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Road Running Shoes • June 6, 2024

On Cloudrunner 2 Review: Summertime Flex Appeal

on cloudrunner 2 - side

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What You Need To Know

Weight

9.7 oz. (277 g) for a US M9 / 8.5 oz. (240 g) for a US W8

Stack Height / Drop

31 mm in heel, 21 mm in forefoot (10 mm drop)

Best For

Road runs with light stability

Key Features

Engineered mesh upper, Helion Superfoam midsole, Heel clip for stability, CloudTec pods

On The Run
Praise the lack of a Speedboard Might be the best-looking trainer of the year Tends to run a half-size large
Price / Availability

Available now for $150

Introduction to the On Cloudrunner 2

ROBBE: It’s just about summertime, but the Clouds keep on coming. Which is good news, because a white shoe like the On Cloudrunner 2 is always a can’t-miss summer look, and as soon as I opened the box for this one, I knew it’d be a solid companion for the days between Memorial and Labor. That’s based on looks alone, which would be fine if this weren’t a running review website.

Of course, the running part is where things can get tricky with On. For a long time, On was really good at producing the worst shoes in running, but they’ve made quite the turnaround in the last couple of years. The Cloudsurfer and Cloudeclipse have been really nice, and for faster stuff, I really loved the Cloudboom Echo 3. Nevertheless, there have still been some growing pains; the running segment as a whole doesn’t seem entirely cohesive, but you can tell they’re trying and experimenting, which is more respectable than sitting on their hands like some of the more traditional brands choose to do.

In that search to create a well-rounded array of running shoes, the On Cloudrunner 2 acts as a light stability option for those runners needing a bit of support. I honestly didn’t even know this was a stability shoe the first go-around because the stability is so subtle. Mainly just a heel clip, a wider platform, and some nice cushion around the ankle collar. Underfoot, a Helion midsole (sans Speedboard) provides a comfortable ride. It’s pretty straightforward altogether, so maybe we should just move straight forward into the review.

Let’s get it, On.

WIDE-FOOT JARRETT: As much as On has been stepping up its game, the wide offerings have been pretty subpar in the past. I wasn’t aware of the Cloudrunner 2’s arrival, and once I read “wide” across the box, I’ll admit my brain missed the excitement phase. Fortunately for me, my brain was wrong.

RYAN: Oh, hello, I’m back on another On review, and you know what that means — Robbe’s original pair didn’t fit him. I won’t harp on that fact too much here in the intro since it’ll take words out of my own mouth later, but it’s true.

Anyway, I’m glad his pair didn’t fit, as this is a bit of a different On experience for me. I got used to the feeling of CloudTec Phase in both the Cloudeclipse and Cloudsurfer Trail, but my only experience with regular, hexagonal CloudTec came in the Cloudmonster 2, which was an… interesting shoe. So, I was curious how the latest version of On’s much-maligned original pods would feel when paired with its Helion superfoam.

Of course, I’m still working my way back from a decently long-term foot injury, so my mileage in the Cloudrunner 2 has been limited, but it’s enough to form an opinion. Just be ready for a good mix of non-running thoughts to follow Robbe and Jarrett.

What we like about the On Cloudrunner 2

ROBBE: I already mentioned the shoe’s looks; as soon as I opened the box, this went to the top of my list of the best-looking running shoes of 2024. I know On has its haters when it comes to design, but they’re wrong, and it’s okay to tell them so. It’s just undeniably a beautiful shoe. It has a simple and understated design with all the right touches, and it can be worn with anything and used for the same.

The upper itself is an engineered mesh that’s pretty plush, with lots of padding around the collar and on the tongue. It has a better lacing system than we’re used to with On, so that’s a nice improvement. It’s an accommodating fit (more on that later), so if you have a higher-volume foot, this shoe should get along well with you. I didn’t find it to be overly warm.

As far as the midsole, the Helion superfoam provides a really comfortable ride over any distance. It’s not too soft and certainly not firm. It’s really just a smooth ride that feels nice overall. The wider base provides more stability than any other On shoe, so I felt pretty secure on all my runs. Instead of the deeper cut-out in the midsole that came with the shoe when it had a Speedboard, it’s now filled in. Translation: no more rocks getting caught underneath, a fact that On finally admits was a problem in the past. I’d have no problem putting this shoe up with its other competitors in the light stability range when it comes to ride, comfort, and stability.

