It’s about to get weird.
On’s rise in the running industry has been nothing short of meteoric. The Swiss running company, known famously for their unique looking CloudTec cushioning system, little open pods of rubber on the exterior of the shoe, have garnered a lot of attention in our store and across North America.
Their latest concoction, the Cloudmonster, is definitely their weirdest, most frankenstein-eque model yet and marks their first foray into the realm of maximal cushioning.
Around here we definitely love our cushioned running shoes, however it’s fair to say that I’ve never been one to drink the On 'Kool-Aid'. I have found their advertised Cloud technology to be on the firmer side compared to other models.
However, their latest introduction of the Cloudmonster may just have me reaching for a glass. Here’s my unbiased opinion of the new Cloudmonster; how it fits, feels, and why it might fit into your shoe rotation.
Engineered as an everyday mileage running shoe, the Cloudmonster is On’s ticket to compete with the likes of the Hoka Bondi, Clifton or New Balance Fresh Foam More models. Designed to provide an ultra soft and spongy feel, On uses their latest cushioning material, Helion, a super foam fusing different types of foam to create a supernatural amount of energy return. Despite the large stack height, the shoe feels sleek and relatively lightweight, sitting 3 oz below similar competitor models. After a couple of runs, it’s fair to say the Cloudmonster lives up to the name, and something I’ve felt On has missed in their lineup in the past. Let’s dive into the fit.
The design and fit of the upper is something On has consistently done well in their lineup and the Cloudmonster is no exception. Using a recycled polyester, On creates a Soft-touch comfort fabric that provides an immediate step-in comfort. I found it both aesthetically pleasing, clean, lightweight, breathable and secure on my foot. After a couple of runs in the shoe I experienced no hot spots, or rubbing of any sort, and I found the tongue and lacing system to fit seamlessly around my foot. However, having a bit of a shallower forefoot, I did find it to fit my foot very well; a forewarning to those who may need a bit more volume to perhaps go up half a size to accommodate.
The Cloudmonster was a lot of fun to run in. My immediate impression was “wow”, super light, airy but with tons of ‘squish’. It felt lively, provided super soft landings and gave me the first sensation of actually running on clouds that On’s advertised for so long. I felt an immense amount of energy return and got an almost propulsive feel when toeing off. I think integral to the feel of the shoe is the Speedboard, a plastic plate that sits above the Helion foam and large pods, acting as a stabilizing element to the rest of the midsole, which helps to produce that explosive feel. These elements, coupled with the rocker geometry of the shoe, give the Cloudmonster a really playful feel that is unmatched in their lineup.
Why might it work for you?
If you’re tired of pounding the pavement and are after a super soft, plush and lightweight daily trainer, the Cloudmonster may be hard to beat. Classified by On as a ‘performance running’ model, I found these best suited for my easy days, short to long runs on the road. It would be a perfect fit to tackle your everyday mileage. For individuals wanting a reliable shoe, with a bit more shock absorption heading into those summer miles, I think the Cloudmonster would be a perfect fit.
Type: Road / Neutral
Weight: 275g (M), 230g (W)
Running shoes should inspire you to get out of the door and that’s something I think On harnesses really well with the Cloudmonster. If you’re looking at your current running shoes and thinking “‘hmm, my shoes don’t feel like that," I’d suggest it might be time to make a switch.