On Cloudflow Not Your Average Running Shoe

In Japan at the Tokyo Marathon, one shoe stood out above all others. My eyes are always looking for the stand outs. Those shoes that bust out of the pack of sameness in the market. This shoe, the On Cloudflow was that shoe in Tokyo. To give you a sense, there were more On shoes on course than Hoka, Altra and Newton combined. On was ahead of one of the big brands of running as well. That’s how big this shoe was in Tokyo.

I like the people in charge of On Running. When I first met them, I knew this was a different kind of shoe company. Most of the shoe companies say the same thing. They talk about door count, volume goals and the competition. On did not talk about any of that. They talked about fresh ideas that the market really needs today. Their strategy spoke loud and clear in the very technical and very difficult market that Japan is. If they can win over that market they should win over you the runner with this one shoe. I really believe that.


The Basics

Price:    $140

Category: Neutral S2

Weight Men’s: 8.2oz/232g

Weight Women’s: 7.2oz/204g

Midsole Volume: Medium-Low

Midsole Offset: 8mm

Comparative Shoes: Saucony Breakthru


FIT – Equal Fit Characteristics for Men and Women

Heel – Medium

Midfoot – Medium

Width – Medium

Toe Box – Medium to Low

Arch – Medium

Shoe Size: Your normal running shoe size

When everyone is adding an EVA board to the bottom of the shoe, On sticks to making shoes fit better. The slip lasting here is simply easier to get right when creating size and fit.

A molded EVA sock liner warms my heart. No Ortholite here.

The one big complaint I have is on the laces. First off they are so long you could use one lace on both shoes and you’d still be able to tie both. The second part is the laces are really thin. You have to double knot them.


This is the technology in On shoes. It’s the Cloud. It’s not hard to imagine how they function. The hard part for On is to get them right. Too soft and the shoes won’t feel stable at all. In fact they would feel terrible. Too hard and they feel like bricks. Some of the On shoes have felt like bricks. They got the Cloud right on this shoe. It’s soft enough and creates a completely different feel from strict EVA midsoles found on the rest of the market.

A big channel down the center creates the two halves of the shoe. Remember two halves make it whole. This channel is a big reason why the shoe has such a smooth transition from foot plant to toe off.

Toe off is in the right place. In other words the shoe bends correctly. The upper doesn’t look pretty here but that’s ok. Once your foot is in there the upper won’t do that.



I love shoe companies that take the time to detail their shoes. The detailing gives the shoe a finished look and gives you a peek into the brand attitude. Without comment here are the details that stand out.


Sick of buying the same neutral shoe over and over and over again? Want to step out a little and try something new? This shoe is totally worth it. You won’t be disappointed. I’m not saying the runners in Japan are any smarter or better than anywhere else. I just know they they are hawks when it comes to detail and function and if this shoe works for them, there’s a good chance you’ll like it too.