Summary

We spent 6.5 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The width profile of the On Cloudstratus has received positive feedback from those who have worn it.
  • Several testers claim that the asymmetrical lacing system removed pressure from the forefoot section, thereby freeing the joints for agreeable motion.
  • The underfoot cushioning system feels durable and dutifully responsive, according to a handful of runners.
  • Based on some reviews, the performance of the platform is reliable and energizing.
  • The traction capacity of the outsole has gained some praise from those who welcome precise movements over the asphalt.

2 reasons not to buy

  • The facade of this running shoe apparently looks a bit bulky, according to several consumers.
  • A tester has reported that the collar of this product presents a tendency to rub against the skin uncomfortably.

Bottom line

The overall response towards the On Cloudstratus has been very positive. The focus of the praise is the upper unit and the midsole, both of which are apparently are efficient at maintaining a performance that is desirable. The width profile and the traction-ready outsole have also received approval from consumers. On the other hand, criticism is directed towards the irritating collar and the bulky silhouette.

Fans of stability running shoes and those who like to take to the roads are the ones who are likely to enjoy this performance footwear.

Facts

Terrain: Road, Treadmill
Arch support: Stability
Weight: Men: 11.1oz | Women: 9.7oz
Heel to toe drop: Men: 8mm | Women: 8mm
Fit: Medium forefoot, Medium heel, Medium toe box
Pronation: Overpronation
Arch type: Medium arch
Use: All-day wear | Jogging
Material: Mesh upper, Rubber sole
Features: Breathable | Cushioned | Comfortable
Strike Pattern: Midfoot strike
Foot Condition: Bunions
Distance: Daily running | Long distance | Marathon
Heel height: Men: 28mm | Women: 28mm
Forefoot height: Men: 20mm | Women: 20mm
Release date: Jun 2019
Brand: On
Type: Heavy | Big guy | Low drop
Width: Men: Normal | Women: Normal
Price: $170
Colorways: Black, Blue, Multi, Orange, White
Size
Small True to size Large
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy
Flexibility
Stiff Flexible
Breathability
Warm Breathable
Cushioning
Firm Plush
Durability 8/10
Comfort 8/10
Traction 7/10
See more facts

Expert Reviews

Experts are runners, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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81 / 100 based on 18 expert reviews

  • 84 / 100 | Samuel Chua

    ON CloudStratus - Reach for the skies, but the clouds are the limit

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    On Running. I love a company that is not afraid to try new and different things. Their shoes have always intrigued me with their unique designs and fancy looks. However, It has been a brand that has not impressed me, and yet I try their new offerings in hopes that they get it right.

    The On CloudStratus is a huge improvement from the company, but On Running must take some serious considerations from consumer feedback to keep up with the other running brands.

     

    Weight: 305grams/10.76oz           Heel-to-toe Drop: 8mm          Category: Stability

    Upper

    A soft and breathable engineered mesh upper is used. There is an orange mesh layer in the toe box to help with upper durability while maintaining its breathable nature.

    The toe box is reinforced, which helps maintain the structure of the shoe.

     

     

    An additional reinforced mesh layer is used to wrap the medial and lateral side of the foot like a burrito. This helps with securing the foot by providing a comfortable yet snug fit.

    Thoughts

    Finally! On got it right this time. I absolutely LOVE the upper! It has one of the best uppers that I’ve tried on to date. The toe box is not shallow, nor is it narrow like the rest of the On line-up.

    I really enjoyed the form-fitting upper and had no need for any breaking in whatsoever. The excessive cushion in the interior of the shoes that exist in most daily trainers is not found here.

    On manages to get the amount of padding just right. The shoe remained well ventilated and dissipated heat well even at temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius. This is the first time that I have zero complaints on the upper of a shoe. Just perfect!

     

    Lacing

    A star-lacing configuration is utilized. I did not find any difference in the fit other than the fact that it looked unique. I am unable to tell if it really helps, but it seems gimmicky to me.

