On Cloudmonster Review
by iRUN Singapore on June 17, 2022
Weight: 275grams / 9.7oz
Price: $269 SGD
Stack Height: 27/33mm (6mm drop)
The upper is made from a sleek engineered mesh with minimal overlays. One thing that I admire from On is their ability to make aesthetic and minimalistic-looking uppers. While it does well in the looks department, On is known for their poor quality control. I’ve encountered numerous complaints about their upper materials falling apart prematurely around the toe box and heel collar. Only time will tell how durable the upper materials are.
It is well ventilated and breathable enough in Singapore’s hot and humid climate.
The fit is among one of the best On has to offer, reminiscent of the On Cloudstratus. Compared to competing brands, the fit here is on the medium-narrow side. It’s definitely more generous than other On models and the entire Hoka line-up. I went true to size without any tightness in the toe box. I’d say you should go for your normal shoe size.
The tongue is paper-thin, with a thin strip of foam to protect the foot from lace pressure. Coupled with the laces, I did not experience any form of pressure-related tightness from the laces. However, one thing to note is that the tongue tends to bunch up ever so slightly when putting on the shoe. Minimal adjustments should solve this issue.
Overall, I’m pleased with the upper construction of the Cloudmonster. Besides my potential concerns with upper durability, the upper fits and works well for me.
Midsole & Ride
On utilizes ‘Monster CloudTec’ in the Cloudmonster, coupled with their Helion Midsole Technology. Up till now, I had terrible experiences with CloudTec and Helion. For those who are new to the brand, CloudTec is the unique, compressible pod design you see in all On shoes. These pods are meant to compress upon impact for soft landings, and the compressed pods are designed for responsive toe-offs. Till now, those pods were nothing but a gimmick. The overall ride of previous models was firm and almost harsh. As a reference, I’ve tried every single On running shoe to date.
I suspected that this poor ride experience was due to an inferior and outdated usage of EVA foam. I stated in my previous reviews that On needed to update its foam material to one which possessed greater elastic and dynamic properties. I was thrilled when On introduced their ‘Helion’ foam. They boasted it to be lighter, softer and more responsive than the EVA foam they used at that time. This foam was first introduced in the On Cloudswift and On Cloudstratus, which were both major disappointments. The ride in both shoes was brick-like, almost to the point of being harsh.
Thankfully, the midsole durometer in the Cloudmonster is significantly lower. On might have reformulated this ‘Helion’ foam, which is evidenced in an observably softer and bouncier ride. THIS is what the first On Running shoe should have been. The Cloudmonster finally embodies On’s tagline “Run on Clouds”. Coupled with the speed board and rocker geometry, the end result is a fun, bouncy, and smooth ride that transitions well through my foot strike.
Compared to other trainers in the same category such as the Asics Novablast 2 and Nike Invincible Run 2, the Cloudmonster is firmer and less bouncy, but foot transitions are smoother thanks to the rocker + speed board combination. It’s noticeably more dynamic than the New Balance 1080v12, Adidas Adistar or the Hoka Bondi 7.
I think On did a fantastic job of finally showcasing what their brand stands for. I might even say that the Cloudmonster is in my top 3 easy day trainers of 2022!
The outsole is made from CloudTec rubber pads, a high-abrasion-resistant rubber-type placed in both the forefoot and strategic areas in the heel. This rubber is identical to those used in other On models. It provides decent grip and durability.
On dry surfaces, the grip is plenty sufficient. I had to be slightly more careful on wet surfaces, especially drains and grass. As of now, the outsole seems to be holding up well, with minimal wear at 50km. You can expect similar durability levels to other of On’s offerings.
Areas for Improvement
2E Width Options
Slightly Thicker Tongue
Shifting of Speedboard Position Lower Down the Midsole
The On Cloudmonster is a max cushioned trainer that performs well for your easy days while being versatile enough to pick up the pace towards the end of your runs. Give this a shot! After all, it’s the first On shoe I actually like!
Reviewed by Xtride Running