Understanding On's Cloudmonster


The Cloudmonster from On Running is equal parts surprising and predictable.

Surprising because of its appearance – it’s unique from any angle but especially when compared to the rest of On’s offerings. But it’s also predictable. It seems clear that the brand is driven by wanting to create the best product for the runner. And it’s undeniable that more and more runners are wanting a pair of max-cushion shoes in their rotation.

So, as polarising as its looks may be, here On have made a max-cushion shoe their way – and if you scratch below the surface of the beastly Cloudmonster you might find it’s a thing of beauty. (The design also won an ISPO award, so there’s that.)


One of the most favored features of the Cloudmonster might be the lacing system. Rather than traditional eyelets, On have opted for a loop system. Call me crazy but the loop system spreads the tension out a little more and also makes adjusting the tightness of the laces easier. It also reinforces what On are going for in the Cloudmonster: comfort. Everything should just feel good.

Other elements that deserve a call out include the thoughtfully designed heel cup – your foot actually sits a lot lower in the Cloudmonster than it looks from the outside, and then the white heel cup provides great lock down. This is likely going to be a huge plus for anyone who suffers with Achilles soreness.

The branding on the upper is reflective, because if you’re wearing the Cloudmonster and going long, you might be starting in the dark. 

So, what’s my favourite part of the upper? 80% of the polyester content is recycled. This stuff matters. On have shown a commitment to more thoughtful production standards and each time they and others put recycled content in a product, we get closer to a world where all athletic product is made from recycled materials.


Sure, not the sexiest part of any shoe, but your wallet will thank you for it. The outsole on the Cloudmonster is comprised of no-nonsense rubber in all the right places, with a large cut-out running down the middle of the outsole so you can see the Speedboard. Of all the On shoes tested and worn, I’ve never noticed any issues with either durability or slippage, and I don’t see any reason that would change on the Cloudmonster.



So now we’ve broken down what the shoe is made of, and looked at all the design features, how would you actually use it? It could quite easily be the go-to for half of your weekly mileage, and here’s why.

When we’re not doing sessions, the idea is to look after our feet and lower limbs so we can be ready for the next session. The Cloudmonster’s maximalist cushioning is perfect for your easy runs – those days when pace doesn’t matter and you just want to get the loop done without feeling any soreness or fatigue.

But it’s also perfect for the long weekend run. You see, the thing we realised about max shoes is that they can help your legs feel fresher for longer, meaning your three-hour long run in your marathon prep can feel less torturous and more enjoyable. The icing on this cake is the recovery post-run; as mentioned earlier, the increased foam means less impact going through your feet and lower limbs, so you’re good to go again sooner.



The Cloudmonster could be a pivotal shoe for On, regardless of how it sells or how runners adopt it. It’s the biggest sign yet that On are no longer a small start-up; they’re a serious player in global running market, and their product offering is more complete than some brands that have been around for 30-plus years.

The Cloudmonster is a fun shoe. It’s shocking, but I’ve come to see it as shockingly beautiful. If you’re into premium quality footwear, and you want a shoe that you can rely on for anything from your Monday recovery shuffle to your Sunday marathon-build long run, you should definitely consider it for your next pick up.

Explore our range of Cloudmonster.


Source: Riley Wolff 

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