     

     

    Three additional lace holes are available if the user wants a customized and more locked down fit. Personally, I found the standard lacing enough for lockdown.

     

    Heel cup & ankle collar

    The ankle collar has just the right amount of padding. This made the shoe feel plush and comfortable without feeling like too much shoe.

     

     

    An external heel cup is used in the shoe. I noticed that the heel cup is higher on the medial side.

    This is intentionally designed to increase stability. It was not noticeable and did not affect the comfort of the shoe.

    Tongue

    The tongue is well padded and prevents any lacing pressure.

     

     

    I like that it's attached to the upper, which prevents any side to side slippage.

     

    Insole

    The insole is ribbed on the medial side where the arch is. This is intentionally designed to allow consumers to be aware of their running form when it begins to be sloppy at the later stages of a run.

    However, this was designed with the neutral runner in mind. As to how it works, the ribbed area will be felt if the arch of the foot encounters it.

     

     

    At the later stages of a run, when form starts to get sloppy, overpronation will occur more often, and the runner will then be able to feel the ribbed portion. This acts as feedback for the runner to focus on his form.

    I found the design to be interesting but sadly unhelpful as I felt the ribbed portion the moment I put my feet into the shoe. It may work for others, but not for me.

    Sizing & fit

    The CloudStratus fits true to size. It accommodates my wide foot well.

    I had problems with almost all the shoes from the On line up, but On seemed to have widened the toe box in this one. The improved fit allowed for my toes to splay without any pressure points.

     

    Midsole technology & the ride

    Cloudtec Elements

    An additional layer of Cloudtec Elements that run from the heel to the midfoot. The Cloudtec elements are designed to compress upon impact to provide for a softer landing.

     

     

    Helion Foam

    ‘Helion’ is a brand-new midsole compound that claims to be lighter, temperature resistant, durable, and bouncier than any previous cushioning setup On has used in the past.

     

     

    Speedboard

    A thin plastic board that runs just below the insole to facilitate a more directed, snappy, and responsive ride.

     

    Thoughts

    The shoe rides FIRM. I expected a bouncy and plush ride from the new ‘Helion’ midsole and added a layer of cloud elements.

    With incredible new midsole technology such as Nike React and ZoomX, New Balance FuelCell, and Skechers Hyperburst, I was deeply excited about whether ‘Helion’ would deliver a similarly enjoyable experience.

    I was sorely disappointed. Throwback maybe 5 years, and this would have been one of the best shoes in the market. Its time for On Running to move on with the times and keep up with the competition.

    The midsole probably the softest offering for On Running but is still considerably firm. Even Mizuno, known for its plastic wave plates and firm midsoles, has ditched their wave plate in their newest offering: ‘Sky Waveknit 3’ and added a new polyurethane cushioning.

     

     

    To the touch, the Helion foam hardly had any give. Other foams like Saucony’s Everun, and the few abovementioned foams all had a certain level of ‘squishy’ characteristics when I pressed them. I thought, ‘Maybe the Cloudtec elements will allow for a softer ride while running in them.’

    On foot, the CloudStratus felt firm but very stable and protective. However, the CloudTec elements provided a little effect of softening the ride.

    The ride seemed to soften a little after roughly 30km in them but far from ‘Running on Clouds.’ If any representative of On Running is reading this review, please, soften the midsole. I am unable to use the shoes on recovery runs as they are just too firm.

    The next issue I found was with the Speedboard. The plastic speedboard is placed too close to the foot, with only an insole separating it.

    I used the same analogy in previous reviews of On shoes: Placing a bed on top of the wooden plank is softer than if it were the other way around.

    It seems like a plate is necessary to stabilize the Cloudtec elements. If that were the case, a suggestion would be to sandwich the plate in between the top and bottom elements, akin to the Nike Vaporfly 4%/Nike Zoom Fly 3/Hoka Carbon X.

