The On Cloudsurfer has been designed with speed and comfort in mind but it’s also a very comfortable shoe that provides great cushioning for long runs too. Hopefully, this On Cloudsurfer review answers all the questions you have before buying them but if not, please feel free to ask me a question in the comments down below.
Fit & Design
The On Running Cloudsurfer shoes are very comfortable and don’t need any breaking in whatsoever. If you have any experience with the previous version of the Cloudsurfer and want to know if this version is better, my answer is a resounding yes! In fact I was not a fan of the previous version for its lack of flexibility and weight.
The new On Cloudsurfer has addressed both those issues, improved the upper and produced themselves another winning shoe, in line with their first release of the Cloudsurfer, which happened to be my first ever On running shoe.
The mesh material on the upper is very breathable and has a two-layer system. The internal layer has a little bit of stretch and offers some soft cushioning for the top of your foot, while the outer later has that breathable knit that holds the foot firmly in place. There’s plastic coated toe box protection at the front which will prevent front-on water splashes from entering the shoe and also increase the durability of the materials in the area.
On are using their ‘no-sew foil’ to strengthen bonds where materials are attached, like where the laces holes are, for example.
Looking to the heel cage at the rear, you can clearly see the plastic strip which is designed to hold your heel in place with very little weight gain. This is in conjunction with the heel wall that doesn’t extend too high, works very well for my averagely shaped feet. I have in the past had an issue with some shoes putting unnecessary pressure on my Achilles and agitating the tendon but these On shoes do not, so I love them for that!
A cool feature inside all new On shoes that I have tested is a soft rubbery strip that run either side of the insole which cradles your foot and reduces foot slide (seen in the image above). The foot-bed is nicely cushioned too for extra comfort.
There’s also an inner sock that attaches the tongue to the forefoot area, similar to the On Cloudflow, On Cloud X, On Cloudace and On Cloud Edge Moonlight running shoes. This keeps the tongue in place and prevents debris coming between your foot and the shoe walls. It also reduces the risk of chafe as there are fewer seams inside.
Tongue & Laces
The tongue is very slim and you may think it wouldn’t provide enough padding for protection when the laces are done up tight. The laces, however, provide some stretch and therefore don’t add any unwanted pressure to the top of the foot. Having a thin tongue like this also reduces weight above the foot.
Outsole and the On Speedboard
The outsole now has an extra layer of cushioning that I have noticed improves the shock reduction at the heel. The heel to me actually feels slightly unbalanced when walking in the shoes, and this is down to the placement of the rear two cloud pods. When you begin to run in them though, it’s clear that they have been pushed forward slightly to encourage more of a forefoot landing experience. This is clever thinking from On because we all know that heel striking is a bad thing, even if many of us find us hard to avoid doing.
If you haven’t tried “Running On Clouds” before, I recommend you give it a try! CloudTec is one of On’s innovations that truly helps me run faster.
The cloud pods give you that feeling of a cushioned landing, as they compress under your weight and then provide a barefoot take off as your foot leaves the ground and the pods spring back.
Drop & Weight
There’s a drop of 6mm from heel to toe which seems a popular number with On shoes. It feels like a happy medium for runners who like a minimal drop and others who prefer a much larger one. I’ve always been a fan of keeping the drop as low as possible to aid better form and a more natural footfall.
Weighing in at 330g (US M 8.5) this is not the lightest On running shoe but that’s because it offers more support and cushioning than some of the other product lines. If you’re after the lightest On shoes, check out the On Cloud X, On Cloud, On Cloudflow and the limited edition On Cloud Edge Moonlight.
The On Cloudsurfer has a neutral running footbed which should suit most runners.
The toe box is medium width and feels very airy due to the breathable upper material.
On Cloudsurfer Review Summary
If you’re looking for a shoe that’s going to keep your feet feeling comfortable for all types of road running, from speedwork to long distance runs, the On Cloudsurfer shoes are an excellent choice. They are currently ranked in the top 3 of my ON Running Shoes: Best On Running Shoes Reviewed article, which is regularly updated as and when I test new releases from the On running brand. So, make sure you have a read before making any final purchasing decisions.