Is this the best On Running Shoe ever? The On Cloudsurfer Delivers!

It seems like with every shoe release there is new technology being created and added. A lot of these new tech provide little tweaks to the function and refine things that previous versions lacked. On’s new CloudTec Phase midsole technology absolutely changes the game for them, in our opinion.

While we have mostly felt pretty good about On’s catalog over the years (though we think they have skewed on the firmer side), the Cloudsurfer is by far the most comfortable and run-ready shoe right out of the box. The Cloudmonster was the first step in the right direction, but we will just say it – the Cloudsurfer is amazing.

It’s the closest thing that On has created to running on clouds. There is a good amount of cushion with just a tiny bit of road feel to them. It’s a beautifully comfortable shoe to run in (and look at). We were prepared to like the shoes a lot, but I didn’t really expect to love them as much as I have. Here’s more from Run Oregon, including from previous Run Oregon owner Kelly Barten.

Read all our posts about On here!

If ever there was a well-named shoe, the On Cloudsurfer is that shoe.

Putting the shoe on wasn’t always easy – but only because my daughter, who unfortunately (for me) is now wearing the same size shoes, would steal them every chance she got. Running in them, however, was a blissful break from my current running routine.

>Their heavenly cushion made everything feel lighter on my runs – my feet for sure, but also legs heavy from the previous day’s deadlifts. I’m not going to be that blogger who says, “They’re like running on clouds” but I do have to admit that statement would be a pretty perfect summary.

At just about 7.5 ounces, the On Cloudsurfer is lightweight but provides consistent cushion that defies science. I wear a size 8.5 in running shoes, and a size 8 in dress shoes, and found the On Cloudsurfer 8.5 to be exactly as expected to fit in both length and width

Flat laces that stay tied were a good length for me, with a loose fit and a double knot. I typically need to lace-lock to provide a little closer fit in the heel, but did not need to with the Cloudsurfer. Just putting them on for the first time was instant bliss – no breaking-in period needed.

My first run in them was only two miles – a short little jaunt before a strength workout – and what I noticed most about the ride is that they have exceptional grip on paved roads and concrete sidewalk. The Cloudsurfer made my runs feel quick and effortless, especially once I realized I didn’t need to watch my step and avoid painted marks on the road.

Where I am with my running is sort of a state of “wishing things could be the way they used to be.” My 51-minute 10k from 2018 seems miles away. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt fast on a run – the kind of fast that doesn’t mean a speedier mile time. It’s cruising along with minimal effort, where you actually realize that you feel good when you pick up the pace. But the On Cloudsurfer provides such a soft ride that I’ve actually extended runs just because I feel so good.

If you’re used to lower-drop shoes, these might take some getting used to – they’ve got a 10mm drop. But it’s a 10mm drop of the softest footbed you’ve ever experienced. Despite the indulgent cushioning, I didn’t notice any lateral movement and found the ride to have an intuitive feel and support a light and quick turnover.

I can’t write about On without mentioning that they’ve got offices right here in Portland, Ore. The Switzerland-based company has had their US headquarters in Portland since 2013, and it’s clear they understand the Pacific Northwest runner. The Cloudsurfer is made of 30% recycled materials, with 100% of the poly upper made from previously used materials. The company also uses less water in the production of this shoe, dying its vibrant colors using only 5% of the water usually used in the process.

Give your tired dogs a break from the pound(ing) and do yourself the favor of at least trying on the Cloudsurfer at your favorite local running store. You can also order them with confidence directly from On’s website here.

On Cloudsurfer $180


Weight: 8.6 oz – Men’s 8.5

Offset: 10mm


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Thank you to On for providing us with test items. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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