On Cloudsurfer

9.0
9.0 score
Runnerclick score (9.0)/10

Our overall Runnerclick score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter
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Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 9 user ratings
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On Cloudsurfer Review Facts
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The On Cloudsurfer is a uniquely designed road shoe that looks just as good as it performs. The Swiss designed trainer was made for and by athletes and features what ‘On’ categorizes as level 3 cushioning. The company offers 4 different levels of cushioning overall. The shoe can easily be used as both a training and racing shoe thanks to its lightweight construction. Despite it’s fairly significant heel to toe drop, the shoe manages to discourage rearfoot striking, which is a pretty impressive feat. Do those pods underfoot actually feel like clouds and does the ‘On’ brand shoe really perform as well as is advertised? Read on to find out more about this specially designed trainer.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Great cushioning and impact protection
  • Mesh upper is very breathable
  • Soft cushioning feels nice underfoot
  • Durable, made of quality materials
  • Pods are quite resistant
  • Good amount of ground feel
  • Good fit for wide footed runners
Cons
  • Heavier than similar shoe models
  • Poor energy-return
  • Pod structure doesn't provide enough traction
  • Poor ankle support
  • Flimsy laces
  • Severe heel to toe drop
  • Some found the fit too wide
See How
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.00 hours analyzing a total of 685 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • This shoe gives top spring back, I can cover longer distances much quicker without experiencing any negative effects such as tired feet, legs muscles, the support from the cushion and ankle area is outstanding.
  • No need to break in these, they ran perfectly from the get-go, the upper is like a firm sock and feels natural on my feet, no irritations, no blisters, no type of discomfort and the shoes gives me 100% stability.
  • Like these, they give a soft ride no matter what type of surface and the fit is so good I barely notice the shoe, I get a level of return or spring which actually feel like it is launching my feet after each touchdown, my speed is up and the comfort level is totally impressive.
  • I put in long distances on often grueling routes and these shoes give me the best performance, I get zero aches or pressure on my knee joints or my ankles the cushion level is simply superb, I can’t find any fault with these.
  • I could feel the changes the moment I put each shoe on. The clouds kept my feet from direct shock contact on the ground, much less impact sensation and each step felt light and much easier. The best way I can describe is that it felt like wearing socks but with tons of really well located cushioning.
  • The very good feature thing I found for the Cloudsurfer is dirt cannot get into the shoe around the ankles as was a problem with my previous shoes. I noticed that this due to the lacing system which creates a snug fit all round the ankle but without restricting my running foot movement. I put in a good amount of miles every week and so far these are keeping my feet cool, comfortable.
  • 5 months of regular running, shock absorption is still 100%, as the shoe is so light I feel I can increase my distances, the toe box gives more space than my previous Brooks and Asics, very impressed by the energy return and the support which is designed into the ankle part of these.
  • I had endless problems with previous shoes which cut down blood circulation for my feet to the point my toes were numb, these shoes fixed this, the cushion is perfect, the shoe feels light enough and my feet can breath and blood circulation is fine, these are superbly designed shoes.
  • When wearing the shoes I had before these guys I wasn't getting proper circulation and my toes would go a little numb (pins and needles) after about 25 minutes of constant motion. Have not had that issue since switching to On Cloudsurfers. I wear a size 10 comfortably when it comes to runners and these fit perfect.
  • 300 miles and these shoes are fine, it is right to say the comfort level of these lets me forget I’m even wearing running shoes, the upper keeps my feet stable, especially the ankles and breathability ensures I always have cool enough feet.
  • I got these because I was told they support joints and give protection from shock and they certainly do that and much more, for straight running they are perfect but can be a bit tricky though ok for trail running. The arch support and ankle support are fantastic, cannot imagine running without these.
Negative
  • Right off just too heavy, thin laces so to tie up the shoes is tricky and getting secure hold for fit via the laces does not work, I run twice a week and just short of two months the heel cushioning seemed to implode and stopped giving support and messed up my balance.
  • Watch out for the intrusive tongue in these, way too long for a shoe and can cause friction and cutting into the skin, I was in agony. Tried breaking these in but gave up due to the constant pain.
  • Just a couple on months of walking and running and a rubber tube gave up, that's the end of these shoe for me.
  • I get a bad feeling of stability sensation while running and it comes from the sole, just can’t figure out if it’s too much spring or something similar. In wet or damp weather the shoes actually squeak like a mouse each time my foot lifts off or touches down, ridiculous.
  • The soles clicked a lot and started to break down especially at the rear which meant I could trip up if I stepped backwards. This all set in by 10 weeks of using these.
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 685 reviews we found in total, 8% were negative, and 92% were positive.
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Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The outsole of the On CloudSurfer is uniquely constructed. Right away you'll notice that instead of lugs, the shoe features what are called 'Cloudtec pillows'. They are intended to act as small springs under your foot to propel you forward and also absorb impact. Since there's no traditional outsole, the pods also work to provide grip for the wearer. What's strange about the shoe is that the outsole actually blends into the midsole making it significantly different than traditional running shoes. Unlike traditional rubber outsoles, the pod construction doesn't do a superb job when it comes to gripping underfoot. There's also another shortcoming in the fact that wearers are placed upon these pods. It tends to cause instability.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

