Shoe Review: On Cloudmonster
Editor’s note: This article was updated on May 15, 2023
On’s latest creation, called the Cloudmonster, breaks the mold of traditional On running shoes. Featuring a boldly designed upper and a monster of a midsole, the Cloudmonster is described by On as “our weirdest creation yet.” It’s also available in limited-edition, Fleet Feet-exclusive colorways, helping you stand out from the crowd.
“On is taking part in something that people want to see in the running world, more cushioning and a little more spring to your step,” says On athlete Alicia Monson.
The On Cloudmonster combines On’s signature Cloudtec technology with a hefty dose of Helion foam cushioning and a responsive Speedboard. Is this new shoe worthy of its “monster” status? Fleet Feet Reviewers tested the On Cloudmonster and spoke with Monson to find out.
In honor of the Fleet Feet exclusive collection, we checked in with our Fleet Feet staff and reviewers to learn how this shoe holds up after several months of wear and tear, which you can read about here.
|8.1 oz (W), 9.7 oz (M)
|Daily training, long runs
On Clouds Delivers Responsive Cushioning
The On Cloudmonster features On’s signature Cloud elements that provide multidirectional cushioning, only this time they’re larger than ever before. The result is softer landings that cushion the impact of each step.
“I really like the On Cloudmonster for the bulk of my training because I run fairly high mileage, so the wear and tear on your body can get to be a lot. It really helps to have something that lowers the impact on all of your joints,” says Monson. “I use them for about 50 percent of my training volume.”
The On Cloudmonster features a double dose of Helion superfoam, which combines rigid and flexible elements into the same foam compound. Reviewers appreciated the smooth, lightweight ride.
“These shoes felt stiff when I first put them on and walked around, but they really come alive on the run. They felt springy and responsive, with ample cushioning to protect during landings,” says Caroline.
On uses what they call a Speedboard in all of their shoes, a plate of thermoplastic polymer that sits above the midsole. When the Cloud elements compress during landings, the Speedboard engages and propels you into an explosive takeoff. This is what transforms the Cloudmonster from just another high cushioned trainer into a plush yet responsive shoe that can handle all paces.
“My first run in these shoes was a challenging speed workout over a total of twelve miles. I wasn’t sure whether these shoes would work for a speed day, but they were really snappy for faster paces,” Kate says. “They felt fantastic for a long, tough workout on a day when I was a bit tired from the start.”
A grippy rubber outsole provides excellent traction on the roads, whether you’re running through a late winter snowstorm or springtime showers.
“I ran in the Cloudmonster every day when I went to Wisconsin for Christmas where it was icy and snowy. I never had any complaints about the traction. Even if there's a little bit of snow on the road, they still work well,” Monson says.
Recycled Upper Creates Soft, Smooth Fit
The On Cloudmonster features a recycled polyester upper that wraps comfortably around your foot, creating a secure fit. A smooth sockliner warmly welcomes your feet as you step into the shoes.
“The thin upper wraps nicely around my midfoot, and the tongue sits comfortably atop of my foot. I wished the laces were a little bit longer since it was tough to tie the marathon loop, but I found that I didn’t experience any heel slippage without the loop so it didn’t really matter anyways,” says Caroline.
“I loved the forefoot, it was very comfortable for my wide feet. I also enjoyed the tapered tongue and the wide laces,” Nate says.
If you’ve worn other On models before, you may have agonized over the thin laces that never seem to stay tied. The laces in the On Cloudmonster are thicker and slightly textured, keeping them in place. The On Cloudmonster also features separate eyelets for the laces, and reflective logos on the medial side and forefoot.
CloudTec Cushioning Can Go the Distance
We checked in with Fleet Feet team members one year post-review to learn more about their experience running in the On Cloudmonster. One thing they all echoed? This is a shoe that can handle some serious miles.
“I received a pair of the Cloudmonster last spring, and I’ve been wearing and enjoying the same pair ever since,” says Jeff Wells, owner and operator of Fleet Feet Richmond. “They’ve been my go-to shoes of choice for walking, running, and wearing around the store and they’ve held up extremely well. There’s no excessive wear on the tread or the upper, and they still feel great! I’ve been wearing running shoes for close to 50 years and I can't think of when I've owned a more durable shoe.”
Kevin Stegen, a data coordinator for the Fleet Feet Store Support Team, says the Cloudmonster is his shoe of choice for being on his feet all day.
“The Cloudmonster is comfortable, supportive, and very resilient,” he says. “Even after almost a year, the cushioning is still responsive and there are no cosmetic issues. I would definitely put this shoe in the durable category, especially when compared with other high-cushion offerings.”
If you’re looking for a highly cushioned trainer that lasts through multiple training seasons, look no further than the On Cloudmonster. Don’t forget to check out our Fleet Feet-exclusive colorways online or at your local Fleet Feet.
The On Cloudmonster is worth a try for every type of runner, from those seeking maximum cushion and protection to those wanting a springy, responsive ride. While it’s categorized as a neutral shoe, its wide base provides inherent stability.
If you’ve tried On running shoes but haven’t gotten the cushion you needed, the On Cloudmonster might be your jam.
“I definitely think that the Cloudmonster is worth a try. If you’re training for a marathon, it would be really helpful for the volume of your training. And if you don't want to wear super shoes during your marathon these would work well,” Monson says.