Our verdict

A shoe that can make 12 hours of walking a breeze? We believe that the On Cloudnova Form perfectly matches that request. Generously cushioned and more supportive than the other On shoes, it kept us comfortable all day long. Accompanied by a cosy in-shoe feel and a breathable upper, we believe that On hit a sweet spot with this Cloudnova. Even if it means a higher price point.

Pros

  • Excellent for all-day wear
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Great in-shoe comfort
  • Non-constricting toebox
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials
  • Appealing design

Cons

  • Lacks durability (especially the upper)
  • A little heavier than average

Audience verdict

91
Great!

Who should buy

We think that the On Cloudnova Form will vibe with people in search of the following:

  • a one-stop shoe for walking and athleisure
  • a stylish sneaker-like shoe for turning heads
  • a more stable and supportive shoe (it is wider and stiffer than most On Clouds)

On Cloudnova Form review

Who should NOT buy

The Cloudnova Form exchanged its upper durability for comfort. If you are worried about wearing through the textile too soon, consider the Cloudswift 3 instead.

This On shoe also sacrifices some of the lightness to being a supportive shoe. For a more lightweight and minimal option, we recommend the On Cloud 5.

On Cloudnova Form lab test

Breathability

The Cloudnova Form has a fairly breathable upper. We tested this by pumping smoke through the shoe and assessing how much of it passes through.

Based on this test, we rated the shoe's breathability level as average - 3 out of 5.

We also put half of the shoe against a bright light to show you how small the shoe's ventilation pores are.

Looking at the shoe's upper through a microscope, we also found that it is a densely woven material. But luckily, there are numerous tiny perforations that still help to ventilate the interiors.

On Cloudnova Form microscope

Test results
Cloudnova Form 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

As dense as it may first seem, the textile of the Cloudnova Form didn't live up to our wear resistance test.

After a short four-second encounter with our Dremel, the upper received a significant amount of damage, one that's not compatible with life.

So we had to rate the shoe's toebox durability with the lowest score of 1 out of 5. This is unfortunate given its above-average price.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 1
Average 3
Compared to 20 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The same damage happened to the shoe's heel padding. We applied the Dremel for four seconds with the same force (3.2N) and speed (10K RPM) and got the very same result. Another 1 out of 5.

In our experience, On shoes really tend to skip durability in these parts of the upper.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 1
Average 2
Compared to 19 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

On the bright side, the Cloudnova Form is not doing so badly in the outsole.

Measuring the hardness of the shoe's rubber pods, our durometer shows 81.8 HA which is notably harder than the average.

We always consider it a good sign as it takes much longer to wear through a hard rubber.

On Cloudnova Form Outsole hardness
Test results
Cloudnova Form 81.8 HC
Average 75.8 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
50.1 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC

Outsole durability

The dreaded Dremel didn't go past the outsole either.

Drilling it for a good 22 seconds, we found that the rubber holds up pretty well.

On Cloudnova Form outsole durability

To compare the amount of damage caused to the Cloudnova Form with the rest of our walking shoes, we used a tread gauge to measure its depth. Turns out, the dent is 0.77 mm deep, about the same as the average.

On Cloudnova Form outsole durability test

Test results
Cloudnova Form 0.8 mm
Average 1.4 mm
Compared to 19 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

The rubber is not particularly thick on this On shoe. Our caliper gives a reading of 2.7 mm, which is the same as our lab-tested walking shoes on average.

Summing up all of the test results above, we can say that the Cloudnova Form has a pretty average outsole life span. But we do subtract points for exposed foam as it will wear out much faster than the rubber. If the outsole survives past 500 miles of wear, we would be surprised.

On Cloudnova Form Outsole thickness
Test results
Cloudnova Form 2.7 mm
Average 2.6 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
5.9 mm

Weight

The Cloudnova Form is not a heavy shoe. But it did turn out a little heavier than our lab-tested walking shoes on average.

Tipping the scales at 9.6 oz (271g), it is about half an ounce heavier than the average. In our opinion, this is likely due to the shoe's wider platform.

On Cloudnova Form Weight

Test results
Cloudnova Form 9.56 oz (271g)
Average 9.59 oz (272g)
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
6.17 oz (175g)
Weight
14.25 oz (404g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The shoe's heel cushioning is among the thickest we've seen in On Cloud shoes.

Measuring its stack height with a caliper, we got 36.1 mm in the heel. This is taller than the average by 5 mm!

On Cloudnova Form Heel stack

It was certainly pleasurable for us to land on such a cushioned base too. We found the Cloudnova Form to be fabulously comfortable for spending long hours on the feet.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 36.1 mm
Average 32.6 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
11.2 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, however, the cushioning isn't that abundant. With a caliper reading of 19.3 mm, it is simply average, but in a good way.

On Cloudnova Form Forefoot stack
Test results
Cloudnova Form 19.3 mm
Average 21.7 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
5.5 mm
Forefoot stack
31.2 mm

Drop

The brand claims that the heel-to-toe drop in the Cloudnova Form is 14 mm. Which is a REALLY tall offset to begin with. But we found it to be even taller!

Getting the difference between our heel and forefoot stack height measurements, we found the drop to be a whopping 16.8 mm! That's pretty crazy, even for a walking shoe.

But here is the kicker - there are four large perforations in the sole (part of the CloudTec design) that make the sole compress under the foot. That's probably where the drop gets back to the stated 14 mm.

Given that the average drop is 8-10 mm, this may feel too high for some people. For alternatives, we can recommend the Cloudrift (10 mm) and the Cloud 5 Push (7 mm).

