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Hellen Obiri won the Boston Marathon wearing 3D printed On shoes

The Cloudboom Strike LS is a prototype running shoe that could soon become commercially available

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On Athletic Club athlete Hellen Obiri defended her marathon crown in Boston, crossing the finish line in a time of 2:22:37 and becoming the first woman since 2005 to win Boston back-to-back. Obiri wore On‘s Cloudboom Strike LS, a prototype running shoe featuring a solid 3D printed upper.

The specialized portal The Running Club reported that Hellen Obiri wore the prototype of what will be the new On Cloudboom Strike. Officially presented in March at World Athletics in two versions, the On Cloudboom Strike LS Dev1 and the On Cloudboom Strike LS Dev1.2, it will be available to the general public starting from next year.

Cloudboom is the category of On that encompasses the super racing shoes, with premium compound and carbon fiber plate. However, these new Cloudboom Strike shoes appear quite different, completely revolutionized it seems, both in form and materials.

Hellen Obiri won the Boston Marathon wearing the The Cloudboom Strike LS shoes with a 3D printed upper from On
Hellen Obiri’s Cloudboom Strike LS Dev1.2

The 3D printed upper is characterized by the complete absence of laces, something never seen before in a racing shoe. It is made of a flexible plastic material, quite different from the microfiber present in many other high-end On models. It covers the foot like a true sock, becoming almost transparent and a bit wider around the ankle area.

The Running Club points out that it’s surprising to see almost no trace of the classic CloudTech that characterizes On models, barely hinted at in the midsole area under the heel, as already done albeit to a lesser extent with the Cloudboom Echo 3. The model worn by Obiri in Boston should be the Cloudboom Strike LS Dev1.2, which differs from the LS Dev1 for a lower height of the CloudTech. On seems set on taking it to market.

Hellen Obiri won the Boston Marathon wearing the The Cloudboom Strike LS shoes with a 3D printed upper from On
The On Speedboard

Also interesting is that On uses a carbon plate, called Speedboard, in its shoes which helps to increase the runner’s speed. Every On Speedboard is crafted to deliver a specific sensation. The material, shape, thickness and curve of the Speedboard change to provide different results based on different running needs – from comfort to all-out speed. It’s not fully clear how the Speedboard is made however On is based in Zurich, just like 9T Labs, which specializes in serial 3D printing of carbon-grade composites. 9T’s hybrid AFT technology can be used to produce structures that, according to the company, include “lightweight and strong shoe soles to increase speed”.

Obiri joined the On Athletics Club in 2022, relocating to Boulder, and began her transition from track racing to marathons under the guidance of Dathan Ritzenhein. Speaking on her return to Boston, Ritzenhein said:

“Returning to Boston as the defending champion, Hellen was under a lot of pressure to perform. She took this pressure and channeled it into her preparation and performance on the course. I couldn’t be more proud of her and her performance today. Hellen truly is a legend, and we are so happy to have her on the team.”
Obiri’s victory has solidified her status as one of the top female long-distance runners in the world. Her victory in Boston will surely put her in an excellent position to be selected to represent Kenya in the marathon distance at her fourth Games.

Under warmer-than-ideal weather conditions, 30,000 runners took to the start line of the 128th edition of the infamous marathon in Boston. With 19 elite women with personal bests under 2:23, and seven with personal bets under 2:19, the race for the Boston crown was well and truly on.

Hellen Obiri won the Boston Marathon wearing the The Cloudboom Strike LS shoes with a 3D printed upper from On

Speaking on the win, Obiri said: “I’m super happy with the win today and to defend my title. Coming back to Boston, I knew what to expect and was able to plan my training and race strategy around my experience from last year. I’m glad it paid off as it did, and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the season will bring.”
Obiri is one of the most decorated female athletes, being the only female athlete to win a world title in cross country, and indoor and outdoor track

Cheering on from the headquarters of the Swiss sportswear brand, On Co-Founder Olivier Bernhard, said: “When we welcomed Hellen into our fold in 2022, she was already running royalty. ​ After today’s convincing victory, she continues to carve out her own unique legacy. Her unwavering determination and relentless pursuit of excellence, showcased race after race, serve as a beacon of inspiration to all who have the privilege of witnessing her journey. We are profoundly grateful to count Hellen as a cherished member of both On and the On Athletic Club team. She truly embodies the power of the human spirit and inspires all of us to strive for excellence day after day.“

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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