Before we get started, I would like to inform everyone that we have randomly chosen a winner in the Core Power Protein Giveaway Contest. Congratulations, to Pauline from Maine who selected chocolate as her flavor! A fine choice.
Not too long ago I was extended the opportunity to test and review a very unique style of running shoe. Those of you that read my articles on a regular basis know that I am not one to hold my tongue when I have something to say, regardless of consequences. What’s more, I am also one of the most resolute skeptics you will ever meet. Tell me the sky is blue and I will ask you to provide credible sources to backup your claim. With this as my standard, I accepted the chance to test the On Cloudrunner.
Beginning with a headquarters based in Switzerland, this running shoe upstart has managed to make a global splash in the athletic community. They boast a rather lengthy and impressive list of athletes from around the world who endorse their shoes. This has never swayed my opinion of a product in the past but it is a promising sign.
As runners, we are all aware that many of us suffer from pain and injuries due to the force exerted upon our legs during forward motion. In an effort to resolve this, an engineer set forth with the goal to keep the benefits of modern running shoes that minimize downward force and add new technology (CloudTec) to reduce the shock of forward movement. From this concept, On-Running was born.
When the pair of Cloudrunners arrived at my door, I eagerly opened the package to find a very distinctive looking running shoe encased in one of the nicest shoe boxes I had ever seen. It was adorn with clouds and attached to the inside was an almost credit card quality registration card. This is when I became suspicious. “Why would you put your product in such an elaborate box if the product can stand on its own?” I thought, being the eternal pessimist. Putting my reasoning aside for a moment, I slipped on both shoes and stood up. It was a very strange feeling, to say the least, and my first inclination was to take a trot up the road for a short distance. The noticeable characteristic of the Cloudrunner was a greater “springiness” than other running shoes, yet they seemed to stick to the pavement when planting your foot, as if there were tiny suction cups attached to the soles. I returned to the house with a grin imagining the possibilities if these shoes could hold up beyond my first impression.
After some varying distance runs in the Cloudrunners I determined my first assessment was correct. They provide complete control that most runners are unaware they are lacking in other running shoes. With the increased traction I was able to focus more of my energy in moving forward faster. It is a very different running experience initially and takes a little getting used to, but well worth the short learning curve. The best analogy I can think of to describe it would be to say that if your old shoes were the equivalent of the NASA space shuttle, you have now laced up something that can take you beyond light speed. So much for the theory of relativity. But I digress….
I do not fall for gimmicks and have repeatedly criticized scams that go on every season with regard to running shoes. I must say that when I pulled the Cloudrunners from the box I was positive it was all glitz, but (wait for it….) I was wrong. In the soles of these shoes are tiny rubber “gear teeth” that lock together when pushing off, providing greater traction on pavement and trail. How do I know they also work on trail? I decided to lace them up for the Harvest Trail 5K that turned out to be very wet and very slippery. Hazardous conditions indeed, when combined with hairpin turns and forest debris hidden under a blanket of leaves. So dangerous was it, that one runner DNF’d with a broken ankle. The gun sounded and I darted forward to fall into approximately 20th position overall. I ran cautiously until realizing these shoes were sticking to the trails as well as they did on the pavement. With this ability in my arsenal of running tricks I cut every turn tight and fast which allowed me to continually gain ground on the leaders and pick off runners one by one. By race end, I finished 7th overall and 1st in my division. This was acceptable, considering my first mile was run very conservatively.
These shoes are outstanding for all distances and a variety of terrain. All runners should keep an eye on this company or better yet, try “On” a pair of their shoes. Most of you will have to go to a participating running store to try them but I will offer this to my local friends: If you know me and have a size 10 1/2 foot, I would be glad to let you take them for a spin. It is nearly impossible for me to convey how great these shoes really are. It’s much easier for you to experience them for yourself. My only regret is that they did not send the Cloudracer speed shoes for review because I could tear up the 5K’s if they are anything like the Cloudrunners. This company should consider changing its name from “On” to “Keep-On”. Keep-On Running, that is. Thumbs up!
Run for fun but race to place everyone!
© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running