The race to create the world’s most lightweight performance sneaker is On, quite literally.
Niche Swiss performance running brand On debuted its new Cloudflyer style on Thursday, touting the sneaker’s fully cushioned silhouette and substantive support. Featuring the On’s ultra-responsive Helion Superfoam, the Cloudflyer offer a wider base and upgraded mesh versus previous iterations.
The shoe also features the company’s proprietary liquid-injected plate thermoplastic polymer Speedboard, which provides stability and flexibility, as well as CloudTec cushioning technology to brace runners for landing.
The Cloudflyer series aims to rethink the industry’s overarching aversion to pronation, or the inward rotation of the foot during the normal range of movement. Other athletic shoes on the market attempt to correct this naturally occurring motion, which On founders believe disengages vital muscles. Instead, On’s Cloudflyer provides medial reinforcement to safely guide pronation and support a runner’s stride.
“Unlike your average support shoe, the Cloudflyer focuses on cushioning, not correction,” On co-founder Olivier Bernhard said. “With cloud elements placed where reinforcement is needed most, the third Cloudflyer is engineered to adapt to its runner’s natural gait, preventing injury and increasing comfort.”
A forked outsole, 3D-molded heel counter and breathable upper elevate the third generation of the Cloudflyer, while retaining the cushioning, protection, support and lightness of its predecessors in the series. The shoe is available in three color ways for men and women on on-running.com and at select retailers for $159.99.
Earlier this summer, the brand unveiled a partnership sneaker created with tennis superstar Roger Federer, dubbed the Roger Centre Court. Designed to minimize material consumption, the sneaker’s lightweight CloudTec sole is riddled with small air pods, reducing its weight and foam usage. The shoe is also made with a vegan leather formulation that reduces its environmental impact by 70 percent compared to standard animal leather.
The decade-old Zurich-based brand’s cachet has been driven primarily by peer recommendation, On said, claiming it has attracted a growing community of runners across the U.S., Europe and Japan—a trend that has undoubtedly grown as shoppers have sought more socially distant pastimes in recent months. The company’s signature CloudTec cushioned sole is patented globally, and shoes are available at more than 6,000 retailers worldwide.