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Road Running Shoes • December 21, 2021

On Cloudflyer Performance Review

on cloudflyer cover

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 9.8 oz. (277 g.) for a US M9 / 8.8 oz. (249 g.) for a US W8
  • Floats on a plush cushion of Helion foam
  • Finally comes in wide (Can you hear Jarrett cheering?)
  • Available now at Holabird Sports for $160

HOLLIE: You’d never guess the On Cloudflyer is on its third version. Why can’t we label them with numbers like 1,2, and 3? It would make it easier to figure out the model you like. Anyway, even though the On Cloudflyer looks similar to the second generation, it packs quite a few changes.

This year the On Cloudflyer brings a glorious update: a wide version. The brand already runs narrow so having a wide version makes us wide folks happy (and maybe more fashionable). I’ve run in the regular width of the On Cloudflyer, but it was never my favorite fit.

Read more On reviews: On Cloudstratus review | On Cloudboom review

On Cloudflyer on wall

The Good

HOLLIE: The On Cloudflyer finally comes in wide. Do we need anything more?

The wide fits well, and I’ve found it fits relatively true to size. I was concerned because sometimes a brand makes a wide shoe that isn’t really that wide. On claims that the wide width is 4 mm wider than the regular width, which seems about right to go with the 7mm drop. If you have bunions, you’ll be happy with the extra room in the toe box. Speaking of the toe box, the engineered mesh upper fits well. The upper design is clean and straightforward. Wide foot people are tired of the dull and grandma-looking wide shoes, so as far as looks, the On Coudflyer is one of the better options.

The Cloudflyer is considered a light stability shoe, but there isn’t an actual stability piece — it doesn’t have a medial insert digging into your arch. The stability comes from the heel clouds designed to promote running motion without rolling inward. As a primarily neutral shoe wearer, this can be positive or negative. I didn’t feel much stability, but if you need it, you might want something with more support.

Shop On Cloudflyer – Men Shop On Cloudflyer – Women on cloudflyer heel

The Bad

HOLLIE: This isn’t necessarily a dig at the On Cloudflyer specifically, but more on the brand On in general. I run in the Mojave Desert. Half of my runs are done on sandy trails. The cushion with the On Cloudflyer is great, but without fail, I get rocks stuck in my shoe between the cloud pods 100% of the time. If you run anywhere with rocks, you’ll most likely get them stuck in your shoes.

While it’s not really a big deal, having a rock go clink clink clink every half a mile is annoying. I try and use them on the pavement, but I still manage to pick up rocks every time. If you run solely on the treadmill, you won’t even notice.

Once you get over the rocks, you get to the actual ride. It’s firm. Like, very firm. If you like a lot of soft marshmallowy cushion, it’s not for you.

To get technical — the midsole of the On Cloudflyer is made from On’s Helion foam and CloudTec Pods. Above the midsole is the “Speedboard,” which adds more support and more firmness. The Speedboard makes the Cloudflyer flexible but also contributes to firmness. The shoe is basically firm technology stacked on firm technology. Give us some softness On!

While the On Coudflyer is marketed as a stable shoe, it’s easy to miss. Most of the stability comes from the density differences in the midsole. It has a firmer density on the medial side, and you’ll feel the stability most in the heel and forefoot. To me, it’s barely noticeable, and if I weren’t told this is a stable shoe, I would have never noticed.

I wanted to like the Cloudflyer more, but it felt too harsh on my feet. The firmness leads me to want to use it most on easy trails, but they gather too many rocks to be enjoyable. I’ve retired them to gym days, where I might run a few miles and go to the gym. My feet enjoy about 3 miles of running on the smooth pavement and from the gym, but that is their max.

Shop On Cloudflyer – Men Shop On Cloudflyer – Women On Cloudflyer Sole

On Cloudflyer Conclusion

HOLLIE: The On Cloudflyer is fine. It’s not the best or worst, even from On. It just kind of exists. That said, it does have a place for a couple of situations:

• If you are someone who needs a wider shoe for the gym or shorter run days
• If you need a stable shoe without heavy posting

If I’m paying $160 for a running shoe, I’m probably going with something softer or going with something I can use more without it gathering rocks.

You can pick up the On Cloudflyer for $160 at Holabird Sports by using the shop link below.

Shop On Cloudflyer – Men Shop On Cloudflyer – Women


Want to learn more about how our review process works? Check out this guide.


Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Heidi S says:

    They recommended this shoe as a neutral for problem ankles , orthotics wearers would you say that is not true?

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