As mentioned, the On CloudSurfer features a blended outsole and midsole. The clouds underfoot work to protect the wearer from impact and provide rebound but there's also a layer of EVA foam doing some work in the midsole of the shoe. Still, it's hard to figure out where the outsole ends and the midsole begins with this shoe.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The upper of the On CloudSurfer is made of engineered air mesh. You'll notice that there are very few overlays adorning the upper. This helps to keep the weight down and allows for a sleeker design. Most of the overlays are present at the back of the shoe ensuring the heel is locked in quite well. There's a convenient heel tab at the rear as well. This tab makes it easier to pull the shoes on and off. The lacing is fairly standard although quite a few reviewers complained about them. They pointed out that the laces are super thin and are annoying to tie and untie. A simple glance will prove this to be true. The laces are super thin and feel flimsy compared to the rest of the shoe. The upper also features reflective portions for visibility and a protective toe cap to keep the feet safe from impact with hard objects.
Weight
Weight

Weight

ThebCloudSurfer is heavier than similar shoe models. The men and women's version weigh nearly the same, which is a bit strange. It's a pretty heavy shoe which is deceiving considering the design looks so effortless and speedy. Looking at the shoe, the heft is not obvious so many reviewers were surprised when they put the shoes on for a run.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

This shoe features breathable Air Mesh in its upper. The flimsy laces probably also contribute to the shoe's overall breathability since there's little going on in terms of snugness here. The fit is not super secure, there's definitely room to breathe. Reviewers were generally happy with the shoe's ability to ventilate.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

The On CloudSurfer is a mixed bag when it comes to comfort. Reviewers commented on the soft cushioning and found it felt nice underfoot. The impact protection was also quite good. Here's where things go wrong. The shoe is much too heavy to be comfortable for speedwork. Even for long runs, the shoe may feel heavy to some. Reviewers found the shoe felt hard when landing on the front of the foot. Some runners didn't appreciate the significant heel to toe drop. Many found the laces very uncomfortable and too thin. And there were a variety of complaints regarding the sizing. The design is roomy so most runners will likely need to size down.
Style
Style

Style

The saving grace of the On CloudSurfer is its unique styling. The pods stand out quite a bit and may deter some runners looking for a more traditional design, but the rest of the shoe is sleek and fast looking. If the pods were non-existent, the shoe would look like a fashion sneaker.
Durability
Durability

Durability

This On shoe rates quite high in this category. Even with such a strange outsole design, the shoe stands up to everyday use quite well. The shoe is made of quality materials, and it shows. The sole doesn't degrade as quickly as some expected, which was quite the surprise. The 'Cloudtec pillows' don't deteriorate quickly and users marveled at how long lasting the outsole really was. Over time the pods actually become more responsive to movement and become less rigid.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The CloudSurfer provides adequate protection for everyday training. The outsole, as mentioned above, is quite durable and protects the foot quite well from surfaces underneath. The shoe also features reflective components for nighttime and early morning visibility. The cushioning, of course, also lends a hand with protection by helping to absorb the shock from each footfall. Reviewers probably loved the cushioning more than anything else in the shoe, citing it as soft and comfortable.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

This trainer provides a poor energy return. It's surprising considering the design of its outsole/midsole. Those Cloudtec pillows sure look like they provide a springy, energy-filled ride. Except, that's not really the case. Reviewers did mention that over time the pods seemed to provide a little bit more bounce back as they softened up, but overall, the shoe just isn't going to provide a super springy feel. Ground-feel still remains quite good, though, even with the strangely constructed outsole. The pods don't seem to get in the way of this at all.
Support
Support