    Another suggestion could be to add a thin layer of Helion with a softer durometer above the speedboard and have the Cloudtec elements remain as it is. The ride may be greatly improved while maintaining the stability of the elements.

     

     

    That said, the firmness of the shoe may appeal to those looking for a firmer ride. I found the CloudStratus to run quite smoothly at steady paces during easy days where I felt fresh.

    I especially enjoyed them on progression runs, where I increased my pace slightly towards the end of the run. The ride, although firm, is well cushioned and is not in any sense jarring. Vibration dampening is decent, as well.

    Outsole & durability

    Technology

    The outsole uses durable black rubber patches that cover all but the medial part of the shoe. The rubber patches are cut laterally to specifically increase grip when moving forward.

     

    Thoughts

    The outsole has a decent grip. I have not slipped in the shoe even while running after a short thunderstorm.

    I only experienced mild slippage when I picked up the pace on a wet surface. The outsole has great durability and shows little wear after 80km.

     

     

    However, I feel that the traction pattern of the outsole rubber could be improved. Also, using the outsole rubber of a softer durometer could further increase grip while enhancing the ride experience.

     

    Types of workouts

    The On CloudStratus can be used for a variety of paces. It is best used for easy to up-tempo paces (up to half-marathon race pace).

     

    Pros

    • Firm but protective cushioning
    • Smooth transition from heel to toe
    • Most comfortable upper to date from On Running

    Cons

    • Helion is a very firm midsole material
    • The plastic speedboard and the foot is separated merely by an insole, further firming up the ride
    • Leaning towards the heavy side (>300grams)

    Areas of improvement

    • Softer Midsole foam
    • Change of placement of Speedboard
    • Thicker Laces

     

    Comparisons

    On CloudStratus vs. New Balance Fuelcell Propel

    The Fuelcell Propel is lighter and much softer than the firm CloudStratus. The CloudStratus, however, has a superior upper.

    Put the upper of the CloudStratus and the fuelcell midsole of the Propel, and you’ve got yourself a beast of a shoe. The Fuelcell Propel is $110SGD cheaper and has a higher versatility. I’d stick with the Fuelcell Propel.

    On CloudStratus vs. Nike Pegasus Turbo 2

    At 220grams, the Pegasus Turbo 2 is much lighter than the CloudStratus and yet offers cushioning that is both softer and more substantial.

    The upper of the CloudStratus feels plusher and more structured. The Pegasus Turbo 2, on the other hand, has an upper that is more form-fitting and breathable while being thinner. Both shoes are similarly priced.

    With my preference towards a softer ride, I would go for the Pegasus Turbo 2.

    On CloudStratus vs. Asics Kayano 26

    The Asics Kayano line has one of the highest popularity ratings when it comes to daily trainers in the market. With both shoes in the same price range and serving the same purpose, I found it fitting to compare a new market offering with a product that went through 26 versions.

    The CloudStratus is wider and has a noticeably, more comfortable upper. The Asics Kayano is slightly softer but feels clunky in comparison. I’d rather opt for the superior ride and upper construction of the CloudStratus.

    Conclusion

    The On CloudStratus is a firm but protective daily trainer with an excellent upper and an attractive look. Despite being the best On shoe to date, there are necessary improvements that have to be made to keep up in the rapidly growing market of super-foams.

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | Ziv Madover

    On Cloudstratus - The hole in the sole

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    On Cloudstratus shoes are my first On shoes. I was very excited to get these new pair of shoes after being a Nike fan for a very long time.

    I used Nike shoes for all races and training as I felt they were the perfect fit for me. Why then try something new?

    I was very tempted by the design and looks of the On’s, and additionally, one needs to build himself new challenges and excitements when doing sports, Otherwise, one’s passion for the sport may decline.

    As expected, unboxing the shoes was exiting. From the outside, the box is black and solid, but the inside brings you into the atmosphere of the clouds. The print of the inner side has clouds all over.

