Cloud12New Shoes

On. What is it? On is a Swiss running shoe company and they tout their “clouds” that make up the sole of the shoe. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got my hands on the Swiss running shoe called the Cloudsurfer. The appearance of the shoe’s outsole may throw some people off at first. They look different than most running shoes and don’t have the typical flat outsole. Number one, the Cloudsurfer has a pretty vibrant color scheme. Number two, they have lugs on the outsole that make the shoe look like no other shoe at all. What are the “clouds” the company is marketing and how does it feel? For those expecting a soft, pillowly feel, the Cloudsurfer is a bit stiff but this isn’t necesarrily a bad thing. Add in all of the other shoe elements and this shoe just might surprise you.

Wearing the shoes for the first time was off-putting for me. I’m going to share my journal with you and then describe my experience with these shoes.


Day 1:  I wore them on my  high quality treadmill for a walk/run in order to get the feel of the shoes.  I quit running at one mile.  After my quick workout, I did not know what to think of the shoes.  They just felt weird. This was my first experience with the “On” Swiss running shoe brand.

Day 2:  25 minute run.  The shoes felt good on straightaways, but I was slipping and sliding all over the place in slushy snow and mud.  They were good for climbing but not traversing.

Day 3: 30 minute run on sidewalks, trails, and rough terrain.  I challenged the shoes on downed trees, steep hills, angled traverses and found them to be excellent on all surfaces.  Once I returned to the hard surfaces I actually forgot I was wearing the shoes that previously I could not get out of my mind.  They were so comfortable that I went into mental condition white.  I found them to be very confortable while running, but they still feel a little unusual while walking.  I really like these shoes; so far.

Day 4:  55 minute run.  This run was designed to really test these shoes; today I fell in love with them. The first indicator of these being a great shoe was while I traversed a very steep slope, that I had traversed about 200 times before, but for the first time I was not slipping and sliding on the hill.  I intentionally crossed, downed trees, logs, stepped on tree roots and I found the shoe almost articulating as it molded to the striking surface.

I actually prefer these shoes off road, but they are great on road also. I have exclusively worn Asics Running shoes for so long I cannot remember buying any other brand.  I found Asics running shoes to be durable, comfortable, and affordable.

I didn’t expect to like these shoes as much as I did. I didn’t feel like they were propelling me forward but I did feel like they were sufficiently cushioning my feet when they struck the ground. These shoes are different. Just looking at the outsole will tell you that. On offers a patented system they call the Swiss CloudTec® system. We were sent the Cloudflyer and the Cloudsurfer. Derek Dutton reviewed the Cloudflyer and discussed their pods on the outsoles. The Cloudsurfer utilizes their CloudTec® system with lugs.Cloud

The idea behind it is the lugs collapse upon impact and you are spending time flying in the air thereafter. The concept is this-the clouds compress on impact and then provide horizontal and vertical cushioning. The idea is that you only have cushioning where your feet need it.

The lugs are made from a hard compound of rubber. When your foot strikes the ground the lugs collapse and then release all of their compressed energy when you toe-off at then end of the gait cycle.

I believe the 8mm drop is good and 12mm would have been too much as it allows a more natural feel, closer to being barefoot. 12mm might have meant a longer duration in the strike going into the end of the gait cycle.

You do notice the lugs on your foot strikes. Kind of like Newton’s lugs. I still think this is a very good shoe. One thing I liked about the shoes was the upper. It is made with a strong, soft and light material. The tongue is well-padded. Although the lugs give you great traction it seems this pair didn’t last long before it began to degrade. When worn for the first time the ONs feel slightly alien but your feet get used to it.


  • Mud or rocks can get into the lugs.  I think are well-suited for street and can be used on some trails.
  • Cost-For some runners the price may make you look elsewhere but if you have it in your budget I would give these shoes a try.


  • This was cool. Most shoes only protect you from vertical impact. The Cloudsurfer absorbs vertical forces upon impact, and it also absorbs horizontal forces as well.  This is meant to protect you from most of the force on your foot.
  • The shoes are light. Because it has the CloudTec on the sole instead a full rubber outsole it cuts down the weight. Weight: 260g | 9.2oz (US W 7)
  • The shoe is designed without a heel.  It encourages better running form. because the CloudTec lugs are positioned more towards the center. You don’t get as much heel strike.  

The Cloudsurfer by On Running is great for a road shoe. If you want a light-weight shoe then this is it. I like how it is designed to improve the foot strike by helping you midfoot land rather than the heel striking. They come in around $159.00 but I think it’s a good price to pay.


Functionality: 4/5

Weight: 5/5

Durability: 4/5

Cost: 3/5

Comfort: 5/5

Total: 21/25=4.2

I do not have any stake in this company and have not been paid for this review.Cloud3



Equipped with On’s patented CloudTec® system, the Cloudsurfer is light, agile and excellent at transforming running energy into forward momentum, in training runs as well as competitions.

Fast feels good: the adaptive sole balances every step and activates your postural muscles. The Cloudsurfer intelligently combines what conventional running shoes have failed to unite: a cushioned landing and a barefoot takeoff.

– The patented CloudTec® system is excellent at transforming running energy into forward momentum.
– The sleek upper with a light microfiber 3D air-mesh enables optimal air intake and cooling.
– A minimalist translucent eyestay saves weight and allows for easy yet precise lace adjustment.

– Liner mesh with smart foam adapts to foot for high comfort and moisture control
– Perforated tongue combines breathability and padded comfort
– Intelligent side-stitching secures perfect tongue positioning
– Alternative lace allows for color- customization
– Reflective heel cap ensures visibility at night.

– High-grade EVA midsole provides prolonged durability and performance
– Dual-layer sock provides optimal comfort for footbed

– CloudTec® rubber compound formula offers the ultimate in low-abrasion durability
– Honeycomb slip-pattern provides grip on and off the road
– Heel-toe offset: 7 mm | 0.28 in
– Weight: 260g | 9.2oz (US W 7)

Material Disclosure

I received this product as a courtesy from the manufacturer via Spotter Up so I could test it and give my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.

By David Devaney

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

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