I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting [url=http://www.alainhemet.fr/nike-air-max-90-c-22/nike-air-max-90-femme-c-22_25/]Nike Air Max 90 Femme[/url] to like these shoes. My previous experience with an ON shoe was the original Cloudracer, and my impression [url=http://www.joomlas.co.uk/adidas-zx-850-c-72/adidas-zx-850-womens-c-72_74/]Adidas ZX 850 Womens[/url] was that to take advantage of the cushioning provided by podded sole design you needed to land with a pronounced heel strike. Otherwise the shoes felt very firm (not necessarily a bad thing), and were too heavy for a racing shoe. They were also expensive relative to most other shoes in the racing niche.
ON contacted me again this summer and asked if I’d be willing to try out a few of their newer models. They sent pairs [url=http://www.joomlas.co.uk/adidas-nmd-c-60/adidas-nmd-womens-c-60_62/]Adidas NMD Womens[/url]of the ON The Cloud, and the ON Cloudsurfer. I’ve now put miles on both, and am going to start by reviewing the Cloud (just going to refer to it as Cloud since saying the The Cloud sounds silly…) since I prefer it over the Cloudsurfer. (Disclosure: these shoes were review samples and were provided free of charge by the manufacturer).
Per Running Warehouse,[url=http://www.paardreizen.nl/Nike-Internationalist-Dames-c-88_89.html]Nike Internationalist Dames[/url] the Cloud weighs in at 7.4oz in men’s size 9. Stack height is reported at 24mm heel, 15mm forefoot (9mm drop). In contrast, ON reports drop at 6mm.
ON’s trademark is the podded sole design seen on all of their shoes. Basically, these consist of squarish rubber pods that are hollow in the middle. The pods compress on contact to provide cushioning – the bigger the hollow, the more cushioning provided.The Cloud differs from other ON shoes in that the sole pods are built from the midsole rather than the rubber [url=http://www.paardreizen.nl/Nike-Air-Max-98-Dames-c-34_36.html]Nike Air Max 98 Dames[/url] outsole – in other words, they are hollowed out foam and the pillars supporting the pods are thicker, so they don’t compress as much. This gives the shoes a more responsive feel from heel to toe than the other ON shoes I have tried. For me, this was actually a welcome surprise as they have a racing-flat feel on the road (though more flexible), and they felt great when picking up the pace. I’ve actually had fun running in this [url=http://www.dannywinstanley.co.uk/nike-outdoor-c-42/nike-air-presto-womens-c-42_101/]Nike Air Presto Womens[/url] shoe, and at 7.4oz they are and 1.5 oz lighter than ON’s actual racing shoe. I think the weight reduction is largely due to the lack of heavier rubber pods on this shoe.
The drawback of the firm-feeling sole of the Cloud is that I’m not sure I’d choose this shoe for long distances. I tend to prefer more cushion for double-digit miles. But if a firm, flexible shoe sounds like a good match for your stride, they could certainly work for that purpose.
One last thing about the sole, and this is a negative – the podded design is really good at picking up road debris. I’ve had to stop to pull acorns out of the sole on many occasions (acorn production is out of control this year where I live!), and I wouldn’t go anywhere near a trail in these for fear of what they might pick up. They’re a lot like the Nike Free shoes in this regard – you will occasionally have to stop to pull junk from the sole.
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