Our verdict

The On Cloudmonster is the brand's max-cushioned running shoe that blew our minds. From firm to forgiving, it's a new take that we are confident is perfect for daily training and long runs. True to its name, it has a monstrous amount of foam that keeps our feet protected and comfy all day. So much so that we can take it out on our walks as well.

Pros

  • All-day comfort
  • Bouncy cushion
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Protective for long runs
  • Stable when cornering
  • Weighs less than it looks
  • Grippy on wet roads
  • Can work on light trails
  • Perfect lockdown
  • Durable
  • Sustainable upper

Cons

  • Firm for recovery days
  • Not for wide feet
  • Expensive

Audience verdict

89
Great!

Who should buy

Get the Cloudmonster if you're looking for a: 

  • maxed-out daily trainer for road running and walking 
  • highly protective and bouncy shoe for long training runs

On-Cloudmonster-review

Who should NOT buy

Consider the New Balance 1080 v12 instead if you want a cushy and protective ride for recovery days. 

And if you're among the wide-footed runners out there, we discovered that your toes can splay comfortably in the  Saucony Triumph 21 or the Nike InfinityRN 4. What's more, both shoes have amazingly soft cushioning!

On-Cloudmonster-lab-test.JPG

Breathability

Breathability is unparalleled in this On running shoe! It felt like an actual ventilator for our feet on a hot summer day!

To back up our real-life experience, we also conducted a special breathability test back in the lab. With a little bit of smoke-pumping magic, we can confirm our findings with the highest 5 out of 5 score for breathability.

See how easily the smoke is passing through the shoe's upper material! Like there is no fabric at all!

Test results
Cloudmonster 5
Average 3.8
Compared to 221 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Outsole hardness

From our experience, the hardness of rubber helps to determine whether or not the shoe's outsole is going to last.

And looking at the durometer measurement of the Cloudmonster (78.5 HC), it appears to be quite promising!

On Cloudmonster outsole hardness durometer

With the same firmness as the average road running shoe, we expect at least 300 miles from this outsole. To be realistic, we cannot anticipate anything above that mileage given the shoe's exposed foam sections.

Test results
Cloudmonster 78.5 HC
Average 80.4 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 272 running shoes
Number of shoes
54.9 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole thickness

Another reassuring fact about the Cloudmonster's outsole durability is its thickness.

Using a caliper, we measured the shoe's rubber pods at 3.7 mm. Slightly above the average, it means a little more rubber to wear through before it becomes unwearable.

On Cloudmonster outsole thickness

Test results
Cloudmonster 3.7 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 291 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

On average, max-cushion shoes weigh in at 289 grams or 10.2 ounces in US men's 9. However, the Cloudmonster is only 280 grams or 9.9 ounces despite its massive look and cushion.

This is one of the reasons why it felt rather easy to pick up the pace in this heavily cushioned shoe.

On-Cloudmonster-light

Test results
Cloudmonster 9.88 oz (280g)
Average 9.38 oz (266g)
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

With a monstrous amount of cushioning, it seems like On has made its own version of the Hoka Bondi! comfort. We did find a lot of similarities between the two shoes.

On Cloudmonster heel stack

Measuring the shoe's heel stack height, we got 34.9 mm. This is significantly higher than what's typical for On Cloud shoes (26.9 mm on average) and is also a little higher than the average of our lab-tested shoes (33 mm).

On-Cloudmonster-outdoor-heel-stack

Test results
Cloudmonster 34.9 mm
Average 33.6 mm
Compared to 291 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The shoe continues to be a monster in the forefoot too! With a stack height of 28.1 mm, it is 3.5 mm taller than average!

The Cloudmoster sure did make us feel elevated.

On Cloudmonster forefoot stack

Test results
Cloudmonster 28.1 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 291 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

According to the brand, the On Cloudmonster comes with a 6-mm heel-to-toe drop.

On Cloudmonster drop

Based on our own measurements, we found that to be almost true. The difference in our stack measurements shows that there is a 6.8 mm drop from the heel to the toes. Not too far from the official claim!

Test results
Cloudmonster 6.8 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 291 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The insole is moderately padded in this On running shoe. Measuring its thickness with a caliper, we got 3.4 mm.

On Cloudmonster insole

Test results
Cloudmonster 3.4 mm
Average 4.5 mm
Compared to 287 running shoes
Number of shoes
1.5 mm
Insole thickness
7.3 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

It's not your typical On running shoe that's firm. We believe that it's a massive step forward from the rigid and brick-like On shoes of the past. Simply, the brand has finally achieved what they've always promised the Cloudtec to be.

