Our verdict

The Cloudgo from On Running is a daily trainer that's ready to shift gears when we want to take it easy or go faster on the road. It's light, responsive, and smooth-rolling; getting to our next stride isn't a task. And if you want something that's environmentally friendly, the On Cloudgo boasts sustainability and good looks.

Pros

  • Fun at high speeds
  • Smooth ride
  • Pleasantly lightweight
  • Good stability
  • Plush padding
  • Accommodating toebox
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Grippy outsole
  • Comfortable for walking
  • Sustainable and stylish design

Cons

  • Too firm for longer runs
  • Average at best breathability
  • Upper durability could be better

Audience verdict

89
Great!

Who should buy

We recommend the Cloudgo as a good choice for: 

  • Casual and/or advanced runners who prioritise comfort in their daily trainers 
  • Runners who want a speedy shoe that isn’t stiff
  • Runners who need a neutral/stable shoe that offsets pronating strides. 
  • Those looking for a road shoe that’s comfy and stylish enough for walking around town

On Cloudgo 1

Who should NOT buy

The Cloudgo’s midsole is too firm to comfortably facilitate long-distance efforts. Instead, we recommend the On Cloudmonster which provides more impact protection for longer runs. 

The Cloudgo is quite a toasty ride, so for runners in hot climates or prone to sweaty feet, we suggest looking at the more breathable Saucony Triumph 20 instead.

On Cloudgo cut up

Breathability

As our smoke test demonstrates, the Cloudgo’s breathability is less than impressive. While the smoke is able to escape pretty evenly throughout the upper, it vents slowly and in thin wisps which implies that a fair amount of heat remains trapped in the shoe. This performance earns the Cloudgo a breathability score of 3 out of 5. 

For a shoe that scores a perfect 5 out of 5 for breathability, check out how the Saucony Triumph 20 performed in the same smoke test.

Inspecting a backlit cross-section of the upper explains the shoe’s lackluster breathability.  Very little light shines through the Cloudgo’s dense upper mesh, especially at the reinforced sections around the tongue and towards the rearfoot. 

Our microscope provides further explanation for the shoe’s toasty nature. The upper mesh is made up of tightly woven braids with minimal gaps for airflow.

On Cloudgo micro 1

On Cloudgo micro 2

Test results
Cloudgo 3
Average 3.8
Compared to 210 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

The Cloudgo’s toebox might be comfy, but it sure isn’t durable. We tested this by applying our dremel to the shoe at 10K RPM with a force of 3.2N for four seconds. The tool’s grinding element eased its way through the upper material like a hot knife through butter and left a large, gaping hole in its wake once the test was over. This leads us to give the Cloudgo’s toebox a score of 1 out of 5 for durability. 

On Cloudgo Toebox durability

For comparison, look at how the On Cloudswift 3 fared after the same test.

Test results
Cloudgo 1
Average 2.3
Compared to 144 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The shoe’s heel padding didn’t fare any better against our merciless tool under the same parameters. The dremel immediately shredded through the Cloudgo’s heel counter, sending the copious amount of padding flying through the air; with almost none left once the four seconds were up. We therefore also give the shoe’s heel padding a durability score of 1 out of 5. 

On Cloudgo Heel padding durability

Compare the aftermath of the dremel test on the Cloudgo versus the much more durable ASICS Metaspeed Sky+

Test results
Cloudgo 1
Average 3.1
Compared to 140 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

We used our durometer to test the hardness of the Cloudgo’s outsole and got a higher than average reading of 84.0 HC, which theoretically factors into the durability of the outsole. 

On Cloudgo Outsole thickness
Test results
Cloudgo 84.0 HC
Average 80.3 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 261 running shoes
Number of shoes
55.5 HC
Outsole hardness
92.8 HC

Outsole durability

To confirm this, we simulated extreme wear and tear by again firing up the dremel and pressing it against the outsole for twenty seconds. The result was the loss of only 0.72 mm of rubber from the Cloudgo’s outsole, which is notably less than our current lab average. 

On Cloudgo

This above average durability allows us to safely predict that the outsole rubber should survive well past 500 miles of normal use, and means that we had no issues taking the Cloudgo for runs on mild trails.

Test results
Cloudgo 0.7 mm
Average 0.9 mm
Compared to 122 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

Using our caliper, we measured the outsole to be 2.8 mm thick. While this isn’t as thick as the average shoe, there is still plenty of rubber left behind after our dremel test so this doesn’t affect the shoe negatively. By reducing the outsole material, On is able to shave some weight off of what could be a bulky shoe.  

