On Cloudflash

9.3
9.3 score
[Editors rating (9.0) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (9.3)/10

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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 4 user ratings
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All On Shoes
On Cloudflash Review Facts
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On Running is a Swiss-based running shoe company whose boundary-breaking shoe designs have found a following with runners across the globe. With the On Cloudflash, this company seems to have put the best of their tech–which includes superior cushioning and a unique outsole that provides a powerful takeoff–into their latest offering.

This incredibly lightweight running shoe, tested on athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympics, features On’s patented CloudTec® outsole that also functions as a midsole. With rubber pods on the outsole as cushioning instead of a traditional foam midsole, this element transforms impact energy to forward momentum, providing incredible push-off. Its upper is made of ultralight nano-mesh with strategically placed overlays and a plastic skeleton structure that’s both responsive and firmly secures the foot in place while on a run. Combined, these elements provide a snug, responsive, and high-performance trainer that serious runners will instantly recognize as a mark of the On Cloudflash’s quality.   

And while this sort of excellence comes at a price–and the On Cloudflash is a pretty pricy trainer–for runners looking for one of the most efficient, sleek, and overall powerful running shoes on the market, this is an investment that will pay off in enhanced performance.

With men’s weighing it at 7.7 ounces and women’s at 6.2 ounces, the Cloudflash is an ultra-light low-profile trainer that has optimal responsiveness. Meanwhile, the outsole’s durable rubber pods provide great traction on a run. These are not everyday running shoes but are meant to be worn when performance and speed are paramount, such as races or marathons. For short-distance runners trying to maximize their speed and long-distance runners that are seeking a breathable, durable, and high-performance trainer, the On Cloudflash is a high-end running shoe that delivers on all fronts.  

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

 

  • Great performance thanks to its CloudTec® outsole

  • Ultra-lightweight (7.7 ounces mens/6.2 ounces womens)

  • Comfortable despite lack of midsole

  • Durable outsole offers great amount of traction

  • Ultra-light nano mesh upper offers great ventilation

  • High-performance running shoe meant for races and marathons

Cons

 

  • Price may be a factor

  • Some have complained that the forefoot is too narrow

Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The On Cloudflash’s outsole is one of the most unique features of this trainer. Made from On Running’s proprietary CloudTec® technology, with just one look you can see that there’s something original about this outsole. Its lugs cushion on impact and then spring the runner forward, each one individually compressing, stabilizing the muscles in your feet and legs in the process. These low-abrasion lugs also provide excellent traction, preventing slippage and keeping the runner on-pace. The compressed Zero-Gravity foam that acts as a midsole (as this shoe design lacks a true midsole) helps with responsiveness and contributes to cushioning the foot.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

Strictly speaking, the On Cloudflash lacks a traditional midsole. There is no foam insert and largely the outsole functions as the midsole. However, the Cloudflash does have a unique “SpeedBoard,” a bow-like platform designed to manipulate the underload that that propels the runner forward during lift-off. There is also a hybrid sockliner that combines ultra-light EVA and memory foam for additional cushioning.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the Cloudflash is made of ultra-light nano mesh that’s highly breathable and comfortable. This mesh is also antimicrobial, which keeps the mesh clean and fresh throughout a run. The upper’s support structure is an exoskeleton that reinforces the mesh with smartly placed overlays, allowing for maximum ventilation and support.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Cloudflash is made for performance on the track and in a race. Its entire design is built for efficiency and to maximize the runner’s kinetic energy. One major component in achieving these targets is to make the shoe as lightweight as possible without detracting from its comfort or performance. As such, the On Cloudflash is an ultra-lightweight running shoe, weighing in at 7.7 ounces/218 grams in men’s and just 6.2 ounces/176 grams for women’s. Along with many other unique features, the Cloudflash’s incredibly light weight is yet another excellent feature in a line filled with them.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The On Cloudflash could technically be considered a minimalist shoe. With bare-bones elements to keep the weight off, no midsole, and an ultra-light nano mesh that comprises the upper, the Cloudflash performs as well as it does thanks to its great design and outsole construction. Its tongue is also perforated for additional breathability. Add to the Cloudflash’s list of accomplishments is its great amount of ventilation, keeping the foot feeling fresh and dry throughout the undoubtedly high-energy run that the Cloudflash will be a part of.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

How is a shoe that lacks a midsole comfortable? The answer is that every other component built in it is to enhance comfort. The Cloudflash’s hybrid sockliner--which combines memory foam with EVA for cushioning--is the first part of this, but its other elements, including its ultra-thin nano mesh upper, also contributes to the foot’s overall comfort. The SpeedBoard platform, which is made of a material called Pebax, flexes like a bow and offsets the foot’s weight on the outsole, also provides a responsive element that’s both comfortable and adds to the overall performance of the Cloudflash. Its CloudTec® outsole features rubber pods that compresses on impact and further cushions the foot on impact. So although a traditional midsole is not part of the Cloudflash, it seems On Running has sidestepped that element by enhancing the comfort level and performance of the overall shoe.
Style
Style

