The On Cloudboom is a new level of racing shoe from the On Running brand, and naturally, it comes at a time where other brands appear to be releasing running shoes with Carbon-fiber-infused plates too. In this On Cloudboom review, I’m going to talk about the key features that I love (and a couple that need improvements), how well they perform while running, how they compare with the other On running shoes, whether they’re worth buying, and finally a rating out of 10 with my pros and cons. Let’s get to it!
Innovation in marathon running shoes is moving fast right now thanks to Eliud running that epic sub 2 hour marathon wearing Nike’s Air Zoom Alphafly NEXT% (arguably the fastest shoes on the planet) shoes in Vienna not too long ago.
Now that brands realize a sub 2 hour marathon is possible there’s a bit of a race to get their athletes finishing an official marathon race in under 2 hours, so they can put their name down as being the brand who helped get the athlete there. The On Cloudboom is a racing shoe for marathon runners or anyone who wants to run their fastest times possible while wearing On running shoes.
On Cloudboom Review: Table of Contents
- On Cloudboom Fit, Features, and Key Specs
- On Cloudboom performance review
- On Cloudboom compared with other On running shoes
- Are they worth buying?
- On Cloudboom Review Summary
- Video First Look
- Photo Gallery
On Cloudboom Fit, Features, and Key Specs.
General fit and comfort
As always, let’s start with the important question: Is the sizing and fit consistent with other On runing shoes and other brands? – I can confirm that they fit true-to-size and consistently with other On running shoes that I have tested and reviewed here on trailandkale.com. They are also consistent in size with other popular brands like Nike, Adidas, and much of the Salomon running range. If you run in a brand I haven’t listed here, drop the brand you use in the comments below, and if I’m familiar with them I’ll let you know how they fit relative to them too.
The On Cloudboom is a surprisingly comfortable running shoe especially considering it’s an all-out marathon racing shoe. If you’re familiar with, and enjoy how the Cloudrush and Cloudflash both feel to run in, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the On Cloudboom is quite similar but with a few big improvements. This includes more midsole cushioning, and a carbon-fiber-infused propulsion plate sandwiched between two Helion foam outsoles.
These new additions give the Cloudboom a cushioned feel underfoot for running long distances, with the benefit of being propelled forward with the help of a springy carbon plate.
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If you enjoy running lots of fast miles with the benefit of a comfortable and cushioned shoe, the Cloudboom could well be for you!
The On Cloudoom is very neutral in their support type, with an arch that will suite most runners with average arches, and this is actually consistent with all the other On running shoes I have tested to date. The toe box and shoe, in general is of a medium width.
On Cloudboom Design Features That Stand Out
1. Carbon-Fiber-Infused Plate/Speedboard and Dual Helion Foam Layers
The Carbon-fiber-infused Speedboard is probably the biggest innovation to note on the Cloudboom. On has quite cleverly sandwiched the carbon plate between two layers of Helion foam which means the plate is still very responsive but at the same time far enough away from the bottom of your foot that you get a really comfortable, cushioned ride. If you’re unfamiliar with Helion, it’s On’s cushioned yet responsive midsole foam, that is appearing in most new On designs as of late.
Interestingly enough, as I was nearing the end of my first run in the Cloudboom, I knew there had to be some sort of carbon fiber plate in the midsole as I was moving so much faster than usual with less perceived effort. A carbon-fiber-infused plate is really something that needs to be experience to be able to completely understand how it makes you run faster.
2. Upper Mesh Construction
The upper mesh is single walled and extremely breathable as you can see from the image above. Having air flow through the shoes really helps to regulate the internal temperature of the shoes and reduces the chances of your feet over-heating and sweating. On extra cold days, you may find that these shoes let too much cold air in but if you ‘run hot’ like I do, then this may not be an issue for you.
