COMFORT & DRIP? SNM – WE PUT ON’S CLOUDEASY TO THE TEST
We all know the agony of trying to find a new shoe for the rotation – what’s going to be comfortable? What’s going to look sick? And maybe most importantly, what’s going to be easy? To help you with the dilemma, On has just launched their new sneaker, the Cloudeasy.
Encompassing a new take on comfort and sustainability, this sneaker promises next levels of comfort, with a sleek minimal design. Equipped with a full knit upper to reduce waste, this sneaker is also a more sustainable option, from conception to materiality. With an increased focus on sustainability and the will to give new life to material at every stage of production (the shoes are made from 100% recycled Polyester), On has re-engineered its CloudTec® in Zero Gravity Foam with a half Speedboard® – a new technology that combines minimal use of material and better cushioning under the forefoot. The Speedboard® is made from TPU via an injection process, drastically reducing off cuts and waste.
What’s more, this means they can fully collapse – making it a great option for creatives to just pack them in a bag and go – whatever they may be doing. With such big shoes to fill (literally), On hit us up to try out the sneakers – to see if they delivered on their form and function and to put them to the test.
For this, we enlisted CULTED’s own James Loach, a multidisciplinary creative from London who’s always on the go – and houses a big love for all things footwear. Taking on Soho, a spot James knows well, we discussed all things sneakers, style, and of course – On’s Cloudeasy. Exploring the green spaces of the inner city area as well as the urban environment, James took the Cloudeasy for a test-walk, if you will.
Hey James! So firstly, talk us through what you do as a creative.
Hey! So I’m a multidisciplinary creative, straddling a lot of different things within the fashion industry. Primarily I focus on creative consultancy, brand strategy and content production. Styling to me comes naturally, and is somewhat of a thread that’s woven through all those areas!
Love that – what does a typical day on set look like for you?
A typical day on set? Creative chaos, for sure. On my sets I always try to bring in as much as a ‘dream team’ as I can – whether that’s bringing in my friends, pulling from my creative network or wider. I love to try and pull strings and have every avenue covered with some sort of new and fresh enthusiasm and attitude. However, despite it being creative chaos, there’s always magic produced at the end of it.
So, I know that you’re formerly a full time sneakerhead…What do you look for when picking out a sneaker?
Definitely style… I obviously gravitate towards pairs that have the right colour palettes for me, and that work amongst my fits. But also, they have to be comfortable on my feet when I’m running around the city. So comfort for sure, but style comes first I think.
Interesting… So where would you say the balance lies for you? What do you prioritise within form and function?
If I had to put it into a percentage I’d say 70/30 – 30 being comfort, 70 being style. It has to be cool – I’m definitely someone who has to have fun with what I’m wearing, but at the same time I’m not going to break my ankles just for the look. It does have to be comfy.
How would you describe your personal style?
It’s a tough one – I feel as though I try to touch on too many things at once sometimes, but everyone always tells me that I pull it off haha. So I’m just running with an open minded steeze for sure. But I’m just a fan of colour, a fan of shapes – I guess it’s just anything cool that I’m attracted to!
I also feel that my style reflects myself – being open, bold and never afraid to try something new.
For sure. So how would you style the Cloudeasy?
I’d style these with a pair of baggy pants. I’m very into reinterpreting sportswear and activewear in a fashionable sense. I’m not going to confine myself to the norms of a simple track pant – it would definitely have to be more of an outdoor, expeditious type of look.
It’s funny you say that – because moving towards adopting more of an outdoors-based lifestyle is something that has become increasingly popular for people post-lockdowns; especially within young people. With that in mind, would you recommend these sneakers to the CULTED community?
Yeah I definitely would. I know that as soon as they put their feet inside, it’s like walking on pillows or in Heaven. Seriously. So yeah, I’d recommend them. I’d also love to see how they would all style them, because I feel it’s a silhouette which can be played around with for sure.
Where do you most often find yourself in London?
It’s gotta be West. I live in West London, and have always found myself around areas in West like Portobello, Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove. It’s where a lot of my friends are, and it’s where a lot of my work happens – I find myself on set here a lot. If you’re around there, most of the time you’ll see me.
If not though, I do make the odd trip to Hatton Garden where I have my showroom and studio, which is almost a second home from West. So more time in between here or there – I’m on the move a lot.
Where does sustainability fit into things for you? Does sustainable design factor into your decision making within fashion and footwear at large?
Naturally sustainability is really important. With working in the fashion industry myself, I’m a product of my environment, so I need to make sure that what I wear and produce is sustainable in some sort of sense. It’s not the number one factor, as I don’t think it is for most people to be honest, but if we can make small changes as and when, here and there, I would definitely say it’s a pull factor.
As a London creative you’re constantly on the go – how would the Cloudeasy fit into your day-to-day lifestyle?
Pretty seamlessly, I think. Like I said, the way that I’d style them would be pretty easy to get down with everyday. Especially when we were shooting these, to be fair – I felt like I was walking on clouds all day. Honestly, if every shoe could be like that, that would be a touch for sure. If I’m on set, I could wear these with ease, man. You need next level comfort when you’re running around doing a million different things at once!
Nice. So it sounds like I may already know the answer from your previous response, but what’s your favourite element of the Cloudeasy and why?
It’s absolutely the sole. By far one of the most supportive soles I’ve encountered to be honest. Amongst all the other sportswear brands, styles and silhouettes, I feel like this sole hits different. There’s a lot of talk within the footwear scene in general about comfortability and what not, but with this one the proof’s in the pudding.
So all in all – will these become a part of your sneaker rotation?
They could do, for sure! Not going to lie, they do have some competition, but as I said they’re a great option for that ‘on set day’, when I’m on my feet. Whether that’s styling, directing or doing a campaign of some sort, this would probably be my go to, can’t lie.. So yeah, actually!