On Cloudgo Outsole thickness
Test results
Cloudgo 2.8 mm
Average 3.2 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
6.6 mm

Weight

Which brings us to the weigh-in. While On markets the shoe as a feathery 214g, we found that the Cloudgo tips the scale at a more substantial 9.15 Oz (259g). This is still slightly lighter than the average shoe, making the Cloudgo surprisingly lightweight underfoot for a shoe that boasts such generous padding and a healthy stack height. 

On Cloudgo Weight
Test results
Cloudgo 9.14 oz (259g)
Average 9.35 oz (265g)
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
5.26 oz (149g)
Weight
12.56 oz (356g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

While officially stated by ON as 30 mm; we measured the Cloudgo’s stack to be 33.8 mm at the heel. Our accurate measurement makes the Cloudgo’s heel stack right around the average of shoes we’ve measured in the lab so far, and means that heel strikers have plenty of foam underfoot to savor the midsole cushioning. 

On Cloudgo Heel stack

On Cloudgo Heel stack 2
Test results
Cloudgo 33.8 mm
Average 33.5 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Heel stack
42.7 mm

Forefoot stack

We found a similar discrepancy with the 19 mm forefoot stack stated by On. Using our caliper, we found the Cloudgo’s stack to actually measure 22.5 mm at the forefoot. This is slightly shorter than our current lab average, but still more than enough foam to provide adequate impact protection over most distances. 

On Cloudgo Forefoot stack
Test results
Cloudgo 22.6 mm
Average 24.9 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
7.6 mm
Forefoot stack
35.8 mm

Drop

The difference in our correct stack measurements leaves us with a drop height of 11.3 mm, which makes the 11 mm stated pretty accurate despite their inaccurate figures. This classifies the Cloudgo as a high drop shoe; making it better suited for heel striking runners, as well as those with lower leg injuries as this drop height allows our knees and hips to bear more of the load as opposed to our calves and ankles. 

For a comprehensive look at the effects and benefits of different drop heights, check out our useful guide on the subject.

On Cloudgo Drop
Test results
Cloudgo 11.2 mm
Average 8.7 mm
Compared to 280 running shoes
Number of shoes
-0.8 mm
Drop
16.1 mm

Insole thickness

The Cloudgo’s insole is ever-so slightly thinner than our lab average, measuring 4.0 mm according to our caliper. Nevertheless, it served its purpose and provided us with enough of a soft landing surface to complement the shoe’s midsole cushioning. 

On Cloudgo Insole thickness
Test results
Cloudgo 4.0 mm
Average 4.4 mm
Compared to 276 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.

We pressed our durometer against the Cloudgo’s midsole foam and got a reading of 28.1 HA. Despite this being quite a bit firmer than the average shoe, the shoe is far from brick-like underfoot as the midsole is quite lively and cushioned enough to suit the needs of most of our daily runs. We say “most” as we did find the Cloudgo’s midsole to be lacking during our longer test runs. 

On Cloudgo durometer midsole

While the Cloudgo is too firm to be described as cloud-like, the shoe sure can go. The pronounced rocker geometry and reactive midsole allows us to seamlessly switch gears for speedier runs, making the Cloudgo a fun shoe at any pace. On the other hand, for runners looking for a shoe that’s speedy as well as plush; we suggest having a look at the Cloudsurfer 7.

Test results
Cloudgo 28.1 HA
Average 21.3 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 208 running shoes
Number of shoes
8.5 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
41.5 HA

Midsole softness in cold

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.
On Cloudgo Midsole softness in cold

Difference in midsole softness in cold

To test the effects of cold weather on the Cloudgo, we re-measured the softness of the midsole after leaving the shoe in the freezer for twenty minutes. With a durometer reading of 34.3 HA after being chilled, the Cloudgo’s midsole is stiffer than the average shoe under similar conditions. This kills whatever cushioning the Cloudgo has to offer and means that the shoe will feel like rigor mortis has set in during winter runs. 

The difference in these two durometer readings means that the Cloudgo only gets 21.8% more firm in the cold. This is a much less drastic differential than our current lab average, so in spite of the midsole becoming quite firm, we have to commend the consistency of On’s Helion foam for what it’s worth.

On Cloudgo Midsole softness in cold
Test results
Cloudgo 21.8%
Average 25.8%
Compared to 207 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Stability

Lateral stability test

When shifting our weight from side to side in the Cloudgo, we felt some movement in the forefoot but the heel remained well-planted to the ground. This gives us a good amount of stability during our landings while remaining nimble enough for us to take corners efficiently.

