ISPO Munich 2021: The Recycled Running Shoe With Subscription Advantage

People from behind running with focus on shoes

This year, ISPO Munich, the leading international trade fair for sporting goods and sports fashion, took place purely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the master’s program Sport Business and Communication, MBS students had the opportunity to participate virtually in the trade fair at the beginning of February and to find out about the latest trends in sports business. In the blog article, SBC student Muriel Cara Peltzer describes which special product she discovered at ISPO 2021.

Subscriptions come in a wide variety of categories: newspapers, music or TV. But have you ever thought about a subscription for shoes? Get the latest model every month and do something good for the environment at the same time. That’ s exactly what the Swiss sports company On has made its mission with its new running shoe.

On was one of more than 500 companies from the sports industry that exhibited at the virtual ISPO Munich 2021, including many sporting goods manufacturers. In the digital showroom on the official ISPO website, visitors could find information and corporate videos from On as well as contact details of employees. In addition, the running shoe manufacturer presented its latest running shoes and apparel, including detailed explanations of the individual products. Among the products on display was On’s newest running shoe, the Cyclon. For this shoe, On won both the ISPO Gold Award and the Sustainability Achievement Award.

But how does this shoe stand out from other running shoes and what makes it so special?

Cyclon Shoe

The Cyclon is characterized by its ultra-light and simple material. The shoe gets this lightness from its main material – beans, or more precisely castor beans. However, the most important feature of the shoe refers to its name. Cyclon alludes to a cycle with the help of which the shoe is not thrown away, but reused and a new Cyclon is created from it. The Cyclon from On is worn until it is run down. For this, the running shoe manufacturer sets a benchmark of about 600 kilometers run. Once this point is reached, the shoe is exchanged for a new one at On. The exchange process works as follows: via the Cyclon account, you inform On that you need a new pair and would like to return your worn-out shoes. Once you receive the new pair of Cyclon, you send back the worn pair in the same box. Through this subscription service, customers always receive a new pair of recycled running shoes for €29.95 per month. The subscription ensures that the customer is always equipped with the latest and most suitable running shoe, without producing any kind of waste. Also responsible for this are the castor beans, which can be easily and sustainably recycled. This creates a production cycle in which all materials are reused and a so-called zero-waste production takes place. This philosophy is also clarified by On co-founder Oliver Bernhard: “We went one step further. We wanted to show that sustainability and performance go hand in hand. The subscription service allows runners to not only receive one of the best performing shoes we have developed, but also to continuously receive the best and latest shoe technology coming out of our lab.”

The sustainability aspect also convinced the jury of ISPO, which, following the award of the ISPO Gold Award and Sustainabilty Achievement Award, commented on the winner as follows: “With the Cyclon, On meets two runners’ needs: The quest for an up-to-date roadrunning-shoe, that performs like the newest generation of lightweight training or even racing shoes, and care for the environment. […] It is a product that goes beyond the dimensions of traditional running shoe innovations.”

As a hobby runner and On customer, I can fully understand the decision of the ISPO jury and can only confirm the quality of the Swiss products. By switching to an on running shoe, my running style and posture have significantly improved. In addition, you actually walk with your shoes like on clouds. Now, I am curious how it feels to run with the Cyclon and I’m looking forward to testing the first shoe subscription myself.