To the elder generation of endurance sport nerds he is still well-known under his renowned moniker “King of Zofingen”. In a period that saw the punishing Powerman-event round the Swiss city of Zofingen at his ultimate peak, this man won the heroic run-bike-run happening on remarkable eight occasions. A year after his last victory he retired from professional sports in 2005. Several Ironman Switzerland wins alongside national and international Duathlon and Triathlon titles later Olivier Bernhard ended his impressive career.

As a fan of the sport with a endeavour for technical perfection the idea of the perfect running shoe kept him inspired to push the development of his idea forward. His original idea to supply an innovative running sensation lead him to a Swiss engineer. Little by little the duo advanced numerous testers and eventually found their elementary concept – a shoe centred around a unique sole technology. Bernhard and his buddies named their company On and called the diminutive cushion elements “Clouds”. In 2010, On hit the shops and just recently I had the chance to have a proper go with their up-to-date model, the On – Cloudracer.

No discussion – the most noticeable gadget of an On shoe is the unique sole scheme. With a mere of 18 separately positioned “Clouds”, the newest Cloudflow has the most cushion pillows of all shoes in the existing product range. The Zero-Gravity EVA foam replies nicely and delivers a fine momentum to the stride.
When it comes to looks and finishing features this shoe surely sticks out. The uncommon sole is not the only part that makes the Cloudflow stand. Plenty of little features make the shoe extremely classy and significant.
The total weight comes on with some sweet 220 grams. Not only this supports a fast run. Also the 6 mm Heel-toe offset is a feature that I liked. With the provided cushion and the low-to-the-ground feel, this is something that I appreciated a lot.
Some heel details – with my style of running I can only assess the forefoot ride which is great. At first I was a bit sceptical regarding the sole construction. I thought the stability might not be there. During several runs I was proofed wrong.
Zürich based company On smugly states that they are hunting “a quest for the perfect running sensation”. It certainly is a diverse feeling running on the pads and takes one or two runs to value the new feeling.
Style & Detail – It is fine to notice a lot of thought-out details. Besides the polite print on the slim and comfortable tongue, I liked the company-symbol that is placed on the lacing ring.
Element –  Undoubtedly Olivier Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti created something special and unique with this sole design.
Sole scenes – Speedboard is the name of the design that’s included within the Cloudflow outsole. It is supposed to boost the stride-flow and contributes to a safe and steady kick. The traction on the road is great and I had no problems. While this is not a trail shoe it still performed for me on my resident off-road path in dry conditions.
Laced – It is pretty tasteful and comfy mesh that slips around the runners foot. The upper material feels nice and has great breathability. The laces are pretty thin but still hold things together.
From this viewpoint the slender and breathable upper is apparent. It adds to the nice and light flow that the Cloudflow provides.
Inside the ride – a guise at the inside of the Cloudflow sole and the 18 cushion pads.
Fun fact – The first prototype was made by slicing up a garden hose and super gluing the cross-sections onto the soles. That one only lasted a few steps and has been perfected since then.
Finale –From the very first glance out of the stylish black box till the previous workout on the track I ran with the Cloudflow. Whereas it looks diverse and matchless it undoubtedly has its function and benefits the run. I like the design that unquestionably matches the overall quality of this lightweight trainer. The Cloudflow is happy with a bunch of paces and the sole reproduces the individual needs. Undoubtedly I’m nosy what the Swiss chaps develop next out of their garden shed.