Running Shoe Review: On Running Cloudsurfer

1 Feb

Right Out of the Box…
Upon first glance, these are some of the most unique running shoes I have seen. The rubber “tubes” on the sole are really interesting and are a new feature to me. Unlike other running shoes with rubber lugs, these shoes feature them at the midfoot and also on the heel. The overall design of the upper is extremely simple, featuring a two-color black and lime green design. The mesh that extends across the entire upper of the shoes is light and is widely pocketed, which I think will make it highly breathable. The padding of the tongue is substantial, making for an extremely comfortable fit on the top of the foot. Even tying the shoes tightly created no pinched feeling. The logo designs on the shoes are simple and not distracting. For runners who keep aesthetics at the top of their list, it is worth noting the clever placement of the logo on the heels of the shoes. Well played!

On Running Cloudsurfer

Clever design!

Just holding the shoe and moving it around, it does feel a bit more at the midfoot than what I am typically used to, but I am hoping the rubber lugs will help make up for some of that lost flexibility.

Road Tested…
On the road, this shoe performed extremely well. The forefoot of the sole felt more flexible than I had anticipated. The midsole was a bit stiffer, but as I suspected, the rubber lugs did their job and did not make it feel stiff. The collar of the shoe felt really snug under my ankles and on my heel but it did not rub and it caused no blisters. My foot felt stable, but I never felt like movement of my ankle was hindered. After doing a couple of road runs, the shoes responded well and I was able to change directly quickly while still maintaining a stable contact with the ground.

CloudTec Lugs

(Light) Trail Tested…
My bigger concern was taking these shoes out on a light trail run (ie, light gravel, grass, light cross-country), however, I was pleasantly surprised! I thought the smoothness of the bottom of the lugs might keep me from getting the traction needed to push forward, but this was not an issue at all. As the foot hits the ground, the lugs compress, and they, for all practical purposes, “grit their teeth.” Once the teeth on the inside of the lug are together, they keep the shoe from moving out from underneath you, while your body continues to propel ahead. Even more interesting is the fact that the teeth in the lug on the heel and the teeth in the lugs at the forefoot are different sizes. Your body hits the ground differently depending on your strike and the Cloudsurfer can absolutely respond appropriately.

"Wide Teeth" Heel Lugs

"Narrow Teeth" Forefoot/Midfoot Lugs

The only hiccup I experienced was with running in these in light rain. Since the sole of the shoe is relatively smooth, I found it a bit more difficult to get traction when the road was wet. Living in Louisiana with many rainy days, this would mean having a second pair on hand for rainy runs, but these shoes felt so great that I would highly recommend getting a pair to have for all the dry days! If you live in a drier part of the country, this would not be a concern for you at all. However, it is worth noting that the wide-pocketed mesh of the upper breathed really well and dried very quickly once wet.

The Specs…
The best part about the CloudTec technology is that the lugs give you the feeling of stability and cushioning without having to add padding to the upper of the shoe. Instead, the cushioning and shock absorption comes from the sole of the shoe, as opposed to the padding inside the shoe. Very smart!

The medium-width of the toe box was very comfortable. Being a runner who experiences relatively significant toe-splay during running, I felt that my toes and feet had plenty enough room. For runners who like narrower shoes or who do not experience much spreading of the forefoot during runner, this may not be the best option. However, for the average runner with normal toe-splay, this shoe would perform beautifully.

The weight of the shoe is 11oz (313g) for a men’s size 9. This was only slightly heavier than my typical running shoes and the added weight did not seem to be a huge factor for me. As stated before, it seems that the majority of the weight of the shoes comes from the sole, with the material and stitching on the upper part of the shoe being very simple. The overall heel drop is 6mm. More stable shoes often feature a heel drop of 8mm and more minimal shoes feature a heel drop of 4mm. Coming in right in the middle, this would be an ideal shoe for a runner needing a shoe right in between a neutral running and stability running shoe.

As far as price goes, these shoes certainly are not the “economy model” and may not be the best choice for someone just getting started in the sport. The price is comparable to a pair of Newton running shoes, and in my opinion, they are worth the money. At the end of the day, it takes good gear to perform and sometimes, you just have to invest in yourself.

I have put a fair amount of miles in these shoes in training for the upcoming Rouge-Orleans. Considering the volume of miles, duration of the runs, and the way I tend to beat my shoes to death, I am very impressed with the durability. After the rainy run, I did clean them up a bit, and they still came out looking almost brand new. Investing in a good pair of running shoes can be daunting, but knowing that you will have a durable and reliable pair for your training is worth every penny.

Engineered for running.

Lastly, and this is a purely aesthetical notation, but I would like to point out the tab stitched on the tongue. It says, “Engineered in Switzerland.” This really stands out to me. As an analytical person and a runner, I like to think I personally try to engineer my body to perform well by training properly, stretching, etc. I like the idea of this shoe being “engineered” to help me perform. It’s the little things.

This seems like a great shoe for a runner looking for neutral to light stability. While it is not too over the top, the light cushion, mid-level heel drop, and ever so slight rigidity would be ideal for a runner who slightly overpronates. Due to the placement of the rubber lugs on the entire sole, it seems to be a good fit for heel-strikers and runners who push off on their forefoot/midfoot.

Overall Grade: A

For more, information on the On-Running CloudTec technology, be sure and check out their website at

Have a question? Leave me a comment and I will get back to you!

3 Responses to “Running Shoe Review: On Running Cloudsurfer”

  1. Erica @ CajunRunner February 1, 2012 at 3:07 PM #

    Hey Katie- it’s Super stalker here!..haha..nah, I’m just home with the flu right now unfortunately. I’ve been looking into different shoes. I was fitted for Wave Rider’s and I loved my 12’s and 13’s. I’ve up my mileage from 3-4 to 5-10 in the past month and my foot and ankle tends to bother me now. I changed to a light weight Reebok flat that I like so far, but I think Patellar tendonitis is setting in. My Mueller Jumper’s knee strap is seeming to help, along with stretching and icing. I’m sure this all has to do with mileage increase. It’s funny you mention “changing direction quickly while still maintaining stable ground”, I never truly thought much of this but my new Reeboks bother my ankles on my out and backs when I have to do my turn around. I slow down my pace a lot and my ankles still give in. Thought it was just suppose to be that way…but now that I think about it my Wave Rider’s have more support and don’t make my ankles hurt on turns. Thanks for the post…you now have my wheels turning..I’m stuck in bed, begging for a run. My husband has dared me to get out of bed! I’m want to run over to Geaux Run and check out new shoe options now!

  2. Dhitri February 7, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

    Thank you for the review. These shoes look definitely interesting! To buy or not to buy…

  3. angel molina April 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM #

    Hi !!!! hope you’re doing great…
    I’m about to buy the cloudsurfers, I already decided it, but my only concern is… I remember I read somewhere something about the size mentioning that these shoes are a little bit bigger than the rest of the shoes, have you heard something about it ?
    Since I’m training for a half marathon, I’m currently using size 13, ( my actual size is 12 ) should I consider to buy the 13’s as well ??
    Thanks for your help bro !!
    Regards !

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