The Specifics

Who: On is a Zürich-based sporting brand that apparently "reinvented the running shoe to put you one step ahead of evolution."
The product: Cloudrush running shoes.
What are they selling us: A neutral running shoe that will allow well-trained runners to "crush rivals in complete comfort."

What are they good for?

On Cloudrush

The closest I've ever come to "crushing a rival" was during a Park Run a few years ago. I used to run without any tech, which was great from a weight perspective, but pretty terrible for pacing - meaning I'd often struggle by the 4k mark, or have a tonne of energy left. Whenever the latter would happen, you'd usually find me duelling it out with someone over the final 300 metres, but I certainly never "crushed" anyone, and certainly never in comfort.

Thankfully, I've had the pleasure to take on quite a few different model of running shoes over the past year - from clunky and stable, to all-out speed - but none of them touches the Cloudrush in terms of speed and comfort.

On Cloudrush

Weighing in at just 220 g (US M 8.5), it's as close to running barefoot as you're gonna get without actually ditching your shoes - especially with the 5mm heel-toe offset and the lightweight upper. But it's not just that side of things that'll have you sprinting faster than your current PB - the super comfy midsole and the patented CloudTec® sole (featuring "18 responsive, low-abrasion rubber elements") propels you forward unlike any other running shoe I've tested. The more you put in, the more energy return you get too.

In terms of construction, I was half-expecting to burn them out after a couple of 10ks, but they seem to take a real beating. The design seems to be a bit of a contentious subject, but I'm gonna go ahead and put them in the pro column. In a market dominated by shoes that largely look the same, On went in the opposite direction. There's an argument to be made that you could shove spikes on the bottom and they'd look like golf shoes, but I'm gonna chose to ignore it.

What we didn't like

On Cloudrush

Like many speed-orientated shoes, what you gain in speed you often lose in stability, and I'd argue that the Cloudrush could fall into this category. They're certainly a cut above the likes of the Ultraboost Laceless in that regard, but I'd certainly feel better capping these at 10k, though if the course was mainly flat you could push that up to around 15k.

Would we recommend them?

If you're looking to smash your current 5k time, getting into track running, or throwing some speed training into your half-marathon training (something I'm currently tackling), then I suggest buying these immediately. If you're looking for an all-terrain, hilly, long-distance workhorse, then we'd suggest looking elsewhere.

You can purchase the shoes by heading over to On's official website. They currently retail for £120.