Running is not just a physical activity; it’s a lifestyle, a passion, and for many, a way of life. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or a casual jogger, choosing the right pair of running shoes is crucial. Among the plethora of brands in the market, On Running and Saucony stand out as reputable and innovative options. In this comprehensive comparison, we will delve into the features, technologies, and overall performance of On Running and Saucony, helping you make an informed decision for your next pair of running shoes.
Company Background and Philosophy
Before we dive into the detailed comparison, let’s take a moment to understand the background and philosophies of both On Running and Saucony.
Founded in 2010 by Olivier Bernhard, Caspar Coppetti, and David Allemann, On Running is a relatively young Swiss brand that has quickly gained recognition in the running community. The founders, including a former professional athlete, sought to revolutionize the running shoe industry by combining performance with a unique design. On Running is known for its distinctive CloudTec cushioning technology, which consists of cloud-like pods on the sole designed to provide a cushioned landing and a firm takeoff.
On the other hand, Saucony has a much longer history, dating back to 1898 in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. With over a century of experience, Saucony has established itself as a reliable and trusted name in the running shoe market. The brand has a strong focus on creating shoes that cater to the specific needs of runners, emphasizing comfort, performance, and durability. Saucony is often associated with its commitment to the running community, sponsoring various events and supporting initiatives that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.
Design and Aesthetics
The visual appeal of a running shoe might not be the top priority for some, but a well-designed and aesthetically pleasing shoe can certainly enhance the overall running experience.
On Running has carved its niche in the market with a distinct design philosophy that blends performance with style. The CloudTec cushioning pods not only serve a functional purpose but also contribute to the unique and futuristic look of On Running shoes. The brand often employs minimalistic designs with bold color contrasts, appealing to those who appreciate a modern and sleek aesthetic.
Saucony, while not necessarily pushing the boundaries in terms of avant-garde design, focuses on creating shoes that exude a timeless and classic appeal. The brand often incorporates a balance of traditional and contemporary design elements. Saucony shoes are known for their understated elegance, with a variety of color options that cater to different tastes. The emphasis is on creating shoes that look good not just on the track but also on the streets.
Comfort and Fit
Comfort is arguably the most crucial factor when it comes to running shoes. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes can lead to a range of issues, from blisters to more severe injuries.
On Running’s CloudTec technology is designed to provide a cushioned landing and a firm takeoff. The individual cloud-like pods on the sole compress upon impact, adapting to the runner’s unique gait and providing a customized level of cushioning. This design is intended to reduce the overall impact on joints, enhancing comfort during the run. On Running shoes are also praised for their lightweight construction, contributing to an effortless and comfortable running experience.
Saucony places a strong emphasis on creating shoes that offer a snug and supportive fit. Many Saucony models feature the FORMFIT technology, which molds the shoe to the shape of the runner’s foot over time. This personalized fit aims to enhance comfort and reduce the risk of discomfort or injury. Additionally, Saucony incorporates various cushioning technologies, such as EVERUN and PWRRUN, to provide a plush and responsive feel. The combination of a well-structured upper and advanced cushioning makes Saucony shoes a comfortable choice for long-distance runs.
Performance and Technologies
Performance is at the heart of every running shoe, and both On Running and Saucony integrate cutting-edge technologies to elevate the running experience.
The standout technology in On Running shoes is the CloudTec cushioning system. The individual pods not only provide cushioning but also contribute to a smooth and responsive ride. The “Speedboard” technology, a rigid plate integrated into the sole, enhances the shoe’s overall responsiveness, propelling the runner forward. On Running shoes are often lauded for their versatility, performing well on various surfaces, from road to trail.
Saucony is renowned for its innovative cushioning technologies, and one of the most notable is EVERUN. This material is designed to provide a consistent and lively cushioning experience throughout the run, maintaining its properties even after many miles. The PWRRUN technology, featured in many Saucony models, aims to strike a balance between softness and responsiveness. Additionally, the brand incorporates a variety of outsole designs, such as the XT-900 and blown rubber, to optimize traction and durability.
Durability and Longevity
Investing in a quality pair of running shoes is not just about immediate comfort and performance but also about ensuring the shoes withstand the test of time.