On Cloudnova Form Drop
Test results
Cloudnova Form 16.8 mm
Average 11.0 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
5.7 mm
Drop
21.4 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Firm cushioning is always to be expected from an On shoe. And the Cloudnova Form is no exception.

Pressing a durometer against the foam in the heel, we got a reading of 31.5 HA. On a spectrum from plush to firm, that belongs to the latter.

On Cloudnova Form Midsole softness

We found that the firmness does make the ride more stable if that's what you prefer. And for those who love the squish underfoot, Skechers walking shoes are the best alternative.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 31.5 HA
Average 25.0 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
7.8 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
32.9 HA
Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

Difference in midsole softness in cold

If you are planning to wear the Cloudnova Form in cold weather, there is an important thing to keep in mind - the cushioning gets even firmer.

After sitting in our freezer for 20 minutes, the shoe's foam returned a durometer reading of 40.9 HA. We definitely felt the difference and the shoe needed a good break-in period to soften up.

However, compared to other walking shoes, the Cloudnova Form had a smaller change in firmness - 29.7% over the average 36.5%.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 29.7%
Average 33.2%
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

Good thing the shoe has a buffer in the shape of a thick insole! We measured its thickness at 6.7 mm, one of the most padded we've logged in our lab.

On Cloudnova Form Insole thickness
Test results
Cloudnova Form 6.7 mm
Average 5.8 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
3.5 mm
Insole thickness
10.3 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

Among a dozen On shoes that we've tested in our lab, the Cloudnova Form turned out to be among the most stable ones.

The brand never tagged it as a stability shoe or as one appropriate for flat feet, but based on our own experience and lab measurements, it could be recommended for mild cases of overpronation. It is quite supportive!

If you hear about pronation for the first time, see our guide to help you figure out what's your case.

Torsional rigidity

First of all, see how rigid the shoe is! Twisting it with our hands required more effort than usual. We rated the shoe's torsional rigidity as 4 out of 5 where 5 is the stiffest.

This is one of the aspects that make the Cloudnova Form more supportive than the rest of On shoes.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 4
Average 2.7
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

The stiffness of the heel counter is another major contributor to the shoe's ankle support. In the case of the Cloudnova Form, we found it to be stiffer than the average.

It is not extremely rigid though. In our manual test, we rated it as 3 out of 5. We consider it to be enough for supporting mild overpronation without feeling obtrusive.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 3
Average 2.2
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Those looking for a wide and stable landing surface are going to love the Cloudnova Form!

We were quite surprised with how wide the brand decided to make the platform of this shoe. Measuring the widest part of the forefoot, we found it to be 119.7 mm, which is a whole 10 mm wider than the average!

On Cloudnova Form Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Cloudnova Form 119.7 mm
Average 111.4 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
98.8 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.1 mm

Midsole width in the heel

The shoe also beats width records in the heel. The widest part here measures 93.9 mm, nearly 8 mm wider the the average.

On Cloudnova Form Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Cloudnova Form 93.9 mm
Average 89.5 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
75.6 mm
Midsole width in the heel
102.2 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

The Cloudnova Form is not as flexible as its counterparts from On.

In our lab-based flexibility test with a force gauge, it required 20.9N of force to bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle. This is a little more than what it takes on average.

It makes the shoe feel a little less natural on the foot but in turn, adds yet another point to stability.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 20.9N
Average 20.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1.1N
Stiffness
52.7N

Difference in stiffness in cold

Keep in mind that the shoe will get even stiffer in cold weather. After 20 minutes in the freezer, the foam's stiffness bumped up to 32.8N. This is also a little stiffer than the average.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 57%
Average 52.2%
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
139%

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

According to the brand, the Cloudnova Form comes with a form-fitting shape. But, based on our own measurements, we wouldn't name it tight or narrow by any means.

In the widest part of the toebox, the caliper shows 101.5 mm. This is actually 4 mm wider than our lab-tested walking shoes on average!

On Cloudnova Form Toebox width at the widest part

But considering the nature of the upper material and its lack of stretch, our final verdict about the toebox's fit is that it's medium.

We still think that people with medium-sized feet will appreciate a touch of extra space in the toebox.

Test results
Cloudnova Form 101.5 mm
Average 98.5 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
103.1 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The shoe doesn't get too pointy around the toes either. Our caliper shows a reading of 79.8 mmm which is a little over a millimeter wider than the average.

On Cloudnova Form Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Cloudnova Form 79.8 mm
Average 77.5 mm
Compared to 21 walking shoes
Number of shoes
73.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
82.0 mm

Tongue: gusset type

The tongue is fully-gusseted and keeps the foot securely in place.

On Cloudnova Form Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Cloudnova Form Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue of the Cloudnova Form is not super padded. But there is enough material in it to buffer the pressure of the laces.

On Cloudnova Form Tongue padding
Test results
Cloudnova Form 3.3 mm
Average 4.9 mm
Compared to 26 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.3 mm
Tongue padding
11.5 mm

Heel tab

There is no heel tab in this On shoe. But the extended heel collar indirectly serves as one.

On Cloudnova Form Heel tab
Test results
Cloudnova Form None

Removable insole

The insole is removable. This is very convenient in case you want to wear a plusher insert or a custom orthotic.

On Cloudnova Form Removable insole
Test results
Cloudnova Form Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

The reflective elements are minor but they are still present to keep you safer at night or in the early morning.

On Cloudnova Form Reflective elements
Test results
Cloudnova Form Yes

Sustainable materials

As stated by the brand, the total amount of recycled materials present in the shoe is 40%.