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Tech Profile - The Cyclon Cloudneo

Coming Summer 2022, the Cloudneo is a revolutionary running shoe. It’s fully recyclable. It’s high-performance meets sustainability. It’s the first product in our unique Cyclon subscription service. It’s the shoe you will never own.


In case you missed it, we created a fully recyclable running shoe. Meet the Cloudneo. It’s the shoe you will never own. Why? Because it’s only available via Cyclon, our circular subscription service to make your run more sustainable with products that are designed to be recycled. Simply put Cyclon works like this: you subscribe and run. Then when you’re done, we recycle


Cyclon: Subscribing to The Future.
Cyclon is here to challenge everything you thought you knew about sustainability and performance. We revolutionized running once before. And we’re doing it again. But this time, we need you.
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But back to the Cloudneo. Doing something that’s never been done before comes with a fair few challenges. But just like Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile or launching our first running shoe a little over ten years ago, we push forward when others say it can’t be done. 


From innovation and design to supply chain and development, our team went to extraordinary lengths to get our first fully recyclable, high-performance running shoe on the road. Designing a single piece upper from a 100% bio-based material, creating a new circularity production model and even re-engineering CloudTec® to create our signature Clouds in the lightest foam On have ever made. All so we could have the highest-performing, fully recyclable shoe possible. 


It’s been one heck of a ride but the Cloudneo is finally here. Let’s take a look.


Highly sustainable and  high performance.


The Cloudneo is so much more than a recyclable running shoe. We completely reimagined this running shoe to engineer a product that not only uses the highest quality sustainable materials but minimises waste. Most running shoes have over 60 components from several different material families. Cloudneo has less than 10 components made from one material family (making it even easier to turn the Cloudneo into new products). 


You might think a recyclable running shoe means compromising on performance. Not with Cloudneo. That’s what makes this product so unique – it’s exceptionally high performance. It’s lightweight and agile with an incredibly responsive twin layer of CloudTec® cushioning (more on that later), making it ideal for training and fast workouts. In fact every component of this majority bio-based materials shoe is cleverly engineered to create the different functionalities you expect in a high-performance running shoe. 


Inspired by the very DNA of On, the shoe is about running sensation and performance in the purist sense. Whether you’re training, road racing or running distances, Cloudneo gives you unadulterated high performance. 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 highest performance shoe we’ve ever engineered.” – Olivier Bernhard, Co-Founder and Leader of the Innovation Team


100% recyclable and high performance. Available only through our Cyclon subscription service.
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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. What’s really great about castor beans is that they are more sustainable than other bio-based options because growing them doesn’t compete with the food chain. 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 called 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. Engineering 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 Cloudneo 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 offers 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 Cloudneo 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 1m tube and drop a weight onto it. If it rebounds to 45 cm, it has a 45% rebound rate. That’s a high-performing rebound rate and only found in quality running shoes.


The Cloudneo running shoe foam has a rebound rate of – wait for it –  more than65% . That’s even more than our Helion™ Superfoam. What that means for you is a seriously powerful take off. It also happens to be the most lightweight foam we have ever created. So lightweight even, Cloudneo is less than 260g.



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


Back in the Clouds.


To make sure you don’t actually end up in the clouds, the Cloudneo has our signature CloudTec®. And let us tell you, it’s been quite the ride to get them there. 


At first we crafted Cloudneo with compression zones instead of CloudTec® due to the sheer complexity of manufacturing our cloud elements in such a soft and light foam. But we never truly gave up on the idea of Cloudneo with CloudTec®. Like you do in any marathon, we kept pushing until we crossed the finish line. 


Bringing the Clouds to such a soft and responsive foam meant re-engineering CloudTec® from scratch. No easy feat. It was an adventure that brought our two core technologies - the Speedboard® and the Clouds - closer together than ever before, sandwiching the Speedboard® between the two midsole layers to get that much desired soft landing, hard push off. The result? A more agile and tailored running experience than ever before - with that typical On feeling as the shoe adapts to the movement of your foot. 



Prepare for lift-off.


As we just mentioned, sandwiched between the two midsole layers of this extraordinary running shoe is our signature Speedboard®. It’s 100% recyclable, 100% bio-based 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 Cloudneo running shoe is a tall order, but the results are remarkable.


Engineered from a high-performance polyamide thermoplastic elastomer (TPE-A for short), 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.



Cloudneo lands Summer 2022. 


If you want to get your feet in a pair of the our most sustainable and highest performance running shoes ever, then sign up to our Cyclon circular subscription service. It’s the only way to get your feet into a pair of Cloudneo. 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.

100% recyclable. 100% high performance. The running shoe you will never own.
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