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Shoe Review: On Cloudeclipse ($179)



The Swiss brand On has been around for more than 10 years, but it’s only in the past couple of years that it has really exploded among mainstream runners. And let there be no doubt about it, the brand is blowing up. It seems everybody wants to get their hands on a pair of the Euro-lookin’ trainers known for their clean aesthetics and unique midsole cushioning. 


Why now? 


Their shoes have always had that unique look and functionality, but the reason sales are skyrocketing is that the On midsole systems have continued to get softer, thicker and more responsive, especially as the brand has produced shoes with higher stack heights. For years, most of the brand’s shoes were light, lithe and low-to-the-ground, but with the launch of the CloudMonster a couple of years ago, On successfully expanded the amount of CloudTec cushioning it put in shoes. That allowed them to finally compete in the popular and fast-growing max-cushioned category that Hoka, Nike, New Balance and Saucony had been dominating. 


Now, with high-performance track and marathon racing shoes already in its line – Hellen Obiri won the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon in 2023 wearing On prototype racing shoes – On has become a major player in the high-stack everyday training category. If you’ve never run in On shoes, the newly-released Cloudeclipse is a good place to start. It’s a maximally cushioned trainer (with a 37mm/31mm geometry) that has a uniquely styled upper, a durable, stable chassis and a cushy, and mildly responsive ride.


What’s New: The Cloudeclipse is a brand new shoe that adds to On’s growing line of daily trainers. The cushy and stable midsole is made from On’s soft and cushy Helion superfoam enhanced with a thick layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning and a flexible Speedboard, a moderate heel counter for rearfoot security and a durable rubber outsole for smooth heel-toe transitions. 


Fit/Feel/Ride: The Cloudeclipse fits true to size with a medium interior volume and a roomy toe box. The fit is enhanced by a seamless interior and a fully gusseted tongue that’s smartly integrated into the engineered mesh upper. The tongue, lacing system and seamless stretchy upper really do a good job of accommodating a wide variety of foot shapes without any impingement. That all contributes to a smooth, soft and clean step-in feel, a package that ultimately feels like a plush, high-quality experience the moment you start running. 


The ride is a mix of soft, smooth and semi-firm, but not harshly so. The partial-length composite Speedboard (which feels like a midfoot shank) and pliable heel counter offer just enough stability without inhibiting the natural movements of your feet as they roll through the gait cycle. What it lacks in flexibility, it makes up for in comfort, stability and a little bit of propulsive pop.

 

Why It’s Great: The overall design of this shoe is exceptional, both aesthetically and functionally. The unique lacing system and integrated tongue create a comfortable, locked-down feel and it looks beautiful. (I would never recommend buying running shoes just for how they look, but this one might be an outlier.) There are rubber pads on the outsole that contribute to the smoothness of the ride and also offer better grip in wet conditions. Unlike some previous models of On shoes, small rocks and pebbles don’t get caught in the bottom of the hollowed-out midsole or the holes of the CloudTec Phase.

Specifications:


Weights: 8.5 oz. (women’s 8); 10.0 oz. (men’s 9)

Heel-Toe Offset: 6mm (37mm in the heel, 31mm in the forefoot) 


Why You’ll Love it: It’s great because it’s a cushy, stable and very reliable workhorse of a daily trainer. It’s not quite as soft and bouncy as some maximalist shoes, but it feels much more stable and the cushioning is just right for easy cruising and long runs. You can feel the forward-leaning holes through the CloudTec Phase foam compress upon impact and open back up as you roll from heel to toe. It’s not a springy feeling, but it does contribute to forward propulsion and the smooth, balanced ride of the shoe.


Pro: The upper is a work of art, with functional embroidery zones providing extra forefoot support and breathability. About 24% of the materials in the Cloudeclipse are recycled, including about 70% of the upper, which has been dope-dyed to considerably reduce water during manufacturing. 


Con: The biggest knock against the Cloudeclipse is that it’s not one of the lightest daily trainers you’ll find at your local running shop (it weighs about a half ounce more than the Cloudmonster), nor does it feel fast or quick. But if you’re interested in a reliable everyday trainer that looks good and feels good, the pros outweigh the cons.



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