Miles on miles in On's new daily trainer
Editor's Note: This content is brought to you by On Running.
Maybe I’m getting old, but you know what I love unboxing? A mileage shoe. I know, I know, there’s nothing that excites the Internet quite like a carbon plate and a fluro upper, but give me the sweet sweet comfort of a mileage monster every. single. time.
A good mileage shoe can drastically improve your running. From getting through your long runs feeling fresher, to easier easy days, the thick boys are the secret to unlocking better running (that, and a coach).
And if you’re in the hunt for a new mileage shoe, you’re in the right place. Today we’re going to break down the latest offering from On Running, the new Cloudstratus.
My first impression opening up this box is - this thing is a beast. It has everything, and it’s built to last. Looks wise, it continues on from the colour pallette we've seen in On's fastest shoes, the Cloudboom Echo.
Another detail I appreciate is the metal eyelets - it’s a touch of class, and functional when you’ve got people who love to wrench on the laces like their lives depend on it - this shoe is built to last, and you’d hate to be undone by going cheap on the eyelets.
Let’s take a proper look at everything, shall we?
On stay winning with their uppers. The last one I spoke about was the Cloudboom Echo, which features a ridiculously light and breathable upper that is perfect for the shoe it sits on - a fast carbon racer.
The upper on the Cloudstratus is designed to take you as far as you want to go, and to do it in comfort. The forefoot is super breathable and light - which is great when your feet start to swell on those long runs. I would also say the forefoot is roomier/wider than most other shoes, which again, is going to be great for long runs when your feet are swelling up.
As we move more into the midfoot you’ll notice the overlays around the laces - these are going to provide a better lockdown without risking anything digging into the top of your foot - all that rubbing can really mess up your foot after a while. You’ve also got a gusseted tongue which contributes to a nicer overall fit.
Looking at the back of the shoe, you’ll notice a really snug lockdown. There’s some pretty juicy padding to give you plenty of comfort, and you can see that black heel counter. It’s certainly secure - sometimes as we fatigue our form wavers as everything gets tired, and those are the times when these heel counters can really pay off.
Finally the tongue is nicely padded and the laces are top notch.
The midsole here is a beast - double layer CloudTec with Helion superfoam. It’s a lightweight foam, doubled up to make sure you’re running in comfort from the first k to the last.
CloudTec is the distinctive midsole cutout pattern you see from On. They’re hyped on its ability to move both horizontally and vertically for softer landings, and the separate ‘pods’ (what they call clouds) mean you’re getting individual cushioning where you need it.
But CloudTec is not just about cushioning - it’s about energy return as well. Energy return has been a buzz term for the last few years and rightly so - we want a shoe that’s going to keep us moving forward and give us some pop. Energy return is what reduces muscle fatigue - if two people run for an hour and one person is getting 80% energy return from their footwear and the other person is getting 50% energy return, the person getting 50% back is doing it harder.
If you want to read up on CloudTec, you can do so here. It’s a bit nerdy but very good info.
The Cloudstratus wouldn’t be complete without a Speedboard sandwiched in that midsole - this is what provides so much of the responsiveness and also some of the stability of On shoes. It’s visible from the side view on some models, but not the Cloudstratus.
I don't have the stack heights but I do know On are reporting a drop of 8mm.
This is pretty typical of an On outsole - they’ve got a good layer of rubber on the main contact points but it’s not excessive. You’ll never have an issue of grip in wet conditions, thanks to the combo of rubber and tread pattern. Like most On shoes, the Speedboard is visible from the underside of the shoe.
When would you wear it?
The Cloudstratus is one of those shoes that could very quickly become responsible for 50% of your weekly mileage. It has obvious advantages on your easy days - it’s built for comfort and has high energy return, meaning your Monday recovery jog will actually be that just - active recovery. If you’re doing hard track workouts or hard long runs throughout the week, the Cloudstratus could be the perfect ‘tomorrow’ shoe - the one you reach for the day after a session when your feet are sore or your calves are tight.
Equally, the Cloudstratus works as a long run shoe - super comfortable, breathable, and with all those little details, your feet are going to stay golden even as you pass the 2 hour mark. I love the structured heel counter for long runs too.
It should be the sort of shoe you can really flog for a few months - we don’t typically talk about durability but it should be a strength of this shoe based on the design and features.
Finally, the upper is comprised of 75% recycled polyester, which means you can feel a little better about buying new shoes.