On Cloudflyer Review

The Swiss have done it again. On running is probably the leading up-and-coming running shoe brand of 2021 and has steadily been climbing the market since 2010.

On was developed in the Swiss Alps with their goal of creating a shoe that feels like running on clouds

They wanted to “revolutionize the sensation of running with soft landings and explosive take-offs” and there is no doubt that their shoes deliver.

But, what makes On special is their innovative and fashionable designs which have surpassed just the running market and influenced other industries like the medical and business sectors.

The brand has created many different models to meet the needs of everyday runners to ultramarathoners.

One of their best-selling models in the road running community is the On Cloudflyer known for its stability, comfort, and style.

ProsCons
Plush and feels luxurousCatches rocks in the sole
Durable for many milesPods take some time to get used to
High Volume for a high instepExpensive
Smooth TransitionsComes up high on the heel against Achilles
On Cloudflyer

[amazon bestseller=”on cloudflyer mens” items=”1″]

[amazon bestseller=”on cloudflyer womens” items=”1″]

Quick Stats-Innovation meets Comfort

On uses a unique and innovative design system in their shoes which separates them from other brands.

Instead of using traditional EVA foams and Strobel boards they use their CloudTec technology and engineered speed boards to provide a soft landing and explosive toe-off.

The On Cloudflyer uses a three-part design using the Helion super foam, a Bespoke speed board, and 3D modeled heel and wider out-sole.

The Bespoke speed board is what makes the shoe a stability shoe. Unlike most models which attack stability from the medial instep, this shoe uses a multi-layer board system to re-direct the foot.

The On Cloudflyer is a light to moderately stable, stability shoe that is lightweight and made for long-distance running.

It has maximal cushioning albeit not as soft and plush as other models in the same category and has a drop height of 7mm.

The shoe is fairly lightweight for a stability shoe but is on the heavier side for a high cushion shoe. It weighs in at 9.88 oz for Men (280g) and 8.8oz (250g) for women.

This shoe is made to run long and easy miles. It is not ideal for racing but rather made for the day-to-day running grind.

The Technology-Helion Foam and Speed Boards

The On Clouflyer is considered a high cushion stability shoe and uses a patented Helion Foam to achieve a soft landing under the foot.

This foam is what On claims to give runners the feeling like, “landing on clouds.”

The Helion Super Foam mixes stable, rigid sections of foam with soft and flexible sections to provide the feeling of cushion and responsiveness.

The reason this foam is so different compared to most shoes these two sections of foam are mixed together rather than divided.

The foam is also fairly lightweight yet very durable which helps limit fatigue on longer runs but is also made to go the distance.

The combination and mixture of the rigid and soft materials create a nice balance when it comes to shock absorption.

That is, it is able to take on the load and forces distributed from the ground and reduce their impact on the body.

This foam is also unique in that it absorbs shock vertically and horizontally i.e. side to side and up and down.

The Helion materials with the speed boards lessen the time the runner spends on the ground and this also helps reduce the shock impacts.

This is a good thing when it comes to preventing the risk of injury to a runner.

[amazon bestseller=”on cloudflyer mens” items=”1″]

[amazon bestseller=”on cloudflyer womens” items=”1″]

The other element that On uses is the speed board. In the On Cloudflyer, there are multi-layer speed boards to create the stability needed in the shoes.

These boards are liquid-injected plates of thermoplastic polymer that sit between the Cloudtec midsole and the upper.

The elements of the shoe compress with each stride and step to soften the landing. Then as the foot rides over the board compressed platform allows the foot to push off and transition like a rebounding spring.

The goal with this combination is to create a soft initial landing that stiffens and then propels the runner into the next stride and creates a smooth ride.

On Cloudflyer

The Breakdown of the Cloudflyer

Now that On’s unique technology has been discussed let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the On Cloudflyer.

This shoe is fashionable and functional for long-distance running.

It is soft yet rigid. The materials feel luxurious and plush. You can definitely tell that On spent time and energy creating this model.

The Fit:

The Cloudflyer is roomy, and it has a wider toe box with a lot of in-step volume vertically.

However, at the same time, it feels soft, comfy, and luxurious when placed on the foot.

