I have been aware of the On brand for a while and was very interested in their shoes. I had the opportunity to try on a pair when I visited runners need in Exeter and resolved that when my Nike Vomero’s finally needed to be retired I would splash out on a pair of Cloudsurfer’s. They felt beautifully crafted in the hand and although they feel a little odd when you first walk around in a pair they fit like a slipper, and feel much more like an extension of your leg then a big bit of rubber and foam on the end of it.
The biggest difference between On and other brands is their ‘cloudtec’, the shock-absorbing cushioning system that lines the bottom of the sole. The 13 ‘clouds’ are designed to close and lock for a natural transition for a faster takeoff, which should allow you to spend more time in the air. The ‘clouds’ also absorb the shock of the impact of running when you land. As someone who has battled shin splints since I have been running I was slightly apprehensive that they wouldn’t provide enough cushioning and I would soon be in pain. In fact the opposite has happened, previously when trying to run some fast miles the increased speed would always irritate my shins. This has not happened with the Cloudsurfer’s to any great extent and they give me the confidence to really stretched my legs when I want to without worrying about any debilitating repercussions.
I will quote On’s listed features and give my verdict on whether I think they are true. On describe their features as:
‘Uniquely engineered mesh places breathability and support exactly where they’re needed on the foot. Knitted from one single layer to enhance the fit’ I agree with this, I have not notice my feet getting hot and even when running fast down hill, where in the past I have felt the sole of my foot warming up due to the friction in the On’s it hasn’t occured
‘Second layer sock construction brings ultimate in shoe comfort. It adapts to your foot for a unique fit’ The fit of the Cloudsurfer’s I have found to be perfect, no discomfort and they make you feel like you want to keep running.
‘Newly developed arrow pattern provides outstanding grip and traction. The open cloud construction makes saves weight to make the Cloudsurfer lighter then ever’ I haven’t lost grip in them but definitely think traction can be improved in the wet. It has been most noticeable when running up a greasy hill.
So far I have not ran any more then 10 miles in them in a single run. This is because I mainly run on trails but use the lanes around my home to get in some mileage when I just want to get straight out the door after work. I feel completely confident though that if I wanted to do a road half or marathon then they would perform just as well. It has also made me want to try On’s trail shoes because I have been so impressed with these.
- I found their sizing spot on and have had zero hotspots or any hint of a blister or foot issues
- Although subjective I find them a very aesthetically pleasing shoe
- Cushioning feels just right for me, the Cloudsurfer’s are said to be for anyone wanting to run 6-8 minute miles in them which is what I do on my average training runs. On make a range of shoes with more or less cushioning depending on what you want, so you can find something suitable
- They are at the more expensive end of the market and I couldn’t find last seasons anywhere for a discount
- I find when running up hills when the ground is greasy they don’t provide the best grip
I have been very impressed so far. They are lovely to run in and have benefited my shin splints which I didn’t even consider as a possibility. The only question mark I have about the shoes is how durable they are, but after over 50 miles there are no signs of wear yet. If they prove their durability, which for around £120 you would hope they do, then I would definitely buy other On shoes and would especially like to try the Cloudventure.
You can order them online at www.on-running.com