On Cloudracer Shoes
The Cloudracer’s adaptive sole has been has been optimized for competitive running and consists of 18 low-profile CloudTec elements. The shoe also performs in fast training runs.
18 CloudTec Elements
Super light perforated tongue
Ultra light air-mesh upper
High-grade EVA midsole
Intelligent stitching on the tongue
Non slip internal lining
Reflective TPU heel-cap
Honeycomb slip pattern sole
CloudTec rubber outsole
Measured size 9.5
Weight - 253 g (8.9 oz)
Stack Height – 24 mm (heel), 18 mm (toe), 6 mm drop
Retail - $129
YMMV Reviews Shoe Chart
On is a newer company to the running market. They have a very distinct design that until I tested the Cloudsurfer Shoes I had never seen before. The Cloudsurfer Shoes are a cushioned running shoe while the Cloudracer is their racer. On is only a couple of years old but is growing quickly. I did a review of the Cloudracer Shoes a while back, and they were willing to work with me again to do a review of these.
Cloudracer Side View
The Cloudracer is a lighter and less cushioned shoe as compared to the Cloudsurfer. I used the Cloudracer only on roads and tried to use it for faster tempo runs and speedwork. My running varied from three to seven miles. I did not stretch them out any further as my current training has been focusing on faster short runs.
Lots of Pods
The On Cloudracer is their first race shoe. It still has a similar cushioning system as the Cloudsurfer's I reviewed before, but has been slimmed down a little. The Cloudracer has a thin mesh upper for breathability. There are a couple of reinforced areas in the forefoot area to help secure the foot. In the heel, there is more of a counter to hold your heel in secure. There is some shaped cushioning in the heel to assist in cupping the heel. The lacing system is standard with a reinforced upper for being able to secure the foot even more. The tongue is a very thin perforated microfiber that has been smart stitched only on one side. This not only holds the tongue in place but also allows it to adjust to different volume feet. On the heel, there is a reflective logo for visibility from behind.
The On Cloudracer has a removable sock liner that is made of two various cushioning foams. Under the forefoot has a different material than the rest of the foot. The sockliner also has a quote on the inside saying, "I Fly You to the Finish Line. Secret Weapon: May Self Destruct After 222 km." For the midsole cushioning the Cloudracer uses a high-grade EVA cushioning. This cushioning continues all the way to the outsole in certain locations, but it does not come in contact with the ground due to the pods. The outsole is made of 18 On CloudTec pods made of durable CloudTec rubber. Of the 18 pods, there are 6 in the heel and 12 in the forefoot. These pods are slightly smaller than the one seen on the Cloudsurfer. This CloudTec technology is a piece of circular rubber, which absorbs both the vertical and horizontal impact. As the foot hits the ground with forward momentum, the CloudTec element folds back, effectively allowing the foot to glide to a softer halt. After landing, the element is compressed by the weight of the runner, locks together and is fully firm for the push-off. This technology is made to allow a runner to run faster, long, and with less impact to the body. Testing in Swiss Federal Laboratories concluded that the CloudTec pods reduce the impact by 25-30 percent while being more active in the push-off stage. These pods are slightly smaller in the Cloudracer so the cushioning may be less.
The Cloudracer Shoes not only has a different and noticeable technology, but looks sharp as well. They come with two colors of laces, orange and gray. This makes it so you can have a brighter or more subdued appearance, but they will never blend in totally. One drawback to On and the shoe is I could not find any evidence of renewable or green materials. Furthermore, combining the website, there were no corporate initiatives in place in regard to sustainability either. This led me to give them a zero rating for sustainability. Hopefully, as the company grows and develops they can find some sustainable options.
I tested the size 43 when I reviewed the Cloudsurfer, and at the time they had it as a men's size 9. I decided that I would test the 43 again as the fit was good but in the Cloudracer this has changed to a 9 1/2 which are slightly larger than what I normally wear. I am not sure if they to some degree changed their sizing or just felt like they were off, but the 9 1/2 feels slightly large on my foot. I feel like it is true to size as it has about a 1/2 size worth of room at the end. Other than that the forefoot and midfoot fit my feet great. Only the heel is slightly on the looser side but caused me no issues when I ran. The tongue and upper are both well done and very comfortable. I like how the tongue is both very thin and keeps the laces from digging in. The see-through upper mesh is also been very comfortable when wearing socks. It does have a rougher feel to it, so I did not test them sockless. I have not had much success when wearing shoes sockless so I have been pickier as of late on which ones I do so with.
Decently Padded Interior
I found the Cloudracer had a good toe spring in them, but the CloudTec cushioning was not nearly as noticeable as they were in the Cloudsurfer. I do think that since this is a lower drop than the Cloudsurfer was I ended up running more with a midfoot stride rather than a little more of a heel strike in the Cloudsurfer. The pods may be reducing the impact forces more than a traditional racing shoe, but I could not feel it when I was running, They had a very similar feel to other racing shoes I have run in. One of the drawbacks to the On Cloudracer's is the weight, while they have taken over 2 ounces off the weight of the Cloudsurfer, they are still heavier than most racing flats. If they are, in fact, reducing the wear and tear on your legs, the extra weight may be worth it. I just could not tell much difference. This is not to say that they were not fast shoes and comfortable to run in, they are.
On the inside of the shoes the Cloudracer says it will self destruct after 222 kms, which is only 133 miles. I sure hope that they will last longer than that. I have put in 50 miles in these, and they still look great, so I imagine their life will be similar to other racing flats. The uppers breathe well as the thin mesh lets air through very easily. The perforated tongue also does a good job of letting heat escape. The shoes are moderately flexible both torsionally and vertically. They seem to have the right amount of support; I would consider them a neutral shoe. These are made to be primarily road running shoes. The sole has a honeycomb pattern on the bottom which will work well on wet and dry toads but not off road. You can run some on smoother trails, but it will wear down the shoes slightly quicker.
May Self Destruct After 222km
Overall, the On Cloudracer is another interesting running shoe. The CloudTec pods are made to reduce the wear and tear on the runner, but I was not able to feel it as much as in the Cloudsurfers. I was a fan of how they were able to reduce the weight by 2 ounces from their other models, but they are on the heavier side as far as racing shoes go. The construction of the Cloudracer is very high quality, and you can tell when you look at them. The upper and tongue are both very breathable, and the shoes are visually striking. If you are looking for a racing shoe that still offers a descent amount of cushioning, then I suggest taking a look at the Cloudracer's. They are well-made and have been tested to reduce the impact to the runner. The On Cloudracer retails for $129, which is to be expected with all the features in these shoes. I like how On is creating something different, and I think they are on to something, especially in their training shoes. As always, your mileage may vary.
Smart stitched tongue
Good fit in the midfoot and forefoot
Helps dissipate the forces from impact
Heavier for a race shoe