The weight is pretty standard for a daily trainer, and I had no issues either way; in fact, I thought it felt pretty light underfoot.

The price point ($150) is pretty solid for this shoe, and for an On shoe, it’s almost a bargain.

WIDE-FOOT JARRETT: On dialed in the upper for the wide version. While they’re using fancy talk saying it’s 100% recycled Swiss-engineered mesh, I’ll just say it feels luxurious and soft on foot. Cheers to Swiss engineering! The tongue is plush, and so is the heel collar. I think the wide fit is fantastic. I have space in both the midfoot and forefoot and I don’t feel any overlays causing constriction and pressure on my foot.

The midsole is made of On’s Helion superfoam to provide for energy return and softer cushioning. It still has On’s trademark CloudTec, but it looks to be toned down and not as visually striking. I found the shoe to have a nice amount of cushioning under the forefoot while running. It’s not as soft as the Cloudeclipse but it isn’t nearly anywhere close to being firm and harsh like previous On shoes, either. It straddles the line between neutral and stability with its wider base. Honestly, the more I ran in the Cloudrunner 2, the more I enjoyed it. The shoe felt really nice while running and could handle easy runs like a champ.

One of the best parts is updating the outsole to get rid of the huge void and acknowledging on the website saying goodbye to trapped stones. I like that they can poke fun at their past shoes.

RYAN: So, I’m still working my way back from a foot injury (a fact that I’ve mentioned in a couple of reviews now), which means I haven’t been able to put a full shift of miles into the Cloudrunner 2. I’ve been trying to stick with shoes for a few extra miles rather than bounce from shoe to shoe every day — something that hasn’t always agreed with my stride. That being said, I’ve been rocking the hell out of the Cloudrunner 2, both casually and while at the gym, and I’m loving it.

For starters, it’s just the right mix of soft and supportive where I can wear it for a long day but not feel like I’m sinking into a marshmallow. I think the plastic heel clip does just enough to stabilize your foot while not feeling overbearing or taking away from the squish of the Helion superfoam. Also, my gym routine involves plenty of lateral movement (shout out to the HIIT crew), and I’ve been enjoying the fact that the Cloudrunner 2 has just a little bit of lateral flair to it, so I don’t feel like I’m about to topple over.

The upper is oh-so-sweet and hugs my foot in all the right places, and I kind of like having a shoe that I can slip my foot into without untying it. Also, I’m fairly impressed with On’s current outsole formula. There’s a decent amount of rubber coverage on the bottom of the CloudTec pods, and the arrowhead-shaped pattern has pretty good grip, even if it’s not the MissionGrip that On uses for its trail shoes.

If y’all need me to point out once again that this is a great-looking shoe for casual wear, I will, but I feel like Robbe and Jarrett hammered that home — even if our wide-footed hero got a less exciting colorway than us normies.

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What we don’t like about the On Cloudrunner 2

ROBBE: Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s On, but I feel like I have so many issues with On uppers. It’s probably me. I’m at the lowest end of men’s sizing, and I think that extreme is just too variable. Sometimes the shoe is too short, sometimes the toe box is too narrow, sometimes it’s too long, sometimes the toe is right but the shoe is wide — ya never know. It’s the same thing with this shoe. The length was spot on, but I just could not get a great lockdown. It’s not that it was roomy; it just felt like it wasn’t a secure fit. I tried over and over again to adjust the laces and tighten them down, but I never got the feeling I was looking for. I’m not sure if that makes sense, it just is what it is. If you have a different foot shape, you’ll probably have a totally different experience, so you’re just going to have to try it yourself.

WIDE-FOOT JARRETT: Maybe I have lower expectations, but I don’t have much to complain about with the Cloudrunner 2. My biggest frustration is that the beautiful white colorway that everyone is raving about didn’t show up at my door. I got the all-black, and although it isn’t ugly, it’s not pretty.

