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On Cloudrunner Review: The Stable Neutral Trainer for Everyone?
By Senior Contributor David Salas and Content Manager Bach Pham

The On Cloudrunner is a daily training shoe that incorporates a more supportive ride to the neutral category. The Cloudrunner is certainly a shoe that lives in the gray area between neutral and stability. The shoe rides the middle of most categories having a moderately rockered ride with moderate cushioning as well. The shoe serves as a workhorse for those looking to have a skosh of stability when logging their daily mileage. 

Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.58 oz, g (men's size 9), oz, g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: Not Provided
Drop: 9 mm
Classification: Mild Stability Shoe ; Daily Trainer


David: The On Cloudrunner is a mild stability training shoe that will cater to most individuals. The shoe is a definitely a workhorse trainer and provides a mildly rockered ride and good cushioning for long miles. The ride is still on the firmer end like most On models, but still provides plenty of cushioning. The sole flaring through the heel and supportive upper provide for a nice sense of stability throughout without being over involved. 

Bach: Yes, the On Cloudrunner may be labeled as a stability shoe by On Running, but this is a daily trainer that will get the job done for a very wide audience from neutral to mild stability alike. A definitive workhorse, the Cloudrunner is made for easy to recover days. In very Hoka fashion, it features a mild rocker and wide platform built with the intention of providing a very stable, reliable ride. For those who really like the Hoka Arahi, but wish it didn't have the J-Frame's guidance, this new addition to the On lineup is the perfect alternative you've been looking for.


David: The On Cloudrunner fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The first thing I noticed about this upper is that it is almost trail like and provides good reinforcement throughout its construction while still maintaining some breathability. The inside of the upper is relatively plush with a heavily padded tongue. There is a decently rigid heel counter that is also padded well. The width throughout is normal in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. The length is definitely true to size but still a little bit long. There are some overlays along the lateral and medial aspect of the shoe that help with providing further support. For the material being mostly recycled the quality is really good throughout. The upper feels secure throughout without putting any excessive pressure in any regions of the foot. The website describes a unique sense of comfort and I would agree. The upper feels a little non traditional but still very secure and comfortable. For a daily training workhorse this upper works quite well for me. 

Bach: The Cloudrunner fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The upper is very secure and padded all-around. Though it is rather plush, it does breath pretty decently, even on the muggiest of summer mornings. While the fit from heel to midfoot is comfortable, the toebox is slightly on the shallow side, providing just a little room above my big toe. I had to transition to fairly thin socks to feel most comfortable. The Cloudrunner will fit best for those with narrow to standard feet. Anyone with a wider fit may want to try a half size up, though the just slightly long length may be too much in that case. This is a very supportive upper design in general, with a rigid heel counter, overlays on the side and a sturdy tongue and lacing system that all does an excellent job of you keeping you dialed in. The insole is removeable, but being a mild stability shoe we typically do not recommend mixing insoles as that can cause a double negative for your feet (two too many stability elements can cause overcorrection).


David: This isn't the fastest shoe in the On lineup, but it does run really smooth throughout. The shoe has a moderately rockered design and does give you a small rolling sensation. The shoe has a slightly flared heel medially and laterally which does seem to give a nice platform underfoot to lever from. The shoe uses a 9 mm drop and this feels pretty accurate with my experience. The listed weight is 10.58 ounces and this also feels accurate underfoot. The shoe provides plenty of protection underfoot, though still having some of the firmness normally associated with On models. The Speedboard is really well integrated in this shoe and I can hardly feel it bending under my foot like I can in some of the models. The security throughout is good and I have been able to take this shoe in a decent variety of conditions from road to decently runnable trail. I still wouldn't attack technical terrain in this but it can handle pretty much all of your running needs. The shoe feels best at daily paces and can handle a little bit of uptempo paces as well. The shoe doesn't respond quite as well to strides or faster paces compared to some of the other models but the shoe does shine in easy controlled efforts. The feeling underfoot is a gradual rocker with slight forefoot flexibility and moderate cushioning underfoot. This is a pretty ideal light stability shoe for me, though I do wish it was a tiny bit more responsive. 

