The Fastest Shoes In The World?
It seems as though new running shoe technology is being pumped out of a faucet these days and most of it is aimed at producing a more natural stride and reducing the chance of injury. While everyone’s got something, ON seems to have found a unique way of doing things. Keeping with the Spark tradition of bringing the latest and greatest innovative products to Southeastern Massachusetts…here’s the word on ON RUNNING straight from the source.
The patented sensation of running like on clouds
The wish for a pain-free and effortless running experience marked the beginning of the On CloudTec™ technology: a Swiss engineer and running pioneer, who was struggling to continue to run because his knees had taken severe damage from years of using conventional running shoes, set out to change the physics of running.
He had realized that he felt much less pain when running on gravel or sand covered trails, which would allow his foot to softly glide into every step. The engineer observed that there are two forces at work when running: the vertical and the horizontal impact. He discovered that it is the horizontal impact, which causes the most damage to muscle cells, ligaments and joint. Oddly, existing running shoes only absorb the vertical impact. The engineer wanted to create a running shoe, which would allow a runner to land as softly as on sand and to push off as effectively as on concrete.
The result was a surprisingly simple, yet highly functional cushioning element: A piece of circular rubber, which absorbs both the vertical and the horizontal impact. As the foot hits the ground with forward momentum, the CloudTec™ element folds back, effectively allowing the foot to glide to a softer halt. After landing, the element is compressed by the weight of the runner, locks together and is fully firm for the push-off. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research concluded that the On CloudTec™ cushioning system reduces impact force by 25-30 percent, and is even more active during push-off than a regular running shoe.
This benefits all runners: top athletes can train longer and more often, because the musculature takes less strain. Recreational runners, of which up to 60 percent regularly suffer from major or minor injuries, can finally run without pain – and because of slower fatigue, they even run faster and longer.
The 3D flexibility of the 13 On CloudTec™ elements are responsible for the astonishing sensation of running light, almost as if on clouds. The subtle, subliminal instability stimulates the postural muscles, regulates muscle tone, improves posture, and activates the metabolism. As a result, runners or walkers feel more awake, experience less pain in joints, ligaments and muscles, strengthen their muscles whilst toning and slimming their upper thighs and buttocks.
World-class international triathlete Olivier Bernhard (3-times World Champion and 6-times Ironman Winner) was one of the first athletes to test and adopt the new technology. Thanks to his initiative, close to 2’000 test runners have helped to perfect the CloudTec™ system and to bring On to the roads and trails of the world.
Because of its high level of innovation, On CloudTec™ was granted worldwide patents.
Run faster with On.
A scientific study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) measures a lower heart rate and reduced lactic acid build up with the Swiss running shoes On.
40 well-trained runners took part in a broad study at ETH Zurich, which showed that, on average, while treadmill running in the On, their heart rate was reduced by 2 beats per minute when measured against their heart rate while running in their favorite running shoe. It also revealed the lactate acid concentration in their blood was reduced, on average, by 5.4%. The differences are statistically significant. For 12 runners, the heart rate was reduced beyond daily variances by up to 10 beats per minute. Only 2 subjects showed an increased heart rate outside their daily variances. With the On, most runners could therefore perform at lower heart rate levels when running at the same speed as in their usual shoe of choice.
The study was conducted at the Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport by Prof. Dr. med. Urs Boutellier and Claudia Knöpfli. “The physiological benefits of the On compared to conventional running shoes seem to increase at higher speeds. It will be exciting to see how this translates into competition results”, explains Boutellier.
“Many runners, athletes and casual joggers alike, report improved running times and new personal bests. The independent ETH study now proves the key factors involved on a scientific level“, says Olivier Bernhard, the former professional triathlete who led the development of the On running shoe with Swiss sports scientists and engineers.