|Weight:||Men: 10.2oz | Women: 8.5oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 7mm | Women: 7mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Midfoot strike|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Release date:||Feb 2019|
|Width:||Men: Narrow, Normal | Women: Normal|
|Colorways:||Beige, Black, Blue, Green, Grey, Multi, Pink, Purple, Red|
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83 / 100 based on 17 expert reviews
On Cloudswift - Definitely surprising, but in a good or a bad way?More photos
I’ve never ran in a shoe by On Running before. I had never even tried on a pair of their shoes before. But I did see a lot of runners, and hikers, in their shoes and I got curious (like always).
I wasn’t sure which On Running model would be the best fit for me, but when they launched the new On Cloudswift and said that it had a new kind of Superfoam and offered road protection, I had to try it.
The On Cloudswift is a neutral everyday running shoe, with a 7 mm drop. It is quite a light shoe and comes in around 240 grams.
On doesn’t provide any information on the stack height and it’s always a bit difficult to measure, because where exactly do you measure and what is included in the sole and what are just additions that do not influence the stack height? But I’m estimating that it has a forefoot stack height of 22 mm and a heel height of 29 mm.
My first thought when I opened the box was: “I now understand why On Running shoes are so expensive.” Everything about it looks fancy.
Even your receipt comes in a fancy envelope, instead of them just chucking it in the box. And I also got a free bag with my order. The shoes look well thought through, and even the insole looks fancy with it’s two different materials.
And as if that isn’t enough, they’ve printed “Put me ON” on the end of the laces.
Although I’m not entirely sure why I was that surprised about the quality, it’s Swiss engineering after all, which they’ve printed on the heel counter together with a Swiss flag, just to remind you. But the surprises didn’t end there.
The upper of this shoe is made up out of one piece of engineered mesh.
I’m not a huge fan of one-piece uppers. Although they are often quite comfortable, they are harder to adjust to the shape of your foot due to being one single piece. That means there mostly isn’t a way to really adjust the laces and change the fit.
The laces are also really thin and do come undone easily while running.
But it won’t be easy to swap the laces, because of the loops at the front which aren’t that wide. There also isn’t an extra eyelet to put the laces through.
To give the shoe a bit more stability, it has two bands running over the midfoot made from stretchy thermoplastic polyurethane. Sometimes overlays just create hotspots, but since these are stretchy, they are actually quite comfortable.
There is an internal heel counter as well as an external band running along the top of the heel cup.
On Running is known for its innovative midsoles. Like all the shoes made by On, the Cloudswift has the Cloudtec midsole with the cloud pods. What is different about the Cloudswift compared to the other On running shoes is that it has Helion super foam to provide more cushioning.
The Cloudswift has a rocker shape, and before I tried this shoe, I assumed all rocker shapes were the same. But apparently, I was wrong.
I’m a fan of rocker shapes; it makes it easier to make that heel to toe transition. And I’m a fan of the rocker shape in the Skechers GoTrail Ultra 4, but somehow the rocker shape on the On Cloudswift isn’t the same.
It is not as easy to toe-off in, and it seems to me like it just makes me roll back onto my heel while I’m trying to toe-off. I don’t know if that is because of the difference in drop, or because the On midsole is firmer, or because the curve is different.
The outsole of the On Cloudswift is partially made out of rubber. The pods on the front of the shoe are covered with rubber and some of the pods in the heel area as well.
The pods underneath the midfoot don’t have any rubber on them. However, the shoe doesn’t have great traction on wet surfaces, despite the rubber being there.
The words “superior cushioning” are words that make me happy. I like cushioning, and a lot of it. So, imagine my surprise when I put on the Cloudswift and the words “superior cushioning” didn’t come to mind at all.
On Running has the slogan: Running on clouds. I personally imagined a soft and plush feel, because that’s what I imagined running on clouds would feel like. But I got everything except that.
The ride was way firmer than I had expected. But I assumed they just needed some breaking in. But after 50 miles in this shoe, the firmness doesn’t seem to have changed.
The ride on the road was too firm for me, so I switched to easy trail. That was more comfortable, but I managed to pick up several small pine cones in the first two minutes on the trail.
And even on the road, I managed to easily pick up some small rocks and twigs. This is a well-known problem with the On Running shoes but is also something they claim they’ve fixed by changing the curve of the flex grooves on the outsole.
I really like the look of this shoe, and I also like the colorway, which isn’t a color you see very often in running shoes. But the marketing of this shoe didn’t seem to match the experience I had in them. It was a much firmer ride than I had expected and didn’t protect as well against the hard landing on road surfaces as I had imagined.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
Smooth running with the On CloudswiftMore photos
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of On Running, and have a whole collection of their shoes at this point.
My absolute favourite is the Cloudflow—the fastest, most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. Being a self-confessed On fanatic, I naturally jumped at the chance to try out the Cloudswift!
That being said, this stable, 7mm-drop road shoe is still a shoe with several strengths. On had just set the bar very high indeed, leaving me a bit disappointed in this model. Let’s take a closer look.
I think the best thing about this shoe is its look. The design, as is invariably the case with On shoes, is impeccable.
This shoe is stylish. The designers clearly pay attention to every little detail. I’ve received numerous compliments on the Cloudswift.
The Cloudswift runs true to size. The upper remains breathable, despite having more bulk than I’ve come to expect from the brand.
The laces are a good length and stay tied. However, the laces attach to a cage that wraps your midfoot. This creates a disconnection between adjusting the tension around the front and middle of your foot.
