Who should buy the On Cloudrunner

The Cloudrunner is a daily training shoe to consider if:

  • you are a beginner-to-intermediate runner
  • you run 20K or less at slower paces
  • you prefer firmer shoes with a more traditional feel
  • you need a touch of stability for tired feet with neutral pronation or mild overpronation
  • you want to double your running shoe for casual wear and some gym training

On-Cloudrunner-on-foot

Who should not buy this running shoe

Even though the shoe is put in the “Support” category of On shoes, it’s not a 100% stability shoe. So, if you need that good amount of arch support for flat feet and overpronation, try the On Cloudflyer. Or, if you are open to other brands, here are some of the top-rated pronation control shoes out there:

Quite a few runners also find the Cloudrunner too firm, dull, and lacking bounce. If that’s you, try the On Cloudmonster. It’s got more cushion (Helion foam) which is softer and noticeably more responsive and lighter. It also has a nice rocker feel to it and is a better option for long runs.

On-Cloudrunner-lab-review

Cloudrunner keeps the feet ventilated

As some runners pointed out, the breathability of the shoe is quite impressive for a heavier daily training shoe. Those who tested it in hot and humid conditions found the airy upper really helpful.

One of the most comfortable uppers from On

The shoe’s upper received the biggest amount of praise from the runners. They loved its comfy sensation coming from the plush but not overly thick padding which felt like velvet for some. “Fabulous step-in feel,” says a reviewer. The fact that 95% of the fabric is made of recycled materials makes it even more impressive.

On-Cloudrunner-comfortable-step-in

Another feature is the “particularly well-executed” tongue, as one reviewer described it. Even though it’s not gusseted, none of the wearers complained about it sliding or shifting. It also buffers the pressure from the laces on top of your foot very well.

Fact check

We were indeed surprised to find out that the Cloudrunner's tongue is two times thicker than the average! It is 10.1 mm compared to the typical 5.9 mm.

On-Cloudrunner-thick tongue

True to size and well-fitting

Most runners did not experience any issues going with their regular size in the Cloudrunner. But if you want to be on the safe side, check the brand’s size chart.

Once you put the shoe on, you get that “nice, gentle foothold without any tightness,” as one reviewer puts it. The heel is also kept locked down with a structured and well-padded heel counter.

On-Cloudrunner-heel-hold

Up front, there is “heaps of room,” according to the wearers. So, people with average-to-wide feet are sure to get enough toe space.

On-Cloudrunner-upper-width

Fact check

We measured the upper width in the forefoot to be 97.3 mm. It sits at the average among our lab-tested shoes (98.5 mm).

On-Cloudrunner-fit

Reflective elements

The On logo lights up when hit with light in the dark. This is helpful for those running early in the morning or late into the night.

Firm cushioning makes the ride not so inspiring

This is where the Cloudrunner lost a good number of experienced runners. Even with the fact that the shoe is meant as a daily cruiser, most testers still found it a miss:

  • “foam feels dull”
  • “Not an easy flowing ride”
  • “the shoe works against me”

Fact check

Showing 31.2 on the durometer, the shoe's foam is indeed firmer than the average (28.9). But it's not that much firmer, only by 7.4%.

On-Cloudrunner-midsole-firmness

They also highlighted that the shoe is not so smooth in transitioning from heel to toe. Nor there is any pop or explosive toe-off.

Many agreed that for the price, there are many more daily trainers that are softer, more responsive, and enjoyable for recovery runs, like Saucony Triumph.

On a lighter note, some runners didn’t think it was a disaster and found a sweet spot for the Cloudrunner in their shoe rotation: a daily trainer for short jogs that doubles for casual wear and even some gym workouts.

Light stability for moderate pronation

Despite being categorized as a stability shoe, many runners agree that it is more of a neutral trainer with minimal elements of stability. It offers guidance for mild cases of overpronation but is not too intrusive for neutral pronators.

The elements which add pronation control to the shoe are:

  • wider base with wider Speedboard (full-length plastic plate)
  • sidewalls on the lateral and medial sides (the latter are more substantial)
  • raised sidewall on the insole
  • denser CloudTec elements on the medial side
  • thicker and reinforced mesh on the inside
  • structured heel counter (heel hold and stability)

On-Cloudrunner-wide-sole

Fact check

The Cloudrunner has a slightly wider-than-average base in both the forefoot (2 mm wider) and the heel (0.4 mm wider). 

The touch of stability was appreciated by a good number of runners who say that “the cradle shape has been a game-changer,” “taking a lot of stress off my knees,” “the first pair of Ons that have felt truly secure in the heel for me.”

But do keep in mind that this shoe is less stable than the dedicated stability shoes.

Feels a touch heavy

Most runners weren’t very excited about the shoe’s cushioning-to-weight ratio. Especially given that the more cushioned On Cloudmonster manages to weigh 0.9 oz (26 g) lighter in a men’s US 9.

However, compared to other daily trainers with stability features, the Cloudrunner sits right at the average (10.6 oz / 300 g).

On-Cloudrunner-weight

Excellent grip on dry and wet surfaces

“This is an outsole made right!” exclaims one of the shoe testers. Runners agree that the Cloudrunner offers excellent grip on wet surfaces and is even adequate for light dry trails. Cornering in this shoe has never been a problem for them as there is plenty of grippy rubber in the high-impact areas.

Another great news is that this is probably the first On running shoe that doesn’t catch pebbles (the brand’s common shortcoming). As one expert says, “I removed ZERO rocks from the soles.” This is thanks to the shallower gully on the bottom.

On-Cloudrunner-grip

Swiss quality in the On Cloudrunner

Just like most shoes from the brand, the Cloudrunner features a high-quality design. The reviewers could feel its craftsmanship straight from the box. “You should get lots of life out of this shoe,” says one of the testers.

Those who have run over 30-50 miles in the shoe also report “no wear signs.”

On-Cloudrunner-quality

Attractive aesthetics

This aspect of the shoe has caught the attention of many people from the start. They are quite impressed with its overall silhouette, color options, and how it looks on the foot:

  • “spectacular aesthetics”
  • “hella clean”
  • “exquisite, it’s very modern and unique”

One runner mentioned that the gray and green colorway reminded them of Swiss glacial streams. The downside, however, is that it gets dirty easily after just a few runs on the pavement.

On-Cloudrunner-style

On continues sustainable policy in the Cloudrunner

Those who care about environmentally-friendly products are happy with the presence of recycled materials in the shoe. In total, they make up 30-35% of the shoe. The highest concentration is found in the upper (90-95%). The tongue, vamp, heel, and laces are all made with 100% recycled polyester.

On-Cloudrunner-lab-measurements

  On Cloudrunner Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 277 272
Drop (mm) 12.4 8.7
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 34.2 31.8
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 63.2 43.6
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 84.8 40.5%
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 3 3.4
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 3 3.4
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 10.1 5.9
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 97.3 98.5
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 74.7 75.8
Lace Stretch (1-5 scale, 5 being the most stretchy) 3 2.6
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 2 2.9
Tongue: gusset type none -
Heel: pull tab none -
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 113.8 111.8
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 89.1 88.7
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 20.9 24.1
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 33.3 32.7
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 31.2 28.9
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 3.0 3.5
Lugs Depth (mm) - -
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 75.0 80.5
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 4.6 4.6
Insole: removable yes -

Facts / Specs

Terrain: Road
Weight: Men 10.6oz / Women 8.8oz
Drop: Men 9mm
Arch support: Stability
Forefoot height: Men 19.5mm
Heel height: Men 28.5mm
Pronation: Overpronation

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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.