In the handful of years that I’ve been hiking, I’ve gone through five or six pairs of boots. Not because I’m a crazy hiker, but because I’ve yet to find a pair that works for me in all the ways I’d like them to. Then I tried a pair of the new Cloudrock Edge Raw Hiking Boots from Swiss running brand On, and I met my match.
Out today 12 Nov, the limited-edition hiker has everything I’d been looking for in a pair of hiking boots—comfort, support, sustainability, and fashion.
I crave the support that a hightop boot can give, but I always dislike how clunky, hot, and blister-prone they can be. On the flip side, I find that low-top hiking shoes are more comfortable, but I run into the problem of getting dust/rocks/water in them (which can be alleviated with gators, but shoes that can only be worn with a separate accessory aren’t for me). The newest design by On has that comfy padded ankle protection and support, while still being very light and airy.
And, if I'm going to support a brand by buying their products, I'm very interested in their commitment to sustainability—and I'm impressed with On's. More below.
If you’re unfamiliar with On, it’s a running-focused brand based in Zurich. In 2012, the Wall Street Journal described one of On’s debut products as a "revolutionary running shoe". In 2014, they launched the world's lightest running shoe, the On Cloud, using proprietary technology. Worn by Ironman World Champions and Olympic triathletes, it's safe to say that On is making waves in the running world. (They also built an off-grid mountain hut in the Alps for adventure runners, which is equally awesome.)
This same technology that test runners have described as “a feeling like running on clouds” is now being used in their outdoor collection as well, making this pair one of the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn.
The white could be a turn-off for some—taking such a beautiful, pristine white shoe hiking seems a sin! I’ll admit I thought about it at first. But hear me out. The non-dyed upper makes a statement, sure to turn heads in the city and on the trail. Yes, it’ll get dirty. But, the boot is waterproof, so it won’t get that dirty, even when soaked. Plus, I do like the idea that the boots will have a story to tell after each use.
As On's most sustainable shoe to date, the release is a milestone in the brand's journey to eliminating petrol-based materials in their practice. The Cloudrock Edge Raw is completely undyed (hence the white), making for a raw, minimalist look that also eliminates significant water waste and potential pollutions from conventional dying processes. And it's made with few virigin fibers—a ~90% recycled polyester upper and 30% recycled outsole round out the stats. It's completely water and windproof, with the same features that their first hiking boot, the Cloudrock Waterproof has. Only more sustainable.
An all around fashion-forward, super-sustainable, and practical hiker, the Cloudrock Edge Raw hiking boot is a top pick for me.
Available now in men's and women's styles for $250.