On Cloudgo: First Thoughts | This Was A Surprise
Weighs 9.0 oz. (256 g) for a US M8.5/ 7.5 oz (214 g) for a USW7.0
Designed as the standard daily trainer for the everyday runner
More Helion cushion (including all-new layer beneath insole)
Increased stability with a wider platform
Available now for $140
As our hardcore followers know, we’ve had quite the history with On here at Believe in the Run. We won’t rehash the gory details, but suffice it to say that the first On shoe we really (like, really) enjoyed was this year’s Cloudmonster. Past versions were too firm, essentially putting the “board” in Speedboard (the base plate used across most On models).
So when we heard we were getting in their new entry-level shoe, the Cloudgo, and when we saw the pre-release photos and specs, we assumed it was back to the old ways.
After all, this is a $140 On shoe meant to be a go-to shoe for the everyday runner. We’re talking a shoe that falls into the same bucket as the New Balance 880 or Brooks Ghost. Those models are tried and true, and while they won’t send the needle flying off the end of the excite-o-meter, they at least deliver the raw goods year after year.
We’ve always felt that On has yet to produce a solid daily trainer for the masses. So can they pull it off with the Cloudgo? Turns out they can.
Well, everything is new, because it’s a new shoe. On paper, we were unsure of why this shoe was necessary. After all, we already have the Cloudstratus, Cloudflow, Cloudrunner, and Cloudswift. Those shoes seem to cover all the bases.
However, the features of the Cloudgo tweak the typical On formula just a bit, perhaps a precursor to the next step in the evolution of On.
For starters, the Cloudtec pods are far less pronounced than in other shoes. This means more foam, less air. The clouds still tunnel the whole way through the midsole, but barely. The cutout channel beneath the shoe is also less aggressive. Before, you could almost always see the Speedboard, which was also a nice little place for rocks to hang out. Bringing unwanted souvenirs home was almost always a guarantee. Now, the Helion foam is just slightly recessed, so you shouldn’t get any hop-ons.
The overall platform of the shoe is a bit wider, providing a more stable base.
But here’s the kicker– On actually put an extra layer of foam on top of the Strobel layer and below the insole, providing a much higher level of comfort than past On shoes. Additionally, the Speedboard is a different formulation this time around. Instead of a hard plastic, it’s a more flexible TPU. The change is immediately felt and appreciated on the run.
All this comes together at a very reasonable weight for a daily trainer, around 9 ounces for a US M8.5. Don’t have exact stack height figures at the moment, but the drop is 11mm.
This isn’t a full review, but I do have two runs of 6 and 8 miles in the shoe, and I’ve enjoyed it much more than I expected. Honestly, I was somewhat shocked because I was assuming it was going to be a letdown like almost all of our past On experiences.
Whatever tweaks they made in this shoe make this better than every other shoe they have right now. The ride is very comfortable thanks to all the reasons I mentioned above. While it’s not as bouncy or sensational as the On Cloudmonster, it’s just a really good overall feel and it can actually pick up the pace a little bit when needed. Whatever durometer the Helion foam is running at these days, On needs to keep it there. I had so much fun in this shoe on my run this morning that I went an extra two miles just because. I think it’s just a shoe you don’t have to think about and that’s kind of refreshing. Thomas, after his first run in the shoe, texted me and said “Wow, I really love this shoe.”
Speaking of love, I’ve always loved On uppers even when I’ve hated their midsole and ride execution. The Cloudgo upper carries on that tradition. While I don’t think it’s as quality as some of the higher tier models, it is a far superior upper than the Cloudmonster. I had no issues with lockdown. It does have a weird design element in the front that’s essentially a decorative lace that does nothing functionally. It was actually very confusing because I thought it was a part of the lacing system, but it’s not at all.
That’s a lot of thoughts for just our first thoughts, so I’ll stop here. We have some more miles to get in the shoe, but there’s high potential for this to end up on our Best Daily Trainers of 2022 list in a couple months. Still assessing it, but this may be the best On daily trainer available right now. We still love the Cloudmonster, but with a better upper and a price tag that’s $40 less, the Cloudgo is hard to beat.
You can pick up the On Cloudgo for $140 by using the shop link below.
Want to learn more about how our review process works? Check out this guide.
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11mm drop is almost double most of their other offerings, but it’s a smoother ride? Interesting.
The Speedboard is totally redesigned, so no longer hard plastic. Much more flexible so that alone provides a smoother ride.