Holy running shoes! Peruse the list of adjectives, adverbs and prepositions associated with the simple word “ON” and you may be in for a major shock. The list is so long. Of course, in Singapore, savvy runners know that if a runner is on, that’s a compliment, because ON means “on the ball.”
It’s pretty amazing to think that an entire division of running shoes was given this tiny name, but of course, that can make a brand unforgettable. Tiny name? Big story — as big as the idea of running on clouds, which is just how you may feel if you’ve just bought your first pair!
The Dudes Behind The Brand
Put on your seatbelt to take the rocket ride through the history of On running shoes. Three Swiss amigos — Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti — promised the world a run in the clouds, and while there were plenty of starts and stops at the prototyping level, the first On Swiss-style shoes developed by the trio hit the ground running by 2010.
Now, On is all grown up, but with each iteration of stylish introductions, a new audience of fans join the club. In addition to winning design and technology awards, you’ll find On brand kicks in 25+ nations and at 1,200+ speciality running retailers. Not bad for three young guys whose ambitions may be in the clouds but whose feet are firmly planted on terra firma.
The Idea Behind The Shoes
Misfits: listen up. If you don’t fit in or if you’ve been called eccentric or quirky, you’re the person on honchos are trying to please each time a new shoe comes off the drawing board. The “one size fits all” mentality that pervades the established athletic shoe community has been banished from this company’s vocabulary and corporate culture.
In place of this mindset is a commitment to shoes offering unmatched comfort, injury-reducing features and patented CloudTec cushioning. Even picky runners get the fit and performance of a lifetime.
Forget yesterday; Ons don’t passively control your run with a rigid sole nor do they ignore full-body movement that impacts every runner’s pace, cadence and technique. Besides, did you know that each new shoe in the latest On library has a personality of its own? See which one suits your sensibilities and unique personality best!
What’s Your On Running Shoes?
The pedigree: It’s the ultimate in lightweight trail running shoes, but so quiet, you could spook wildlife.
The man in the shoe: You’re a no-nonsense guy who eschews bright colours because you’re shy and like to make your own moves when the time is right. Admit it: You can’t stop looking at the newest version of smokin’ hot grey sulphur Cloudventures because your personality is written all over them.
Retail price: S$229.00
The pedigree: The epitome of agility and responsiveness, this shoe comes in men’s and women’s sizes.
The couple in the shoes: There’s his. And hers. Or maybe there’s His and His. Remember: On running shoes are designed for people with flair! His is Rock Orange and hers is Atlantic Haze. Role reversal? Depends upon how you look at life. Besides, if you both wear the same size, feel free to trade off if your relationship is that close.
Retail price: S$229.00
The pedigree: Your long runs just became more tolerable thanks to superior stability that may be more solid than your current relationship.
The couple in the shoes: Just because you act conservatively, that doesn’t mean you two don’t have racy, colourful stories roaming round your heads. These kicks will never let the outside world find out that beneath those men’s black and white and women’s dark blush running shoes beat the hearts of a couple of champions. And if you break up, just remember which pair comes and which one goes.
Retail price: S$249.00
The pedigree: Can light stability and long runs coexist? Of course they can when the On logo is on the shoe.
The couple in the shoes: When you’re in love, the whole world is at your feet, which is why any couple wearing the newly-introduced Purple Rose (for her) and Iron Sky (for him) Cloudflyers under their formal-wear at post-race parties will earn the respect of fashion-forward contemporaries who could be a bit jealous to boot. You may not want to take these shoes off, but you must — unless you sleep in your shoes, a quandary that requires more analysis than we are prepared to offer here.
Retail price: S$249
The pedigree: Simple is as simple does, and this unassuming footwear doesn’t have to brag about being the world’s lightest cushioned running shoe. One run tells the story. Even clouds overhead may wink at you from on high.
The couple behind the shoe: Savvy couples are clever enough to know that buying a top-of-the-line running shoe doesn’t mean having to pick the one with the biggest price tag. Thrifty couples choosing the Cloud have several new colour choices recently added to the library. Atoll Green for women. Olive Grey for men. Or show your solidarity for each other with matching black and white Clouds. They’re cool enough to wear at your wedding!
Retail price: S$189
Are you On?
Personalities aside, if you simply think about the On brand philosophy, Make Running Fun, it doesn’t matter which persona you own up to if you’re discriminating enough to pick this brand. But if you’re really obsessed with Olivier, David and Caspar’s shoes, would it be too much to ask you to write them a fan letter?
Cloudy thoughts? Short on creativity? Not to worry. Don your shoes, go for a run, and if you’re not inspired to write a fan letter to the guys when you return, there’s only one way to clear the clouds from your brain: buy yourself another pair!
Do you find yourself fascinated by the people behind new running shoe companies, or could you care less as long as the running experience fascinates you?
The new On Fall-Winter 2016 colours will be available at all Running Lab stores from 1 August 2016.