On Cloudsurfer review
The Cloudsurfer works well for anyone who wants a trainer they can grind long runs in. Being sufficiently cushioned, most people who have been running in traditional running shoes would not have much problem transitioning over to the Cloudsurfer.
One of the main differences one may notice when they start running in the shoe is the ride. Compared to more traditional running shoes, the Cloudsurfer feels springy due to the high rebound rubber pods found on the outsole that feels weird yet nice.
Stretchy, breathable upper
One of the things that I noticed when I first wore the shoe is the upper. The upper is made up of 2 layers of mesh that have no overlays which allow the foot to move naturally as it is so soft. The upper accommodates my foot well and is both stretchy and breathable.
Having a wider foot, the upper was stretchy enough that it can accommodate my wider foot without it being too tight. During longer runs, the stretchy upper allows my foot to move with a little restriction that helps improve overall comfort.
The upper on the Cloudsurfer is also relatively breathable for a trainer. With the upper having plenty of ventilation holes, the shoe helps my foot stay cool on longer runs. For runners who run in warmer weather, this would be highly appreciated as the shoe wicks sweat fast.
Something else I like about the upper is the tongue. The tongue is made up of a thin piece of fabric to help save weight and has plenty of ventilation holes to help keep the shoe breathable. Although the fabric is thin, it does not fold over on the foot and stays in place.
Perfect for sharp turns
Although the shoe lacks welded overlays, it does not compromise the fit. The lockdown is good, and my foot does not move much when I corner sharp turns.
Not for wide feet
One thing that runners should note is that this shoe is a bit tighter at the forefoot and the fit can feel a bit narrow for people with wider feet. For runners with wide feet, I would advise to go half a size up to help accommodate the slimmer fit.
Impressive build quality in the Cloudsurfer
Anyone who picks the shoe up will notice one thing for sure which is the build quality. The build quality definitely feels like they are Swiss engineered. The shoe is rugged and can be expected to withstand what most casual runners can throw at it. After running in it for about a month, there is minimal wear on the shoe.
The Cloudsurfer is enjoyable on easier runs
I am kind of on the fence when it comes to the ride of the shoes as I kind of like and dislike the ride at the same time.
The ride on the Cloudsurfer is not meant for me from my experiences running in them. They are just a little too responsive for my liking as a daily trainer. For runners who want a shoe to change into after a hard workout for their cooldowns, the Cloudsurfer would not be a very good choice as it is just so hard and stiff.
Compared to other trainers I regularly use such as the Saucony Freedom, the Cloudsurfer is just in a class of its own in terms of responsiveness. For the cloud technology used, I feel that it is a unique experience that is quite enjoyable on easier runs.
When used for harder long runs where I need a shoe to be reliable and consistent in terms of the experience it gives me, the Cloudsurfer kind of fails. During the first half of runs, the responsiveness feels good, but as time passes the ride gets sloppy as my form breaks down. I feel that when I run in the shoe, I have to pay particular attention to my form to get the most out of them.
I'm not happy with the design
I am not a fan of the design of the shoes. I personally feel that they look weird. The clouds and the whole design make them look like a pair of hiking shoes.
One of the things I dislike most about the design is the clouds. When running, they collect debris especially when I run on gravel.
Break-in period (20km)
Breaking in the shoes was not exactly pleasant. The time it took to break in the shoe was long and uncomfortable. After 20km, the shoes felt better, and running in them became a more pleasant experience.
Traction: not bad but not outstanding
The traction on the shoe is not exactly bad, but neither is it outstanding. The shoe performs decently on both wet and dry surfaces but struggles a little when there is a lot of mud.