     

     

    The shoes have a distinct sole design. The sole has diametric holes from side to side. I’m sure that the hollow areas across the sole are big saving in the weight of the shoe.

    The compensation to that hollow area and missing material support is a hard and durable substance on the lower side of the sole. This material probably would have added extra weight to the shoe.

     

     

    One can spot the distinct design of this shoe in every aspect. The lace holes are not your ordinary layout format. Looking at the two lower lace holders, they seem to have been extended forward to the front side of the shoe.

    On the contrary, the other two holes are small knitted loops, which remind me a bit of the Nike Flywire technology. They are placed far below the area that is commonly used on most other running shoes. All other holes have a parallel laid out of high and low that allows one to use many tie combinations.

    Shoelaces are very thin and narrow. In the box, I have received an extra pair in black color aside from the black and white laces on the shoes themselves. This is a thoughtful gesture.

    Don’t let the thin and narrow looks deceive you. The laces are extra strong and hold the shoe in place tight and firm.

    A great thing about them is the fact that they do not tend to open during the run. I think Nike should adopt this technology as what annoyed me mostly with Nike was their poor shoelaces.

     

     

    I usually wear a size 11, but I found that this size on the On is a bit big. My feet had a feeling they were moving around the shoe freely, but I thought I may give them an additional chance running long runs were feet tend to expand.

    The shoe is built up from different mesh variations, in the front, soft and breathing material, while the mid shoe mesh is strong and supportive. The back area of the shoe is a plastic shell, not common to road running but more to trail running shoes.

    The front and mid mesh are connected by a narrow flexible plastic stitch band. This band caused a blister on my small toe on the first tryouts. I’m hoping this section will soften once I break the shoes after some more use.

    The first run with the shoes was on a gym running machine. As it is not a true environmental road test, I can only report that after a 10km run, I felt my feet were fresh.

    I did decide to try and change the lace tie format to give the shoe a better hold of my foot. My next challenge was using them on my regular training street runs. I have also decided to challenge them with a bit of terrain running.

     

     

    Concluding the first 100km with the Ons, I can report that the shoes still look as new. There is no obvious tear or damage to the mesh or sole. Cleaning the mesh after a run on a dusty road was easy and left no marks.

    I am a mid-foot striker. This model does not spoil the mid-foot strikers. The sole is stiff and hard. I felt every step thru out my leg. When trying to step striking the heel (back foot strike), I felt the cushion of the sole at its best, soft and supporting.

    On the contrary to what one can conclude, I did not feel my feet were tired after a 10 or 15 k run; However, I did not enjoy the run with them as much as I enjoy running with a soft cushioned sole.

    Running on a wet surface: Traction is good and stable.

    Weather effect: The shoe has a very good heat deployment while running in hot weather. However, on cold days, I could feel the cold wind entering from every side of the shoe and could not keep the feet at the right temperature, causing blood flow issues.

     

     

    Off-road trail running: Nice surprise! The shoe has a good grip with gravel and minor rocky trails. The sharp rocks did not penetrate thru sole, and I felt secured all thru out the trail.

    The plastic cover on the rear back of the shoe is a protective armor and holds the heel stiff. The shoes are responsive and firm. The down is that the sole tends to catch small stones in its mid “tunnel”, clicking all the way until removed.

    Facts

    Highlights

    1. Exceptional design
    2. Tie system
    3. Shoelaces
    4. High-quality material

     

    Conclusions

    1. Sole: 85/100
    2. Mesh materials: 96/100
    3. Lace: 100/100
    4. Looks: 97/100

    This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.

  • 90 / 100 | Mark Wood | Level 3 expert

    The On Cloudstratus, to me, is still one of the top 5 shoes of 2019.

  • 90 / 100 | Vancouver Running Co. | | Level 2 expert

    It's not the type of shoe I would normally run in. I loved it!

