On has been innovating once again, and the result is this rather unique looking road running shoe, the On Cloudstratus. On wanted to see what would happen if they doubled up on their CloudTec outsole, so that’s what they did and so the On Cloudstratus was born. This is very much a marathon and half-marathon running shoe that has more cushioning than many of On’s other shoes (except for maybe the On Cloudace), while keeping much of its responsiveness. It will suit heavier runners with wider feet. This review focuses on the key features of the On Cloudstratus running shoes, how they perform while running and as always how well they stack up against the other On running shoes currently available.
Hopefully, this On Cloudstratus review answers all the questions that you may have about the shoes. If not though, please feel free to ask me anything in the comments section down below, one of us will usually respond within a few hours.
On Cloudstratus Sizing and Fit
The On Cloudstratus is very comfortable right out of the box, which is something I have come to expect from the On brand. Much of the comfort comes from the inner sock that is attached to the sides of the tongue, this wraps around the foot really nicely and reduces the chances of any chaffing. The shoe fits true to size relative to other On shoes and other popular brands like Nike, Adidas, and Brooks Running for example.
The On Cloudstratus Upper Construction
The Cloudstratus upper has been rather interestingly stitched together in an asymmetrical manner. This is for a more anatomical fit that allows better flex relative to the biomechanics of your feet. The materials used for the upper are a bit of a mix where some are more breathable than others.
The most breathable parts are located on the mid-section sidewalls and above the toe-box. The materials get thicker towards the rear for more cushioning and support in the heel and ankle areas (see image below).
Looking towards the rear of the shoe, you’ll notice a solid plastic heel cage which is designed to lock your heel in place and reduce the chances of lateral foot roll (see image below). This gives a good stable-feel while running longer distances.
One thing I don’t like about the upper is the strange star-lacing system that On has gone with. According to On, it exists to help improve the fit and also to support your foot’s natural motion in the areas where it flexes, but personally I haven’t really noticed this and prefer On’s standard lacing system. The star formation towards the forefoot makes doing up the laces a longer process and I find it pulls the upper construction out of shape when I fasten the laces tight for a snug fit. You can see what I mean in the image below.
On Cloudstratus Video
The Double Layered Helion Midsole and the On Speedboard
The new double-layered Helion CloudTec midsole is one of On’s latest innovations. On has effectively sandwiched two cloud layers into one, giving the shoe a really cushioned ride. I like the soft feel when landing but it seems the forefoot in comparison doesn’t have as much cushioning as the rear. From the image above you can see that the forefoot midsole tapers off to a single layer of clouds which in my opinion makes it feel a bit too solid underfoot when taking off. I understand it’s to reduce energy loss when propelling yourself forward but the stark difference from the heel to toe doesn’t quite work for me. Maybe it would work better for heavier runners who land more towards their heel and need that extra cushioning on impact.
The doubled-up midsole also adds extra weight to the shoe. Weighing in at 10.7oz (305g) this shoe isn’t the lightest in the On running shoe collection but I suppose it does come with a lot of cushioning. I would personally prefer to sacrifice on cushioning in order to have a lighter running shoe.
On’s Speedboard combined with this midsole make the Cloudstratus a very cushioned shoe that will inevitably allow you to run faster than you may be used to.
The Cloudstratus outsole is pretty standard in terms of grip but you’ll also notice a valley carved out towards the rear which reduces the weight of the shoe a bit.
Cloudstratus weight and drop
As mentioned earlier, the On Cloudstratus weighs 305g (10.7oz) due to the much deeper midsole. There’s a drop of 8mm from heel to toe which kind of makes sense due to the clouds tapering into one layer towards the forefoot. The ride of the Cloudstratus feels good with this level of drop but I think it would be even better if On could strip some extra weight off the shoe.
The On Cloudstratus has a stable running footbed which means there is some level of support to it.
The toe box is wide and feels airy due to the breathable upper material.
In summary, the On Cloudstratus is a marathon and half-marathon running shoe designed for heavier runners who want to soften the impact while running long distances on the roads. The toe box is nice and wide with good ventilation for temperature regulation. It’s also a very supportive shoe that has a heel cage that will lock your foot into the shoe. It’s a long-distance performance shoe which carries a little more weight than some of On’s other shoes but this adds to its durability. If you’re a heavier runner, the 305g weight of the Cloudstratus shouldn’t really be an issue for you, and that double-layered cushioned midsole will be your friend for many many miles.
Jump over to our Best On Running Shoes Ranked and Reviewed list to find out where this shoe ranks amongst On’s other running shoes.
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