The dream of running on clouds - On translates it into reality
Somehow the cloud, or at least its myth, should be able to be transported from the sky onto the road. This is what Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti thought - or perhaps only in a similar way. One of them, Bernhard, had already won the Duathlon World Championships three times, plus the odd Ironman. The others, Allemann and Coppetti, were more interested in the technical part. Cloud research from two perspectives. For with the founding of On in Zurich in 2010, the three Swiss planned nothing less than a runner revolution. The new sneakers were supposed to provide the perfect running feeling, while cushioning and energetic pushing off were to invite regular, constructive meetings. A run like on clouds. That was the idea - and in the end the result. Because various ISPO awards and even a revolution certification from the Wall Street Journal later, On today actually delivers a shoe that comes pleasantly close to the idea of the cloud as a running surface.
On the one hand there is the technology. It is so effective and innovative that it neither wants nor should hide. Underneath almost every On sneaker you will see rectangular chambers that contract when you step on them, only to want to return to their original shape shortly afterwards. A stroke of genius meets suitability for everyday use. On the other hand, On keeps its designs so minimalist that the runners blur the line between style and function; at the same time, they have received lasting permission to appear in pop culture and street style. On Schuhe has even been a guest on the Vanity Fair cover: back in 2016, when Chivo Lubezki upgraded his dinner jacket with On Clouds for his Oscar shoot - the prize he won for his camera work in The Revenant.
Of course, the Brand still remains sporty. In 2017 it equipped a refugee team for the World Championships in Athletics in London, and as a co-owner, even Roger Federer is now part of the team. One more aspect. After all, one of the Swiss would soon come to mind if elegance were to aspire to a middle-class name at some point. And the basis for everything is always this incredibly comfortable On Cloud damping.
On products: Material mix with sustainability in mind
No on shoes without innovative cushioning. Nevertheless, the firing does not switch to the relaxation mode when the other materials are affected. Over time, for example, it developed waterproof shoes without forgetting breathability. What is decisive for On, however, is above all sustainability. Polyester is therefore usually at the top of the selection list, but not in its virgin form. On only uses recycled polyester and polymadie. In addition, Brand keeps trying out materials that are not made from petroleum. Artificially produced cellulose, for example from tree bark, castor oil or cane sugar, is increasingly finding its way into Brand's sneakers. And if it has to be leather, On only uses the vegan version.
The chemicals remain. Or they disappear. Some of them, anyway. Because in order to burden the environment as little as possible, On relies on a Restricted Substances List, which completely excludes some chemicals or only allows them to be used in greatly reduced quantities. All this leads to shoes that are visually and technically close to perfection. Shoes that never allow themselves to be dazzled by their own exterior and interior and that also incorporate their surroundings into their own appearance.
Comfort x dynamics - runner style x streetwear elements
Speedboard™ and CloudTec™ lay the foundations. Literally. On Sneakers are designed to put you in glide mode at any time - whether you're on a quick run after work, running a marathon or a relaxed walk to the bar or the office. Speedboard™ serves as a midsole that is precisely tailored to the respective application and follows the rolling behaviour of your foot instead of dictating any one. Underneath are the Clouds. Small clouds - or hollow bodies that contract when you step on them and then quickly release energy again. Comfort meets dynamics.
The lowcut, runner style sets the standard. But On has never given up a lot on conventions. That's why the brand also developed high-cut versions of its sneakers, replacing traditional runner designs with streetwear-suitable approaches. Monochrome minimalism here, a colour palette excursion as a stylish contrast to the restrained silhouette there – On running shoes dominate the entire spectrum.
A revolution as a foundation for evolution: the On Cloud
If history begins with a revolution, then evolution will suffice - without, of course, lapsing into complacency. Yet On Cloud, the world's lightest, fully cushioned running shoe, when it was released, is still one of On's most popular runners today. It always serves as the basis for new models. Thus the Cloud Edge transfers the idea of evolution to perfection and translates the idea of the cloud into streetwear format. The next step: the Highcut version of the On Cloud Edge. Roger Federer, the new co-owner, also leaves his first sneaker impressions. With The Roger Centre Court, On combines the essence of the Swiss player's game with the elegance of a minimalist tennis sneakers. Icon-potential!
On Running: Performance x elegance
The run as origin, but never as end. In the gym or on the run, with leggings, shorts, hoodie or functional tee, On Sneakers naturally feel particularly good. However, the hi-cut models in particular have long since led the Swiss brand into its very own niche in streetwear. Short plus pastel socks, a relaxed hoodie - that's it!
On Sneaker combine at Keller x
The sporty appearance suits On products particularly well. But what elegance never slams the door in your face. On the contrary. Try an On Cloud Hi Edge, for example, with creations by Reebok x Victoria Beckham, who also unerringly move between performance and elegant roadworthiness. Or combine sneakers from the Swiss brand with hoodies, jumpers and shorts from Champion.