The On Cloudflow Running shoe Review One Year Later
I have been running exclusively in this shoe for over a year now and have logged about 800 kilometers in this pair. I did a video when I had first started running in the Cloudflow and now I think it’s time I gave an update on how it’s performed and held up since then. In summary, let’s just say that a few days ago I bought two more pairs of this shoe. Need I say more? Yes? Okay, I’ll explain why.
In my initial first-impressions review, I had mentioned that I bought this shoe partially in an effort to address some plantar fasciitis pain that I had developed towards the end of 2017. I had been running in Altras for a few years and the idea was that the zero drop was possibly creating a little more stress on the plantar fascia, and that moving to a shoe with a small amount of drop from the heel to the toe might be beneficial.
Although I have had a few niggles here and there throughout the past year of running in these shoes, the plantar fasciitis pain has not returned. I want to make it clear though that changing my footwear was not the only thing I did to deal with this issue. If you’re interested in seeing a more detailed video about the various other things I have done in an effort to be less injury prone, leave a comment and maybe I will do a video going deeper into that topic.
My initial impression of these shoes was that they were incredibly comfortable right out of the box, more so than any other shoes I have worn. At that point I had not yet ran in them without socks, but I have now trained and raced quite a lot in them without wearing any socks and I can tell you that they feel fantastic. I did ease into sockless running by starting with really short runs without socks and then building up the distance, which is always a good idea, but even then, it is not uncommon to experience discomfort and blistering. I did not experience any of that. I can definitely recommend this shoe for triathletes or anyone else who may want to run sockless.
When it comes to the durability of the On Cloudflow, I would say that it has held up very well. These shoes have seen some extreme changes in climate from the hot and humid weather in Thailand during the rainy season, to the freezing cold and dry weather of a Canadian winter. I have run on the road about 90% of the time with these shoes, the other 10% being on trails. I’ve worn them for some short-distance cycling while commuting to run start locations on mountain bike pedals and that has caused some unusual wear that, in all fairness, these shoes are not really designed to withstand.
With all that in mind, when I compare the year-old pair to the band new, fresh-out-of-the-box pair, there is only a slight difference in the firmness of the shoe. The bottom of the shoe seems to be holding up pretty well although there are beginning to be some signs of the ‘clouds’ breaking down such as the grip wearing off in certain areas and some small cracks in the rubber. No doubt some of this is due to using them while cycling on mountain bike pedals.
The upper part of the shoe has held up extremely well with no real sign of breaking down at all. The only thing I notice is bit of wear at the heel entry point which is caused by slipping into these shoes with the elastic laces rather than tying them up. I expect I could have avoided this or significantly reduced it by either being a little more careful while putting them on or by only slipping into them during races and brick sessions.
It’s a very light shoe that feels fast and responsive while also providing good stability and cushioning. If you’re looking for a shoe that is going to allow you to do speed work and shorter races such as 5k and 10k events, this shoe will certainly perform well in those circumstances.
Some people have asked me about how these shoes perform on longer runs. I can only speak from my experience using them for a half marathon at the end of a 70.3 triathlon which is my longest run in them to date. My run training for that race was less than optimal to put it lightly as I had only done two runs longer than 10km in the two months leading into it, averaging about 10km a week! So yeah, I was sore after that race, but I wouldn’t say it had anything to do with the shoes. What I can say is that my feet felt pretty comfortable and I did not experience any blistering. It was also quite a hilly course and I was hitting the downhills hard. I did wear socks for this one which probably helped me to avoid any blisters.
I’ve really grown attached to this shoe. I had initially planned to use it in circulation with a pair of Hokas and a pair of Altras, but I fell in love with the Cloudflow and ended up training and racing in this shoe exclusively for all of 2018. As I said in the beginning, I recently purchased two fresh new pairs of the Cloudflow and am looking forward to another year of comfortable, injury-free running.
I hope you found this review of the On Cloudflow informative and helpful. If you did, do me a favor and hit that like button on the video. Subscribe to my channel if you’re interested in seeing more videos like this one as well as other videos about health and fitness. Leave a comment if you have any additional questions about the shoe, or if you have any personal experience with this shoe that you would like to share with others.