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On Cloudrush Review: Lightweight 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. This On Cloudrush review will help uncover the great features of these running shoes, that are built for those who love to run fast and need a shoe to keep up with them.

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale
The Swiss know how to design
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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.

On Cloudrush First Impressions

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.


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On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale

On Cloudrush 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.

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale
Reflective decals

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!

On Cloudrush Weight

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.

Lacing system

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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.

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale
slim laces

On Cloudrush Toe box

tabio trailblazer trail running socks review - trail & Kale
My feet shape, albeit with trail running toe socks on!

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.

On Cloudrush Sizing

I wear a US 9 (UK 8.5), and the sizing of the On Cloudrush is 100% consistent with SalomonInov-8, Merrell and other On-Running shoes that I have worn (and that’s quite a lot!).

On Cloudrush Drop

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.

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale
5mm minimal drop can be seen here

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.

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale

On Cloudrush Outsole

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale

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.

On Cloudrush Review - Trail & kale

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.

Keswick Mountain Festival 50k Ultra
Keswick Mountain Festival 50k Ultra

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!

In Summary

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.

on cloudrush
On Cloudrush (Review Summary)
Pros
The light weight (220g) of this shoe combined with On's pod system definitely helped me run faster
Very comfortable
5mm drop is low enough to "feel" extra control when running fast
I was able to run in these even when I had achilles trouble due to the low back wall
Breathable
Cons
Laces are a bit too long
Only available in this black/white colour
The grip on the pods could be more durable
Ankle wall may be too high for some
8.3
Overall Score

$129.99 at on-running.com

The On Cloudrush will be joining me on many more tempo runs. Look out for those PR’s in the Trail & Kale Strava Club 🙂

Still not sure which On Running Shoes to buy?

Visit our Best On Running Shoes Guide for an ordered list of the top ON shoes for road and trail running. It has been designed to make your buying decisions easier.

On Cloudrush Review: Lightweight shoes for running FAST 2 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

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