On Cloudrunner 2 Review

The On Cloudrunner 2.

All shoes are reviewed by the Fleet Feet tester team, which represents a wide variety of goals, foot shapes, running locations and terrains. Reviewers pound the pavement, climb the hills, tackle the trails, then come together to compare notes. Debates ensue over the feel of the cushioning, the purpose of the shoe, and how it compares to last year’s model. While each reviewer has their own individual preferences, we hope that capturing our debates will help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to choosing running shoes, it’s a bit like choosing a running coach. Everyone benefits from a different level of support. Some people enjoy gentle guidance, while others thrive on a firmer approach. Everyone’s feet move in different ways, which is why most brands are moving towards a multi-faceted approach to stability.

In the age of new stability technology, companies are developing different levels of support and utilizing alternative forms of technology. Runners can choose from a variety of styles to find the right level of support. The On Cloudrunner 2 offers mild stability for runners who enjoy a structured feel but may not need full-fledged support for their stride.

We tested the On Cloudrunner 2 on recovery runs, interval workouts and treadmill miles. Did it leave us comfortably supported or craving more structure? Read on to find out.

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Tech Specs

On Cloudrunner 2

Weight 8.1 oz (W), 9.5 oz (M)
Stack height (heel/forefoot) 31 mm/21 mm
Heel-to-toe drop 10 mm
Category Stability
Surface Road
Price $150
Comparable to… Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23, New Balance 860 v13

Ride

Cushioning

Energy

On Cloudrunner 2 serves up a firm ride

The On Cloudrunner 2.

On uses their Helion superfoam to cushion the Cloudrunner 2, a midsole foam that combines rigid and flexible elements into the same compound. This foam is molded into individual pods underfoot, called CloudTec cushioning. The pods compress as you land and open as you take off, helping you spring back up into your next stride.

“Each run in the Cloudrunner 2 reminded me of cross country skiing. I felt as if I were gliding over the roads with ease. I loved how lightweight this shoe felt, whether I was running or doing my dreaded burpees during a HIIT video workout,” says Mandy, who’s known for putting her wear test pairs through multiple types of activities.

Some of us found the Cloudrunner 2 a bit too firm for our tastes.

“The On Cloudrunner feels firm on foot,” says Brandon. “Walking in the shoes feels just fine, but I ran 20 miles in them and the Helion Superfoam didn’t offer the energy return I’ve come to expect from On.”

The firmness of the Cloudrunner may be enjoyed more by runners with flexible feet, as stability models tend to feel more structured underfoot than neutral shoes to provide support.

The Cloudrunner 2 uses a TPU heel clip that extends around the medial and lateral sides of the shoe to offer stability. However, our resident stability shoe guru, Spencer, didn’t think the Cloudrunner 2 offered the level of support he needed.

“The Cloudrunner 2’s stability frame was pretty mild, in my opinion,” he says. “The faster I ran, the less structural support I felt on the medial side. This shoe might be better suited for runners who have never worn a stability frame before. Using this model as an introductory pair is a perfect setup thanks to its gentle guidance.”

One thing we could all agree on is how much we appreciated the closed channel outsole, which leaves no room for stray rocks and debris. If you’ve been wearing On running shoes for a while, you’ll know this was an issue in the past.

The On Cloudrunner 2.

Soft, sustainable and stylish upper tops of Cloudrunner 2

The firm midsole of the Cloudrunner 2 stands in contrast with its soft, plush upper. Thick padding around the tongue and heel collar envelopes your foot with coziness, and breathable mesh wraps around your midfoot and forefoot to offer a secure fit.

“The heel collar is pleasantly padded and the gusseted tongue is ventilated and doesn’t move around,” says Nate, our wide-footed reviewer. “The engineered mesh upper keeps my feet firmly in place, but there’s also quite a bit of softness to the material. The shoes fit my wide, high-volume feet perfectly.” It’s worth noting that Nate received a wide size (2E for men).

