ON first arrived onto the running scene in 2010 with their patented CloudTec system. Their latest development with their unique technology has led them to the release of a new performance trainer, the ON Cloudflow.
Out of the box, it’s easy to see the technical details that the ON designers put into the Cloudflow. The combination of reflective stripes, logos, crossed overlays and breathable mesh create a luxurious shoe. However, looks aren’t everything, so the $140 question is, can the Cloudflow perform?
Immediately after putting the shoe on, I felt its minimal lightness of 8.2 oz and the firm “Speedboard” platform that rests between the Clouds and insole. Despite its minimal design, the shoe is comfortable, in large part due to the softly padded tongue attached to the internal sock liner. It wraps around the foot well, while also protecting the top of the foot from tight lacing – a great feature more common in high-end premium shoes.
The cloud pod design across the midsole may look a little silly or odd. Nevertheless, the Cloudtec pods serve a purpose, creating a responsive yet deceivingly high cushioned ride. Each step provided the same cushioned feel I would expect from a heavier, standard training shoe.
My favorite aspect of the Cloudflow is the strategic placement of each of the 18 cloud pods. They work to create a flexible toe-off that forefoot runners will love. With its rocker shoe shape, the design also promotes a natural foot roll that leads to takeoff with minimal effort. These features feel particularly more enjoyable when running on the road at an uptempo pace.
My biggest concern with the Cloudflow, like other ON shoes, is the durability of the individual cloud pods. I also wonder how well the rubber abrasion pads on the forefoot will help it run on wet and rugged surfaces.
Regardless, the Cloudflow is a huge step in the right direction for ON, and one of the better shoes in their lineup. For those familiar with ON, the Cloudflow is on the lighter, more responsive end of the spectrum, and not very soft at first step in. If you’re a fan of the ON Cloudtec system, the Cloudflow is worth a try. I recommend this shoe if you’re in search of a shoe for faster road runs or longer road racing.
Please note the Cloudflow runs large, and we recommend wearing a half size down for a better fit.
Alan has been in the game for 11 years, running cross country from high school through his years at Chico State. Now as our Footwear Marketing Coordinator, he puts his expertise into practice, specializing in knowledge of daily trainers and performance running shoes.