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Road Running Shoes • February 27, 2024

On Cloudmonster 2 Review: Still Scary Good the Second Time?

On Cloudmonster 2 womens colorway

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What You Need To Know


10.5 oz. (300 g) for a US M9,

8.1 oz. (230 g) for a US W7.5

Stack Height / Drop

Stack height unavailable (6 mm drop)

Best For

Miles and miles with maximum cushioning

Key Features

Dual-density Helion midsole, Largest-ever CloudTec pods, Nylon speedboard

On The Run
Smooth rocker through the stride Dual-density foam adds some oomph The sizing is wildly inconsistent
Price / Availability

Available now for $180

Introduction to the On Cloudmonster 2

THOMAS: On switched gears last year and went from a running shoe brand with exciting designs but lacking performance to a brand that started churning out viable options for runners of all skill levels. The Cloudmonster was the first shoe that began to change our minds, and the secret was as simple as moving the Speedboard away from the foot, allowing foam between your foot and the harsh plate. Along with moving the plate away from the foot, On switched to a softer foam called Helion, which made the shoe more comfortable than their early models.

The only complaint we lodged with the shoe was the upper. It didn’t provide enough support, and getting a secure fit was challenging. And yet, we rated the shoe highly — though part of that may have been how surprised we were to find an On shoe that we enjoyed running in.

With a new upper and a dual-density midsole, we had high hopes for the Cloudmonster 2.

MEAGHAN: Thomas hit the high notes and updates from the original Cloudmonster to version two. I never actually wore the original, so I can’t speak to the changes, but I can attest this model felt like a real turning point for the brand. We’ve since seen the Cloudsurfer and Cloudeclipse, two shoes that felt like a true departure from the typically stiff feeling options from On. Does the Cloudmonster continue this trend? Let’s dive in.

RYAN: Oh, hello, it’s me. I’m here pretending to be Robbe for the day because I was never supposed to get this shoe, let alone review it. I didn’t run in the original Cloudmonster, nor do I typically get the big, fancy shoes that Meg and Thomas usually review. So, what happened?

Well, On sent Robbe the Cloudmonster 2 in a US M7.5 — his normal size. He tried them on, as one does, and found that his feet were about as far from the toe as boys stand from girls at a middle school dance. So, he brought them to the office, had me try them on, and here we are. The funny thing is that this isn’t the first pair of On hand-me-downs I’ve gotten from Robbe, it’s actually the third.

Anyway, I’m rambling. The important thing to know is that I didn’t run in the previous Cloudmonster, but I really enjoyed the Cloudboom Echo 3 and the Cloudeclipse, so let’s see if I can get on board with a more classically styled On shoe.

What we like about the On Cloudmonster 2

THOMAS: On shoes are known for their polarizing Swiss cheese style, but I dig it. The Cloudmonster 2 is on the extreme side of the On family to the point where I can spot them from 25 meters, and I’m still into it.

I can definitely say that the ride is unique — each pod feels like a tank tread as it ripples under your foot. This is a surprisingly firm ride for a max-stack shoe, but it feels protective and resilient. I think that On adding the dual-density foam gives the shoe a little more oomph during toe-off. While I noticed it, I’m not sure it makes a difference in the overall running experience.

MEAGHAN: Here we are again, talking about an all-white colorway that I absolutely love. I think the brands have learned if they want positive feedback on looks, they should send me the all-white variation. Needless to say, I love the aesthetic of this shoe so much that I was hesitant to go out and get it dirty. But alas, I did.

The step-in feel of this max cush trainer is pretty nice, albeit a little large (more on that later). While you’ve got plenty of stack underfoot, the wide platform makes this shoe feel plenty stable out on the roads. The underfoot feel is on the firmer side, but not like past On shoes. This model incorporates a softer foam in the forefoot, and the Speedboard is nestled between the two midsole foams to create a slightly softer ride. I found myself lacing the Cloudmonster 2 up several days in a row as it works for all sorts of running.

RYAN: For a shoe that I wasn’t expecting to run in, I was pretty happy to jump into the Cloudmonster 2. I agree with Thomas and Meg that On’s polarizing style strikes a particular chord with me to the point where I want to wear the Cloudmonster 2 (and a few other shoes) for casual use on top of running. The colorway I got from Robbe isn’t all white but rather a spring-ready mix of white, off-white, and a very soft green that’s easy to wear.

I was also kind of surprised by how much I liked the ride of the Cloudmonster 2. It’s not at the top of my list, given how firm the foam is (we’ll get there), but the rocker hits just right under the toe to keep me rolling forward. Thomas said it right when he compared this shoe to a tank tread — not exactly nimble, but ready to go forward in a straight line for mile after mile.

