“Disclaimer: I received a pair of On Running Cloudsurfers to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a new runner? My answer is always, get fitted for a pair of running shoes. What works for me, doesn’t work for everyone. So, I hope my long review of these great shoes, helps you find the shoe that works for you.
I really wasn’t too familiar with these shoes before they arrived, (as they are a Swiss company) so I was excited to open the box for the first time.
I am also cautious when trying new shoes, I want to slowly incorporate them into my training as to not get injured. I got the shoes on the same day as a Hawkeye basketball game, (Feb 24) so I laced them up and wore them to the arena. (the reflectors really pop)
The first thing I noticed was the shoelaces. They are very skinny and very long. I just did my usual double knot and they didn’t seem to be a problem. The second thing I noticed was they really didn’t feel spring like or extra cushioned, which I expected from their appearance. I really didn’t feel the “clouds” on the bottom as something clunky. I did also notice they are very light weight and very roomy in the toe box, in fact the toe is squared off and not pointy.
Ok, so maybe you would like a little more technical details from the On Running website, so you know what I am talking about.
- neutral shoe
- 7mm drop
- 8.5 oz (women’s size 7)
- runners looking for a cushioned yet highly responsive training and competition shoe
- Cloudtec system – 13 “clouds” on the bottom designed to close and lock for a natural transition and faster take off
- Land soft – cushion both vertical and horizontal
- push off hard
If you need more technical specs, check out this page https://clouds.on-running.com/en-us/technology?_ga=1.268862963.304227162.1452720283
Also why the name ON? Well these shoes are described as turning your muscles on, turning your legs on. They don’t allow you to heel strike. Check out the logo….the “O” is the power symbol, turned to the on position.
I really don’t care to copy and paste all the information from the website, however some of that is important, so here is the link – https://www.on-running.com/en-us I’d rather tell you how they performed when put to the test. I have logged almost 85 miles in them, however I have yet to get to a track or run on a treadmill, so keep that in mind if that is where you run.
I kept a little journal of my runs. As I mentioned, I phased them into my training. I usually run in a 12mm drop, neutral shoe; and these were quite different, being they were more of a minimalist shoe for me.
- My first run on Feb 25, I took my GoPro along and snapped them in action. I logged 2.89 miles on paved surfaces. My notes say “windy, 30 ish degrees, pavement, light weight, not much cushion, no problems, tiny shoelaces, roomy fit”
- Feb 26, ran 4 miles on paved surfaces. I thought, if I run on trails, will rocks get stuck in them? No real problems, when I do warm up walking, I notice the clouds on bottom.
- Feb 27, 7 miles, paved, no problems
- Feb 29, I ran in my other shoes 2/28, as I am still phasing these in. When I went back to these I could really tell the difference in the drop, feel so minimalist, but had to problems.
- March 2, ran at lunch time, right away could feel the minimal difference from my work shoes. First run on the trail. I got a rock stuck between the clouds, not inside one of them, could not feel it. In fact I stopped to check and that is how I noticed it.
- March 3, ran again on the trail at lunch. It had snowed, and the breathable mesh was noticeable as my feet were cold.
- March 6, 7.49 miles. Somewhere I had picked up a rock in my shoe, but I didn’t feel it. This is when I thought, I wonder how long this rock will stay here. Otherwise no problems.
- March 8 – wasn’t feeling well, but managed 3 miles without problem and my pet rock was still there.
- March 16 – 8 days since my last run in them…don’t worry I ran a marathon in this time and wasn’t ready to run that long in these. Back to the training, I ran 3.5 miles this day without problem, the rock is still there.
10. March 17 – weird foot pain, ran 6 miles and foot actually felt better running. Rock still there.
11. March 19 – raced the Hot Dash 10 mile, longest run in them. FELT GREAT! This race was also 6 days after my marathon, and I felt like I pushed the pace and raced this, mainly because the shoe. I was really working on the landing soft and pushing off hard. I was one minute from my PR at this distance.
12. March 21 – 5 speedy trail miles, I can easily push the pace in these.
13. March 24 – 8 miles, splashed in puddles, then they were wet and sounded squishy, but didn’t feel squishy.
14. March 25 – 3 miles on the trail
15. March 26 – Easter Egg Scramble 5k, pushed the pace on a hilly course, keep noticing again how light and roomy the shoes feel.
16. March 27 – ran 10 miles, it was after a rain storm, shoes were loud after they hit a puddle, squishy sounding. However no problems. Oh and the rock is still there, and I don’t feel it, I like just keeping it there for the ride.
If you are still with me….I really like these shoes, they make me feel fast , they are light weight and they also perform great on the trail. Speaking of– I hear a trail shoe is in the works, and I hope to be able to purchase a pair of these.
I am particular about my shoe, I didn’t notice any weird pinching of my feet, they never felt clunky on the run, and I do not have any injuries. I also never felt any leg fatigue or soreness of muscles transitioning to these shoes. While they felt big when first fit, I ordered my normal running shoe size and they felt great on the run, they actually kind of felt like a sock, as the mesh was so breathable.
I will keep these in the rotation, my pet rock has many more miles to log.
The company is very excited about their shoes, as they should be. They make shoes! They are not making 230940239 things, the focus is on making a great shoe. They have different models for how you train or race.
If you would like to purchase a cloudsurfer or cloudracer or cloudflyer or … Check out this handy where to buy tool or place an order online. They retail for $149 which is a competitive price for shoes on the market. Also depending on your training you can get about 500 miles on a pair.
Still not sold and need more information, well my fellow pros might be able to help you out.