Whoever said that computers were the way of the future probably wasn’t talking about running shoes. Launching over a decade ago, On has built its running shoe empire on its CloudTec cushioning system to provide softer landings and firmer push-offs. The idea was inspired by a garden hose and has since become a unique calling card for the brand. Now, On has taken that tech even further with the new CloudTec Phase, which uses computers to optimize performance and comfort.
CloudTec Phase is debuting alongside the brand-new iteration of one of On’s first running models, the Cloudsurfer. The result looks less like well-spaced holes in the soles of the shoes and more like slanted slots. It looks more utilitarian and less gimmicky from a design standpoint, but we like it better regardless. Re-launched with the new tech, the seventh-gen shoe comes in four colorways: black, white, mint green, and bright orange. It’s also the brand’s first version without the divisive Speedboard, which seemed to contradict the softness objective at the crux of the shoe.
To accomplish the new CloudTec Phase, On taps a software called FEA (Finite Element Analysis), which analyzed and optimized each component of the shoe to minimize stress on the runner. It’s why the slots are now slanted and lack the symmetry of a traditional On shoe. Now, these holes act as dominoes to collapse and expand meticulously during your gait. The midsole is not only softer but your heel-to-toe transfer is much smoother. As a neutral running shoe, the Cloudsurfer sports a 10mm heel drop and a weight of 8.64oz per shoe.
If you want to improve your experience when pounding the pavement, get yourself one of On’s best road runners ever. The Cloudsurfer with CloudTec Phase is available now for $160 from On’s website.