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Review: On Running Cloudflyer shoe

Written by Fiona

October 16 2020

On Running are famous for their unique outer sole. The sole is made with “cloud” style cushioning. I have been testing the new Cloudflyer. The shoe is aimed at “comfort and support” on tarmac.

Featues include:

  • Helion superfoam
  • Bespoke Speedboard
  • 3D-moulded heel and a wider outsole
  • Midfoot stability
  • Ultralight engineered mesh upper with a new “airflow-optimising pattern”
  • Heel to toe drop: 7mm
  • Wide fit
  • Weight: 280g per shoe (average)
  • Male/female fit
  • Price: £140

To buy see: On Cloudflyer.

Also see On running.

On test: On Running Cloudflyer road shoe

Immediately I put on the On Running Cloudflyer shoes I felt like I was wearing slippers. This might not seem like a good thing when I am meant to go for a run in the shoes but it does reveal the high level of comfort.

The uppers hug my feet but still feel supremely comfortable and padded. I noticed this most around the ankle area and also the tongue.

The shoes look really nice as well. Plenty of people have commented on how good the Cloudflyers look.

The soles are also beautifully cushioned. If you have already tried On shoes, you’ll know how wonderfully cushioned the soles are – and these Cloudflyers are no different. In fact, I’d say theses are the most cushioned I have tried.

Running in the shoes on tarmac is cushioned and comfortable. I can see that they are ideal for longer distances and for taking care of joints. The more cushioning, the more the jolting is likely to be reduced when tarmac running.

The uppers, while wide fit, do not swamp my narrow feet. This is unusual and I do wonder if the width will be a bit narrow for people with wider feet.

The laces stay tied – so many laces don’t these days – and once I have laced them up I can be sure I won’t have to re-tie them during a run.

A stone lodged in the sole.

I have tested these shoes both while running and walking. My conclusion is that I prefer them for walking. In fact, I like them so much that I have hardly ever not worn them for dog walking since they arrived from On.

My observations when running in the On Cloudflyer shoes is that they feel like they zap a bit of my energy. I am not sure if I am explaining this well but I don’t feel particularly sharp and speedy when running.

Perhaps it is the extra cushioning and give of the soles that means I feel takes away some of my running zing. I think that the shoes are best suited to longer, slower training runs rather than for speedy and sprightly runs.

For walking, they are amazing. I could walk all day in the Cloudflyers and never feel the need to stop or to change my shoes.

Oh, and there is still that other annoyance, with the On cloud soles. The soles collect stones and driveway chuckies. Every time I walk across my driveway or head off the tarmac to a trail or path with stones, I collect unwanted debris in the sole of the shoes. I remove a stone or two daily.

This doesn’t stop me wearing the Cloudflyers because they are very comfortable but it does make me wonder if there will ever be a design solution. Every On shoe with the cloud sole – and I have a few pairs – is the same.

The price is fairly high at £140 although it is not unusual to have to pay this for a road or trail running shoe these days.

Conclusion: The very comfortable and cushioned On Cloudflyers are a joy to wear, except for the irritation that they collect stones in the sole. They are best suited to long and slower runs and not ideal if you are looking to score a PB on a shorter run. They are brilliant for tarmac walking, too.

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