It was in December of 2015 when I first met one of the On running founders, I was at a US trade show In Orlando Florida, it was about 5:00pm in the afternoon and things were starting to wrap up for the day. There were some tired faces from the biggest running-expo I had ever seen, and the beers had just started to flow (typical 'trade-show' end-of-day etiquette, right?)
I found myself standing in the On-Running booth, a very typical Swiss, clean cut, black and white display with hundreds of pairs of their signature shoes - I was always intrigued by this brand. As I stood their looking at their products, a tall guy in an swiss accent asked if I would like a beer - I couldn't say no.
We began chatting briefly and it quickly became evident I was chatting with Caspar Coppetti, one of the creators of On. Meeting the man behind the brand was all I needed to have complete faith in this company. The ONLY footwear company founder or owner to appear at the biggest US trade show just highlighted his care and commitment to the running-specialty industry, and running as a core value of their company.
Hearing the story of the story behind the brand, and how they came-to-be, first-hand, further solidified my belief in On as a running shoe company.
As Caspar told me, ON was founded with four core principles
1 - From focus on correction to focus on experience and comfort...
Running should be fun and not an exercise in self-control. Instead of correcting your movement, On lets you run how you are meant to run.
2 - From one best way to run to billions of ways to run...
On shoes do not passively control your running motion with a rigid sole. Instead, a whole team of Cloud elements at the sole of the On shoe actively react to your individual running motion. They can act in unison or individually cushion your landing
3 - From a look at the ankle to a look at the whole body...
Your running shoe should not stop you when landing but transform your motion into forward momentum. ON take a holistic look at the running movement of your whole body, not just your feet.
4 - From a diagnosis for life to an evolution over time...
Running is a sport, not an illness. And as in other sports, you can train away your weakness to become a star performer. Flat feet and other 'deficiencies' are not static but can be improved through training. Infants for example typically have flat feet and develop an arch through natural training in childhood. Neither is your individual running motion a diagnosis for life but can evolve with training. On provides a range of footwear that adapts to your individual stage of running and supports your training to propel you to the next level.
These four pillars combined with the fact that the founders are a mix of ex-athletes, and ex-proffessional triathletes, means that this brand is committed to running. Upon first glance, somethings the On Running brand is branded a 'gimmick' or similar due to the fact it looks so different to any other brand, but as I have mentioned before, the approach to running shoes has barely changed in the past 40 years with the "big brands", but brands like On Running, Hoka One One, and Salomon Running are pushing the envelope with new technology and approaches to running footwear manufacture - and it's proving to be a winner!
If you're looking for a pair of shoes to work on technique, something a little more responsive, or just a pair that's totally different to what you have tried before - On Running is an extremely good alternative - Visit any of our store locations to try a pair on and see what all the fuss is about!