Bach: The Cloudrunner is all about mileage. It's not a shoe meant to run fast or hard in; it's all those training miles in between. The shoe is very reminiscent to me to the Hoka Arahi 6. Both shoes feature a slightly firm, but comfortable, mildly-rockered ride. The Cloudrunner transitions very smoothly from heel to toe at easy paces. Note: it's a smooth transition, but again, not a fast one. When picking up the pace it feels a little tight, even for strides. At its primary job though, I really enjoyed just pounding out thoughtless easy miles in the shoe. The landing, though slightly firm, feels protective both in cushioning and stability. It's certainly not as cushioned as the On Cloudmonster, but sits nicely between that and the On Cloudflow. Like David, the Speedboard in this version is one of the first that I didn't really notice in the model. It is very well integrated and just doing its job of helping stabilize the shoe.

Distance-wise, I found this best for those everyday runs from 30 mins to an hour and a half. While it's very capable of longer runs, I think a more rockered or lighter or more cushioned shoe would be slightly more preferable. There is absolutely no doubt this shoe can grind over two hour runs, it's just that there are better options out there, even in the On catalog for that purpose.

The outsole has been relatively durable so far, and does a great job of providing solid traction on the road. I expect this to be fairly average durability wise based on my previous experiences with On footwear in particular as the rubber is not the most long-lasting.


David: The Cloudrunner is a what we often refer to as a stable neutral shoe. This shoe definitely has some subtle elements of stability and makes the foot and ankle feel secure without having any traditional posting or major sole flaring. The shoe does this in a couple of different ways. The first thing is they integrate the upper and the platform well together. This upper is very structured and plush, but still has a sense of being streamlined and continuous with the foot. Your foot feels secure and there is minimal stretch to the material. The other thing they do well in the Cloudrunner is sole flaring. The rearfoot and forefoot have a slight flaring medially and laterally which helps with creating a little more cross sectional area without feeling like the shoe is a brick. The geometry is also done well. The rocker design is noticeable but not so abrupt it feels like you are in a constant rolling motion. The the shoe maintains some firmness and structure but also keeps you moving forward. I like that they filled in some of the space in the midline of the shoe and does not have a full length midline groove. I think filling in that midfoot and forefoot also gave for a more secure and stable experience. There is no posting in this shoe or major geometrical usages for stability in this shoe, but the culmination of the pieces they have create for a nice mild stability offering. 

Bach: The thing about On shoes is that their general design principles are inherently stable. The Cloudrunner is perhaps the pinnacle of their design in that regard, blending all their stable elements into a very well-calculated package.

The shoe has a several non-obtrusive stability elements that help create a really solid platform. The wide base throughout the shoe provides a nice landing pad for the runner, while the firmer sole helps prevent excessive rolling in either direction. The inherently stable Speedboard further contributes to the solid foundation. On also always integrates a guidance line through the middle of the shoe that, along with the mild rocker, helps facilitate a bit of central guidance as you are running, though far less to the extent that the Hoka Arahi's J-Frame system enables. This makes it an excellent alternative to the Arahi for those who do not get on with the guidance found in that shoe, but likes all the other elements of the ride and stability in the Arahi. The upper's extremely secure lockdown also helps provide that integral support from top to bottom. The Cloudrunner is a well-thought out trainer that does a great job of highlighting all of On's unique design in a stable package. This shoe worked really for me in particular as a flat footed runner. Elements like posting and guidance are often too much for me and my low arch, but the Cloudrunner does an excellent job of striking a good balance of unobtrusive elements to achieve it's stability.


Our New Favorite Subject, Again: Uppers
By David Salas

We talk a lot about the influence of uppers here at Doctors of Running. An upper can greatly change the experience that someone has in a running shoe. A systematic review from Sun et. al (2020) discusses some of the effects that a runner may have from the upper and how it is integrated. One thing I found interesting was that when the researchers were looking at a study from Onedera et al (2015), it was found that a structured shoe upper increased the contact time and peak pressure to the midsole compared to a minimal upper. The implication of this can be translated to the shoe doing what it is supposed to do and the foam getting loaded in an appropriate manner. With the On Cloudrunner the contact time does feel a tad longer but the transitions are much more fluid throughout the platform. Another conclusion from the systematic review was that a firmer contact with the shoe's midsole would result in lower loading rates as a result of foot-footwear coupling (Hagen & Henneg, 2009). I think On did a great job with this upper and its integration with the platform. It makes for a smooth ride and a nice daily training option for those that need a little more security under foot.


