ON Cloudflyer Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Premium materials, comfortable upper, sleek lace design
Cons: Slight uneven ground feel, slight ankle discomfort
Manufacturer: ON Running
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|Pros||Premium materials, comfortable upper, sleek lace design||Responsive cushioning, breathable upper, lightweight||Lightweight, great cushioning, comfortable upper||Responsive, fast, lightweight, affordable||Stable, supportive, comfortable upper|
|Cons||Slight uneven ground feel, slight ankle discomfort||Minimal support and stability||Less responsive, lacks rubber outsole||Minimal support, lacks outsole rubber||Stiff, heavier, less breathable|
|Bottom Line||High-end materials and a unique design make this model stand out, but we didn't experience any extra cushioning benefits with the Cloudtec sole design||Excellent cushioning that provides great energy transfer with an extremely comfortable, performance fit upper||These lightweight shoes have top landing comfort and maximum cushion with a great upper||This affordable ultralight model allows for maximum turnover which provides a snappy and quick feeling||If you're looking for a supportive and stable shoe with a comfortable upper, this is the model for you|
|Rating Categories||ON Cloudflyer||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 5||Saucony Kinvara 13||Brooks Adrenaline G...|
|Cushioning and Landing Comfort (25%)|
|Upper Comfort (20%)|
|Lateral Stability and Support (15%)|
|Specs||ON Cloudflyer||Saucony Endorphin S...||Hoka One One Mach 5||Saucony Kinvara 13||Brooks Adrenaline G...|
|Weight (per shoe, size 9.5)||10.2 oz||8.3 oz||8.0 oz||7.3 oz||10.4 oz|
|Heel to Toe Drop||9 mm||8 mm||5 mm||4 mm||12 mm|
|Midsole Material||Helion EVA||PWRRUN||PROFLY+||EVA||EVA|
|Sole Rubber||Rubber||XT-900||Rubberized EVA||Rubber||Rubber|
|Upper Material||Synthetic mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered mesh||Engineered Mesh||Mesh|
|Width Options||Normal||Normal||Normal||Normal||Normal, Wide|
|Sizes Available||7 - 14||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
If you are looking for premium materials and a unique cushioning system, the ON Cloudflyer may be for you. The ON Cloudtec sole design is unique in the top running shoes available today. A series of hollow compression zones — or "clouds" — are claimed to exhibit superior cushioning and react to your body's movements, but our testers didn't experience any noticeable benefits over the more traditional midsole and outsole designs. This model is fairly stiff and hard even with these elements, and we noticed a slight uneven ground feel which was caused by the indentations of these compression zones. However, the upper, insole, and lace designs are some of the favorites we tested. We think this is a good all-around trainer but wouldn't be the first we'd recommend.
Cushioning and Landing Comfort
There are few shoes today as recognizable as the ON Running products which have increased in popularity in recent years. Their unique Cloudtec platform consists of a series of hollow "cloud" tubes and is claimed to offer superior cushioning and responsiveness when compared to more traditional models. While this shoe is certainly comfortable, we can't say we noticed a huge difference in cushioning or comfort over other models in our test group that have similar claims of comfort.
While minor, the ground feel under the various open channels created by the cloud elements was noticeable and led to an uneven sensation at times. We don't think you would be disappointed by the unique sole design, but we weren't blown away by its performance compared to more traditional designs.
Thanks to ON's SpeedBoard technology, this model feels responsive and fast. The rigid midsole plate creates a stiff platform for responsive power transfer. We also appreciate the use of outsole rubber, which provides better traction in wet conditions and helps increase responsiveness, especially when toeing off. We think this model offers a great middle-ground for all types of running and the blend of cushioning and responsiveness will be ideal for the average user.
An elegant upper with taped seams and unique fabric designs make this one of the nicest uppers we tested. From the high-quality materials to the unique lace design, this shoe's upper clearly took a lot of time and effort to develop and is extremely comfortable. We think the upper is the standout feature of this model and think other companies will be looking at this design for inspiration. We experienced no durability issues during our testing. Feet with average volume and width would find this shoe ideal.
Lateral Stability and Support
A rigid heel cup helps lock in the foot to provide support and stability. The Speedboard midsole feature as mentioned in the responsiveness section above is still firm enough to offer that support and stability without allowing the foam to compress too much. Generally, more compressive platforms need to be wider to offer support and stability. For this model, there is a great balance of support without feeling dull or heavy. ON has done a great job balancing rigidity, cushioning, and responsiveness, which we think is one of the best features of this shoe.
With this impressive feature set, we are surprised this model isn't heavier than it is, weighing in at 10.2 ounces for a men's size 9.5. Its surprisingly reasonable weight is likely due to having less foam material in the midsole thanks to the cloud channels. At this weight, we think it's tough to find a more well-rounded shoe. While it didn't score the highest in any of our test categories, it did score great across the board making this one of our favorites for all-around use.
Should You Buy the ON Cloudflyer?
If you are looking for a unique design made with premium materials that scores highly across all test metrics, this could be the model for you. While we've tested shoes that perform better in certain metrics, it's hard to argue this isn't a great all-around shoe. If you are just getting into running or require less of a specific design for speed work and racing, this could be the perfect model for you.
What Other Running Shoes Should You Consider?
Our favorite overall running shoe that we've tested is the Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 which is a bit lighter and more responsive than and similarly cushioned as the Cloudflyer. If you are searching for cushioning that is a bit lighter weight and more responsive, you might check out the Hoka Mach 5 which is our favorite light trainer with ample cushioning. For something with more support and rigidity, check out the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.
— Matthew Richardson
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