On Cloudflow 2020 Review
The best pair of walking shoes I ever bought. That is a simple summation of the latest version of the On brand’s Cloudflow for 2020. I ventured outside of my usual Nike purchases to bring some variety into my reviews and rotation in footwear. I have long enjoyed the On brand for some of the technologies they are introducing and the freshness in their designs. But after multiple rounds with the now benchmark Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo, it is hard to call the Cloudflow a great running shoe. Whether you are a low or heavy mileage runner, I just can’t see this shoe as being worth the price.
DESIGN & FEEL
The 2020 edition looks similar in many ways to the versions that came before. Most of the changes are noticeable in the weight distribution and the anchoring of the tongue to the upper on either side. Aside from that you have the same shoe with updated colors and the same running tread at the bottom. Aesthetically, they are some of the best looking running shoes you will find. They are very well crafted in every stretch of fabric, angle, and line. The Swiss designers really used just the right amount of material and cushioning everywhere.
The thoughtfulness also really shows when you put them. The shoe from end-to-end has a very balanced distribution and lightweight quality. The bottom of the shoe has a commanding base platform, that makes every step a confident and sure one. The shoe laces have finally been reworked to reduce slippage with every knot and not pinch in any particular spots. They look and feel in every way like what a proper athletic trainer should be. In many ways that is enough; but at this price point I just expected a lot more on the performance side. FYI, go with a darker color option. The lighter colors I went with get so dirty so fast and are not very stain resistant.
FEATURES & PERFORMANCE
In my standard format, I tried to put on a solid amount of miles and hours into these before putting this review together. Because of the Social Distancing necessitated by Covid, I had an ample amount of time to train in these shoes. Most of the running was on a treadmill, the walking outside and on a treadmill, and the training in our garage gym.
As far as running, I like these for the long and slower runs. For higher speed interval training, they are just too stiff and unresponsive to give your feet that dynamic movement you need. Which is what makes them so interesting. The surety of each foot strike and stability around the foot is what makes these shoes feel and work great at walking and longer endurance runs but at the same time hurts it when doing anything faster.
To be fair, the slow training effort is what I believe the brand’s intended purpose is for this particular model. They offer over 20 different models now and of those some are built with a racing specific purpose. At $140 though, they enter into the same price range as the Nike Zoom Pegasus which does everything this shoe does but better. Which is why I have such a gripe with their running performance. The one nod I will give the Cloudflows over the Nike’s is that on wet surfaces they provide better grip.
As I mentioned earlier, this edition is a fabulous walking shoe. It really is super comfortable while being stylish enough to wear with jeans or shorts when out running errands or socializing. Aside from the occasional rock getting stuck in the gaps in the partitioned gaps in the sole, they are well designed for long leisurely walks or more active ones. If walking is all you are doing, you can probably save $70 and get any decent pair of walking shoes from most any brand.
It is much easier to do some dynamic movements and see how shoes work in that capacity, since we added the TRX system and gym floor padding into our garage setup. The previous versions of these shoes were our go to pair, when we used to attend group circuit training classes at our local boutique fitness studios. I loved them then and love the new editions even more now. They really do well when performing everything from squat jumps, to side shuffles, to burpees. There really is no wobble in the lateral movement of these shoes. My ankles felt like they were secured in place without being suffocating or restricting. By affixing the tongue to the upper you get a perfect 360 wrap around the foot.
On Cloudflow 2020 - Summary
|6 out of 10||Lightweight||Price > $140|
|Sure footing and fit.||Unresponsive during fast training.|
|Good for slower endurance running and walks.||Stains very easily.|
On Cloudflow 2020 - Product ComparisonI’ll stick to comparing these shoes against the last few running shoes I owned. The Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 1, On Cloud Swift and Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36.
|CATEGORY||vs. Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||vs. Air Zoom Pegasus 36||vs. On Cloud Swift|
|Style:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 36||Cloudflow 2020|
|Running Use:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 36||Cloudflow 2020|
|Walking Use:||Cloudflow 2020||Cloudflow 2020||Cloudflow 2020|
|Training Use:||Cloudflow 2020||Cloudflow 2020||Cloudflow 2020|
|Feel:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 36||Cloudflow 2020|
|Durability:||Cloudflow 2020||Cloudflow 2020||Cloudflow 2020|
|Weight:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 36||Cloudflow 2020|