I have medium-width, low volume feet, and I also found the Cloudrunner 2 to feel true to size. I really appreciate all the extra padding around the heel and ankle, as it gives the shoe a luxury feel. Plus, the upper is made with 100% recycled mesh, making it a sustainable option.

The Cloudrunner 2 is available in both standard and wide sizing, so if you really enjoy the feel of the shoe you’ll likely be able to find your perfect fit. Not sure about the width of your feet? Your best bet will be to head into your local Fleet Feet to try the shoe on in-person. Fleet Feet outfitters use 3D fit id® foot scanning technology to gather information about your feet and the support they need by taking precise measurements of your foot length, width and arch height, so you can learn a lot about your feet while you’re there.

The On Cloudrunner 2 upper

On Cloudrunner 2 vs On Cloudrunner

Tech Specs

On Cloudrunner 2

On Cloudrunner

Weight

8.1 oz (W), 9.5 oz (M)

8.8 oz (W), 10.6 oz (M)

Heel-to-toe drop

10 mm

9 mm

Midsole foam

Helion superfoam

Zero-gravity foam

Price

$150

$150

It’s been two years since we tested the On Cloudrunner, so it’s a little bit foggy in our memories, just like the distant recollections of our old high school coaches.

The Cloudrunner 2 is .6 ounces lighter in the women’s model and over a full ounce lighter in the men’s. Part of this can be attributed to shoe designers using Helion superfoam rather than the Zero-gravity foam used in the original version (even though the Zero-gravity foam was touted as their lightest foam at the time).

On also removed the Speedboard from the Cloudrunner in this latest version, presumably to make it feel softer. The Speedboard, a rigid plate of thermoplastic polymer, provides a touch of responsiveness as you toe off.

On claims the Cloudrunner 2 is softer than the previous versions, and we tested the original version too long ago to truly evaluate that claim. However, if Nate, who typically loves firm shoes, said, “I wouldn’t mind an ounce or two of additional softness,” we know the Cloudrunner 2 is not for soft-seekers!

Two pairs of the On Cloudrunner 2 in different colorways sit side by side.

How does the On Cloudrunner 2 compare?

Tech Specs

On Cloudrunner 2

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

New Balance 860 v13

Weight

8.1 oz (W), 9.5 oz (M)

9.1 oz (W), 10.1 oz (M)

8.6 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)

Stack height

31 mm/21 mm

24 mm/12 mm

27 mm/17 mm

Heel-to-toe drop

10 mm

12 mm

10 mm

Category

Stability

Stability

Stability

Price

$150

$140

$140

The On Cloudrunner 2 is On’s mid-level stability shoe, offering a moderate amount of cushioning and support. Both the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 and the New Balance 860 v13 are their own respective brands’ mid-level stability shoe, as well.

But the similarities don’t stop there. All three shoes have similar weights–with the Cloudrunner 2 being the lightest–and similar stack heights. The shoes also have fairly high heel-to-toe drops when compared with current industry trends.

What is heel-to-toe drop and why does it matter?

The biggest differences between the shoes are their varying levels of stability. The Cloudrunner 2 features reinforcements on both the medial and lateral sides of the heel, similar to the GuideRails used in the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23. The New Balance 860 v13 uses a firm, dual-density medial post to offer stability, although this may change with the introduction of the v14 coming this summer.

The On Cloudrunner 2.

Who is the On Cloudrunner 2 best for?

The Cloudrunner 2 is like a running coach that will send you a brief message if you miss a workout, but won’t grill you on why you missed it. It provides a touch of gentle guidance if you need it, but won’t get in the way of your groove if you don’t.

Because of its firm ride, the Cloudrunner 2 is great for runners who enjoy a rigid platform for landings and toe-offs. It’s also a good choice for runners seeking mild stability because, while it offers more support than a neutral running shoe, it doesn’t feel quite as supportive as other stability shoes on the market.

As Spencer said, the Cloudrunner 2 is a great introduction to stability shoes for runners who are used to running in neutral models but are looking for a bit more support.

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