Since the days humans put leaves on the soles of their feet, there has always been a trade off between performance and style. Across their range, Swiss-based On Running seem to have got the balance right between high performance running shoe and stylish wearable trainer. With more time to enjoy the great outdoors, we are reviewing On Running’s Cloud Hi Monochrome running shoe as part of our Get Active campaign.
Fashionable Functional Footwear
Finding truly-fashionable footwear for off-road walking and light hiking has always been difficult because of the trade off of durability and strength for looks and comfort. Many of us living in the Three Counties know the change from rural to urban settings could be as little as a few steps down an alley. And it is for this reason we have chosen to review the Cloud HI Monochome which seems to cover all bases.
The New Cloud HI Monochrome
Launched for SS20, the Cloud HI Monochome is a new version of the popular Cloud HI. Available for both women and men in a selection of bold colours, the Cloud HI Monochome has been designed and marketed for everyday use and light off-road hiking.
Before we get into the construction of the shoe, let’s take a moment to look at available colours. The Mens range is available in a safe all-year round navy, a striking camouflage “camo” green and plain tan. In order of preference, I would have to go Camo, Navy then Sand – Sand being a more difficult colour to match with jeans/trousers.
If you like to standout, the Women’s Cloud Hi Monochrome are available in three statement colours. These pastel based colours are Cashew, Endive and Mineral. With 2020 colour trends Cantaloupe and Mellow Yellow in mind, these inspiring colour choices will be a great addition to your wardrobe. The bold two-toned uppers are vividly brought to life thanks to the white lower.
Is the Cloud Hi Monochrome comfortable?
The answer is really dependent on your foot shape. If you have an extremely wide foot, it may not be the most comfortable shoe for extended walking. For the average foot, the Cloud Hi Monochrome is really comfortable. Little touches like the extended soft-touch tongue adapts to the contours of your foot, giving even more comfort to the step-in design. A vegan suede upper and taped-seam finishing offers a smooth look and feel. None of the materials have that ‘abrasive’ feel which you can get on common running shoes.
What materials is the Cloud Hi Monochrome made from?
The upper is made from vegan leather, suede and canvas whilst the sole is made from Helion™ foam that is resistant to changing weather conditions. Speed-lacing system for quick adjustment.
The lower section of the shoe is made from a foam construction that absorbs impacts and provides protection against injuries. The Cloud Hi Monochrome is a solid shoe but weighs only 292 grams. Speedboard™ built in the sole provides effective movement and efficient energy transfer from landing to take-off.
On Running Home Try On offer
You can currently test out any On shoes or gear in your home workouts for 30 days commitment-free. If, by the time the 30 days are up, you’re not convinced, On Running say you can send the products back for a full refund, no questions asked. There is a limit and terms are available online.
Is the Cloud Hi Monochrome worth buying
Most certainly yes. When you consider that most of the must-haves on the checklist are covered, the Cloud Hi Monochrome is great value priced at £159.99 RRP. Durable, fashionable and practical for most causal outdoor occasions, the Cloud Hi Monochrome is worth buying.
Newly opened gift shop Kinship Local in Rowsham has found a positive way to help fellow small creative businesses whose sales may have suffered this last year.
Kinship Local was founded by small business owners Claire Ashton and Jen Burton, who have a passion for championing British made, independently owned, small creatives.
Lovers of good quality, great design, and an eye for the bright and bold, Kinship Local has been working with a range of Pop-Up Makers since opening its doors in June.
Claire explains, “We wanted to offer artists, designers and makers a local space, set amongst our own curated eco-conscious products. We wish to encourage local residents to shop small, shop locally and to support those who make in small batches, who pour their hearts and souls into their products. Step away from the mass made, and embrace the slow made”.
Jen adds, “Choosing to shop and buy from a small independent creative brings so much positivity. The Makers we choose to support in-store have a strong belief and ethic around sustainability and creating less waste, which is so important. Also, with the loss of income last year, it was crucial for us to help drive the local economy by supporting small businesses. We truly believe that you can buy beautiful, buy small and buy local all at once.”
Retail space along the UK highstreets is unattainable for so many smaller retail outlets. So with the support and belief of the team at Wild Raven Farm Shop, Kinship Local has been hugely popular and a happy welcome to local residents.
Since their second week of opening, Kinship Local has offered 3-4 Pop-Up makers every fortnight to showcase a range of products. So far, Bella Bowlicious headbands, Bethan Lily knitted cushions, Tweedles Handmade eco food wraps, Bridie & Bert Towelling Robes, Wild Flora Handmade resin wildflower jewellery, and Sarah McFloof painted pebbles and gnomes have all featured.
This week they welcomed Am & Flo hand-painted peg dolls, Magic Kind clothing, Jennifer Wesley cards and Immy & Boo recycled and repurposed fabric headbands, lavender eye pillows and yoga bags. There is always a mixture of products to inspire and a range of handmade gifts to give.
