Another pair of older shoes, but they were from a brand that has intrigued me since they came out. On Running shoes look different, but have a reputation for outstanding quality and that their running shoes are very firm. I wanted to find out for myself, so here we are.
The only reason I got to do this was a deal on eBay last Fall, where they ended up costing less than $35.00. Yeah, the price was right.
Now that I have run in On’s Cloudflyer OG, they are a running shoe that I am very conflicted over. There are many things that I like about the Cloudflyer, but the amount of firmness in the version I have is a dealbreaker for me. They are not harshly firm but firmer than I like for running, especially when the temperature is below freezing. Which was the primary reasons that I stopped running regularly in them back in November. When I got them out the other day, the reasons for putting them under the dresser became very clear.
The Cloudflyer version that I have-I can run in them, but I do not enjoy running in them, there is a huge difference. At this stage of my running career, I am choosing to run in shoes that I want to run in.
The Cloudflyer OG are not a shoe that I would want in my current rotation due to that feeling of being too firm. At the $160 price point to replace them with the current Cloudflyer, my experience is not good enough to take a chance to pay that amount.
Perhaps in the summer they would be better, so I don’t plan to get rid of them right away, but for now I will retire them to under the dresser.
The rest of the story
The size 8.5 Cloudflyers fit how I want my shoes to fit. They have a scooch more room between my toes and the end of the shoes than necessary. My true-to-size is an 8.0, but I tend to get size 8.5 if I am not sure of the sizing of a shoe. They might end up being a bit big, but slightly large is better than too small. Could I wear a pair of size 8.0 Cloudflyer? I think so, but these do fit quite nicely. I prefer to have them a little too long than pressing against the ends of my toes on downhill sections of a run.
The uppers are comfortable and come in under 10 ounces for a daily trainer.
The Cloudflyers are more firm than I prefer now for running. After runs of longer than 3.0 miles, it seemed as though my legs were more tired than usual when I finished.
I do like that the Cloudflyers feel more responsive than some other models in the daily trainer class. The cloud pods and speed board work well together and give a nice pop that I wasn’t expecting.
I have found that the Cloudflyer’s outsole isn’t the most grippy outsole on this version. The rubber on the bottom of the pods is harder for better wear. But being that hard, the outsole leaves a little to be desired when it comes to traction on wet or snow-covered roads.
However, I was surprised at the excellent traction on wet dirt roads, where the larger pods could dig into the slime/mud quite well. Rocks get stuck in the large outsole grooves, not at the same levels as the old Nike Free series, but enough that it is annoying.
I believe that the midsole in this version of the Cloudflyer is an EVA blend of some sort, which I have already stated is firmer than I prefer. The firmness does make me change my gait from pounding my heels to a lighter touch when I first start on a run. However, by the end of the run, my Cloudflyers leave my heels and legs more beat up than other more cushioned shoes do.
They do have a nice rocker, which is something that I prefer.
From reviews of the newer Cloudflyers with a Helion midsole, they are supposedly less firm feeling, with more bounce to the midsole. This more cushioned feel would be more to my liking than the older pair that I have, especially when running in colder weather.
Where do the Cloudflyers I have fit in my shoe rotation? They don’t. I can’t use them for longer runs due to how firm they feel underfoot, and they are not light enough to be “go faster” shoes. The Cloudflyers are that dreaded tweener shoe that doesn’t have a real place in my rotation.
Will I keep running in the Cloudflyers? Probably not. I have a feeling that they will either become walking shoes or go away at some point. Although I am thinking about keeping them around to see if they feel better during the summer when the EVA blend isn’t frozen.
Pricing. Despite getting a great deal on this pair, buying the Cloudflyers new would be around $160 retail. They are at the top of the price range for a daily trainer, and there other options that work better for me for less. While On’s reputation for quality workmanship and some of the best uppers around is spot on, the price point is too steep.
The bottom line is that as much as I like some things about the On Cloudflyers. Unless the Helion version of the Cloudflyer changes the firmness enough that I could use them regularly for long or longer runs, I will pass on getting another pair.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the On Cloudflyer as a personal purchase through eBay. I was not required to write a positive review or any review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and your experience with the product might be different. I am disclosing this under the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”