Growing up I was (and still am) a shoe geek. Well, running shoes anyway. I always thought it would be the coolest thing in the world to be one of the testers for Runner's World magazine in their annual shoe survey.
They pick out random runners to give new running shoes, test them out, and record their observations. It always seemed like a pretty good deal. First they get to try to latest creations from the shoe companies, and second they get them free!
Unfortunately, Runner's World has never asked me for my opinion about anything. But recently the makers of the ON running shoes, which include the Cloudsurfer series, sent me a pair and asked for my thoughts. Me? Really? Sure!
The shoe pictured is their training shoe. If you look closely you will see the little hollow tubes on the sole. These are the most distinctive feature. They provide much of the cushioning, but also stability, and help the foot move through the ground and your stride in the ideal running motion.
The founder of the company started to develop the concept after he actually cut up pieces of hose and glued them on the bottom of his shoes. That didn't last long, but eventually he developed the built-in clouds on the soles. Hey, the origin of Nike shoes started out with Oregon coach Bill Bowerman experimenting with his wife's waffle iron!
I'm no expert on running shoes, I'm just a fan. But I can tell you about my experience running in them. They sent me their nuetral, average mileage trainer. They say they want the experience of running in them to feel a little like running barefoot while still providing support and cushion. I believe they succeed.
When I first put the shoe on, I was surprised that it seemed to fit firmly, and provide strong support. It feels like a glove on my foot, yet when I start to run, it feels like it has a nice feel and encourages a mid-foot strike.
I've had a few injury problems in the past, especially with my feet. So I'm pretty careful about what I run in. I need support, cushion, and a good fit. The Cloudsurfer provides all that and more. While I'm reluctant to go more than five or six miles in the model I have right now, I imagine they would hold up just fine at longer distances. I rotate them with a couple other pairs of shoes, and they provide a really nice change of pace. They are also fast!
I'm told they are available in only a few stores in the area right now, but should be more widely available soon. I say give em a try!
So that's my review. You think Runner's World is gonna call me?
See you on the roads.......