Disclaimer: I received a free pair of On Running Cloudsurfer as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
When it comes to running shoes I am still a bit of a novice. If you are familiar with my running story (and why wouldn’t you be???) you may know that I spent the first 8 months or so running in the only pair of shoes I had. You really couldn’t even call them running shoes really. They were the only athletic pair of shoes I owned at the time and I wasn’t sure how long my running career would last so just ran in them til I couldn’t anymore. See for yourself…..
They were a rough pair of shoes.
So needless to say when I first learned what real running shoes were I was thrilled. And what On Running has done with their Cloudsurfer shoes has continued to strengthen that thought process.
In complete transparency, it did take a few runs for me to break in my Cloudsurfer’s. The first few runs I could sense they weren’t completely ready to go. Looking back I should have probably worn them around doing every day activities or taking them on shorter runs at first. However with my excitement over the shoes I took them right out on a long run.
However once they were broken in they felt great. For me, it was right around the 15 mile mark that I felt 100% comfortable in them. So it didn’t take me too long to get comfortable in them, but probably should have been smart about breaking them in properly. Which is shoe 101, so more of a “well duh Chadd” lesson learned for me than anything else.
The first thing I noticed about the shoes was how different the bottoms were. I am used to the traditional shoe with a flat bottom. However the Cloudsurfer’s have these little rubber cushions on the bottom of the shoe. It looks like this….
The rubber cushions are described as such on their website:
“When you hit the ground, the highly adaptive rubber elements cushion both vertical and horizontal forces for a soft landing. Enjoy a very light running sensation and stay away from pain and injuries.
Once on the ground, the Clouds lock firm to provide a solid foundation for a natural and powerful takeoff. Simply put: On is the first running shoe that provides cushioning only when you need it.
So you can have the best of both worlds: cushioned landing, barefoot takeoff. Enjoy the benefits of natural running without compromise in comfort and speed.”
Part of the description of the unique bottom of the shoe describes them as providing a powerful takeoff once your foot hits the ground. And I fully agree with this. One of the runs I took these shoes on was a 5 Mile race. I noticed as I was running that I was taking off differently after each stride. It wasn’t an overwhelming feeling. Just something I noticed subtly as I was running throughout the course. It’s also important to note that I learned about this on the On Running website after this race. I didn’t read this and then think about it during the race. It was something I noticed while running and then confirmed this feeling after visiting their website.
I didn’t just run with the Cloudsurfer’s on the road. I also took these pair of shoes on a treadmill run. I know, I know the dreaded “dreadmill”. My feet enjoyed this run as well. In fact I think this run is wear I broke in the shoes officially. When on a treadmill I am able to run a little faster than my race pace considering I can control the speed. So it was most likely at this point that my foot strikes were more frequent. Either way, I felt very comfortable on the treadmill surface as well.
The final thing I noticed about these shoes is how lightweight they are. I never really worry about if shoes are heavy or not. Maybe this has an impact on my running that I haven’t learned yet. It just isn’t something that is on my radar right now. However at the same time if it lightweight shoes means I am running with less weight on me than I am all for it. So if this is something that is important to you it is good to make note of it. I found the shoes to be tight to my foot while still providing a lot of comfort. The On Running website says the shoes provide the natural feel of running so if I had to imagine this is a part of that.
Overall I enjoy these shoes and would recommend them. I did have my struggles of breaking them in, but again this is shoe etiquette 101 that is more of a lesson learned for me. Once they were broken in I enjoyed every run in them. Even the 5 Mile race that I took them too. If you are looking for a different style of shoe that will provide the comfort and feel that you enjoy you really should look into the On Running Cloudsurfer. They feel like they are made with strong, durable material while being able to provide a lightweight fit that results in a very comfortable run.