Support

There's not a lot of the support in the On CloudSurfer. The upper features very few overlays and while the material hugs the foot nicely, the lacing system lacks the ability to properly tighten and ensure a secure fit. This is not a good training option even for mild overpronators. Reviewers also complained about the lack of ankle support with the On CloudSurfer. Most running shoes are not intended to provide lateral support, but this shoe provides a very wobbly according to users. Quite a few runners also mentioned that the shoe felt a little big. The wide fit will likely please those with larger feet but for some, it may make the shoe feel less supportive.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The On CloudSurfer is made for road running so there's not a significant amount of traction underfoot. Just enough to prevent slipping. The shoe handles wet weather quite well but trails are another story entirely. Even on the roads, the On CloudSurfer tends to pick up pebbles and rocks. They tend to get stuck in between the Cloudtec pillows underfoot and they don't dislodge easily. Running in muddy conditions is also discouraged as it will likely become caked between the pods. It's just really not an appropriate trail shoe.
Price
Price

Price

The shoe is priced a little higher than some were comfortable with, but the On CloudSurfer is a Swiss designed shoe meaning it's built with quality materials. The shortcomings of the shoe do tend to minimize its overall value, though. There's a fair bit of cushioning to offer a comfortable ride and the shoe itself is quite durable but the ride also feels flat and the support and stability are just not up to par.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The On CloudSurfer features a slip pattern underfoot for grip. There's not that much in terms of tread pattern, though, since the outsole does not provide full contact with the ground. Still, reviewers were pleased with the shoe's ability to handle wet conditions. The pod structure isn't going to perform as well as more traditional outsole types but it'll do fine for the occasional run on a slick ground. It's not a good choice for muddy conditions either since mud is sure to get stuck between the pods and reduce traction even further.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

This shoe's flexibility is about average. There are no special technologies to improve the shoe's malleability. Reviewers didn't seem to have too many complaints regarding this aspect of the shoe although they did mention that the cushioning sometimes felt a bit rigid. Forefoot runners, especially, found landing on the front of the foot a little uncomfortable, kind of like slapping the ground. Overtime, the pods do become a bit more malleable providing a bit less of a rigid feel underfoot.
Stability
Stability

Stability

It was mentioned earlier that the shoe lacks appropriate ankle support, more so than your average running shoe. Reviewers found the ride in the On CloudSurfer was unstable, perhaps because of the specially designed outsole with its Cloudtec pillows. The shoe also performs just okay when it comes to traction in wet weather, further decreasing the overall stability. A crappy lacing system and lack of overlays further degrade the shoe's ability to stabilize its rider. It's really not a shoe made for pronators. Neutral runners will be alright, especially those who prefer a more free-feeling ride.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The On CloudSurfer has a 7mm drop and is purported to encourage a more natural strike. This seems odd considering the severe geometry of the Cloudsurfer. Even when forefoot runners tried to strike as they naturally would, they found the impact jarring, not soft like the rearfoot. Some runners, even heel strikers, did not appreciate the very prominent drop from heel to toe.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

- Unique outsole construction
- Outsole is actually part of the midsole
- Slip tread pattern for grip underfoot
- EVA foam midsole
- Engineered Air Mesh upper construction
- Nearly zero overlays (except for the rear of the shoe)
- Pull tab at the heel
- Standard lacing system
- Reflective components
- Toecap for protection your feet fingers
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The On CloudSurfer rates below average in several areas of evaluation. The shoe is heavier than most in its category. It doesn't deliver as expected in terms of energy-return. Its traction isn't up to par and it just doesn't work for forefoot runners. A severe heel to toe drop feels awkward and the pods underfoot make the overall ride very unstable. Even mild pronators should look elsewhere for control since the On CloudSurfer just doesn't provide any. So, why buy? There were certainly some reviewers who enjoyed the pillow pods in the shoe's outsole. A few mentioned that when softened up, the rebound improved. The cushioning is also quite good, especially in the heel area, so landing feels soft. The shoe is also well-made. Its materials won't degrade quickly, even its outsole pods are resistant to wear. The upper is breathable, too, making it another thing the On CloudSurfer does well. The pods do provide a nice amount of padding but the shoe definitely still needs some work.