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Shoe Review: On Cloudstratus

A woman runs in the new On Cloudstratus

On engineered the Cloudstratus to help you run farther.

A few things stand out on the new support shoe and set it apart from other On running shoes:

  • Extra cushioning. On packed another layer of its unique Clouds into the midsole for extra protection
  • Wide base. The wide platform gives the Cloudstratus inherent stability
  • Star lacing system. A unique lacing system gives you more options to customize your fit

Fully loaded, the shoe weighs 10.7 ounces for a men’s size 8.5, and it clocks 9.5 ounces for a women’s size 7. The heel-to-toe drop measures 8 mm.

We got our feet on a few pairs of the Cloudstratus to see how they fit and how they feel while running. Here’s what you need to know about the new running shoe from On.

Tech specs

Price: $170

Weight: 9.5 oz, women’s size 7; 10.7 oz, men’s size 8.5

Drop: 8 mm

On Cloudstratus Fit and Materials

The On Cloudstratus uses a unique star lacing system

On used a unique lacing system to let runners dial in the fit. The laces over the midfoot are deployed in the standard method for running shoes, but the On shoe calls on an asymmetrical “star lacing” pattern over the forefoot.

The Cloudstratus uses a more pronounced version of the star lacing used in the On Cloudflyer: Two cable loops make the first pair of eyelets near the shoe’s toe box, which provide an extra way to customize the fit.

On made the front two points of the star asymmetrical by sliding the medial side eyelet loop down closer to the front of the shoe than the loop on the lateral side. Separating the loops from the main squadron of eyelets in the midfoot moves the pressure points off the widest part of the foot—the toe joints.

One tester says the lacing system was a refreshing change from most other shoes on the market today.

“Shifting the first set of loops toward the toe box relieved from pressure from the widest part of my foot,” he says. “When I tightened the laces, it didn’t squeeze the ball of my foot like some other shoes do.”

On also added a second set of eyelets to the Cloudstratus for another lockdown option. The second row of holes sits just outside the first on each side of the shoe. Threading the laces through the outside row cinches down the midfoot for an even more secure fit.

The Cloudstratus’s midfoot and heel construction lend serious structure to the shoe: Burly midfoot overlays maintain the shoe’s shape, and a stiff plastic heel cup wraps around the back of the shoe for added support.

One tester liked the structure but found the collar pressed into the outside of his ankle just below the bone when he was turning around corners. He says a pair of taller socks kept the shoe from causing a blister, but he wouldn’t wear shorter socks on a run.

The tongue is sewn into a lightweight mesh bootie that runs the length of the shoe, and another layer of mesh caps the toe and makes up the midfoot overlay.

On Cloudstratus Ride and Performance

The On Cloudstratus has fused forefoot Clouds to provide a stable push off

The Cloudstratus is inherently stable, thanks to On’s engineering.

On built a wide base beneath the Cloudstratus that gives the shoe its substantial stability. Testers never felt their feet roll off the side of the footbed, even around tight corners. And unlike other On running shoes, the Cloudstratus fuses the forefoot Clouds together to form a single forefoot platform, which makes for a confident toe-off.

The clouds are chiseled from Helion foam, the same cushion used in the new On Cloudswift. Helion—pronounced hee-lee-on—is firm underfoot, giving the shoe a stable landing.

On even added a second helping of cloud cushions to increase the shoe’s stamina. The two layers of Clouds work in sync, On says: the first layer collapses when your foot hits the ground and then waits to release its energy; the second layer absorbs even more impact and adds extra propulsion to the system when it springs back into shape.

Like other On running shoes, the Cloudstratus employs the company’s patented Speedboard. Designers sandwiched the plastic insert between the midsole and upper to give the shoe an extra spring. The Speedboard makes the shoe stiffer than other running shoes on the market, but it gives it a snappy step.

Conclusion

Every part of the On Cloudstratus is designed to help you squeeze more miles out of your run.

The top-notch stability inherent in its wide base alleviates any wobble without making it clunky, and the fused forefoot clouds provide a solid base to push off from. On top, the clever star lacing system allows for more customization and relieves tightness on the widest part of the foot by moving the first set of eyelets closer toward the toe.

While the ankle collar rode up a little too high for one of our runners, it didn’t cause any real problems.

If you’re looking for a burly and stable running shoe, the On Cloudstratus has everything you need.


Still not convinced? Don’t sweat it. Fleet Feet's return policy means you can test drive your shoes and gear without risk. If you’re not happy with the way your gear performs, looks or fits, we’ll take it back within 60 days. Plus, you’ll get free return shipping on all fleetfeet.com orders. That's our Happy Fit Guarantee.


By Evan Matsumoto. Evan played many sports growing up but didn’t go pro in any of them. Now, he’s the digital copywriter for fleetfeet.com and editor for the Fleet Feet blog where he writes about different foam densities and engineered mesh uppers.

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