The shoe is classified as a lightweight performance trainer that can be used for races. The heel-to-toe offset is supposedly 6mm according to ON Running’s website. However, it is measured at 9mm at Running Warehouse. It weighs in at 198g for US Men’s 8.5. This shoe is the lightest running shoe that ON Running has manufactured.
Upper and Fit
The Upper is made from breathable mesh reinforced with suede overlays throughout the shoe and a cotton fabric material at the rear. The suede overlays, although stylish, posed as a concern for me as I doubted its durability.
Close up of the overlays
The structure in the shoe provided adequate support, giving it a secured fit. It provided a nice sock-like feel without a hint of roughness, allowing me to stay abrasion and blister-free when I wore it barefoot during triathlons. The tongue was comfortable, not to thick yet not too thin. It provided a decent lockdown of the feet in the shoe when laced up while not compromising on protection from possible pressure points from the laces. The heel counter, despite being rather low, offered enough support for longer runs when my running form started to get sloppy. The straps seen on the back half of the shoe supposedly contribute to the structure of the shoe, though I did not notice any increase in support.
The shoes are true to size, although having a slightly narrow fit. The narrow fit may disallow toe splay. Runners with wider feet may prefer going half a size up.
The Cloud came with elastic laces and conventional laces. I vastly preferred the elastic lacing due to two reasons. Firstly, I have wider feet and hence I did not feel like I needed that much lockdown in the forefoot. Secondly, the conventional lacing was too thin and long, which was rather messy and unsightly.
Starting with the Midsole, the Cloud features the 16 CloudTec pods designed to cater to individual running gaits. The pods deliver a rather unique feel. The landing is firm yet cushioned. I don’t feel like my legs get beat up even after running distances up to half-marathons. As a runner that prefers a more cushioned ride, I switched the stock insoles with a more cushioned insole which greatly increased the comfort of the ride. I intentionally tried heel striking and I personally feel that the transition from heel to toe felt better than when I landed on my midfoot. This is due to the thicker CloudTec elements at the rear of the shoe.
The Cloud also features a Speed board. The Speed board is a mildly flexible full-length plastic plate that stiffens the sole and converts energy from landing impact to forward propulsion. This translated to decent stability with a light snappy toe-off.
As for the outsole, high abrasion rubber patches are placed at the front 5 pods and the back 3 pods for increased durability at high impact locations. However, I would prefer if the rubber patches were more generous, as I worried about the unprotected midsole that was exposed to the harsh conditions of asphalt.
The sole after 50km
Types of work out
The Cloud excels on both the track and the road. It is best used for speedwork, aerobic intervals and for tempo workouts ranging from 5-10km. Personally I would prefer a more cushioned shoe for longer distances such as half-marathons to marathons.
The Cloud is not recommended for trail running; small stones get stuck in the pods, firming up the ride and causing uneven pressure points. This is especially so for trails that are wet. Mud get caught in the pods which adds significant weight to the shoe.
- Traps stones, mud
- A little on the narrow side
- Conventional laces too thin
The cloud is a light and casual-looking shoe for runners who want a cushioned and responsive ride without sacrificing comfort or speed.