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Tech profile - The Cyclon Running Shoe (so far).

It’s on track to become one of the world’s highest-performing running shoes ever. It’s 100% recyclable. It’s the shoe you will never own.


In case you missed it, we’ve created a fully recyclable running shoe. It’s the shoe you will never own. Why? Because it’s only available via a subscription service. We’ve created a clever sustainable system that only works when we get the materials back. In short, you run in them, return them, get new shoes, and we recycle your old pair to make more Cyclon products. And the cycle continues. That means less virgin material and a whole lot less waste. 


We might need a little more time to fine-tune the Cyclon running shoe but our innovation team has already made extraordinarily groundbreaking developments. Up until now, this project has been highly confidential. Even within On. But we’re here to let you in on the secret.



The Cyclon running shoe is so much more than recyclable. It’s engineered from a combination of the highest quality sustainable materials. You might think purchasing a recyclable running shoe means compromising on performance. Maybe true in some cases. But not this time. That’s what makes this product so unique – it’s exceptionally high performance. 


It’s ultra-lightweight, agile and is engineered to perform to elite level competition. It’s stripped back and reduced to the absolute max. Inspired by the very DNA of On, the shoe is about running sensation and performance in the purest sense. No fuss. No frills. No extras.


“Making a fully recyclable shoe is one thing. We went a step further. We wanted to show that sustainability and performance can go hand in hand. The outcome might be the most high-performance shoe we’ve ever engineered.” – Olivier Bernhard, Co-Founder and Leader of the Innovation Team 


No Shortcuts. No Offcuts.


For the first time ever, we’ve engineered a single-unit upper made from an undyed 100% recyclable bio-based yarn. That means zero waste. No excess material and no environmentally-harmful dyeing process.


But this is no ordinary knit. This knit is built from a 100% bio-based material derived from castor beans. Yes, you read that right - beans. Castor oil is extracted from the beans and (we’re skipping a few steps here) through an advanced synthesis process it’s possible to create a special kind of polyamide we call PA11.


This upper is seriously unique. Creating a textile shoe upper purely from this polyamide has never been done before. Certainly not at this scale. Engineered a knitted fabric from PA11 is a challenging and complex process but we broke ground. We’ve created an ultra-lightweight and highly resistant yarn that’s optimal for footwear. 



Each Cyclon shoe upper is engineered with an intricate geometric knit pattern designed specifically with performance running in mind. Alternating patterns in zoned sections at the forefoot offer breathability where you need it most. So you’ll stay cool and comfortable even on warmer runs.


Minimalistic design doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort. Since adding extra material is not an option when you’re creating a zero-waste shoe, we created reinforcement using clever heat-pressing and molding technologies. So you have all the support and comfort required for long wear. 


Every inch of this shoe has been considered. Locking together the top section are laces engineered from the same 100% recyclable bio-based material. Looping through heat-pressed eyelets, the ultralight laces are tightly woven with a high thread count for durability.


No corners were cut in the making of this shoe.



Forward motion. Forward thinking.


Engineered from a high-performance polyamide compound called Pebax, the bottom unit broke records in our lab. 


But before we get into that, let’s talk about energy return. 


Imagine you’re running. (Got your Cyclon shoes on? Great.) Each time your foot strikes the ground, you create energy. Our goal is to harness that landing energy and power as much as we can back into your take-off as you drive forward. That bouncy cloud-like feeling you’re imagining? That’s great energy return. 


To measure the energy return of foams in our lab, we fix a piece of foam below a 1 m tube and drop a weight onto it. If it rebounds to 39 cm, it has a 39% rebound rate. That’s a high-performing rebound rate and only found in quality running shoes.


The Cyclon running shoe foam has a rebound rate of – wait for it – more than 65%. That’s even more than our Helion™ superfoam. What that means for you is a seriously powerful take-off. And it’s ultra-lightweight. So lightweight even, the Cyclon running shoe is on track to be less than 200g.  


Super Critical Foaming Technology.


To create a foam this powerful requires a groundbreaking manufacturing process called Super Critical Foaming Technology. Sounds impressive and complicated right? Both true. It’s an extremely precise balancing act of gas volume, speed and temperature parameters in a controlled environment. 


There’s no room for error when you’re on a mission to engineer a foam with a rebound rate that high.


“To engineer a recyclable shoe of this standard, you cannot use common production processes. The beauty of the Super Critical Foaming Technology is that we replace harmful chemicals with a gas that controls the expansion of the foam. If you want to have high performance and a high rebound, it’s only possible with the highest quality materials." – Nils Altrogge, Innovation Technology Lead


To make sure you don’t actually end up in the clouds, we’ve engineered the sole with three compression zones. They might look subtle in comparison to our signature cloud elements, but they stay true to the composition of this unique material. These zones define how cushioning and energy return is distributed. As the sole compresses, the zones cushion your landing, reacting to your step and preparing you for a smooth direct forward motion. 


To complete this unique sensation is a flexibility channel placed underfoot at the centre of the sole. This not only offers a more adaptive step, but it reduces weight even further. Surrounding that flexibility channel are subtle traction lines. These provide the grip needed for a confident run on the road at speed.



Prepare for lift-off.


Hiding between the upper and the foam outsole is our signature Speedboard®. It’s 100% recyclable and 100% high performance. As ever, the bespoke Speedboard® has been tailored to perfectly fit the shoe it’s made for. To match the capabilities of the Cyclon running shoe is a tall order, but the results are remarkable.


Engineered from the same high-performance polyamide as the upper, the Speedboard® works together with our new ultra-powerful foam to provide our most explosive push off ever. This explosive plate fires you forward stride after stride. It’s shaped for speed and designed to drive you forward. Fast.


Pulling all these extraordinary pieces of technology together, we use ultrasonic infrared welding. This process, and we’re really simplifying this one, secures the sections of the shoe together. High frequency vibrations transmit ultrasonic energy to the areas requiring fusing. This creates an optimal temperature from force and friction. No glues to be found here.  



We’re working like never before to bring you this revolutionary shoe in 2021. You might see some of this information change as we continue development. We’re shooting for even higher rebound rates and an even lower weight. And we want you to join us every step of the way. 


If you want to get your hands on a pair of these revolutionary running shoes then head to and sign up to the Cyclon subscription service. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis so if you want to experience a running sensation like never before, we wouldn’t wait around. Cyclon only works with you, so join in to follow this incredible innovation journey with us. 


This is the Cloudneo.
And this is the running shoe you will never own.
See the Shoe

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