The On Cloudracer 2’s unique combination of light impact and explosive push-off creates and extremely efficient running gait that will provide a vital edge in the race to new personal bests.” – On
Weight: 230g (US 8.5)
Heel-to-toe drop: About 5mm
Price: $229, available at On retailers
Like its predecessor, the Cloudracer 2’s impressive mix of cushioning, stability and swiftness is hard to beat. Strap these shoes on for your next PB attempt.
– Springy midsole offers great responsiveness.
– Soft on impact, but pleasingly firm and stable on push-off.
– Rubber pods on outsole provide tenacious grip.
– Upper provides very good ventilation for the shoe interior.
– Despite being more forgiving than other racers, it’s still too demanding for regular use.
Detractors might lament at the fact that the On Cloudracer 2 is little more than an incremental update of the original. But given that its predecessor was already so far ahead of the curve – the Cloudracer’s performance was one of the most outstanding in its class – we found little to complain about the new shoe during our road trial.
1. Midsole provides superb responsiveness
No surprises here. Like the older model, the Cloudracer 2’s impressive mix of cushioning, stability and swiftness is hard to beat – addictive even. Thanks to a very thin layer of plastic – called the “speedboard” – in its slim midsole, the shoe felt just a touch more springy and firm than the Cloudracer during our 15km runs. This made the shoe feel very responsive and swift – it propelled us through our running gait with exceptionally urgency. It was so remarkably easy to get into a (very fast) groove with these shoes, we were reluctant to end each running session. The shoe’s high octane performance is matched only by the quick kicks such as the New Balance 1400V2 and the Skechers Gorun Meb Speed.
2. Rubber pods on the outsole offer superb cushioning
Like any high performance racer, the shoe was pleasingly firm on push off. But what set the Cloudracer 2 apart from the competition during our review was the moderately soft landing provided by the 18 somewhat flattish rubber pods on its outsole. Remarkably stable on impact – whether you’re landing on your forefoot or at the heel – they also gripped the running surface with tenacity aplenty. Even at high speed, the Cloudracer 2 delivered a confidence-inspiring performance around sharp corners during our sprinting sessions at the park.
3. Upper is more pliable and less plasticky
The upper of the Cloudracer 2 seem to be holding up better than that of its predecessor. A tear appeared on the upper of the previous model – near the position of our big toe – after just a month of use. Thankfully, the new shoe comes equipped with one that is less plasticky and more pliable. It also provides a snug fit at the arch of our foot, while leaving plenty of wriggle room for our toes. A moderately soft footbed, thanks to the rubber pods below it, completes what is a fairly comfortable shoe interior.
What impressed us was the amount of ventilation the shoe interior was receiving, courtesy of the very porous material used in the upper. Run in the Cloudracer 2 sans socks to enjoy the breeze on your feet – especially on hot afternoons.
This very impressive performer may have been built primarily for your PB-busting efforts at road races and triathlons – Ironman competition even. But the Cloudracer 2 is just as adept at everything from high mileage training sessions, the 2.4km test to fast-paced track training sessions. Still, you do not want to junk your heavy-duty trainer just yet. Despite the friendly cushioning system, we started to find the shoe too demanding for our calves and feet after just a fortnight of daily use.
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