On Running; Cloudace. Holding True To Its Name

On Running is known for its innovative design, patented CloudTec® technology and premium-quality build and design. How can a company like On outdo itself? Here’s how, by releasing the Cadillac of its shoe lineup. And, to be more precise, not just any Cadillac but the CTS-V (where my car guys at?!).


The Specs

Model: Cloudace

Mens size: 12

Weight: 13.12oz (mens 12)

Offset: 7mm (30mm heel, 23mm forefoot)

Type: support; cushioned

Use: long runs / general cushion & support needs

Color: Shadow / Rust


Style

In the world of running shoes, I don’t know if any company kills the style game quite like On. While their shoes are designed on a performance focused and well thought out platform, the company puts just as much thought in the design and construction of its shoes to complete the package of a great performing shoe that looks great whether you’re out running or just wearing them casually.

The color combo of this pair is Shadow / Rust, which consists of a slew of different shades of black and grey along with a bright red. In addition to the alternating colors are varying pattern designs. The look is a breath of fresh air for me from a lot of other running shoes which typically have a single pattern throughout the upper. On is all about the little things and one of the nice touches they add are the metal top eyelets, with the outside eyelet being the “O” from the On logo.

It’s these little touches and premium upper designs/overlays that draw a lot of people to On, but these additions do come at a cost, both financially and added weight. For these reasons, the Cloudace may not be the best/economical choice as a pure performance or race shoe, but some may find that the sacrifice in weight and/or cost is worth it.

It’s these little touches and premium upper designs/overlays that draw a lot of people to On, but these additions do come at a cost, both financially and added weight. For these reasons, the Cloudace may not be the best/economical choice as a pure performance or race shoe, but some may find that the sacrifice in weight and/or cost is worth it.

Style Creativity: 10/10

Color Combinations: 10/10

Physical Lines: 9.5/10

Attention to Detail: 10/10

Overall Look: 9.5/10


Performance & Feel

Despite being a fashion forward running shoe, the performance and feel is what this shoe was built for and where the money you spent on this thing is really invested.


The Upper

The upper is made of a light and breathable multi-piece mesh. The material feels light on foot and allows for plenty of room in the toe box. The mid foot is a bitter more structured than the toe which is excellent for a locked in/secure feel. The heel is very secure and stable thanks to the thick material and the firm heel counter.

The inside of the upper is my favorite aspect of the shoe. The heel cup has 3d molded foam sections that are very supple but give your ankle a secure and locked in feeling. Other shoes feature these molded sections, but something about the fabric and foam that On used makes these feel less intrusive and more smooth.

The tongue is just right as well. It’s thick but not too thick, it almost has that not-there feeling but also feels like a soft and smooth cushion to protect against lace discomfort at the top of the foot.

The sock liner is more of an aftermarket insert than your traditional thin foam liner. The front is a thinner foam material, but at the mid foot and back it becomes much thicker and is a nice squishy memory foam feeling material. This feature added a tremendous amount of smooth cushiony feel at the mid foot and heel, and is fantastic for long runs or recovery runs. The only gripe I had about this was that the transition from the cheap thin foam to the premium thick foam was abrupt and way too noticeable right in the middle of your foot. The best way to describe it is that it felt like your sock was bunched up under your foot. After about 40 miles, things settled in and this annoyance mellowed out and wasn’t as noticeable as with a new pair. Despite being annoyed by this, I still think having this insert was well worth it. If I could change one thing, it would be that On should have used the same material throughout the insert and just tapered it toward the toe, rather than layering 2 different materials together.

The Midsole

Being an On running shoe, obviously the midsole is made of CloudTec®, but this top-shelf option is totally different than the rest. Sandwiched between the clouds and the upper is a Pebex plate that On calls its “Speedboard”

Support now means speed 
Flow forward with the liquid-injected Speedboard of the Cloudace. Its extra-wide design stablizes your foot throughout each phase of the rolling motion while also propelling your push-off. Who said support had to be slow? – On Running

This Speedboard works like that of the Nike Zoom streak 7, or a lesser version of the Vaporfly, where as you push off, the bent board wants to snap back straight, giving a bit of a diving board sensation.

The clouds in this model work as all others do, by creating a low-weight cushion that softens your landing and compress flat, which provides a firm and stable surface to push off from. Where these differ is in the implementation of rubber clouds in the forefoot and foam clouds form the mid foot back. The reasoning for this setup is so that you can have soft and comfortable shock absorption when running slower paces where your foot will typically land more toward the mid foot or heel. The thinner more responsive rubber on the forefoot was used as a way of allowing fast turnover for up paced runs or bursts of speed. As opposed to slower runs, your fast runs will usually have you landing on the ball of your foot, and when you’re trying to do fast you want a stable and response material under your foot for the best feel and speed.

The tread on the outsole is very minimal but generally gets the job done. I did notice however that things felt a bit slippery on wet concrete, all other surfaces including dirt and wet grass didn’t feel too bad though. The heel has added rubber over the foam to protect from wear, but, this rubber seemed to wear pretty quickly. I got up to 75 miles in this shoe, and the outer heel pod looked like it was just about to wear through the red rubber, and start exposing the foam.

The overall feeling of the midsole is excellent. The cloud layout works greatly as On intended and felt soft on slow runs, and responsive on faster runs. The midsole is a bit on the wider side, which felt excellent for stability and always felt well planted on the ground.

Weight

The weight of this shoe is where me and On disagree, and is the only aspect that I really wish could change. The shoe isn’t super heavy, and is a little lighter than the Adidas Ultraboost, but it is on the heaver side and for me (13.12oz, men’s size 12) which rules it out as a daily shoe, and sure as hell eliminates it from a tempo run shoe. For my shoe rotation, the Cloudace was left being a recovery or mellow long run shoe, but due to the price and great feel, I really would like to like this as a daily option. Being transparent, I’m very sensitive to shoe weight, maybe even a diva. Plenty of people wear this as a daily and some prefer running marathons in it, so take my gripe about the weight with a grain of salt.


Final Thoughts

The On Cloudace is the mullet of running shoes (bear with me and use your imagination). This thing is business in the front and party in the back. The shoe serves as a secure and stable shoe that can do it all. All aspects of the front of the shoe were designed for a snappy responsive run, whereas the mid foot and rear was designed for squishy, long lasting comfort. With the high cost comes premium features that make for a smooth and supple upper and a performance driven midsole. No corners were cut with this shoe, and the only sac rife I can see is in the weight. For me, the weight is a bit of a deal breaker for this to be a daily go-to option. For those who aren’t as picky about weight as I am, this may be a near perfect option as a do-it-all running shoe. Coming in at $200, this shoe won’t be for everyone, but I think it’s worth it if you are the type to demand the best that technology can offer. If I could make a recommendation to On for a version 2, it would be to find ways of reducing weight. If this shoe came in at just under 12oz for my size 12, I would most likely use this for almost everything. Another request I have, but may not be practical, is the replace the Pebex plate with a carbon plate. This would had more snap and would reduce weight, but I’m assuming cost constraints won’t allow for this.

Weight: 6/10

Softness: 9.5/10

Responsiveness: 8.5/10

Stability: 9.5/10

Comfort: 9.5/10

Overall Feel: 9.5/10

Bottom Line: 9/10


For different perspectives on this shoe, check out reviews from the OG’s of the running-shoe-review game.

Jami’s Reviews

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWPzT9H7dH5i7FaI9-BuUmA

Kofuzi

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe43pe3w4L6w3tNMRkWiJBA

Believe in the Run

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2-2J_y_jpOYz8Rld5C6C5w

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