3. A New Outsole Grip
The Cloudboom outsoles feature a new cross-hatch traction pattern that provide much better grip on city surfaces in dry and wet conditions, and this is something I feel On has needed to improve for a while now – so this updated pleases me greatly :).
The tongue is very minimal and lightweight with not much padding, however, it has not caused any pressure points on the top of my feet from the laces, which I attribute to the subtle elasticity and flat form of the laces visible in the photo below.
Unfortunately, there’s no internal sock in the Cloudboom, which means you may need to pay a little more attention to ensure the tongue doesn’t fold over itself on the sides as you’re doing up the laces. This is a small gripe but something I’ve learned to forget happens since using On’s and other branded shoes that use internal socks for so long.
On Cloudboom Key Specifications
The On Cloudboom weighs around 11.6oz / 225g, so it’s a super lightweight running shoe which is definitely noticeable when you pick them up or put them on for the first time. It’s even more noticeable once you have been running in them for a couple of hours because your legs feel fresh due to repeatedly lifting a much lighter shoe than most other alternatives.
The On Cloudboom has a 9mm drop from heel to toe which oddly feels less than this, I’m not sure why but it feels better balanced than most shoes with a high drop. A 9mm drop puts the runner in a more aggressive racing stance that essentially helps position your form in a more forward leaning style.
There’s moderate cushioning in the midsole and a neural footbed. So if you have average arches and feet then these should fit perfectly for you.
The On Cloudboom fits true-to-size relative to other On running shoes I have used, and the style of fit in the toe box and upper is of medium width.
On Cloudboom running performance review
The On Cloudboom has been designed for half and full marathon runners but to be honest it’s for anyone who is looking to perform to their absolute best in a race or training runs. The carbon-fiber-infused plate that runs along the midsole, sandwiched between two cushioned, yet responsive Helion foam layers provides very efficient and accelerated forward-propulsion.
The carbon plate manages to do this because of its rigidity and ability to snap back into its original form, just as you take off from the ground. This plate when combines with springy cloudtec pods is a truly unique experience. I mean a new pair of On’s with fresh cloud pods in the mid/outsole always seem to make me run faster, but when combined with this new carbon plate I’m slicing much more time of my previous best results.
The carbon-fiber-infused plate effectively assists or boosts your foot muscle capacity. With this in mind, I would generally recommend doing some tempo training runs in a shoe without a carbon-fiber-infused plate like the Cloudflow, for example, in order to work on building up the muscles in your feet for real. Good running gear should never be a substitute for hard work and well disciplined training – instead, it should compliment that hard work. Training for your marathon this way, means you’ll feel turbo-charged when race day finally arrives, and you lace up your Cloudbooms.
How do they compare with other On Running Shoes?
The On Cloudboom feels similar to the Cloudrush but with just the right amount of cushioning to allow you to run fast for anything up to a marathon distance. On has absolutely hit it out the park with the Cloudboom and it’s currently my favorite road running shoe and as such has earned itself a Trail & Kale Editor’s Award from me.
Are they worth buying?
Absolutely, Yes! If you’re looking for super-lightweight (7.94oz / 225g), breathable, and cushioned shoes to run your fastest times on the roads for any distance up to a marathon, the Cloudboom is most definitely for you. The On Cloudboom are, in my opinion, the best high-performance On running shoes for road runners to date, these shoes right here, are something very special.
The On Cloudboom is available at the online stores below:
On Cloudboom Review Summary
Jump over to our Best On Running Shoes Ranked and Reviewed buyers guide to find out how well the On Cloudboom ranks against other On running shoes, HINT – They’re rocking it!
On Cloudboom First Look Video
On Cloudboom Photo Gallery
I hope you enjoyed this On Cloudboom review – if you have any questions about these running shoes, feel free to drop the in the comments below 🙂 –Alastair.
ARE YOU NEW TO TRAIL RUNNING OR WANT TO TRY IT? — Have a read of our Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running – it will get you up to speed on all things trail running! 🙂
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