Is this the best On running shoe yet?
The new On Cloudsurfer shoe has just been released and here are my thoughts after having a demo run in them. Let's be clear first of all though, this new Cloudsurfer is a completely different shoe to the original one.
On running shoes generally tend to spark debate, some people love them and others just don't get on with them. My first ever On shoe was the original Cloudsurfer, which at the time was a great introduction to this relatively new running brand. Over time I have run in several On shoes and whilst I have enjoyed them I wouldn't say they have been my favourite running shoes. During the last few years I have looked for a bit more cushioning and softness under foot and I have tended to find On shoes firmer than others. They give you a great responsive ride but at the sacrifice of some cushioning in my opinion.
The On Cloudmonster introduced last year was a step in the right direction for me and indicated that On knew they needed to develop their midsoles. Well lets just say they have done that big time with the new Cloudsurfer! You hear a lot of hype about new running shoes and sometimes the actual shoe does not live up to the hype. This shoe is not disappointing in that respect.
Here On have introduced a new midsole, Cloudtec Phase, that sill uses their Helion foam but they have removed the speedboard that is usually found in their shoes. Also, the cloud elements on the midsole have a distinctively different shape, they are angled forward. On claim that this new midsole technology 'delivers a silky-smooth ride, for On’s most actively cushioned landings yet.' Well I have to agree it definitely does feel like On's most cushioned and softest shoe yet. Having said that there is still a nice responsiveness to the shoe through transition from foot-strike to pushing off. The claim from On is that 'the midsole collapses in sequence to deliver a gentle heel-to-toe transition', and I have to agree that is how it felt. The shoe feels light and responsive but has a really nice softness under foot, without feeling super mushy. I have never run in an On shoe with a feel like this, it felt smooth light soft and springy.
Design wise, as like most On shoes they look amazing and I'm loving the creek/white colourway in the men's shoe. All black and all white are also available, but come on that's a bit boring! One thing to be aware of is the fit, they are coming up a bit snug, so you may want to go up a half size.
Another big change is the outsole. How many of us have liked an On shoe but got frustrated at getting little stones stuck on the bottom of the shoe! The distinctive grooves have gone so this should not now be an issue. There is also just the right amount of rubber under the forefoot and heel. Nice to see that the bottom is not completely covered, just in the areas that matter.
Would I buy this shoe? Damn right. It's £150, but for that I feel you are getting a very versatile shoe that you could use for different types of runs. It's light and responsive enough for shorter distances, races and tempo runs, but there is enough cushioning under foot to look after the legs on longer efforts. Also, it is good to see some effort being put in to the sustainability of this shoe. There are no plastic overlays and it has been built from 30% recycled materials and also uses water-saving dope dye technology.
If you have tried On shoes before but not got on with them I recommend you give the Cloudsurfer a go, you won't be disappointed. Is this the best On running shoe yet? In my opinion, without a doubt.