Brian Metzler shares his On Cloudflyer review after putting this stability running shoe through its paces.
The On Cloudflyer is lightweight, soft and secure high-mileage stability trainer. It’s built on a chassis of On’s unique Cloud cushioning system.
It feels as good as it looks, with a unique, well-built structure that can move as fast or slow as you need it to.
The Cloudflyer has been updated with a new resilient foam midsole. Add to that a new outsole system and a new engineered mesh upper has been added. It features a new, forked Cloud outsole configuration that supports a healthy rolling motion and a stronger push-off feeling.
The innovative Cloud cushioning system features 12 uniquely shaped Cloud cushioning pods. These unique pods help protect and guide a runner’s feet, supporting them as they roll through the gait cycle from foot strike to toe off. The Clouds are configured to reduce inward rotation on landing. They also combine with the internal Speedboard allow for stable, natural transitions every stride.
The new On Helion Superfoam is soft but also extremely resilient. It does a great job at damping the impact when a foot touches down to the ground. However, when combined with the extra-stiff Speedboard, it also provides an energetic pop. This crescendos into a noticeable burst of forward propulsion as the foot reaches the toe-off phase of the stride.
The new engineered mesh upper provides exceptional breathability and a better, more accommodating fit that helps support efficient foot movement. Subtly placed reflective details around the shoe offer high visibility for safety running at night.
FIT, FEEL, RIDE
The On Cloudflyer fits a tad bit shorter than typical true-to-size measurements. Likewise, it has a low- to medium-volume interior with a slightly narrower heel cavity.
It fits snug and feels soft at step-in, creating an energetic and athletic vibe out on the run.
Although the Cloudflyer is not a minimalist shoe, it gives off a low-to-the-ground sensation with an engaging feel-for-the-ground proprioception. All of that results in an agile, performance-oriented and very stable ride making it run lighter than it actually is.
No matter if you’re a heel-striker or a mid-foot runner, the Cloudflyer will give you the appropriate cushioning and stability in every stride.
WHO IT’S BEST FOR
Runners looking for a supremely cushioned and stable shoe that retains a light, agile, performance-oriented feel will enjoy this shoe for the comfort and versatility it provides.
The On Cloudflyer is great for long runs and recovery runs, but it also performs well in some longer faster-paced training, including tempo runs, long intervals and fartlek runs. Our wear-testers suggested it could be a great shoe for racing from 10K to the marathon.
Pros: On Cloudflyer 2020
Although the Cloudflyer feels as light and nimble as many neutral-oriented shoes, it’s a modern stability shoe that offers significant medial-side support for runners who need it. Over-pronating runners will appreciate that support throughout a run, but neutral-runners will benefit from it on long runs or races when fatigue starts to result in form breakdown.
Our wear-testers rated the Cloudflyer as a great choice for bigger runners and runners with wider feet. The interior shape of the shoe, a plush, cushioned tongue and the state-of-the-art star-lacing system accommodate for an extensive range of foot widths, effectively dispersing pressure and providing a supportive, wrap-like sensation.
An adaptive V-molded heel cap and memory foam collar combine for a snug and stable heel feel, while a dual-density sockliner provides next-level comfort in every step.
Cons: On Cloudflyer 2020
Tiny peddles can get caught int the outsole of the Cloudflyer’s Cloud cushioning pods.
While it generally doesn’t avoid the shoe’s flexibility or performance, it can be an annoying occurrence.
SHOP ON CLOUDFLYER
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brian Metzler was the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine and formerly the editor of Competitor Magazine. He is the author of Kicksology: The Science, Hype, Culture and Cool of Running Shoes. (2019, VeloPress)