The cage also has more give than I expected, which makes it hard to achieve a secure fit that I prefer. During longer runs, I stop once or twice to readjust.
At least you can tuck the laces into the cage, which helps to keep them tied and looks tidy, too. The tongue is part of the shoe, making this sock-like shoe a little harder to put on but very comfortable once you’re in!
The Cloudswift has moderate cushioning which On calls “soft,” but this is not a plush shoe. Something that On has previously excelled at, is creating a shoe that offers firm support for push-off but cushioning for landing. But I am not impressed by the new Helion “superfoam” that this shoe boasts.
Helion is a combination of flexible and rigid foam. It is intended to offer, in On’s words, “explosive energy return,” but I'm not feeling it. To me, this shoe feels pretty lifeless underfoot.
To give you some context, I am a lightweight, mid- or even forefoot striker, so perhaps a heel striker and/or someone heavier would have a better experience. I expected more cushioning from the Cloudswift, but to me, the Cloudflow provides a much more comfortable experience.
The Cloudflow offers a considerably faster and more enjoyable ride. I am slightly mystified by this shoe.
The Cloudswift is not quite neutral, not quite a stability shoe…it lies somewhere in between. Another thing that baffles me is that this shoe has a Speedboard, designed to enhance forward propulsion, yet I do not feel its effect like I do in other models.
I am, though, looking forward to testing this shoe in the winter, as the Helion is designed to withstand extremes of temperature. The cushioning of many, if not most, running shoes can suffer in the cold.
The outsole seems durable and offers a good grip. This shoe is fine in wet conditions.
Compared to the Cloudflow, this is a heavier shoe with more bulk to the design. I love the minimalist style of many On models, but this one has a large heel and is almost clompy to walk around in. I just don’t get that same flying feeling.
Gravel and little pinecones, stones, and sticks get stuck between the pods easily. The central groove in the heel is the most common place to get things lodged.
On has apparently changed their Cloudtec a little to reduce this issue, particularly in the forefoot area. However, I would still only recommend this shoe for asphalt roads or other smooth surfaces. Definitely keep it away from the trails.
For short, fast workouts or races, this feels like too much shoe. But for middle or longer road distances, this could be the shoe for you. On recommend this shoe for “5k or short-medium runs,” for which I would definitely point toward the livelier Cloudflow.
- High quality
- Comfortable fit
- Lack of energy return makes this a slower shoe
- Things may get stuck in the sole, depending on the running surface
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
The On Cloudswift is now my go-to road running shoe for speedwork and racking up weekly road miles.
Ireally like this shoe. It's comfortable.
- The On Cloudswift is a daily running shoe that’s meant to be used for urban adventures. The silhouette has a sporty design that’s prevalent in most modern-day performance footwear. Cloth-like mesh offers a soft and breathable coverage while various overlays add more oomph to the overall quality of the façade’s embrace. A sock-like feel given by a one-piece opening ensures extra snugness.
- Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the unique On Running midsole configuration. A traditional platform still serves as the main resting surface of the foot, but it’s buttressed by CloudTec® elements, pillow-like nodes with hollow centers that heighten the responsiveness of the midsole while also contributing to the traction capacity of the outsole, especially since its bottom is a part of the external pad.
The On Cloudswift was designed to follow the regular sizing expectations of people. The standard measurements used to create this shoe accommodate the typical choices of consumers when it comes to length.
The width options are as follows: D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women. These profiles welcome the feet that have low or medium volumes.
The curved lasting board works with the form-fitting upper unit to let the natural curvature of the foot to acclimatize well to the in-shoe experience.
CloudTec® is a set of pillow-like segments that make up the bottom part of the On Cloudswift’s midsole. These rounded yet isolated pieces of foam tech have a spongy construction which is meant to receive the brunt of the landing impact, giving runners well-attenuated foot-strikes and enabled takeoff.
The contact points of the forefoot and heel are covered by rubber. This compound is designed to protect against wear-and-tear while also bringing improved traction over the surfaces.
The CloudTec® elements are stable accoutrements in On’s offerings. The lightness of these mallow-shaped protuberances evokes the feeling of walking on ‘clouds.’ The spaces between the elements are meant to amplify the inherent flexibility of the foot.
The Helion™ super foam is On’s answer to the most popular cushioning technologies in the market. This feature is configured to give a springy and long-lasting performance.
A padded insole brings extra cushioning for the underfoot. It has curved edges to steady the arch and the heel.
The upper unit of the On Cloudswift is comprised of engineered mesh. This textile has a cloth-like quality which allows it to follow the shape and movement of the foot while maintaining a perceptible lightness. Breathing holes permit environmental air into the foot chamber, thus upholding a cool and dry ride.
The one-piece opening of the façade is made of a seamless fabric that wraps around the foot and keeps it in place. The lack of unnecessary seams and stitching enable the runner to wear this neutral running shoe without socks.
The forefoot and the sides have printed overlays to protect against tears and abrasive road debris.
Mechanical side-bands made of stretchy thermoplastic polyurethane hold the lateral and medial sides of the foot. The shoelaces go through eyelets at its tip, allowing the fit-adjustment method to be precise. These panels also have pockets in which to keep the extra length of the laces.
A molded cap reinforces the back of the façade, allowing it to hug the heel of the foot and preventing it from quivering during the run or exiting the in-shoe chamber unceremoniously.