On Cloudsurfer (2018): What You Need to Know

On isn’t like other running shoe companies in a lot of ways. A good example — they’re one of the few to eschew the standard yearly update cycle for their shoes. So, when On actually does update one of their shoes, you know they’ve got a good reason!

This year, On has upgraded one of its original shoes, the Cloudsurfer. The Cloudsurfer is On’s long-running neutral trainer, and was one of the first to embody On’s vision — cushion enough to make a distance trainer, but with the pop and engineering know-how to promote faster, more efficient running form. This year’s Cloudsurfer update puts an extra emphasis on comfort while still doubling down on the springiness that makes their shoes so fun to run in.

The Cloudsurfer distinguishes itself from other On trainers by having Cloud elements made entirely of their Rebound Rubber — all of the cushy foam instead sits atop those elements. This construction gives the Cloudsurfer a little more bounce, helping guide runners into quicker, more efficient strides. But, while the previous Cloudsurfer took a more minimal approach to those Cloud elements, the new Cloudsurfer gives runners a little more surface area when making contact with the ground. On has added a row of elements to the heel and forefoot, allowing for a much smoother ride.

Speaking of bounce, On has also tweaked the Cloudsurfer’s Speedboard. On uses stiff Speedboards in many of their shoes to add a sense of propulsion — they’re designed to snap back into shape quickly, springing you forward once weight has been put on them. In the new Cloudsurfer, On is using the same material in the Speedboard as they used in the super engineered Cloudace. That helps give the new Cloudsurfer a little more snappiness — it’s still not the lightest shoe around, but it’s fast enough to feel far lighter than it is.

The additional rows of Cloud elements help make the shoe more comfortable, but maybe the best comfort upgrade is to the mesh upper. The mesh has been redesigned and now runs along more of the shoe, making the Cloudsurfer more breathable than before.

With a 6 mm drop, the Cloudsurfer is low enough to provide a good workout for more experienced runners, but high enough to not be as likely to aggravate any overuse injuries. It’s a neutral shoe, so while those who overpronate might want to steer clear, neutral, experienced runners looking for a speedy shoe with a fair amount of cushion should give it a look!

Is the On Cloudsurfer right for you? Use the Fitted Running shoe consultant to go through our gait analysis process and find out!

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