On Cloudflyer 2 Running Shoe Review
Ah, running shoes. A category that has such a wide variety of options, it can be dizzying to even know where to start. Are you a Vibram five fingers kind of guy or gal? Nike Air Zoom Pegasus more your flavor? Or perhaps you’ve been trying to make your Allbirds Wool Runners pinch hit for your jogging (I think it’s pronounced, yogging?). If you’re looking to get serious about running, or just want to get off the couch and into your first 5k, boy (or girl), have I got some shoes for you.
This review will focus on the On Cloudflyer 2 running shoe. On is a relatively new entrant to the running shoe game. Founded in 2010 in Switzerland, they’ve been making major inroads against some of the world’s most established running shoe brands. This video shows what makes their design different from other running shoes.
How Did I Land on Ons?
One foot at a time (get it?). But before we get there, some necessary context to help you understand how I arrived at the On Cloudflyer shoes as my top running shoe pick.
I’ve had a long series of off-again, ON-again (get it??) relationships with running, and of course, running shoes. My go-to for many years was the Mizuno Wave Rider. I was told I needed a big, thick shoe like this to provide adequate support for the custom orthotics I wore, which were made out of heavy molded plastic. I did like those shoes, in spite of the overall sub-optimal experience I had because of the orthotics. But I did wonder if I could ever have a normal running experience without orthotics, and how much more I might enjoy that.
Fast forward a few years, when I had a few more coins in my pocket and was looking to upgrade my running shoe game. Perhaps, with the right shoes, I could kick my orthotics to the curb (again, pun intended) and run more regularly with less achilles pain. I decided to give my friendly neighborhood running store a chance. They used advanced video gait analysis technology to determine I needed a shoe with light stability to prevent overpronation. And that’s when I first met (and fell in love) with the On Cloudflyer.
Floating on Clouds
So, did the Cloudflyer live up to my expectations? Yes and yes. After wearing them regularly, and performing Achilles Tendonitis exercises, I was able to stop wearing my orthotics entirely. In fact, I ran my first pair of Cloudflyers into the ground, and now have the second version of the shoe, redesigned to add more support and comfort, while still being light and airy.
Should You Get Cloudflyers?
So why should you consider a pair? What makes them so special?
These are premium shoes, people. These are not the sneaks you find in the clearance section. Ons never go on sale, because they don’t have to. They are so packed with technology but still provide an effortless feel as you glide over the pavement.
The best part for me is the blend of comfort and light weight. They just inspire speed. They truly make you feel like you can run faster but still have all the support you need along the way. The Cloudflyer also gets high marks from me for “street fashion” good looks and lots of reflectivity – 360 degrees of reflective material positioned around the shoe means you’ll be seen from any angle (as you may know, I’m a reflectivity freak – check out my pick for a high visibility running shirt).
Are Cloudflyers Worth the Cost?
In terms of cost – are they more expensive than the clearance section at TJ Maxx? Yes. Are they less than other high-end running shoes? Also yes. A friend of mine who is crazy fast and wins races on the reg gave me some advice when I was pondering the cost: invest in whatever is between you and the road. It’s worth it. If you plan to get serious and log a lot of miles, think about how much each mile costs over the total life of the shoe. For me, having a shoe that I know is “proven” to help me reduce injury risk is priceless.
Lots of Ons to Choose From
Wondering if the Cloudflyer is right for you, or perhaps another one from the On lineup? Check out their interactive shoe finder to, well, find the right shoe for you!
Also, if you run a lot in the rain, consider the waterproof version of the Cloudflyer, which does add some weight in order to offer that extra protection.
Please note: I’m not a doctor, and do not even play one on TV. Talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen, or if you’re experiencing pain during exercise. Read my full Fitness Disclaimer here.