I was sent some shoes a few weeks ago from On Running. Huh? Never heard of them.
They were created by a Swiss engineer to help the runner to land softly and to push off as if running in track shoes. The shoe incorporates a unique rubber ring to help the runner do just that. I mean the Swatch Watch was such a hit and Switzerland is gorgeous (saw that on the Bachelor), so these shoes have to be winners, right?
The creators of the shoe say that more than 2/3 of runners eventually suffer some kind of minor or major injury (Hello! Glad to know I am slumming it with the majority!). Although existing running shoes are designed to absorb the vertical impact, the foot is exposed to both horizontal and vertical impact when running (who knew?). Supposedly, it is the horizontal impact that causes the most damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, and that's what the On design addresses.
This model I got is the Cloud Surfer:
Freaky looking, huh? I think George Jetson had a pair of these.
Here are the specs:
- Heel-toe drop: 6 mm
- Weight: They weigh in at a hefty 390 grams or 13 ounces!!
- Designed for neutral runners and light to moderate over-pronators
I have to be honest. I was skeptical about these shoes. The sole freaked me out. They seemed like they were trying too hard to scream, “Look at me! I am different! I am cool looking! Buy me!” I am injury prone, so I am very careful about my shoe choices. However, I was drawn to the positive reviews, the low heel to toe drop, and the promise that running in them would be like running on the clouds where you could see rainbows and Ryan Gosling’s abs.
Yesterday I laced up and went out to run in these babies. It was my fourth run in these shoes. I’ve taken them on trails, on the treadmill, on pavement and on concrete for a total of about 25 miles.
On a side note, the picture below is proof that it is a VERY good thing that running skirts have boy shorts underneath. Otherwise this picture might be unsightly.
No, I am not naked in this picture below:
Don’t mind my sock line:
So what, you ask, is the verdict on the shoes? I like them because I like how they look and that is enough for me. Just kidding. But, that is something I would have said four years ago. See how much I have matured?
These took some getting used to. They are springy, and when you run, you can feel the fact that the sole is not solid – they almost feel squishy. I wasn’t sure what to make of this in the beginning. But, by the second run, I was getting into my groove with these shoes. I started to like that they added some energy to my stride. I notice that with these shoes, probably more than any others I wear, I land softly, almost silently. Run with me and you’ll see (or hear!).
The inside of the shoe provides ample cushioning that is actually quite comfortable on the foot. The thing I noticed most about the shoes is that because the sole is so flexible, it gives way to however you land, if that make sense. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that wearing them is like running on clouds, but the landing is soft, almost bouncy.
After my run yesterday I told Ken that these shoes have now become some of my favorites in terms of comfort and the fact that the landing is so soft. My body feels really good after I run in these.
Sizing: I used the size chart on the website to find my size. Sizing is metric, so I needed to really put on my big girl pants to figure that one out. I did size up just a bit because this is what I do with all of my running shoes. I wear a US 9 running shoe and ordered a EUR 40. They fit perfectly.
Pros: Comfy, cushiony, give the illusion that you are peppy, very soft/silent landing. Also a nice transition to a lower heel to toe drop shoe if that is what you are looking for.
Cons: Price (yikes), durability (a sole like this does not seem like it will hold up for long given the fact that it is not solid), weight. Some “heavier” runners have said these shoes do not provide enough cushioning for them.
What shoes do you run in? Why did you choose these shoes? I’m currently in the Brooks Adrenaline (road) and the Brooks Cascadia (trail). I do some runs in shoes with lower heels like the Cloud Surfer and the Saucony Pro Grid. I would like to try the Brooks Pure line. Any feedback on those?
Do you rotate shoes? Yes, I naturally do because I run so much on trails.