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On Cloudswift Review: 2021 Edition
Written  by David Salas

The On Cloudswift 2.0 is a neutral daily training option for those in the "urban" setting. The shoe utilizes more Helion cushioning and a beveled rocker ride to keep transitions smooth when running on roads and concrete. The shoe continues to utilize the famous decoupled midsole seen in many ON shoes. The upper utilizes recycled materials and the totality of the shoe is approximately 15% recycled material. The shoe brings a pleasant option to the neutral road training category. 

On Cloudswift
rice: $149.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.1 ounces (men's size 9)  8.8 ounces (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 23/16mm
Drop: 7mm
Classification: Daily Trainer, Neutral, Urban/Road Running


The ON Cloudswift 2.0 is a neutral daily training option that focuses more on the urban setting. The cushioning is a little bit softer throughout than say the Cloud Flyer to help with road running. The geometry of the shoe has a more pronounced rocker design to help with smoother transition points. The upper holds the foot pretty well and utilizes a one piece upper without a separate tongue. The shoe creates a nice option that can honestly double as a running shoe and a lifestyle shoe at the same time. 


The ON CloudSwift 2.0 fits true to size in my normal 9.5. The upper is pretty interesting. The construction of the upper is one piece meaning that the tongue and remainder of the upper is the same piece. There is no gusted tongue for it is already formed with the upper. The structure of the upper is very sound and does well with harsher turns or unstable footing. I had no major translation throughout. The upper is breathable throughout. There is a heel counter but it is padded and of normal width. The midfoot is normal width to slightly wide. There is an overlay to help with the lacing system on both the medial and lateral sides that does help with lockdown. For me I think the midfoot hold could be improved a little bit more, but for those with a slightly wider foot it may feel nice. The toe box is done very well with enough room for toe splay and swelling accommodation. The toe guard is very minimal but present enough to keep structure through the forefoot without being overly present. Overall the fit is really dialed in with a little bit of room through the midfoot. The engineered mesh and liner is really comfortable and breathable. I am not a savage like Matt... but I could foresee this being a potential sockless option. 


I was really pleasantly surprised by the ride of the CloudSwift 2.0. The foam feels protective and soft on step in. The Speedboard in the shoe provides some rigidity to the sole throughout and stabilizes the foam pretty well. The decoupled midsole provides a lot of flexibility throughout and seems to allow each aspect of the midsole to interact in their own way in response to the strike from the runner. For me I could feel the second cloud from the heel on the medial aspect when running take a little bit more force and then rebound me linearly through the midline groove. That is just a subjective way on how a specific region of the midsole can be felt and interact independently of the other pieces. The decoupled heel and deep midline groove do seem to give the shoe a sense of a wedge on both the medial and lateral aspect as well as a guiding sensation. The ride still leans towards a firmer ride like most ON shoes, but still enough cushioning to feel protective on road. The shoe is also surprisingly responsive. I was able to take this shoe on some solid strides and still feel smooth around 5:20 mile pace. It is definitely a shoe that feels best at daily mileage paces but if you need to it actually has some snap to it. The ride is pretty fun overall. I is flexible yet still responsive and snappy for a daily trainer. 


For being a neutral road training shoe the shoe is surprisingly really stable. The decoupled heel and deep midline groove provide a sense of guidance. The heel specifically almost feels like a wedge on both the medial and lateral aspects of the shoe that can act independent of each other for the runners needs. The Speedboard also provides some rigidity throughout the shoe that can stabilize the soft foam and give the shoe structure throughout. The midfoot lockdown could be improved I think and so I had a little bit of collapse in that region medially (more due to the upper I think). Overall I am impressed with the stability throughout in the CloudSwift 2.0. 


For the DPT section I want to focus on the midsole and geometry of the CloudSwift 2.0. Like I stated earlier this shoe is actually really stable for a neutral road running shoe. When you look at most road running shoes a lot of companies just make a soft platform and a flexible ride throughout (which does indeed feel pretty nice on the road). ON took a different approach. The approach of ON seems to be focusing on maintaining a fluid and flexible feel for the road while also adding some snappiness and guidance to the shoe. A lot of this guidance comes from the interplay between the shoes geometry and midsole construction. The heel bevel on the CloudSwift has a sharper angle than a lot of the other models. This creates a fast and smooth transition point for the heel at initial contact and into the midfoot. On top of that the shoe is decoupled through the midline of the shoe from the heel through the midfoot. This provides a guidance pathway through the path of least resistance and allows for the midsole to act in its own way in response to the forces acting on it. The most noticeable for me personally is in the heel and early midfoot. I can feel the medial aspect of the shoe acting different from the lateral aspect. I have a tendency to land and have a quick pronation moment. Because of this it feels like the medial aspect of the shoe provides a wedge like sensation in the first two clouds before I ultimately resupinate and toe off from the midfoot/forefoot and toe off. From a purely biomechanical and physics perspective it is really interesting to see a midsole design like this because the shoe has a lot of degrees of freedom in the midsole, but still maintains its structure through the speedboard. It really does feel like it keeps you linear. This is purely subjective and I don't have any research or quantitative data from ON or anywhere else to back this, but it is just a really interesting sensation to have in the midsole. 


My main recommendations for the ON CloudSwift 2.0 is to refine the upper through the medial aspect of the midfoot. The heel and forefoot are done beautifully. I really do like the upper but I feel like the overlay assistance for the lacing system just isn't quite enough to get a solid hold through the midfoot near the navicular. I did have a small amount of translation and collapse in the region, but I do still like this shoe. 


The ON CloudSwift 2.0 is for someone looking for a neutral road running shoe that has a flexible yet snappy ride. The shoe does have elements of stability and should still work for those that have mild stability needs. The shoe hovers in between soft and firm with cushioning and provides a fun  snappy ride. The shoe could easily be a solid option for those looking for a shoe that can double as a daily road training shoe and a lifestyle shoe. I have gotten a lot of compliments on this shoe (in clinic, public, and at the track).


Fit: B+ 
(Really comfortable in the heel and forefoot, but the midfoot hold and lacing system could be improved)                 
(A protective neutral road running shoe that does well at daily paces, but can also comfortably pick up the pace, and then double back as a lifestyle Urban shoe) 
B+ (Midfoot lockdown can be improved. The midfoot has made me avoid taking the shoe into some potential unstable conditions, but on the roads it does ok.) 
DPT/Footwear Science:  
(The midsole is pretty well integrated throughout. You can feel how each piece of it integrates with each other while running in it from the heel through toe off) 
Personal:  A-
 (I really like the ride of the shoe, for me the midfoot hold through the upper could be a lot better, but personally a solid shoe that I will continue to wear on occasion) 
Overall:  B+/ A- (A solid training shoe for those that have to spend a lot of time on the roads. The midfoot and the upper are a little spacious through the midfoot, but this may be a good thing for some)         


Purchase the On Cloudswift here from Running Warehouse. Using this link helps support our work at Doctors of Running! Thank you so much.


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Thanks for reading!


Dr. David Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs ranging from 3:54 in the 1500m to 1:08:36 for half marathon. He typically runs 60 to 70 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at ON Running for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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