Become an expert

- The Cloudstratus is a product that’s designed for the roads. Unlike other On running shoes, this model has a midsole that is significantly thick. The CloudTec® elements that make up the signature cushioning system now have two layers and they run from the midfoot to the heel. A Speedboard™ layer bolsters the push-off ability of the midsole, further energizing each step.

- Providing a secure yet accommodating wrap is an asymmetrical mesh. This curved and stretchy material mimics the natural motion of the foot. It is even accompanied by a set of laces that snake through discreet and well-spaced eyelets, Such a design prevents hot spots and permits the normal swelling of the foot as it accesses the gait cycle.

The On Cloudstratus was created using the standard sizing scheme. Runners are welcome to get a pair using their usual sizing expectations. However, it is worth noting that testing the shoe from brick and mortar stores and getting ahold of user reviews from online sites can help with the attainment of a comfortable in-shoe experience.

When it comes to width, the available options are D - Medium and B - Medium for men and women, respectively. Those with low or medium foot dimensions are the ones who are going to acclimate well inside the compartment of this product.

The outsole unit of the On Cloudstratus is made of CloudTec® rubber. This external layer encompasses the contact points of the forefoot, lateral midfoot and heel, ensuring protection from abrasion as the foot transitions through the gait cycle. The naturally grippy nature of rubber accommodates precise movements, particularly when braking, strafing or swerving.

The unique pod-like structure of this product’s cushioning system gives rise to the presence of flex grooves. These deep trenches make the platform as flexible as possible, thereby allowing the natural flexibility of the foot to take its course through the movement cycle. The toe-off phase is the part of the step that benefits the most from such a feature because it involves the bending of the toe joints and tendons.

Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the CloudTec® platform. This technology runs the entire length of the On Cloudstratus, supporting the whole of the foot and keeping it from impact shock. While there is a topsole that welcomes the outline of the foot, the highlight of the CloudTec® is the pod-like elements that grace the very bottom of it. These nodes are meant to provide targeted protection from impact and promote energized takeoffs. It now has a dual-layer design (from the midfoot to the heel) to put some emphasis on a strong and unrelenting cushioning capacity.

The entire midsole is made of Helion™, a Swiss-engineered foam that is meant to enhance the performance of the wearer without sacrificing flexibility or the weight of the shoe. It aims to attenuate impact shock during the striking phase, return energy to the foot during the toe-off, and retain its structure, even when exposed to the changing temperatures of the outdoors.

An arch-ribbed sockliner is placed right on top of the primary cushioning system. This add-on offers a bit of extra oomph to the underfoot experience. It has a raised medial midfoot portion to buttress the arch, thus keeping it from buckling at any point during the run.

The upper unit of the On Cloudstratus is made of mesh that has been engineered to follow the anatomical shape and movement capacity of the human foot. It has a slightly convex ceiling to reduce pressure on the bridge of the foot. It also has a rounded forefoot section to encourage the natural splaying of the toes. Minute breathing holes let environmental air inside the foot-chamber, thus maintaining a cool and dry wrap.

The overlay system is made of an amalgamation of fused synthetic sheets, a wraparound midfoot panel that covers both the lateral and medial sides, and stitch-reinforcements. All these kinds of overlays have the job of preventing in-compartment wobbling and accidental shoe removals.

The lacing system is the traditional loop-and-tie configuration, but the eyelet placement is made up of the star configuration, which means that there are plenty of asymmetrical, discreet eyelets on the instep (to allow for custom spacing of the zigzag shoelaces), and a couple of stretchy cords on the vamp (for toe joint flexibility and fit adjustment on the front of the upper unit).

The lightly padded collar and tongue are tasked with cushioning the Achilles tendon, the ankles, and the bridge of the foot.

The ‘ON’ logos that adorn the silhouette provide brand recognition. Each of these symbols has a reflective coat that makes the shoe more visible in low-light. All of On’s running shoes have this feature, including the original model, the venerable On Cloud.

Comparison

Author
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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.

jens@runrepeat.com