How Running Shoes Are Made | The Testing & Development Of On Running Shoes


– Now a running shoe does not just arrive in a box, ready to go off the
shelf in the running store. In fact, there is a small
army of people involved in that production process
from start to finish. The key to that are the
professional athletes themselves who are training and racing in the shoes, day in, day out. Now, their specific
feedback is fundamental to the entire development
and continual improvement of those products that the
companies are producing. And that in turn is a
direct trick down effect on you guys, the customers, who
are going to be buying them. (upbeat electronic music) So today we’ve been
invited by Bart Aernouts, second place finisher at
Hawaii Ironman 2018 and our channel partners
ON to get an insight into the nuts and bolts of
that shoe design process. At Bart discusses his shoes with them, here at their headquarters and
testing facilities in Zurich. (upbeat electronic music) On is a fairly new running company, only founded in 2010
right here in Switzerland and perhaps you’re not even that familiar with what makes On a unique
running shoe company. Well, let me tell you, it is these, it is their clouds which is
their innovative technology which sits in their soles
of all of their shoes. And I was quite interested to find out exactly what it is that goes
into the making of these and how On brings these
shoes and that technology to the marketplace. (upbeat electronic music) So I’m here in the research
and design facility that On have in house here in Zurich and, my word, this is
quite an impressive space. But this is where I’m
gonna learn about the role that somebody like Bart
has in the whole design of a shoe and talkin’ about those shoes, this is essentially where they are born. The idea or concept or as
the team refer to them, a monster, and this is what
I’ve got here in my hand. It’s a hand made shoe. Essentially, an amalgamation
of lots of different models that can be stuck together
and this is really their starting point and
that then moves on to this, which is the technical designs which, as you can see, are far more
intricate in their nature and loads of detail going on here. And this here is what
can then be sent on to a further development
team which are in Vietnam and that team is then
able to use these designs to create a prototype. So, moving on from the monster. That prototype design
can then get iterated and moved forwards, bounced
back here to the team in Zurich and that loop is where the athletes like Bart come into play. ‘Cause they can offer
their invaluable feedback that allows that iteration
process to move forwards. That whole loop can take
up to four or five runs until everybody both here and in Vietnam are happy with what they’ve
designed with the shoe. And at that point, usually
about 18 months down the line from this initial monster phase, there’s a shoe ready for production. (upbeat electronic music) So, today Bart has kindly
allowed us to follow him as On analyse his running in
a variety of different shoes. So they’ll start in the lab
and later move onto the track. But by no means is Bart the only person that On rely upon in order
to perfect their shoes. Now, although we’ve been following Bart through his feedback
process today here at On, he’s certainly not the
only professional athlete that they work with who they’ve gone through similar idea feedback loops with. The likes of Tim Don,
we’ve had Nicola Spirig, and Javier Gomez, too,
have all contributed to the development and tweaking of shoes that are gonna be coming
out in the future. But that aside, it’s not
just the professional athletes that a company like On use. Indeed, they’ve got an entire testing pool of over 100 test runners
who they give shoes to, crucially, in a size 44 which is my size or a size 38 for the
women, which they give out, allow people to test,
and you can see tests with the little T on the
back of these shoes here and that just allows the company to get a much broader spectrum of data and information points back so that they can go forward
with improving their shoes. (upbeat electronic music) So after some testing,
Bart’s now back here. We’re at the headquarters of On so he can have a sit
down and feedback session with Kevin and Dinah, part of the research and
development team here at On so that he can give as good
of feedback as possible so they can work with that information and improve the shoe as it goes forwards. – Yeah, I mean, you ran with this shoe. What do you think about
the current Cloudflow, take it for competition,
what’s your feeling with it and your feedback on this shoe? – So with the current Cloudflow, I’m using the quite often in training. I never raced with it because
I really like the shoe but somehow the fit in
the shoe didn’t feel like 100% for me to race in it as well. So I like a lot of the
things about the shoe but maybe not, it’s not 100%
fit for me for a race shoe. – Yeah, I mean, we did the,
the analysis on the treadmill. We have it here on the
laptop and Dinah can maybe show you the result. – Exactly, so we compared
the different shoes and had a look at, at both our versions, the red one and the blue one. And it kind of correlates
with what you say. So, your subjective feeling
can be seen in the numbers and in the data that we see here. So the main parameters that we look at would be running economy
and elastic exchange. So running economy is the amount of energy that you use for a certain
distance that you run. And obviously we try to use less energy, that means you can go
faster and we can go longer. And the elastic exchange
is the value of energy of force that you can save in your muscles and in your tendons, so in your body, and then exert onto
the ground at push off. So these two values are very important. We wanna have a low economy value, so low energy usage, but
a high elastic exchange so high value of return of energy. And we did also see here the difference between the two shoes
and it just seems that your body seems to work a
lot better with the red shoe. – Yeah.
– So you seem to feel more comfortable
and this also results in a change in your
running style a little bit. So, it’s big enough change that we can actually see difference and we believe that you
would be more comfortable also running races in the red shoe. – As well as getting feedback
on his running economy, Bart helps On by suggesting
slight changes in their shoes. On then collect this information and use it for products
further down the line. So we’ve been inside on
the treadmill in the lab, Bart’s had his biomechanics and all sorts of data analysed there. But On really want to
have him here on the track in a real time situation so he can give them proper feedback. And on that note, they’ve
asked me to join him. Wait up, Bart. (upbeat electronic music) We’ve been in the lab,
now we’re on the track and you’ve collected a lot of data with the guys here at On. But even though it’s all specific to you, there’s not gonna be a special
shoe made for Bart is it? – No, I think today first of
all we tested different shoes and analysed the data
from these different shoes and the data will be used
to develop new shoes, not just for me, but available to anyone. So anyone can actually
benefit from all the data they collect so it’s
just to make better shoes in the future or even better
shoes than they have now or see what they can change
to, to make a better shoe that everybody can just buy. – Yeah, I mean, it’s
quite exciting, isn’t it? You’re at the very top of Ironman racing and you’re obviously wanting a shoe that is the best that can
make you run a fast marathon. But the shoe’s still
there for anybody else who might be racing an
Ironman or an event on the same day as you in
the age group ranks, right? – Yeah, and I think that’s,
that’s amazing about the brand and I mean the could do some special modifications probably if you really need it but
so far I never needed it and I feel really good
with the, with the shoes and I think the data shows
that there’s also some, I mean they have some
interesting ideas for the future and they will only get
better, I think the shoes, from what I saw today. So it’s exciting for everybody I think, because everybody’s gonna
be able to buy them. – [Host] Yeah it is,
it’s really interesting to see what’s gonna happen
with these next shoes that move forward, isn’t it? – And for me also today the testing was my first lab testing for running and it was interesting to see
differences between the shoes and so far my choice for
shoes was always based on how I felt with the
shoes and how smooth they felt for me running and that’s how I pick my racing
shoes and training shoes. And then it’s interesting
to see that the data shows that, often the feeling
is the right thing. I mean, the data backs
what I felt with the shoes. And, but it might be interesting to test some other shoes in the
future for racing as well based on what we saw today. So, I might change my. – Yeah, it’ll be
interesting to see whether, come the next major championships, you’re in a different On shoe. (upbeat electronic music) So we’re here at the track
and I have just finished doing a few laps with Bart
as On kindly let me run in a pair of the new shoes
that he’s helping them with their feedback. And they asked me what my feedback was and if I’m honest, the Scottish in me was just delight they gave me a pair that matched the tartan of the track. But in all seriousness,
this day has actually been a real fascinating insight for me. I thought I knew a little
bit about how a shoe got made but quite frankly I didn’t understand quite how much detail went
into the design of a shoe from R&D at the very beginning right through to nearly 18 months later, hopefully hitting full production. And also integrating the
use of athletes like Bart into that whole process to make sure that that shoe is
absolutely as best a model as they can produce at the end result. So hopefully you’ve enjoyed this video. Please hit that thumb up like button, and if you want to subscribe
and get all the other videos on our channel, find the globe on screen. And for another video
that we did with Bart about his swimming, well
you can find that here.

