News: trainers with rubber loops on the soles to give extra spring have won the product design prize at a Swiss design awards (+ slideshow).
"The award is a big recognition for Thilo Alex Brunner and for On", said On co-founder David Allemann. "In the tradition of functional and sleek Swiss design, the visual language of On is as unique as its groundbreaking technology. Function and form have been winning over elite athles and casual runners alike. Thilo has given On a face that is a radical departure from the crowded design of conventional running shoes."
Flexible rubber sections on the soles, which the brand calls clouds, compress to act as shock absorbers when landing then lock together using small teeth to form firm pads for launching the body forward.
"Hollow pods on the sole of the shoe stretch back on impact to cushion the landing and then lock to form the solid foundation required for a powerful push-off," said Allemann. "The result is a new running experience: fast, light and agile."
Athletes including Ironman world champion Frederik Van Lierde and 2012 Olympic triathlon gold medalist Nicola Spirig have worn the shoes in competitive races.
Pairs are available with different uppers for different running distances, with a selection of bright laces and matching details.
Two product designs prizes were given out at the awards as part of the Market category for products available to purchase. The other winner was a swivelling lamp that clamps to the edge of a desk or shelf.
Read on for more information from the brand:
On wins the prestigious Design Prize Switzerland
The Swiss sports company On and designer Thilo Alex Brunner win the prize for best product design.
The young Swiss sports company On wins the prestigious Design Prize Switzerland. Thilo Alex Brunner, one of the most successful upcoming Swiss designers, impressed the international jury in the category Product Design Market.
"The award is a big recognition for Thilo Alex Brunner and for On", explains David Allemann, co-founder of On. "In the tradition of functional and sleek Swiss design, the visual language of On is as unique as its groundbreaking technology. Function and form have been winning over elite athles and casual runners alike. Thilo has given On a face that is a radical departure from the crowded design of conventional running shoes."
The high-calibre jury with Liesbeth in't Hout, Ascan Mergenthaler, Jasper Morrison, Lars Müller and Robb Young selected from 300 entries. The jury about the winner On: "The market for running shoes is overcrowded and hotly contested – so when a new brand comes along and takes the market by storm, the innovation behind it must convey a promise which it manages to keep - a shoe with qualities never heard of before.
In this case a clever design idea has proved capable of competing against the million-strong budgets which the big brands in the industry assign to research and marketing. The straightforward design of the shoe deliberately refrains from indulgence in stylistic frills, and is wholly consistent in focusing on the basic functional requirements. The attention is drawn to the sole, which here constitutes the crucially important element."
Land soft but push off hard – this is the radically new idea of On's patented technology and far from self-evident. The merely three year old Swiss company is able to combine the best of soft yet slow training shoes and fast yet hard racing flats.