Whether you are preparing for your first 5K, marathon or even ultramarathon, there is one thing you have to do: train. That means you need a shoe that you can rely on to last every step of the way, including race day. That’s exactly what On has done with the Cloudcruiser. They have designed a lightweight stability shoe that will provide you more protection and comfort during your runs.
I tested the Cloudcruiser in their Midnight and Mars color. After I stepped into them I could immediately understand how these shoes were going to be used, for long distance training runs on concrete. As an everyday running shoe it looks just as great as it performs. More than anything I was impressed by the shoe’s comfort, which can sometimes be hard to find in a stability shoe, mainly because of the weight caused by the extra material. After several runs I started to understand why more and more runners are wearing On shoes.
The Cloudcruiser outsole has 15 “Clouds,” On’s patented CloudTec system made of a durable, rebound rubber. The base of the “Clouds” appears to have a Honeycomb design which should allow for better traction. I tested these shoes on hard surfaces in both dry and wet climates and didn’t see much of a difference in performance.
The outsole contains four larger “Clouds” on the heel and eleven in various sizes from the mid to the fore foot. On says these are designed to serve two purposes; “cushioned landing, firm takeoff.” So, how do you “land soft,” but “push off hard”?
When you look at the outsole from the side you will see the Clouds are separated and contain ridges which look similar to teeth. This means that while you hit the ground they will contract vertically and move horizontally with your body as you move forward. This will provide you with a softer impact on the ground, less ground time and more stability. Ultimately, the Clouds do offer a noticeably softer landing.
I was impressed with how easily the shoe moved with my foot in all directions. Even when taking turns, the Clouds reacted to the directed pressure being applied by my feet.
The midsole of the On Cloudcruiser is made up of high-grade EVA foam providing cushioning and rebound. On’s Speedboard is meant to add stability to the shoe through three functional layers designed to enhance movement. Check out our review of the On Cloudracer 2 to read more about the Speedboard. I could immediately notice a difference in responsiveness when compared to other shoes. I was running noticeably faster than in other shoes and felt comfortable running downhill.
The Cloud has an impressively small drop (7 mm) from the heel at 29 mm to the forefoot at 22 mm. The removable sockliner is designed to be no-slip so you don’t slide around in the shoe. It is sturdy but doesn’t compromise flexibility. Despite being dubbed a stability shoe, those runners with high-arches or those who tend to over-pronate may find the shoe too flexible in the midfoot.
A substantial part of the upper is made from a very lightweight, multi-layered mesh fabric. It provides the foot with a good amount of freedom and comfort, but is also breathable. When it comes to the toebox, I found it to be slightly too big for my foot. I have fairly narrow feet, but for those of you who like space, the toebox is very roomy.
The tongue is made of what appears to be a material similar to memory foam. Those of us who tend to tie our shoes too tightly (yep, guilty) will definitely feel less pressure on the top of your foot. When it comes to the lacing system, it’s unique in that it ties together two independent sheaths of upper that attach to the midsole. In other words you can create a snug fit instead of cinching the upper on top of your foot. The combination of the memory foam tongue and the lacing system made the shoe very comfortable to wear, but I did have to keep retying them as they would often come undone. This was probably due to their thin size. I would imagine that a thicker pair would correct this issue.
The heel cup encapsulates the entire heel. It provides an excellent amount of support. As a stability shoe it has the perfect amount of structure.
On symbol reflectors are located at the tip of the toe box, at the heel, top of the tongue and on the lateral and medial sides of the arch.
A lot of shoes come with an extra lace loop near the ankle and can be for an extra tight fit. I typically never have to use these, but because my feet are narrow and I had extra room, I ended up using it to get the fit I needed. It’s wide like a trainer should be with the ability to tighten it up, so sizing was spot on for me. This seems like a great shoe option for those with wider feet.
When it comes to cushioning, the Cloudcruiser definitely has what it takes to go every step of the way. I was surprised how much time I could immediately spend in the shoes. There was no break-in period before I put in some serious distance. I typically run in narrow minimalist shoes, but even though the Cloudcruiser has a wide fit it was still very comfortable.
My runs with the Cloudcruiser were very enjoyable. I used them for medium to long runs, mainly on hard ground. I was impressed with their softness and strength. Especially when going downhill I felt like they protected my knees, but didn’t compromise speed. The shoe retails for $150. Given the apparent durability of the Cloudcruiser, this is a pretty fair price. These shoes would be a great stability trainer for runners of all experience levels.
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Born in Colorado, Tanya was raised in both the US and Switzerland. She’s a biologist who loves playing in the water and up in the mountains. Tanya now lives with her husband, Ben, and dog, Angel, in Lucerne, Switzerland.