Time-to-Run tests On Running Cloudracers – We tested the unique looking Swiss shoes, which are designed by a former professional athlete and several times Ironman winner, Olivier Bernard. Perhaps this is the reason the Ons are also favoured by many triathletes.
Review On-Running Cloudracers for Women
Product: On Cloudracer
Size: EUR 40 / UK 6.5 / US 8.5
Weight: 198 g (koko US 7)
Price: 180 € / 115 £ / 120 $
Features: The Swiss On-running range with its CloudTec tehnology brings an interesting innovation to the world of running shoes. We were born to run barefoot but not on a hard surface. On seeks to encourage the natural movement of running. This otherwise minimalistic shoe (provides little support) has hollow rubber pads, the so called clouds, which are designed to dampen both vertical and horizontal shock caused by running. These shoes provide a light running sensation without pain and injury. The clouds lock once in contact with the ground, which then provides a stable platform for a natural and strong “barefoot” push-off.
The On range includes five different types of shoes, so there is a shoe suitable for all types of runners. Cloudracers are one of the lightest with distinctively lower rubber pads, lower heel and a thinner surface material. Lower clouds keep the shoe closer to the ground to maximise its performance, whilst providing a surprisingly comfortable and protected enough running experience. Cloudracers are very light and they are designed for faster running and for racing purposes.
The recommended speed by the manufacturer for the Cloudracer is less than 4 min/km.
Reviewer: 38-year-old woman, who has been running and training on and off for four years. PB for 10 km is 39:30 (2014). Weight 54 kg, height 167 cm, normal (no pronation) heel/mid-foot striker
The review: I have always run with the so called traditional shoe. Early in my “running career” I tested a pair of minimalist (natural motion) shoes but got quite badly injured from them and had to keep away from running for several months. Since then I have been a little skeptical about shoes that encourage minimalist and barefoot running. Now, as a little more experienced runner, I thought I would test a shoe more towards natural style running again. From the On range I selected the Cloudracers because I wanted something little extra for my faster workouts, and had races in mind too. The shoe is very light with thin surface material and it fits the foot like a sock – amazingly comfortable to wear. The shoe is fairly narrow, so someone with a wider foot may be left yearning for a roomier space to move the toes. This is of course a matter of taste.
I was slightly suspicious about the strange structure of the bottom of the shoe, I must admit. My doubts were in vain, I hardly noticed the clouds in the Cloudracer, not even while walking. Compared to the more conventional shoe Cloudracer does not give the same kind of shock absorption, which I felt especially while running downhill, as you automatically land more towards the heel. But there is still enough shock absorption to make the landing comfortable. On an even surface the difference is not as great. It is during the push-off stage the Cloudracers are absolutely at their best. It is as if the shoe guides the foot to roll to the optimal position which enables a very efficient and fast push-off. I was amazed with this!
After running with traditional shoes, it is a good idea to get used to minimalistic shoes more slowly. Minimalist support is very quickly felt as shin pain,
so gradual adaptation is recommended. Muscles that are not previously being used are now forced to work. Muscles do get stronger with practice, but it will take some time. I have used Cloudracers only for fast and shorter runs. I have not had any pain or injury, I also enjoyed the shoes and the extra oomph they bring to my running. I feel they have also brought better form to my running. For a 10 km I still wear my traditional pair.
Plusses: light, fast, snazzy (even as casual shoes!)
Minuses: narrowish, need accustomising after traditional shoes
Summary: Cloudracers do give you what they promise: more natural running sensation with smooth landing and strong push off. The low clouds do not feel peculiar as you can hardly feel them. The shoe is best suited for a lighter runner with a midfoot or forefoot strike. I personally would recommend any active runner to give the On shoe a go. And, especially the Cloudracer if you are longing for something a little extra and more edge to your faster sessions.
On Running shoes with the CloudTec technology reduce the impact on the joints. Many have benefited from the shock absorbing and pain relieving qualities the shoe has to offer. Some active runners have also been able to increase the volume of training with that very same quality.