The upper is also impressively comfortable, at least around the heel. It’s well-padded and locks the foot in nicely, which just about makes up for the absolutely massive toebox. I was able to cinch the laces all the way down across the top of my foot without feeling like they were digging in or pinching in any specific spots.

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What we don’t like about the On Cloudmonster 2

THOMAS: The weight of this one is problematic at over 11 oz. for a US M10.5 — a US M8.5 weighs 10.6 oz. (300 g), for Pete’s sake. However, the fit of the upper is what really left me scratching my head. Our complaint on the original was the unstructured, slightly baggy upper, so I hoped the new mesh version would give us a better fit. It doesn’t.

Additionally, my US M10.5 ran a little long. Robbe’s pair of US M7.5 were about a size and a half too big. I have a narrow foot, so some of you might be fine if you have a wider foot, but this one goes to extremes. The On Cloudmonster isn’t shaped like an Altra. It’s more like a pair of JNCOs.

Finally, $180 puts the Cloudmonster 2 in competition with some great trainers — most of which I would reach for first.

MEAGHAN: As Thomas noted, the weight is definitely a negative. My US W7.5 came in at 9 oz, which is pretty hefty these days.

The other knock is that the sizing definitely feels off. While I can manage with some extra room in the toe box, most people will need to go a half-size, if not a full size down in this shoe. I’m not sure what happened there, but something is off.

RYAN: As you might have guessed by my reviewing Robbe’s pair of the Cloudmonster 2, the sizing is whack. This US M7.5 is easily a US M9 from any other brand, and it weighs accordingly. My pair came in somewhere right around 10 oz, which is pretty heavy when you’re rolling along on a firm foam that doesn’t have much bounce. I was fine with the weight and the ride for the most part, but I definitely felt my form break down in the later stages of a long run when I passed double digits in the shoe.

Going back to the upper, yeah, it’s massive. I still had more than a thumb’s width from my toe to the front of the shoe and probably another finger’s width from either the left or right side of the toe box. And yet, I was somehow able to get a decent lockdown thanks to On’s excellent lacing setup. The eyelets are far enough apart, and the tongue is padded enough that I could absolutely yank them tight to offset the loose toebox.

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Final thoughts on the On Cloudmonster 2

THOMAS: Like the first time you see a magic trick that blows your mind, once you see it a second time, it loses a little of the wonder. The On Cloudmonster 2 is that magic trick. It isn’t a bad shoe, but it also isn’t a great shoe. There are several shoes in the same price bracket, including the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4, Adidas Boston 12, Asics Superblast, and the New Balance SC Trainer v2, and I would be hard-pressed to choose the Cloudmonster 2 over any of them. On need to fix both the weight and overall fit before I change my mind. Meg might disagree with her wider foot, but she also doesn’t mind the weight as much, so maybe it’s a mix of factors.

MEAGHAN: While Thomas didn’t love the On Cloudmonster 2 (he also didn’t get as nice of a colorway as I did), this shoe still feels like a step in the right direction for the brand. If someone prefers a firmer ride for their daily training, this shoe is a perfect fit. And if you like a little more soft cushioning (and a lot less Speedboard), then I would direct people to the On Cloudeclipse. I personally will keep both in the rotation.

RYAN: I think I agree with part of what Thomas said and part of what Meg said when it comes to wrapping up the On Cloudmonster 2. On does need to adjust the fit of this shoe (I shouldn’t be swimming in a US M7.5), but I still think that it’s a step in the right direction. It’s firm but well-cushioned, making the Cloudmonster 2 a good option if you’re into that specific type of ride. Personally, I still prefer On’s Cloudeclipse with its softer, slightly more traditional midsole, and I’d probably have to put the Cloudmonster 2 behind the Asics Superblast in terms of performance (but ahead of it in terms of style).

You can pick up the On Cloudmonster 2 for $180 at Running Warehouse (featuring free 2-day shipping and 90-day returns) using the buttons below.

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On Cloudmonster 2 | Full Review


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Thomas Neuberger
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As the founder of Believe in the Run, Thomas’s goal is to help runners pick the shoes and gear that will make their running experience the best that it can be. 

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Fav. Distance


  • 10:28

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Meaghan Murray
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Meaghan signed up for her first marathon three weeks before the race, because it was $10 more than the half she planned to run. She learned everything in running the hard way. Now a USATF & UESCA certified run coach, she loves encouraging friends to go for big goals as she continues to chase faster times. She enjoys a hot cup of coffee, a cold martini, and making bagels for friends and family.

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Ryan Haines
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Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.

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