We have reviewed quite a few shoes from On running over the last several years and while the technology was interesting things just didn’t necessarily work 100% for us. The shoes always felt a little narrow, the Helion tech was interesting but not cushioned enough and we weren’t alone in this opinion. However, 2022 is an all-new year and On’s new Cloudmonster is a culmination of what we have been waiting for, a beautifully well-cushioned shoe that brings all of their technology together. In our opinion, it’s the best and most accessible shoe that On has ever produced.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Easily our favorite On shoe to date with an all-new upper and plenty of well-balanced cushioning.
- Weight – 9.7oz or 275g for a US Men’s 9, 8.11oz or 230g for a US Women’s 7
- Cushion – 30mm of cushion and a 4mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $170.00 USD
- Colors – 2 options
Construction and Materials
- Upper – Features a super-light yet durable partially recycled mesh upper which provides maximum breathability. They also have a very soft sock liner and then narrow ghillie style laces which have been countered with top eyelets so you can heel-lock.
- Midsole – These are the largest Helion Clouds we have seen from On and again they have paired this with their Speedboard tech giving you a similar feel and performance to what you find in other Pebax plated shoes. Basically, soft landing and plenty of bounce.
- Outsole – Like other On shoes, the outsole is one with the midsole noticeable as only little swaths of rubber at the end of those Clouds.
What we loved
There’s a whole lot to love about this shoe and from the first time we slipped it on, we knew we finally got something different from On. First, let’s talk about the roominess in the upper because it’s something that has always troubled us with their shoes as they have always felt narrow. The Cloudmonster is entirely the opposite providing plenty of toe splay upfront, offering high breathability, and they have limited structural elements to only where they are truly needed. The upper feels light on the foot more like a speed-centric shoe while also keeping you in place well.
The midsole is truly where the Cloudmonster shines and while it is spec’d at 30mm of cushion it feels like a lot more. If you have run in higher stack shoes then these will feel very similar providing a high level of cushioning while never feeling stiff underfoot. In fact, the shoe actually has quite an up-tempo feel, and dare we say you can run these things faster than you might expect. That being said, I expect to use these for high-mileage days where a little extra cushion is necessary at distance, but note these will easily work for those who like a little extra support at the slower paces. They are just easy on the legs and knees which is why we find them to be so accessible.
What we didn’t
Our biggest area of complaint on the Cloudmonster is this thing we first loved when we got the shoe, that roomy upper. As the miles got on, the upper started to loosen up even more for us and we found it very hard to keep a good lace down without having to heel lock the shoe. Basically, it just started to feel too open and too loose upfront and actually became noticeable in the run. If you have narrower feet then just be warned because these may stretch too much and feel too roomy in the long run. The other option is to just half size down, so think about this when trying them on.
If it wasn’t clear, the On running Cloudmonster is our favorite On shoe to date. We did have some minor gripes about that upper over time, but for average runners, the payoff from the midsole outweighs it. If you are in need of medial or lateral support in the upper, then you will want to be worried because they have removed most of that from the shoe, but for most normal average runners, these things are going to be a lot of fun.
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Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.