Is this a Cloudsurfer 7 review? I guess because the last model was a 6 and yet they’ve striped away the number because in many ways it feels like a completely re-imagined shoe!
Over the last 11+ years, I have run in a bunch of On Cloud shoes and always come away with the feeling that what they labeled as “cushioned” was not. That’s changed with the Cloudmonster and again with the new shape of the Cloudsurfer.
This is one of the lightest daily trainers I’ve found. On par with the HOKA Mach.
I may now be part of the growing masses who adore On running shoes.
As you know I’m always honest in my running shoe reviews with what I like, dislike and what might work for you that wasn’t a fit for me! Which is why when someone asks about On Running shoes I’ve always said I think they’re good, but their everyday run shoes didn’t feel great to my foot.
Now I’ve been putting miles on the Cloudsurfer and it’s a steady part of my running shoe rotation for easy training days.
Technically the brand is simply, On. But maybe you, like me, noticed that trying to just search ON or On running never quite got you where you wanted to go, so that’s why you may see them referred to as On, On Running, or On Cloud.
There is no one perfect running shoe for all runners, so I’m going to share my findings. But as always I encourage you to head in to a running store and put them on! Run around the shop and see what you think.
On Cloudsurfer Details
As noted there have been 6 previous versions of the Cloudsurfer, all previously using their standard pod design for the cushion and outsole. In this new model, they are making a shift in technology, called the CloudTec Phase™ foam.
And FINALLY, praise be, it’s actually a cushioned shoe! For all my past tests, I just found the pods to be too firm and thus never really a super comfortable ride (based on my preferences).
However, now they’ve removed the speedboard and shifted their pods, allowing the outsole to be more solid.
Here you can see a comparison of my Cloudmonster to the Cloudsurfer 7. As noted the pods don’t go all the way to the outisde, but instead have a thin layer over them. The narrow grove down the middle continues to drop the weight, and is not deep enough to collect rocks!!
One of the things I have always loved about On Running shoes is the style. And this one again for me is a home run on that front.
I love how lightweight this shoe is as well. It’s a great combo of comfort for daily training, but with energy return that could easily transition this to a shoe for tempo runs and faster paces.
I may have to place this as a tie with the On Cloudmonster for best On Running Shoe! I am thrilled to this change in their line up.
- 10 mm heel drop
- 7.2 oz women’s
- 8.6 oz men’s
- Neutral runner
- Available in four colors
- Not available in wide
- Available at On Running, RoadRunnerSports and retail stores for $160
Initially putting on the shoe, I really felt the higher heel. I even went back to double check my notes thinking it must be more than a 10mm drop. However, once I started running that feeling totally evaporated as the cushion really does compact and roll you forward smoothly.
As expected the upper is a lightweight mesh that’s plenty breathable. It’s also made from 100% recycled materials. This is something I am really loving in the shoe industry lately! We go through a lot of shoes, so let’s make them better for the environment.
With the higher heel toe drop, it’s also a good choice for those dealing with Achilles issues.
In general, On Running shoes are a little more narrow than some brands. The toe box is rounded, but I still wouldn’t describe it as a good fit for wider feet. Rather I would say it’s good for the average foot size and even for those with more narrow feet the lacing provides plenty of options to get a good fit.
I would say the width is similar to a number of ASICS or Mizuno running shoes.
The Cloudboom Echo 3 Carbon Fiber shoe is one I enjoy, but it runs so small I would need to go up a full size to use it for more than a mile or two.
The tongue is padded, breathable and comfortable. Interestingly, on the Cloudmonster they took out the padding to cut weight, and yet this shoe manages to be lighter! Definitely attributed to the change in the midsole and cushion.
I ran in to an issue with that tag on the tongue. It rubs my ankle raw.
I’ve found these shoes are pretty comfortable on most easy runs for marathon training.
I could probably wear them up to the half marathon distance, but right now they remain in my 6-8 mile shoe selection. They’re light enough to make a great 5K or 10K shoe too for the average runner.
On 90% of my running shoes, I use a heel lock lacing and these have enough laces to make that easily doable.
Bonus: I really like the way Cloundsurfer looks. That’s not really fit or function, but I feel like it matters! All of the On shoes have a really classic feel, which is probably due to the Swiss design which they believe is really important.
What You Need to Know About On Running Shoes
On started in 2010 in Switzerland, when yet again another runner thought “I could do this better.”
This time it was three retired professional athletes, who decided there needed to be a shoe that had more firmness to create that bounce off the ground, along with cushion.
On uses CloudTec technology which is what makes their shoe look and feel different.
The pods (or clouds) compress both horizontally and vertically and then rapidly expand, helping to propel you faster off the ground.
And in fact, those clouds are different sizes based on the shoe and the goal for that shoe.
Is it like running on clouds?
No. Not cloudlike in that plush fluffy kind of way.
So for me, no…not at all like a cloud. And that’s not all bad.
In my On Running Shoes Review, I go in to all the reasons that there are benefits to the pod design and why other runners have loved them from the start. So checkout that if you’re curious to learn more.
OK, so that brings us to how they are taking that design and moving forward. Now they are calling it CloudTec Phase that harnesses a “wave technology”. This midsole still uses their Helion™ super foam, but there is a noticeable difference in the way that it will collapse, creating a softness and forward motion.
Drawbacks to On Running Shoes
As noted, every runner has a preference, so there are just a couple of things from my experience.
- They are not ideal for those with high arches or a high mid-foot
- Most On Cloud shoes run narrow, and the toebox is not wide (they have started created specific wide models!)
- Rocks stuck in between the pods make them not ideal on trails or gravel running.
- Not much traction to these shoes, wouldn’t love them in rain
I found the Carbon fiber shoe to run small, but otherwise I have found them to run true to size.
All right I hope this On Cloudsurfer review gave you some info to help you make a shoe decision! If there’s more you want to see in a review let me know!
Looking for other running shoes??
- On Cloud vs Brooks Running
- On Cloud vs Hoka
- Adidas Vs Nike Running Shoes
- Altra vs HOKA Running Shoes
- How to Tell if Running Shoes Fit Properly
- How to Clean Running Shoes
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