Cloudflow Running Shoe from On Running for men and women
Ciarán looked at one of the fastest growing running brands to see if they are worth the hype
The Cloudflow is one of On Running’s most popular race shoes. On Running is a Swiss brand you might not have heard of yet, but most regular runners will have seen them at the front of races and the brand is really taking off fast. They were founded in 2010 and now have Roger Federer on board (pardon the pun!). They recently released their new generation in the male and female range.
- Such a wide stable base in the shoe
- Lovely colour choices for male and female shoes
- Distinctive design
- Excellent build quality
- The small extra cushion height might take some getting used to for some
For some people, their running shoe brand choice is very narrow. They like to stick to what they know, with Nike or Asics being always popular choices. More brands are entering the market and some are having great success. On Running is one of them and, like me, you will be noticing their shoes on people’s feet in the coming months.
We tested their Cloudflow, which is their mid/short distance running shoe (10k to half marathon). They also have trail, long distance, hiking and everyday sneakers in their footwear collection. I was really intrigued by their range and styles and would love to try some more out especially their hiking boot, the Cloudrock Waterproof.
Considering I’d known very little about the company before testing this shoe, I was incredibly surprised by my first run. I jogged down to the nearby seafront and bumped into an old cycling buddy I hadn’t seen in a while. I told him I was testing out these new runners for review and we were both laughing that he had just bought the same runners in the exact same colour. He had used them a couple of times and was a big fan. He had actually just replaced the old Cloudflow model with these, having praised their durability and feel.
Either I am starting to be more observant or there are definitely more people wearing On trainers, as I saw another person in my local supermarket yesterday wearing them.
On my first run my feet felt very different than in my previous shoes but I felt great afterwards. They created a super “out of the box” video HERE where they got people running the NYC marathon to take the Cloudflows and run the race in them, straight out of the box! It would be highly unusual to do that, but the results at the end were great. I wouldn’t recommend you do it yourself, but it shows your feet are more resilient than you think and that you probably can change brand without issue.
Our writer Katie Tincello wisely told me “The available tech for running shoes means that nowadays you don’t need to wear something in, they should be good from the get go. It’s a serious advantage over the older shoes you may have been using”.
Weight and cushioning
The Cloudflow shoe is built for road running, so is light at 235g. That is about 20% lighter than the average mens mid level running shoe. It’s not in the super light category but I believe any lighter and you lose the durability needed for a training shoe. They feel great when you put them on and the materials used feel slightly more premium than some of the regular brands.
It has 22mm of cushion in the back with 16mm in the forefoot. That equals a nice and low 6mm heel to toe drop with the focus on mid cushion rather than stacking the heel up. This low stack height does take a little getting used to as you feel a little flatter. At the start, I was slightly scuffing my feet when running on concrete because of the extra cushioning in the midsole. I slowly changed my gait once I was aware of it and it went away.
The Cloudflow has normal shoe width, although I felt that they were roomier than my previous race runners, which were quite tight. My foot, in the Cloudflow, was far more spread out in the footbox which I much preferred. At first it seemed to big, but the shoe has good cushioning in the insole so it’s comfortable and I didn’t feel any sliding. I would just go with your normal footwear sizing if ordering online or maybe half a size down.
About three years ago, I developed the dreaded plantar fasciitis in my heel. I stopped using my old training runners that I had three models of. In my previous shoes I would feel my right heel roll in each stride, which started the pain in my heel and calves. I was worried about trying out a brand new shoe, but I had nothing to lose, and I was very glad I did. The wide feeling neutral base and low stack made a big difference and I have been pain free in every run.
One of the big selling points is the cloud-like cushioning which comes from the Helion superfoam. The sole is unusual looking with 18 “Cloud elements” which each look like hollow air pillows. It’s very unique and cool looking. It works too as they feel responsive and cushioned.
The “super foam” used here is Helion. It focuses on giving energy return so you get that spring feeling with each stride. The days of feeling stuck in the mud should be over. This rebound feeling comes from their “re-engineered Speedboard” within the shoe which gives that spring in your step. The new forefoot material in the sole should increase longevity of the shoe also.
They have a lightweight and ventilated upper, which is really breathable. It has a lace loop holder in the tongue which I actually didn’t realise I needed until I had it. You tuck your tied laces into it and then head off running. No more flappy laces distracting you!
Pricing and Colour options
The Cloudflow are €150 and come in five colours for men (two newly released) and four for women (one newly released). They are available in most sizes including some half sizes.
Buying shoes online can be a slight struggle sometimes but their Perfect Shoe Finder is the best I have come across in helping you narrow the range. The shoes are also available in good running stores so you can go and check them out in person too. They have a nice sock range on their site and I picked their Mid Sock (as pictured above) as one of the Top 5 Running Socks of 2020.
I would give the Cloudflow Running Shoe FIVE out of Five stars and they will probably be my go-to shoe moving forward. They are well worth checking out and have brilliant colour options too.
You can see the product on their website here
We also have these two running reviews on;
And the fabulous SOAR Running Kit review
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