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Road • September 23, 2020

On Cloudboom Performance Review

On Cloudboom

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 8.55 oz. (242 g) for a US M 10.5 / 6.53 oz. (185 g) for a US W 8
  • Cloudtec foam/Speedboard sandwich makes for great, peppy cushioning
  • Sleek, modern upper
  • On, you’ve gone from off to On again in our book

THOMAS: Believe in the Run has a checkered past with On. While we love the aesthetic of On shoes, we found most models to be either too firm (i.e. Cloudswift), too heavy (i.e. Cloudace), or good, but not great (i.e. Cloudflow). To be honest, my hopes weren’t high for the Cloudboom. I hadn’t heard any real praise for this new carbon-plated racer straight outta Switzerland. Usually, when a shoe comes and goes without much chatter in the forums, it’s bad news. With low expectations, I gave the shoes a shot, and turns out– I’m glad I did.

On Cloudboom Heel

The Good

THOMAS: On’s styling is so clean and modern with a unique sense of colors and textures that sets their products apart from the competition. The Cloudboom is sleek with an engineered mesh upper, a thin tongue, and a narrow rigid heel counter with just enough padding to cradle the foot into place. The On Running site refers to the width as “normal,” but I’d say the Cloudboom runs narrow. 

Normally, On sets up the midsole by having their standard Speedboard right under the foot. The Speedboard is the rigid plastic they attach the “cloud pods” to. With the Cloudboom, On uses a Helion superfoam sandwich with a carbon-infused Speedboard in the middle to create the plate. This may be the secret to why I liked this shoe over previous On Running shoes. With two layers of Cloudtec, the initial step-in is well-cushioned. On adds in some grippy rubber on the toe and heel to give the Cloudboom solid traction. The offset/drop is 9 mm.

Where the Cloudboom shines is in its lightweight feel. While this shoe is on the heavier side for a racing flat and a marathon super shoe (8.55 oz./242 grams men’s size 10.5), it feels comparable to shoes weighing an ounce less. The roll through the stride is quick and favors the runner that lands more towards the heel. You can really feel the cushioning in the back of the shoe, less so in front. This shoe has pep, with a fast feel in your strides.

Shop Cloudboom – Men Shop Cloudboom – Women On Cloudboom Outsole


The Bad

THOMAS: On shoes have never been inexpensive, and these follow suit at $199.99. We need a price check across the industry. Seriously, shit is getting ridiculous. That said, for a plated shoe, $200 is almost the going rate these days.

Like many other minimal uppers for speed shoes, the fit on the Cloudboom could use some help. The tongue is sloppy and unattached, the ankle collar tends to gape, and the shoe does run a bit long. However, even with it running long, I wouldn’t size down. The rest of the shoe would be too tight and you might lose a pinky toe.

The cushioning isn’t at the level we are getting accustomed to in long-distance racers. I’d stick to half marathons and below with the Cloudboom.

Shop Cloudboom – Men Shop Cloudboom – Women On Cloudboom

On Cloudboom Conclusion

THOMAS: The Cloudboom is a good shorter distance race shoe. It is lively and enjoyable on foot, and could even make for a decent daily trainer. It runs well at all paces, slow, easy, and hard effort. I really enjoyed my miles in the shoe. Comparable racing shoes would be the ASICS Metaracer and the Skechers Speed 6 Hyper. The Cloudboom is a step in the right direction for On. Maybe all of their shoes should have two layers of Cloudtec?

You can pick up the On Cloudboom for $200 by using the shop links below.

Shop Cloudboom – Men Shop Cloudboom – Women

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