On Cloudrush Review: Lightweight road shoes for running fast
The On Cloudrush is a shoe that has been designed with one major goal in mind, to help well-trained runners run faster.
If you are familiar with the On Cloudracer then you may draw some similarities to this shoe, and with good reason. This is the new and improved successor of that shoe!
I’ve taken the Cloudrush out for some speed sessions already and would like to share my thoughts so far. As always, I will update this post as I put more miles in these shoes and if I gain more insights into their performance.
This is a pretty sleek and sexy looking shoe, I don’t think many people will look at it and think bad thoughts. I really like the no-nonsense black and white “colour” scheme, that says “I’m ready for business” too. As with other On-Running shoes that I have tested, there appears to be very little waste on these and they look to be of a high-quality build.
Fit & Design
I know a lot of people describe well-fitting shoes as, well “fitting like a slipper”, and that may seem like a lazy way for me to tell you how these feel but… they do fit like a slipper. On-Running have done this intentionally for those who like to run without socks, I suppose this may appeal more to triathletes who don’t want to waste precious seconds putting socks on in transition zones.
There is a nice amount of reflective decals on the back of the On Cloudrush, important if you’re going to be running at night. No reflective strips on the front though, I suppose you should be relying on your running headtorch for being visible from the front!
When you pick up the box that these shoes arrive in you may think that On-Running has forgotten to put the second shoe in there. That’s understandable as these shoes are very light, weighing in at 220g. That’s one of the lightest shoes that we have reviewed on Trail & Kale to date. The On Cloudflow managed to match this though, and they include a little more cushioning, which is I suppose even more impressive.
On-Running have opted for a classic lacing system to reduce overall weight but their laces did feel a bit too long for my liking. Maybe I have slim feet but I can’t see anyone ever needing that much lace. I find myself making double knots, just to stop them flapping.
So nothing groundbreaking in the lacing from On-running. I feel that after trying Merrell’s Agility Peak Flex 2 trail shoes and experiencing their rather nice Omni-Fit lacing system, I’m becoming a bit of a lace system snob. Is that a thing? It is now.
Nothing special to report here, the toe box is of medium width and fit my shaped feet very well with just enough wiggle room for toe splay.
The On Cloudrush has a 5mm drop from heel to toe… I’m a fan of minimal shoes with a little drop when I’m running fast. The closer to a natural footfall that I can get, the more efficient my running form becomes. Natural instincts and form take over when I have less between my bare feet and the ground.
As you may expect from a shoe this minimal, there isn’t much padding around the heel and ankle areas. I didn’t find this to be problematic as the shoes fit so well that there wasn’t any movement between foot and shoe to have any rubbing.
The outsole is what made On-Running famous. Their ‘Cloudtec sole’ innovation took the running world by storm, not only because it looked damn cool but also it actually worked. I’ve talked about this system in some of my other On-Running shoe reviews, the most notable would be the stealthy looking On Cloudventure Waterproofs, check it out below!
In a nutshell, these pods compress when you land on them, providing you with a cushioned landing. Then once compressed, offer you a barefoot style take-off, meaning little energy is lost towards your forward momentum. Pretty clever if you ask me. There are potential issues with this system though, you may occasionally pick up a stone between the pods. I bet you’ll develop your own rather fetching and head-turning technique of flicking them off your shoes mid-run. I did, very sexy.
Running in the On Cloudrush
I wanted to try these shoes as I fell in love with the On Cloudracer. I even ended up wearing them for a 55km Ultramarathon in the Lake District, UK. That may sound like an odd choice of shoe for such a challenging trail race! It ended up being a fantastic decision as the race went really well for me.
The reason I chose these shoes for that race, is that every other shoe (at that time) was giving my achilles tendinitis trouble. The On Cloudracer was the only shoe that I could wear that allowed me to run without agitating it. Being able to run meant that I could slowly strengthen my achilles back to full working order without missing out on any running. Why am I talking about the On Cloudracer so much you ask, well because the Cloudrush feels like the same shoe, and I love that about it!
Take a look at this image as an ode to the old On Cloudracer and proof that I actually ran a 50k Ultra in them, haha!
The On-Running Cloudrush is light, responsive, comfortable and very breathable. Four very important properties to have in a shoe when running fast on the roads. If you’re like me, then you understand that not every run can be on the trails, and sometimes the quickest way to get a speed session in is to run on a local road route. The On Cloudrush will be joining me on many more tempo runs. Look out for those PR’s in the Trail & Kale Strava Club 🙂
If you have any questions about the shoes or anything relating to them then please leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible. Happy Trails (or roads in this case)!!