Torsional rigidity

The Cloudgo put up a fair amount of resistance as we bent and twisted it in our hands, leading us to give it a score of 3 out of 5 on our subjective scale for torsional rigidity. So while this means that the shoe is able to contort with our natural foot movement to a certain extent, it does prevent excessive rolling and promotes a more neutral stride. This makes the Cloudgo suitable for runners with mildly pronating strides. 

Test results
Cloudgo 3
Average 3.2
Compared to 259 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The heel counter didn’t put up as much of a fight against us manipulating it in our hands, but was entirely sloppy. This leads us to give it a score of 2 out of 5 for heel counter stiffness. This makes the shoe feel quite comfortable at the rearfoot as it doesn’t squeeze or restrict our heel too much, while still providing a secure lockdown thanks to the ample padding. We therefore recommend this shoe for runners with stiff or sensitive Achilles’ tendons.  

Test results
Cloudgo 2
Average 2.8
Compared to 243 running shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

We measured the Cloudgo’s midsole to be 111.6 mm wide at the forefoot, which is just shy of our current lab average. This gives us an ample platform to ensure stable landings and toe-offs.

On Cloudgo Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Cloudgo 111.6 mm
Average 113.5 mm
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
100.5 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
126.5 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Moving down to the heel, the Cloudgo’s midsole is slightly wider than average at 90.9 mm according to our caliper.  This means that heel-strikers will feel especially stable on landings in the Cloudgo without the shoe feeling too blocky underfoot.  

On Cloudgo midsole heel

Test results
Cloudgo 90.9 mm
Average 90.3 mm
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
74.9 mm
Midsole width in the heel
106.6 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

With only 14N of force required to bend the shoe 90-degrees, the Cloudgo is a remarkable flexible shoe! This level of flexibility means that the shoe easily bends with the natural movement of the foot, which in turn greatly contributes to the Cloudgo’s comfy and easy ride. 

Test results
Cloudgo 14.0N
Average 29.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 263 running shoes
Number of shoes
2.2N
Stiffness
94.4N

Difference in stiffness in cold

We repeated the stiffness test after leaving the Cloudgo in the freezer for twenty minutes and got a reading of 21.5N. This is still an incredibly flexible reading that not only rivals the average shoe under similar conditions, but is more flexible than about 80% of shoes we've tested at room temperature. So while the midsole might feel like running on an ice cube in the winter, the shoe will remain pliable and easy despite harsh and frigid conditions. 

With a 53.2% change in the shoe’s flexibility depending on the weather, the Cloudgo’s isn’t as consistent as the average shoe which stiffens up to a lesser extent. However, as mentioned in the previous section, the shoe still performs extremely well compared to the average shoe. 

Test results
Cloudgo 53.2%
Average 37%
Compared to 263 running shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
148%

Grip / Traction

While harder outsoles like the one found on the Cloudgo usually falter in terms of grip, we still felt great traction when testing the shoe over various surfaces; from asphalt to cobblestone and even dirt, the Cloudgo had us feeling surefooted with every stride. 

On Cloudgogrip

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

Using our caliper, we measured the Cloudgo’s toebox to be 95.0 mm at its widest point. This is slightly narrower than average and means that while the shoe should accommodate most foot shapes, runners with very wide feet will feel constricted by the toebox. For those runners we recommend checking out the On Cloud X instead. 

On Cloudgo Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Cloudgo 95.0 mm
Average 98.3 mm
Compared to 281 running shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
109.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

Moving up to the area around the big toe, we measured the Cloudgo’s toebox to be 77.7 mm wide. This is slightly roomier than the average shoe which gives the Cloudgo a more natural shape that allows the toes to splay out on landings. 

On Cloudgo Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Cloudgo 77.7 mm
Average 78.0 mm
Compared to 155 running shoes
Number of shoes
60.4 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
92.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The Cloudgo’s tongue is not gusseted, but its width and generous padding means that we didn’t experience any slippage during our test runs. 

On Cloudgo Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Cloudgo None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Like other On runners, the Cloudgo features a broad and plush tongue that we measured with our caliper to be 9.8 mm thick.This is much meatier than the average tongue and gives us lots of comfort around the instep. 

On Cloudgo Tongue padding
Test results
Cloudgo 9.8 mm
Average 5.6 mm
Compared to 278 running shoes
Number of shoes
0.5 mm
Tongue padding
14.2 mm

Removable insole

The Cloudgo’s insole is removable which makes the shoe compatible with custom orthotics where necessary. 

Test results
Cloudgo Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The On logo on the side of the shoe is the only reflective element to be found on the Clougo. This might be chic in its minimalism, but does little for visibility in practice. We recommend using reflective clothing when running in badly lit areas at night. 

On Cloudgo Reflective elements
Test results
Cloudgo Yes