While I have generally average feet that can handle most shoes with relative ease (a good problem to have here at Run Oregon), switching to new shoes always makes me a little bit nervous. I have recently ran in On shoes, but before that it had been over 8 years! The new On Cloudgo releases today and we have been testing them out for a few weeks.
The recently reviewed the On Cloudmonster – a super impressive running shoe that we described as “the most well-constructed true running shoe in their arsenal”. The newly released Cloudgo may not have the same sort of bouncy feeling to it, but we feel this shoe – generally marketed towards newer runners – may actually provide an amazing option for seasoned runners as well!
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First of all, here is how On launched some of the marketing as this shoe rolled out:
To help spread the news, On created a fast-paced, hyper-fun, ground-breaking film inspired by the world of video games and a partnership with Snapchat lets fans experience the shoe virtually. By scanning a Snapcode on special On shop windows, Snapchatters around the globe can open the world of the Cloudgo and experience the inanimate in Augmented Reality through the Snapchat camera. A special lens developed in collaboration with the social media giant lets fans around the world to turn themselves into the hero of the film and follow a pair of Cloudgos in a retro futuristic video games environment.
While I appreciate a good AR / VR session (I can’t stop playing Walkabout MiniGolf), my guess is that most seasoned runners haven’t had, or needed, this to get the ball rolling. But we are in a different world right now (in sooo many ways), and any way to get people into running the better in our opinion. But don’t let this new digital marketing age sway you from what is an amazingly constructed shoe.
The Cloudgo comes in a few color options and our media pair was definitely the most basic and underwhelming of the bunch. We aren’t going to dock On for this, as there are forthcoming some really cool colorways that will be available. They all look fantastic.
That being said, the black option isn’t an eyesore by any means. It just happens to be black on black on black (on black…), with only the grey logos – and a small red & white swiss tag – providing any color at all. It is sleek and actually weirdly provides some flash if only for the fact that you don’t generally see such a monotone shoe on the market anymore.
The more I wear it, the more I sorta love it.
It also happens to double extremely well in the casual sphere as a result – if you happen to be in the mood for a crossover option. This specific colorway may be a little “dad shoe-y”, but I have three daughters so, what the hell. If that’s not your jam – the other colorways should satisfy your need for color.
Programming note – when we read the press release that On was creating a shoe with newer runners in mind, we were a little nervous. Historically, we (along with many others) have found their running shoes landing on the firm side. Add in an extremely affordable running shoe price point of $140 and we figured we were destined for something too simple to accommodate seasoned runners – and I think we were way wrong on that.
Though the upper is black in nature, it does have some crossweaving that gives it a little added flair up close. The material seems relatively straightforward and has proved to be breathable enough. It’s not super fancy in this realm, but does pretty well.
It is made from mostly recycled polyester and the the heel and tongue cushion are super soft as well. As someone who struggled with heel rubbing in my early running journey, it is great that this seems prioritized in this entry-level shoe. Excessive hotspots or irritation in weird locations can derail a new runner’s desires to keep pushing forward, so we think this is a great option on that front.
Even with an entry-level shoe, this shoe still provides their CloudTec technology and a modified Speedboard (TPU as opposed to plastic) to allow for a softer landing. Then add in an extra layer of foam below the insole and you get such a nice cushion with less fatigue.
Also noticeable different are the shifts to the pods – a staple in On’s running shoes. On is associated with these, and it was evident that the often-described “holes in the shoes” were less pronounced and provided more cushion. They still go all the way through the shoe, but the commitment to cushion as opposed to “airholes” provides a completely new, and really solid, feel in our opinion.
Since my first On review, they have seemingly upgraded their game on the grip. I don’t know if these have quite the traction as some on the market but, to be fair, running 3-5 miles at a time in these probably don’t require the most robust traction system ever created. While there hasn’t been any rain in our initial review period, they seem well enough constructed to meet the needs of most runners. I don’t think this is going to be a dealbreaker by any means. The reduced pronouncement of the pods should really alleviate a lot of runner’s concerns about rocks getting stuck (which we hear on EVERY On review post).
The shoe fits pretty well out of the box. It seemed to fit lower under the ankles than many running shoes out there, though don’t know if that’s actually the case – it just feels like I’m riding a little bit above the shoe. Perhaps it is the 11mm drop – pretty large all things considered. Depending on your feet, there may be some challenges with locked-in lateral support, but an addition of a wider base helped balance that out a little for me. Even so, for a shoe designed for the simplicities of the road, this shouldn’t be much of an issue – if it is even at all for you. The lacing was quite nice though, allowing for a nicely secure fit through the upper without much adjusting.
Our first feeling after the initial run was one of “wow- this is surprisingly nice”. After a few more runs and casual wear, we continue enjoying the fit in the Cloudgo’s more than we thought it would. It has a nice amount of cushion – especially in the heel and our feet have been happy when running in lower distances. We got WAY more than we expected – and that’s an absolute good thing.
While not as springy as the Cloudmonster, this everyday training shoe really surprised us in all the right ways. It’s comfortable, cushioned, and provides a really nice ride. Add in the fact that 85-90% of its polyester is recycled, and over 25-30% of the entire shoe is made from recycled materials, and that’s a good thing as well. and THEN place the price point at $140 and the Cloudgo continues its “wow” parade. Recommended!
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Products & Price:
- On Cloudgo | $140
- Weight: ~9.0 oz (M8.5);
- Offset: 11mm
Thank you to On for providing us with test shoes. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.