Looks: There is no denying it…the Cloud is a cool looking shoe. Plain and simple. With the distinctive look of their ‘Cloud’ cushioning system and bright (or more subtle for casual wear) color schemes this shoe is definitely one that catches the eye. Regardless of performance capability (which it isn’t lacking) and base just on looks this would be a great shoe for everyday “around town” wear.
Initial Feel: The first thing I thought when I put this shoe on was “Wow, it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing anything”. Weighing around 7 ounces with a great conforming fit the Cloud feels more like an extension of your foot than a shoe. Looking at the shoe I initially thought it may feel a little wobbly because of the unique open ‘cloud’ cushioning but this shoe is rock solid underfoot. Just by walking around in the Could I could tell this was a shoe I was going to enjoy running in.
While Running: Even though it is an incredibly light shoe the Cloud provides an amble amount of cushioning throughout the gait cycle. A softer heal gives the shoe a nice shock absorbing landing zone that nicely transitions to firmer midfoot and toe-off zones. When running these zones blend together to give you a fantastic underfoot feel with the right amount of flex and responsiveness during all parts of the foot strike. One part of this shoe I really like is its overall flexibility. The separate cloud cushions and central channel to the sole of the shoe allow your foot to react naturally as you strike the ground. So far I have used this shoe for up to a 7 mile run and at no point did I feel like I did not have enough cushioning. The upper portion of the Cloud is nothing short of fantastic. The heal and midfoot provide a mild amount of support while doing a great job of contouring to the foot. This opens up into a very free fitting and pliable toe box. I really like how the toe box seems to hug to foot but in no way does it restrict motion or feel tight. I think the Cloud is a great option for speed work, tempo runs, and race day. Although I haven’t taken it out for a long run (12+ miles) yet I am not sure if there is quite enough structure in the upper to make this an everyday workhorse shoe. However when I do get back to higher mileage I look forward to breakin these babies into some up tempo longer runs.
Overall: For either a night out or a morning speed session (hopefully not following each other) the On Cloud is a great shoe. The sleek modern design, great color schemes, and general comfort make it something I want to kick around town in. That great on the foot feel, smooth transition, lightweight construct, and overall great flexibility are the perfect combination for those days you really wanna burn some miles. All-in-all the Cloud is a great all around speed shoe.