On Running Shoe Review Cloud: The Best Triathlon Shoe of 2016


Hey, what’s up triathletes? Taren here. Going
to start off this video with an outright fan girl alert. This is the On Running Cloud, and I’ve got
no hesitation to say that I think that it is the best all-around running shoe of 2016.
Yeah, that’s right. I’m going to be that bold in this video. I’ve wanted to try one of On Running shoes
for about three years now. So, I contacted On, and they recommended either going with
this, their Cloud model, or the Cloud Racer, because those are the two shoe models that
On Running makes for the more serious runners and triathletes out there. I went with the
Cloud because I wanted to test out an all-around running shoe that would be good for roads,
speed work, track, trails, off road, recovery runs. I wanted to see if the Cloud could handle
everything. I’ve gone a total of about fifty miles in these shoes, and they (beep) rocked
it. On Running pegs the Cloud as the world’s lightest
fully-cushioned shoe. As opposed to the more heavy, bulky shoes that come in at, say, ten
ounces plus, the On Running Cloud is only seven ounces. As opposed to the more built
up heel heavy shoes, the heel to toe offset on the Cloud is only six millimeters from
back to front. That six millimeters could be lower to satisfy the more minimal, barefoot
runners, but, you know what, I fancy myself a minimal kind of zero-drop sort of guy, and
I didn’t notice until I started looking at the specs of the shoes today that it was six
millimeters. So, it’s a very good shoe if you’re coming from a zero-drop shoe background. And, a hundred and forty bucks. Eh, it’s in
the mid-range of price out there. As far as looks go, I think that On really knocked it
out of the park, spicing it up with both the men’s and the women’s models. There’s some
really cool combo colors out there. So, if you like loud shoes and something that will
turn a few heads out there on your runs, the Cloud will do that. On Running’s secret sauce is this pod technology
that goes along the bottom. The idea behind it is that these pods compress whether you
land on your heel or your forefoot, because it goes the entire distance of the shoe, and
it returns that energy as you start moving forward in your running stride. To be perfectly
honest with you, I was skeptical of that technology, because it does seem a little bit gimmicky
to me. As I started trying them, I was actually really surprised that the feel isn’t really
that different than any other running shoe out there. It’s not really unique at all.
What these shoes gave was a really stable, slightly responsive, but not bouncy, slightly
cushioned, but not squishy, soft and comfortable without being constrictive, very grippy on
the pavement, highly enjoyable ride. The best shoe, in my opinion, is one that
you don’t notice or think about, and that was the case with every single test that I
put this shoe through. Coming out of the box, they’re basically broken in the second that
you put them on. They do end up coming with a set of elastic laces installed right out
of the box, so that’s a nice bonus. But, I found that the elastic laces left the shoes
a little bit flimsy, and not tight enough. So, I ripped them out right away and put these
standard laces in. First thing you’ll notice when you put the standard laces in is that
they are a bitch to get into these bottom loops. I wasn’t a big fan of that. The laces
are really, really, long and they’re very thin, so I found that you had to tighten them
a lot. But because you’ve got that extra room, you’ve got two choices. You can give them
a really good yank and make that very tight, or you can give it a double-knot. You’ve got
more than enough room to do that. Here’s where we get into everything that I
loved about this shoe as I went through testing it. Track running was really enjoyable with
these shoes. Granted, there not a really aggressive racing flat, so you’re not going to get that
kind of feel. But, I did about three or four two hundred meter repeats at a very fast effort
before I even remembered that I was trying out these cushioned shoes. I had no problem
getting up to high speeds, and these did really well at the track. They had a lot of grip
and just enough responsiveness combined with just the right amount of cushion to be good
for a track workout. As far as barefoot runs go in a triathlon,
I don’t know if I would use this for anything longer than a 5 or 10k, say, sprint or Olympic
distance triathlon, because I did have a little bit of a hot spot and developed a slight blister
on the inside of my big toe. The shoes breathe a little bit, but they’re
not extremely light and airy, so your feet do sweat. The inside of the shoes is really,
really smooth. There’s nothing rough on the inside, so if you wanted to try these out
barefoot, you’re not going to be upset that you did, but it is going to take a little
bit of getting used to, toughening up your feet. As far as trail running goes, I probably wouldn’t
use these for really technical trails. They did more than fine on things like gravel,
packed dirt, grass trails. It had more than enough cushioning and enough responsiveness
that it didn’t beat up your body going over that rough terrain. But, it’s not a big burly
shoe, and the traction isn’t that great if you’re going over some really difficult terrain. For those bread and butter road runs, temple
runs, recovery runs on pavement, this has been the most favorite shoe that I’ve tried,
probably in the last year and a half. I had no problem getting up to higher speeds for
those temple runs, but then it also didn’t feel really weird as I ratcheted down and
started using these for recovery runs. All the fan girling aside though, the On Running
Clouds aren’t flawless shoe. There’s a few bones that I have to pick with it. The first
issue that I had was running over gravel. Because of this space going down the middle
of the treads, gravel got in the middle of the shoes, and it lodged on the inside as
I went over gravel trails. Pissed me off. The second issue that I’ve got with the Clouds
is with the traction. Overall, the traction was really good. I had a lot of good grip
on whatever surface I was running on, until I ran over cement that was covered in water.
I don’t know why that happened just that one time, but it was slippery. The third thing that bugged me is more of
just an annoyance, but occasionally, depending on how your foot strikes or what type of surface
you’re running on, the pods actually have this weird sound like a “thump, thump, thump,
thump, thump”, when you land on the ground. It’s nothing to do with the performance of
the shoe, just kind of annoying. The last thing that you could complain about
is the hundred an forty dollar price tag. That’s certainly creeping into the higher
priced running shoes out there. That said, I’m probably not going to knock on their price
point. You could probably get away with just this shoe to take care of your trail running,
your road running, your track running, and that will bring down your overall shoe budget
a little bit. And then the second reason that I’m not going to whine about the hundred and
forty dollar price tag, is that it seems like even after fifty miles while these are little
bit beat up, I’ve put them through the ringer, and they’re still very responsive. If this
ends up being a two-three hundred mile kind of a shoe, that’s a pretty decent bang for
your buck. All in all, I’m not BS-ing you one bit when
I say that the On Running Clouds are some of the most favorite running shoes for just
pure runners or triathletes, that I’ve ever tried. I find that with most running shoes,
you’ve basically got to pick a shoe for each different type of discipline. One for track,
one for trails, one for road, because they’re all built basically to be good at one thing.
That’s not the case with the On Running Cloud. And that’s why I say that this might be the
best all-around running shoe out there right now. So, that is it for the On Running Clouds.
Thank you to On Running for sending these out and letting me give them a try. As always,
happy and hard training out there. Good luck in your triathlons. Kill it.

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