Swiss sportswear brand On is well-known on European soil since its inception more than 13 years ago. Founded in Zurich by friends Casper Coppetti, David Allemann, and former professional athlete Olivier Bernhard, On Shoes started as a premium brand for serious runners but gained a following among trendsetters, nurses, and those seeking comfort. On top of that, Grand Slam tennis champion Roger Federer also acquired stakes in the shoe manufacturer in 2019.
The brand now employs over 400 employees and has more than 400 stores in over 55 countries, including one in Singapore at Wheelock Place.
Here's what we know in a nutshell:
Designed for runners, trendsetters and even casual walkers
Proprietary CloudTec cushioning is impressive, and makes my feet landing smooth
The propulsion part of the shoes is partially bio-based
Enjoy free shipping on all orders online
Read the full review below.
What country is On Shoes from: Tracing the Swiss roots
Switzerland isn't known for making shoes – more so for cheese, chocolate and music – but that all changed when the founders patented a cushioning technology that was developed at the Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich.
On Shoes that are sold abroad are adorned with a tiny Swiss flag that's the size of a fingernail, as proof of quality and performance. Fun fact: Each of the shoes created was tested in the Alps in the Engadin region of eastern Switzerland. Production-wise, co-founder Coppetti is transparent that On shoes are not 'Swiss-made' and in fact are manufactured in Vietnam, like most shoe retailers – Nike, Puma and Adidas – do.
Asics Novablast 3 running shoes, hype or winner? Here's our review.
Good for running? I tried New Balance's FuelCell Rebel V3 and here's my honest review
Blackpink spotted in Charles & Keith boots at the recent Singapore concerts
Solo female travel: Top tips and insights from Scott Dunn travel specialist
On the sustainability gap
In an interview with Swissinfo, Coppetti says that On Shoes employs renewable resources. For example, the propulsion part of the shoe is partially bio-based, and the company also uses the least-hazardous glues where possible. But the On co-founder admitted there is still work to do to realise its sustainability vision, particularly regarding materials and waste, since its shoes are still “80-100% petroleum-based".
My review of On running shoes: What I think of it
I recently got a pair of On Cloudmonster shoes in Black, and for running, I normally take a half-size up for comfort. Upon first impressions, I thought the mesh material was light, with the sock liner feeling comfortable and durable when I tried stretching it with my hands. The coated toe cap is an added plus as it helps wick and protect the shoe from water.
The sole stood out the most for me as it looked weird and chunky simultaneously but for a good reason. The proprietary CloudTec cushioning is the star of the brand, and here's why: stepping into the shoes, I could feel the thick cushioning and a bounce when I lift my feet off the ground. It almost compels me to start running, yet I feel natural about doing so. For casual walking, I tested the On Shoes on my recent trip to Tokyo, where I was out from day to night, for a total of ten hours. My feet didn't feel tired or heavy at all, and I could only attribute this to the thick cushioning support.
Also to note, I have wide feet and realised I didn't suffer from blisters from the long walks! The roomy toe box does help a lot with reducing swelling in the feet area.
For running, I tried on the road terrain, and find that the shoes gave me a good supportive landing, plus they absorb shocks pretty well. The landing was almost intuitive because it provided a smooth transition – from lift to landing. The crooks in the sole helped with navigating rough terrains which I really found helpful.
Design-wise I love the all-black colour, with the reflective logo of On on the tip of the shoes. It was very easy to pair my work looks with the shoes and yet they look pretty 'hypebeast' to me!
Are On Shoes worth the buy?
On Shoes don't come cheap, and they generally are priced above the S$200 price range, with the On Cloudmonster shoes that I've reviewed coming in at S$289. Adidas' Ultraboost shoe range falls within this price bracket, which attracts professionals who want both functionality and style factors.