The thickness of the tongue is quite comfortable and plush over the top of the foot and the star lacing system at the base creates a secure and snug fit.

Having the star-lacing system also contributes to guiding the foot out of an overpronated state and gives the shoe a bit more stability.

The ankle area of the shoe fits fairly loosely and I often recommend using the extra eye-lets to really lock down and secure the ankle from moving too much.

The shoe can fit a wide range of foot shapes and sizes but is not ideal for those with narrow and low volume feet (not flat feet, just thinner feet).

On Cloudflyer

The cushion:

As mentioned in-depth above, the On Cloudflyer uses the Helion Superfoam which creates a soft, rigid landing.

Now, this is where their marketing can be misleading. While the Cloudflyer is soft under the foot it is not plush and cushy landing like one might expect.

In fact, On shoes feel quite different from other running shoes and almost a bit strange until the foot adapts because of the pods they use.

It is cushioned yet responsive so it does not feel like landing into a pillow, but it does feel nice nonetheless.

On Cloudflyer

The upper and outsole:

The upper on the Cloudflyer remained the same as previous models and kept the star-lacing system and breathable mesh upper.

The tongue of the shoe feels phenomenal against the top of the foot and adds to the high-end feeling of the shoe.

The outsole got a pretty decent update from the last model and made the shoe a little more stable under the foot.

On added a new fork design to reinforce the medial side of the shoe (the part that helps with over-pronation).

This design is also wider under the foot which helps disperse the shock evenly and allows the body to better withstand the impact.

On used the same Helion and Cloudtec materials underfoot in this model to keep the high impact protection from the previous model.

On Cloudflyer

On Cloudflyer: Our Review

There is no doubt that On shoes just feel different but in a good way.

It is very clear that On spent a lot of time innovating their shoes with the newest and up-to-date technology and designs.

The shoe is very comfortable to run in, but it did take some time to become accustomed to the pods under the foot.

I could definitely tell that there were some spaces between each pod in the beginning but I eventually got used to that.

The Cloudflyer is comfortable, looks nice, and feels responsive under the foot. These three elements are the selling point for the shoe.

The two major complaints I have with these shoes, and On in general, is one the shoe collects rocks.

The fork design under the foot is just wide enough to pick up stones along the way which can become aggravating on runs.

The second complaint is how the back of the shoe comes up against my Achilles. For me, it rubs and became painful over the course of the run.

Now, this may not be a problem for everyone so it is not an end-all-be-all for the model.

The ride of the shoe is fantastic and feels effortless. You can feel the Helion Superfoam working for you as you run and that makes this shoe a great model for distance running or marathon training.

Additionally, the shoe is great for anything from easy days to long runs and even a tempo run from time to time.

Finally, the fashion point of this shoe is a winner. The aesthetics that On uses are a highlight for this shoe and that makes this brand great for runners and non-runners alike.

Overall, the On Cloudflyer is a great choice for a lighter weight, moderate stability distance shoe and worth trying out for some miles.

On Cloudflyer

Conclusion:

The On Cloudflyer is an excellent choice for the runner who wants a fashionable yet functional shoe.

It provides just enough support for a mild to moderate overpronator without becoming too heavy.

It is a lightweight, cushioned, and responsive model that can handle many miles on the road as you prepare for a 5k all the way to the marathon.

The shape of the shoe is versatile and can fit a wide range of people and feet of all shapes and sizes.

On did not skimp out on anything with this model and uses their innovative technology combined with their luxurious materials.

Once you get used to the unique feeling under your feet, you’ll find that this shoe is very comfortable and worth it in the long run.

On Cloudflyer Ranking: 8/10

Ride: 8.5/10

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Cushion: 7/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Durability: 8.5/10

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

Upper: 8/10

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Outsole: 7/10

Rating: 7 out of 10.

Overall: 8/10

Rating: 8 out of 10.

[amazon bestseller=”on cloudflyer mens” items=”1″]

[amazon bestseller=”on cloudflyer womens” items=”1″]

Photo of author
Amanda Martin is a dedicated club runner and running shoe guru. When she's not racking up 60+ mile weeks, Amanda spends time working in a running shoe store, helping other runners choose the right shoe for them - as well as studying PT.

1 thought on “On Cloudflyer Review”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.