14 Comments

  • istg frazier is the dan of gtn

  • 4:46 to 5:01 the girl just died on Bart. Gaaad! I want to be a shoe-tester for that company

  • Hi GTN, are you looking for new editor or camera operator? I make videos like you. My latest video is: Van Der Poel wins European Championships.

  • Well, a pro athlete testing new shoes after a few kilometers. That really must be a piece of valuable information… On the other hand, I was ready to provide feedback after 800-1000km running to different models of one brand I am using, but nobody cares…

  • Awesome shoes I love my ON cloudflow

  • So what shoes does Bart actually race in……….

    Would be good to know………

  • There are lots of runners who won gold and broke records at the Comrades Marathon in Maxed shoes that can be bought for +-$30. Being lightweight, comfortable and durable is all that matters. They should be testing for weight and durability after 100s of km.

  • Mark concratulation's

  • I didn't expect I would be watching a Chris Ramsay video

  • Is that Laid Denko at 3:12 ? If so what's his role with On/Bart Aernouts??

  • "The Testing & Development Of On Running Shoes"??? "Of On" running shoes?
    "Off-On" to the Penalty-Box for grammar violation.

  • To be fair you would need to look at the same process for Asics, Reebok, Saucony and the Ironman brand Hoka which is smashing the long distance race scene… and to be even fairer you would need to see how they all compare after the average use of 500klms. Crucially, shoes are like perfume; one smell definitely does not suit all and with all those age-groupers who don't run light and fast like the pros, a heavier shoe might be more suitable.

  • really want to work for this on running branch serve as QA at the office in vietnam

  • It's a shame because on have great shoes but this year they seem to have alot of durability issues

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