Is there a new super-shoe company in town?
Kristian Blummenfelt, Chelsea Sodaro and Paula Findlay sign with Swiss running shoe company OnPhoto by: Kevin Mackinnon
For the longest time it looked like Asics ruled the speedy triathlon shoe market, but now Swiss based On is pushing hard to make its own claim to the thrown. The company signed Norway’s Gustav Iden just before the world championship last year, and he wore a prototype shoe to set a new marathon and overall course record in Kona last year.
Related: The Ironman World Champions Gear – Gustav Iden
“In the last 10 km I felt like I had an advantage going back towards town,” he told On for a story the company posted on its website. “Not only with the shoes [Gustav wore a racing shoe evolved from the Cloudboom Echo], but that’s what I was envisioning the whole time, going the last bit back to town. The shoes were a motivation for me because when you really put the power on, you get the sense of speed straight away.”
While the modifications made to that shoe have since been banned – the stack of the shoe was too high for the new World Triathlon rules – athletes must be confident that the company is on to something. Yesterday we learned that three of the biggest names in the sport have signed on with the company – Olympic and Ironman 70.3 world champ (not to mention the St. George Ironman world title last year) Kristian Blummenfelt, Kona women’s champ Chelsea Sodaro and Canadian Paula Findlay, who took second at the 70.3 worlds last year.
View this post on Instagram
Blummenfelt and Sodaro switch from Asics
At the Ironman World Championship in Kona last October, Sodaro competed in her BMC Triathlon Team Kit that featured a Hoka logo, but was actually wearing the Asics Metaspeed Sky shoes in the race. She has since left the BMC squad, no doubt looking to sign some more lucrative contracts on her own – the On deal no-doubt being one of many we’ll see for the American super-mom.
Related: The Ironman World Champions gear – Chelsea Sodaro
Blummenfelt had run in the Asics Metaspeed shoes for his Olympic and Ironman titles in St. George (both the 2021 Ironman World Championship and the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship), and those shoes certainly seemed to work well for him. He certainly seems to be happy to be joining his training partner and friend Iden, though, as part of the On family.
View this post on Instagram
Founded by former Ironman and world duathlon champion Olivier Bernhard, On has a rich triathlon history, so it’s hardly a surprise to see the company invest heavily in some big name triathletes. The company’s Cloudboom Echo 3 seems to have struck a chord with the athletes, too, who must feel the shoe is competitive with the best being put out by the likes of Asics and Nike, the previous rulers of the super-shoe realm.