But let's not get our hopes up! The Cloudmonster is still far from being plush.

When you're looking to really slow it down, the Cloudmonster is still on the firmer side despite it being branded as On's version of the Nike Invincible Run. It is not the marshmallow ride you might expect to give your feet on a rest day.

Measuring the heel foam softness, our durometer showed 25.8 HA. And while it does come softer than the average On Cloud shoe (by 21%, yay!), the Cloudmonster still sits at the average of road running shoes.

Test results
Cloudmonster 25.8 HA
Average 21.4 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 219 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Ride

The shoe's rocker geometry also creates a nice and easy rolling sensation. To our delight, moving forward doesn't require too much effort because the shoe did it for us.

On-Cloudmonster-lightweight

All throughout our test run, we kept thinking that this must be the most responsive On running shoe yet! Its smooth heel-to-toe transitions are complemented by springy toe-offs which is very unusual for maximalist shoes. 

Stability

Lateral stability test

It is only natural to worry about stability when you're dealing with such a high-stacked shoe.

Given the fact that the Cloudmonster is a neutral trainer, meaning that it has no foot-guiding features, we found it to be stable enough. Especially when cornering or towards the end of the run. 

Torsional rigidity

Contributing to that sense of stability is the shoe's firm and moderately stiff midsole. Assessing its side-to-side stiffness in our manual test, we rated the shoe as 3 out of 5 (where 5 is the stiffest).

Test results
Cloudmonster 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 270 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter, on the other hand, has little-to-no rigidity to it. Pushing and squeezing it with our hands, we gave it the lowest possible score of 1 out of 5. It is as flexible as a heel counter can get!

This translates to very little ankle support at the back.

Test results
Cloudmonster 1
Average 2.8
Compared to 254 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Despite the shoe's titan-like stack, we never experienced any unwanted side-to-side movements. This is primarily thanks to the shoe's adequately wide base that provides planted steps.

Using a caliper, we measured the shoe's sole width in the widest part of the forefoot at 109.0 mm.

On Cloudmonster midsole width forefoot

Test results
Cloudmonster 109.0 mm
Average 113.6 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Meanwhile, in the widest part of the heel, our caliper showed 86.2 mm.

On-Cloudmonster-wide-base

As we can see, the Cloudmonster's platform is not wider than the average across road running shoes but it is broad enough to provide stability.

Test results
Cloudmonster 86.2 mm
Average 90.5 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Featuring such a high and substantial platform, it was no surprise that this On shoe turned out to be on the stiff side.

Using a force gauge, we measured how much force it takes to bend the Cloudmonster to a 90-degree angle. Turns out, it needed 34.4N which is 12% more than it takes a road shoe on average.

Test results
Cloudmonster 34.4N
Average 29.3N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 274 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Grip / Traction

The outsole grip of the On Cloudmonster is absolutely amazing for a road running shoe!

We are happy to report that it remained grippy on wet roads and also did excellently on gravel and hard-packed dirt sections of trails.

On-Cloudmonster-traction

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We think that for runners with narrow to medium-width feet, the toebox room is more than enough in the On Cloudmonster.

On-Cloudmonster-toebox

Checking the shoe's forefoot in its widest part, we got 97.3 mm which sits right at the average of road running shoes. However, the actual toe room can be a letdown for wide-footed runners. It is a bit shallow and tapered.

Unfortunately, this On shoe is not available in wide options so it's better to size up or try a different shoe. We recommend the Saucony Triumph 21 or the Nike InfinityRN 4. Both are insanely plush too!

Test results
Cloudmonster 97.3 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 292 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Lockdown

The shoe's generously padded collar holds the ankle nicely while allowing for some mobility. It's complemented by a fully-gusseted tongue (attached to the sides) to really lock the foot in place. 

On-Cloudmonster-fit

Additionally, the unconventional lace loops (eyelets) helped us achieve a perfect lockdown.

Comfort

Tongue padding

There is practically no padding in the shoe's tongue! Our caliper shows as little as 1 mm of thickness in this part of the upper.

On Cloudmonster tongue padding

While this is really helpful for keeping the shoe's weight down and breathability high, it could be a problem for those who those sensitive to lace bites.

Test results
Cloudmonster 1.0 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 289 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Misc

Style

The shoe's futuristic look really catches onlookers' eyes. If you choose to wear this shoe, get ready for some attention.

On-Cloudmonster-style

Price

Puts a dent in your wallet

The average maximalist trainer retails for $149. Meanwhile, the On Cloudmonster costs $170 a pair, which is a hefty price.

On-Cloudmonster-durability