RYAN: So, there’s the obvious fact of the matter that the Cloudrunner 2 seems to run a half-size long, as I briefly mentioned in the intro. At this point, it’s pretty standard operating procedure for the Swiss brand, which is ironic given the usual precision that comes with European engineering. As long as you size down when ordering, you should be just fine with the fit and lockdown that the Cloudrunner 2 offers.

Perhaps my bigger problem with this good-looking, predominantly white shoe is the fact that it’s damn near impossible to keep clean. I’ve had the Cloudrunner 2 for about a week since Robbe’s second pair arrived, and it’s already hurtling towards a shade of off-gray. The green and beige hits still look good, but I’m really going to have to clean this one a lot.

Also, On’s uppers don’t seem to play very well with performance socks made from material like Bandit’s CoolMax. I don’t know what it is, but it feels like slippery on slippery and gave me a little bit of heel slippage.

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on cloudrunner 2 - side

Final thoughts on the On Cloudrunner 2

ROBBE: If the upper fits, then it’s legit. For me, that wasn’t the case, but there’s a good chance it could work for you. If it does, then you’re going to get a really nice shoe with a comfortable ride and a touch of stability to keep you rolling through your stride. I always appreciate a great travel shoe, and this is exactly that — something that looks good with shorts or jeans but can easily accommodate your god-forsaken running schedule that your family’s activities must revolve around. They just don’t get it.

WIDE-FOOT JARRETT: I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the On Cloudrunner 2. The wide fit is comfortable, and it feels pretty solid underfoot. The shoe is easy to run in and provides a ride that isn’t overly soft, nor is it firm and harsh. The On Cloudrunner 2 would also make a great travel shoe or one to wear out casually. I’m definitely keeping these by the front door, and I have no doubt that the new Cloudrunner 2 is the best wide offering from On so far.

RYAN: Well, On has already cemented its place beyond the running industry, and the Cloudrunner 2 seems perfectly positioned to reinforce that fact. It’s a solid running shoe, but given my largely casual and gym wear, it’s probably going to be the next model that makes its way to suburban moms and mid-level boardroom suits who want to feel like the “fun boss.”

I’m not actually bashing either of those groups of people; just pointing out that they’re probably the main consumers of CloudTec when all is said and done. Hey, maybe the lack of a Speedboard will even encourage new On converts to try running, too.

You can pick up the On Cloudrunner 2 for $150 from Running Warehouse (featuring free shipping and 90-day returns) by using the buttons below.

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Authors

Robbe Reddinger
Senior Editor
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Robbe is the senior editor of Believe in the Run. He loves going on weird routes through Baltimore, finding trash on the ground, and running with the Faster Bastards. At home in the city, but country at heart. Loves his two boys more than anything. Has the weakest ankles in the game.

More from Robbe
Shoe Size

7.5

Fav. Distance

13.1

PRs
  • 3:27

    Marathon
  • 1:30

    Half-Marathon
  • 40:36

    10k
  • 19:17

    5K
jarrett 1
Jarrett Weisberg
Wide Foot Lead Reviewer
  • Strava
  • Instagram

Wide Foot Jarrett likes talking about wide shoes. Did you know he wears wide shoes? You should probably know he wears wide shoes. Besides running, Jarrett is a lover of coffee, donuts, pizza, and tacos. Basically, Jarrett is the ultimate race-cation travel companion because he will be on food duty while you’re busy panicking about whether you want to try and break your PR. Will also sleep on the floor. He’ll also answer any question in his DMs.

All-time favorite shoes: New Balance Vazee Prism v2, New Balance FuelCell SC Trainer, Asics Metaspeed Sky.

More from Jarrett
Shoe Size

10.5 2E

Fav. Distance

Beer Mile

PRs
  • 3:29

    Marathon
  • 1:41

    Half-Marathon
  • 42:30

    10k
  • 19:31

    5K
Ryan Haines
Assistant Editor
  • Instagram
  • Strava

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.

More from Ryan
Shoe Size

8

Fav. Distance

13.1

PRs
  • 3:54

    Marathon
  • 1:28

    Half Marathon
  • 39:09

    10K
  • 19:02

    5K
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