Style

One thing about Cloudflash’s aesthetics is that it certainly looks like a shoe made for speed. Its bright yellow and white color palette makes it a highly visible shoe, and its low-cut profile adds to the overall stylish design that lets someone know these are shoes meant for serious running. The yellow outsole is difficult to miss. In profile, the zig-zag like ridges of the foot pads are noticeable, which further compliments this shoe’s looks as a high-performance trainer, while its perforated yellow tongue and shoe laces also draw attention to its professional athletics aesthetic. It may not be the most subtle shoe--or even the most “normal” looking one, but it is a shoe that’s mean for runners to wear during competition. And for this purpose, its style fits function well.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Despite being an ultra-lightweight trainer with minimal construction, the Cloudflash is a durable shoe that holds up even after multiple high-energy runs. Its upper’s nano mesh is tightly constructed and made of a durable synthetic material while its rubber outsole is similarly durable, with lugs that are resistant to wear. Although this may not be an issue as the Cloudflash is a high-performance trainer that are designed for races and runs, not necessarily as an everyday shoe, On Running makes durable shoes for serious runners.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Considering the Cloudflash is a running shoe meant to be worn in ideal conditions and are ultra-lightweight, the protection they provide isn’t the most tenacious. However, its well-designed, durable outsole will protect the foot from the jostles and bumps from running, especially its well-designed pads that compress to store and release energy during impact, and its bow-like SpeedBoard platform that similarly performs in kinetic energy release. But these shoes are really meant for the kind of running conditions one would find during a marathon or on the track and as such will not provide much protection on the trail or in inclement conditions.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

If you’re looking for a responsive running shoe, few on the market could beat the Cloudflash in this department. From its SpeedBoard platform that flexes like a bow to provide additional spring to every step to its CloudTec® outsole that compress on impact and then release that energy for additional power with each lift-off, the ultra-lightweight Cloudflash is a super-responsive trainer. With a snug fit and a heel lock that makes sure the foot stays firmly in place after lace-up, the Cloudflash is a responsive, dynamic running shoe that expert runners will appreciate.
Support
Support

Support

With a moderate heel-to-toe drop and a flat SpeedBoard as the surface the runner stands on, the stability of the Cloudflash will impress runners. However, it is not specifically a stability shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Unfortunately, the Cloudflash is not a particularly versatile shoe when it comes to terrain--but if you’re purchasing a pair of these shoes, you are probably savvy enough not to make the mistake of taking them out on the trail. Optimized for traditional running surfaces (pavement and concrete) and particularly adapt for the running track, these are the best terrains to take your Cloudflash out on.
Price
Price

Price

After reading about all of the great features and excellent performance of the On Running Cloudflash, this may be where some runners will part ways with their desire for a pair: the price. Falling on the upper range of running shoe pricing, its price reflects the high-end design and tech that’s in the shoe. But for serious runners looking to invest in a shoe that will perform on race day, the Cloudflash is worth its price.
Traction
Traction

Traction

With low-abrasion lugs on its outsole that compress upon impact and release that energy during liftoff for an extra boost, the Cloudflash features excellent traction that runners on traditional running surfaces will notice and benefit from.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Thanks to the lightweight design, including the nano mesh upper that feels like it’s barely there and the bow-like SpeedBoard platform the foot rests upon, the Cloudflash is a very flexible shoe, which means runners will benefit from superior surface control.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of the Cloudflash is just 5 mm. Although its construction is close to being minimalist, its drop is nominal, and this is not specifically a minimalist shoe.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Excellent energy return thanks to the CloudTec® outsole and SpeedBoard platform
- Ultra-lightweight and responsive so runners won’t feel any drag, even during long runs
- Nano mesh of the upper is highly breathable and antimicrobial
- Low-abrasion lugs provide excellent traction on traditional running surfaces
- Despite the lack of a midsole, it is a very comfortable shoe
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

For serious runners seeking a high-performance running shoe, the On Running Cloudflash is here to provide them with excellent traction, a well-designed outsole with great energy return, and an ultra-lightweight construction. With a unique take on the running shoe--stripping it down to bare essentials and using On’s superior racing technology--the Cloudflash is something new and dynamic on the market. While this is not an everyday shoe, instead meant to be worn when speed and performance are on the line, both short- and long-distance runners who compete will appreciate its breathable upper, lightweight construction, and the tenacious traction of the outsole. Although it is pricier than many other running shoes, those that are in the running game with their eyes on the prize will recognize that an investment in the Cloudflash will pay off on race day.