The springy, foamy elastic lift off on the ON Cloudmonster is unlike any shoe I’ve ever run in, and I’ve been reviewing sneakers for the last fifteen years. With a heel-to-toe drop of 6mm and a weight of 275 grams, the ON Cloudmonster—originally produced in Zurich by three friends, including multiple Ironman winner Olivier Bernhard—provides a unique run experience at a time when many road rides have become homogenized. There’s a reason why the brand has experienced unprecedented growth: it creates a snug, slippery feel, but one augmented by rocket springs.
ON Cloudmonster costs $199.99 and is available at most shoes stores across Canada, and of course at the brand’s own site. They’re the brand worn by Ben Flanagan, pictured above, who recently broke the 10K Canadian road record and followed that by winning the Falmouth Road Race last weekend.
Flanagan wants to rewrite the entire Canadian record book and says ON are his favourite shoes. He wears the carbon-plated Cloudboom Echo, whose third iteration, will be out next year.
“They just feel differently than anything else,” he told iRun. “I couldn’t be happier with my shoes.“
Technology behind the ON shoes say that their exclusive IP helps lower pulse rate and blood lactate levels and it does feel like there’s energy being conserved with the Cloudmonster. At first, the shoes feel strange. Like strapping into a super shoe for the first time, the sneaker feels odd when standing still. However, on propulsion, you understand there are unique mechanics at work on your body: each lift off felt turbocharged and the responsiveness was impressive. It’s like an aerodynamic pogo stick has been flattened out on the soles of your shoes, clutch for when exhaustion begins settling in.
The Wall Street Journal called the ON technology “revolutionary,” and the brand has grown from their Zurich headquarters, with global offices now run in Portland and Japan. There are currently more than fifteen different lines of ON shoes at different price ranges and for different need states. With a 2016 launch into apparel, the shoe line designed with an assist from tennis great Roger Federer, does things differently than anyone else in the shoe game. For anyone looking to change things up for their fall races, we suggest experimenting with ON.
It’s a sneaker you won’t find anywhere else, which is a rush.