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Running on clouds

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

My husband says that I have princess feet and he doesn’t mean that they’re little or cute or dainty. He just knows that my feet do not like most shoes. I get blisters and pains and rubbing even from Ugg boots. (actually, I don’t own Ugg boots, but if I did, I bet that would be the case)

I don’t therefore have a lot of running shoes. Once I find something, I tend to stick with them. The trouble is that brands change their shoes season to season and the next model of the same shoe can be very different and no longer work. It’s annoying and it’s expensive to constantly have to test and try shoes.

At the moment I have Mizuno Wave Rider 18s that work very well and Nike Pegasus 32s that work almost well but sometimes my left forefoot gets a bit numb. No idea what exactly it is but it doesn’t happen in Mizunos.

Three years ago when I attended a truly amazing event called Write this Run, one of the products that was there were these weird-looking bubbly running shoes from a new Swiss company called On. The shoes were a bit heavy and the ‘clouds’ underneath very pronounced and clunky looking. I was sure that the concept was not going to fly long-term.

The guys at On have done a lot of work on their shoes since and lo and behold – their newest shoe, the Cloudflow:

Cloudflow

Nice, right?? The clouds are no longer clunky and the design and colours are very sleek.

This morning I had the pleasure of attending a media breakfast and a Cloudflow test run. When I took the shoes out of the box, they looked narrow and I thought “Shoot. That’s going to be embarrassing. My wide and high arched feet will not like these.”  As soon as I slid my foot into one though they fit like a sock. No restriction around my mid foot or arch and a nice bit of room at the toes. The fit and the sizing is very similar to Mizunos actually, so I was immediately relieved and knew I would not have to skip the run.

cloudflow3

The Cloudflows are very light (190g) and during our 5km group run, they felt like nice light neutral shoes that let you forget that you’re wearing shoes and let you just enjoy your surroundings and moving your body.

cloudflow4

After our run we grabbed some breakfast – runners love food almost as much as new shiny running shoes :) – and one of the designers and creators of On shoes, Olivier Bernhard, told us a bit about the shoes and the ethos of the company. Their aim is to make shoes that feel as if you’re running on clouds, shoes that let you forget about the shoes and just enjoy running.

Olivier Bernhard

Olivier Bernhard, ex professional athlete and one of the founders of On

After the event I grabbed my backpack and ran another 7km from King’s Cross to Oval. Annoyingly mid way through that run my left forefoot started feeling a bit numb like it tends to when I wear my Nikes. The right foot was definitely running on clouds but the left just needs something extra – not sure what’s softer than clouds – just plain air? :)

The cloud crew

The Cloudflow crew

Verdict:

  • neutral shoe, heel-to-toe is 6 mm (my Nikes are 10 mm and my Mizunos 12.3 mm)
  • Very light at 190 g (my Nikes are 245 g and my Mizunos 215 g)
  • Nice colour schemes
  • Fit wide feet very well
  • Do not feel ‘bouncy’ but just nicely rolling
  • Short to mid distance shoe
    They are actually recommended for up to marathon distances but with my foot numbness I have a feeling that something with a higher heel would work better for me for long distances.

cloudflow5

I was provided with the shoes and the food. You can find out more about On Running and Cloudflows here:

Instagram: @on_running
Twitter: @on_running
Web: on-running.com

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