Pop-Up Partner Beth from Bethan Lily Knitwear says, “Kinship Local has been an excellent opportunity for my business. It’s kept me going and is definitely worth a visit to see all of the other lovely products in the cabin. Jen and Claire have been a pleasure to work with! “
“Since launching my products, both Claire & Jen have updated me daily and share in my excitement of sales and feedback with me….for this, I will always be thankful to them,” says Claire from Bella Bowlicious.
Whilst they are full until the beginning of September, Claire and Jen are looking for more artists and designers to support and champion.
Late on Tuesday night, three high profile businesses in St Albans were forced to release statements denying involvement in the launch of a Super High Street above St Albans.
Three of the so called St Albans ‘Big Six’ – Chloe James Lifestyle, Must Wine Bar and Mad Squirrel – have all put out statements denying rumours they plan to create a new St Albans High. The remaining three are expected to make statements in the next 24 hours.
The announcement of a new St Albans High Street has caused enormous uproar across Hertfordshire and beyond, with near universal disbelief from shoppers, local residents and politicians – including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Unconfirmed plans suggest a monorail system will be constructed to take shoppers from the iconic clock tower to the yet-to-be confirmed new St Albans High Street somewhere above St Albans Cathedral.
Entrance to St Albans’ proposed new Super High Street
Donna Nichol, owner of the popular independent fashion store Chloe James Lifestyle has issued a statement.
“I have absolutely no idea where this has come from and ironically, I cannot see it getting off the ground. We have been welcoming back our customers and have enjoyed the buzz of a busy shop. Why would I want to move my store 30 feet above St Albans?
I have just recently updated the shop window with a new French brand called FRNCH – how will anyone see it? Ignore the rumours and find us where we have been keeping St Albans fashionable for the last ten years.”
Mad Squirrel St Albans have also put out a strong worded statement in response to news of the Super High Street. General Manager James has gone on record and said “Of the 25 beers we have on tap, nothing is that strong”.
“We have been here in St Albans for almost two years and whilst we are accustomed to hearing the occasional bit of nonsense in the taproom, this idea is farcical. Beer and heights don’t mix so we will remain on the ground floor of St Albans in Heritage Close serving the finest beers to St Albans residents.”
Mad Squirrel has quickly established itself as one of the predominant beer destinations in St Albans. With access from the footpath towards the Abbey, it would seem a strange decision from management but when you are around beer all day, anything can happen.
Mad Squirrel staff claimed to not have seen the plans
Local resident Isabelle Ringing who we interviewed shopping in St Albans said the idea was nonsense. “St Albans is unique and residents love it the way it is. Why? a monorail? I just can’t get my head around it – we don’t need this nonsense in St Albans.”
Must Wine located on George Street were also quick to release a statement in regards to the rumours. Wine Steward and c0-owner Mike Nuttall explained, “I get the idea – great minds drink alike and the concept of tasting the finest wines with breathtaking views of Hertfordshire is idyllic.
However, the individual who came up with the pour decision of running a monorail above St Albans is clearly on cloud wine.” Must Wine will continue run wine tasting classes on George Street.
As these rumours of a break-away high street continue to spread, the TrendLife team will continue to keep you updated with facts instead of fiction.
As one of St Albans’ favourite destinations for all things haute couture, we are excited that Chloe James Lifestyle have announced they will be reopening this coming Monday 12th April.
Regular St Albans shoppers will know Chloe James Lifestyle has been a fixture on High Street St Albans for over 10 years. Despite being extremely busy preparing for the reopening, Owner Donna Nichol has shared her thoughts on reopening Chloe James Lifestyle and what changes fashionistas can expect.
Chloe James Lifestyle owner Donna Nichol
What are you looking forward to most at Chloe James Lifestyle?
Personally, I’m really looking forward to the buzz of a busy shop again – lots of chat and laughter and the general feel good vibes of helping people look and feel their best. Nothing beats it! When we reopen, we are going straight back to our normal hours i.e. 10-5.30 Monday to Saturday and 11-4 on Sunday. We can’t wait to open the doors again and welcome our customers back in!
What new changes can we expect at Chloe James Lifestyle?
The shop has had a complete refresh. Every single inch has been cleaned and there are lots of new products for our customers to enjoy, including great gift lines and a new jewellery brand as well as our Spring fashion collections. One of my personal favourites is a new French fashion label called FRNCH which we are currently featuring in our window – the colours are just stunning!
We love what independent businesses bring to St Albans. How do you think shoppers will respond post lockdown?
I believe there’s going to be a real return to shopping small. After all, we are the ones who have carried on throughout the pandemic, finding ways to adapt to our customers’ needs, offering Click & Collect and always being at the end of a phone to help find the perfect birthday gift. We’ve even personally delivered them on a specific date when it was possible!
We’ve also kept our windows vibrant to cheer up the daily walk and many people have said how much they loved this. It’s become apparent to everyone how much small independent businesses add to their community and we really must make sure they don’t disappear!
About Chloe James – Chloe James Lifestyle is an elegant lifestyle boutique based in St Albans specialising in fashion, art, stylish interiors and beautiful gifts.
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