Sun, X., Lam, W-K., Zhang, X., Wang, J., & Fu, W. (2020). Systematic Review of the Role of Footwear Constructions in Running Biomechanics: Implications for Running-Related Injury and Performance. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 19(1). 20-37.

Onodera, A.N., Roveri, M.I., Oliveira, W.r., Sacco, I.C.N. (2015). The influence of shoe upper construction on the plantar pressure distribution during running. Footwear Science 7, 81-82.

Hagen, M., Homme, A.K., Umlauf T., Hennig E.M. (2010). Effects of different shoe lacing patterns on the biomechancis of running shoes. Journal of Sports Science 27, 267-275. 


I really enjoyed the Cloudrunner and have minimal recommendations. The fit of the shoe was a tad long, though not problematic. Really the only time at all I noticed it was on a steep downhill having some slight forward translation. So cleaning up the length a tad would be good. I know this is is a daily trainer but I would also like to see just a little more responsiveness out of the shoe. The foam and plate just feel a little flat in this shoe, though really smooth at easy daily paces. 

Bach: The two areas I would advise improvement on the Cloudrunner focuses on the ride and upper. I would like to see just a tiny bit more volume in the toebox to help make for an extra accommodating fit. I think the lockdown everyone else is both comfortable and excellent. Additionally, I think the shoe could use a touch more softness; enough to still be stable, but just a touch less weight and a touch more responsiveness to help pick up the pace a bit easier and do some strides. I do not need this shoe to be a workout trainer, but I think it can offer just a little more in its ride. Otherwise, it's a stellar first entry for the new model.


David: The On Cloudrunner is a daily training shoes for those looking to have a smooth and fluid ride with a touch of stability. The shoe has a forgiving drop ratio at 9mm and a gently rockered ride. The shoe isn't the most responsive when pushed but can handle a little uptempo efforts. The upper is reinforced really well and provides enough security for a good variety of conditions. The Cloudrunner is a workhorse daily trainer for those with mild stability needs, but still may work well for those with neutral mechanics as well. 

Bach: This is a stable neutral trainer that will become an easy recommendation for us. The On Cloudrunner is an excellent daily trainer that can log mile after mile efficiently and provides a very stable platform. This is not a full stability shoe, but for those who want a solidly stable base, or for those who have long been using stability footwear and want to try their hand at a transitional shoe towards more stable neutral territory, this is a great option to consider. The Cloudrunner easily pairs with workout trainers and super shoes as a great one-two combination that's clear cut. If you want to stay within brand, the On Cloudflow or Cloudboom Echo will be two very different, but very fun options to pair up with the Cloudrunner. This could also go well with a higher cushioned shoe you may want to reserve for longer efforts, like the new On Cloudmonster.


Fit: A- (Really well done upper. Reinforced really well, plush but still breathable. The length could be dialed in a tiny bit better though.)
Performance: A- 
(Great shoe for daily miles with a balanced and gently rockered ride. Cushioning moderate and weight a tiny bit heavy but still good. I just wish the shoe was a tad bit more responsive.)
Stability: A (For being a mild stability shoe I think they did a great job with having a secure upper as well as a good platform and geometry. The ride certainly feels stable.)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (There isn't anything overly revolutionary in this shoe, but the integration of the upper, geometry, and sole flaring deserve some recognition.)
Personal: A- (I really enjoy this shoe for daily miles. I do wish it was a tad more responsive for when I do strides or have to pick the pace up a little bit, but for most daily miles this a very smooth shoe that works for my mechanics.)
Overall: A- (A very well done mild stability shoe that will work for those with neutral mechanics as well.)


Fit: B+/A- (Really solid upper, but toebox volume is just a touch shallow. Solid for standard to narrow foot runners)
Performance: A-
(As a pure easy day trainer, just absolutely crushes miles. Lacks a bit of versatility, but as a stable option few are as good at balancing a solid ride with a quality platform)
Stability: A (Really well integrated array of stability elements with a balanced midsole)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (It's not revolutionary, but it is a widely accommodating shoe that will work well for newcomers and veterans alike)
Personal: A- (I really enjoyed just letting go and running mile after mile in the Cloudrunner. Would do many more miles without any complaints)
Overall: A- (A balanced design helps provide an excellent trainer option that will work for many)


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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. 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 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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