On Running shoes are generally praised for their durability, thanks in part to the high-quality materials used in their construction. The CloudTec cushioning, despite its unique design, has proven to be resilient over the course of many miles. The shoes maintain their structural integrity, providing consistent performance throughout their lifespan. However, it’s essential to note that the lifespan of On Running shoes can vary depending on factors such as running style, frequency, and terrain.
Saucony’s commitment to durability is evident in the construction of its shoes. The use of durable rubber compounds in the outsole, reinforced upper materials, and advanced cushioning technologies contributes to the longevity of Saucony running shoes. Runners often report that Saucony shoes maintain their performance characteristics even after extensive use. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and rotating between multiple pairs, can further extend the lifespan of Saucony running shoes.
Price Range and Value for Money
The cost of running shoes can vary significantly, and understanding the value each brand provides is essential for making an informed purchase.
On Running shoes are positioned in the higher price range compared to some other brands. The premium price tag is justified by the innovative technologies, unique design, and overall performance of the shoes. While the initial investment might be higher, many users find that the comfort, performance, and durability of On Running shoes make them a worthwhile long-term investment.
Saucony offers a range of models at different price points, catering to a broader audience. While some Saucony shoes fall into the mid-range category, the brand also offers premium models with advanced technologies at a higher price point. Saucony’s commitment to providing value for money is evident in the durability and performance of their shoes across different price ranges.
Community and Environmental Impact
In an era where sustainability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important, many consumers consider a brand’s values and impact on the environment when making purchasing decisions.
On Running has made strides in addressing environmental concerns by incorporating sustainable materials into their products. The brand has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint, and their commitment to sustainability is reflected in initiatives such as the Cyclon subscription service, where customers can return their old shoes for recycling. On Running has also been involved in various community and social projects, contributing to a positive impact beyond the realm of running.
Saucony, with its long history and community engagement, has also shown a commitment to environmental sustainability. The brand has taken steps to reduce waste in its manufacturing processes and has introduced eco-friendly materials in some of its shoe models. Saucony’s involvement in community initiatives and events reflects a dedication to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Popular Models and Series
Both On Running and Saucony offer a diverse range of running shoes, each catering to different preferences, running styles, and terrains.
- Cloudflow: Known for its lightweight design and responsive feel, the Cloudflow is a popular choice for both casual and competitive runners. The Helion superfoam in the midsole contributes to a comfortable and energetic ride.
- Cloudstratus: Designed for longer distances, the Cloudstratus features dual layers of CloudTec cushioning for enhanced support and stability. The shoe’s upper is engineered for a secure fit, making it suitable for runners seeking extra support.
- Cloudventure: Tailored for trail running, the Cloudventure incorporates the CloudTec technology with added grip and durability for challenging terrains. The Missiongrip outsole provides traction on both wet and dry surfaces.
- Kinvara Series: The Kinvara series is known for its lightweight design and versatile performance. It’s a favorite among runners who prefer a more minimalistic shoe that still delivers on comfort and responsiveness.
- Ride Series: The Ride series is a staple in Saucony’s lineup, offering a balanced combination of cushioning and responsiveness. It’s suitable for both daily training and longer runs.
- Peregrine Series: Designed for trail enthusiasts, the Peregrine series provides durable protection and reliable traction. The shoes feature a rock plate for added underfoot protection on rough terrain.
Choosing between On Running and Saucony ultimately comes down to personal preferences, running style, and individual needs. On Running stands out with its innovative CloudTec technology, sleek design, and emphasis on versatility. The brand appeals to those who appreciate a modern aesthetic and prioritize a cushioned yet responsive ride.
Saucony, with its rich history, focuses on creating reliable, comfortable, and durable shoes. The variety of models at different price points caters to a broad audience, making Saucony a popular choice among runners of all levels.
In the end, the best way to decide between On Running and Saucony is to try on different models and consider factors such as comfort, fit, and the specific features that align with your running goals. Both brands have a loyal following, and the right choice ultimately depends on what resonates with your preferences and priorities as a runner. Whether you choose the futuristic innovation of On Running or the time-tested reliability of Saucony, the most important thing is finding the perfect pair that supports you on your running journey.