed by Ironman Triathlon Champion Olivier Bernhard and endorsed by former New York Marathon Champion Tegla Laroupe.
I was able to test run this shoe last week and the model i have is the “Cloudsurfer”. The fact that this shoe has nothing to do with surfing, it was created to simulate a glide-like soft landing and to make a powerful push-off with the help of its lugs.
The Cloudsurfer is one radical-looking running shoe that i’ve tried. Its big advance: to land as soft as landing in soft ground and to push off effectively by using its 3D CLOUDTEC Cushioning technology which are pieces of circular rubber lugs they call “clouds” embedded on the outsole. That’s right, the outsole! ON shoes has become one of the first shoes to take the cushioning battle to the outsole. Gimmick or not? Not.
ON shoes accomplishes this with 13 circular “clouds”, 9 of which are located in the forefoot area and 4 much sturdier clouds on the heel side. With these, the clouds compresses, locks and rebounds for a powerful push-off and compresses back to a very cushioned landing.
Aesthetically, the shoes are very well built with a lightweight mesh fabric while the panels are wide enough for cooling ventilation. The sock-fit insole are removable and well cushioned to conform to the shape of the foot for comfort and support. The collar and tongue are well padded as the stitching and overlays are very well done.
FIT AND FEEL:
There’s no problem getting into the shoe, so once you’re in, you’re locked-in. The pull-up tab on the heel was not necessary, in my opinion. The fit is snug and wraps around your foot nice and comfortable. It flexes in the forefoot and is flexible enough for both forefoot and heel strikers. The inside feel is roomy and did not overheat even when used in hot weather.
The ON is a solid workhorse and running an initial 13k on asphalt and concrete on my first try did not pose any inconvenience, whatsoever. The ride was smooth, transition was very responsive and there are times when you don’t feel the ground as those “clouds” may have been doing its job in dissipating the shock.
The light, glove-like feel seem to float on fast-paces and even running on cement (which i hate and try to avoid) seem to be inconsequential as your concentration remains to moving fast and efficiently, as possible.
The following day was my tempo and interval day and tried to see how responsive it was on faster-paced running. True to form, it is light, agile and very receptive. From a tartan track to a dirt track and back on the roads, the ON did show its adaptiveness and i’m tempted to try it on a trail one of these days.
HIGHEST AND BEST USE:
High marks for this shoe! On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest, i’ll rate this at 4.5. Ideal for efficient runners who want a responsive, lightweight trainer and a good second shoe for fast work-outs or as a well-cushioned racing shoe.
This shoe doesn’t come cheap and will be lumped with other expensive running shoes like the Newton and Somnio. So with the price, the questions are: Are the rubber clouds durable enough and for how long will they last? I’m sure there have been tests on longevity and durability conducted on this and would like to know of the outcome. So, the jury is still out, as for now. The On-Running shoe will be available at Chris Sports in early September, 2011.