Snappy Stability: On Cloudswift 2.0 Review
Escape the squish: On's redesigned Cloudswift delivers a secure fit, stable platform and responsive underfoot feel.
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On Cloudswift 2.0 Review
If you’re a runner who prefers a shoe that holds your foot securely and provides a firm, stable platform underfoot to land and push off from, you’ve had a hard time lately in a world of thick, squishy midsoles and stretchy uppers. On’s Cloudswift 2.0 to the rescue! This shoe wraps and holds your midfoot in a secure embrace, while underfoot a semi-flexible “Speedboard” provides a platform over midsole loops that compress slightly — just enough cushion to ease the impact — while speeding your stride forward. You’ll feel protected and peppy, popping off the ground quickly, without wobble, in these stylish kicks.
|Weight||9.95oz M, 7.76oz W|
|Stack Heights||23mm heel / 16mm forefoot|
|Offset||7 mm drop|
On played with its CloudTec foam midsole shapes and sizes, using more Helion material to add cushion and re-positioning the air-coil elements to increase impact protection. The Cloudswift 2.0 also deploys a sock construction for a unique, comfortable fit with a saddle overlay to secure the midfoot. These changes alter the 2.0 significantly, for a new feel and ride.
This Is the Shoe for You If …
You favor a more rigid ride that delivers sensations not unlike those of a super shoe with a carbon plate, but with less bounce. The firm speedboard is akin to a diving board, with a little give, albeit one tuned high. If you are heavy enough to get it to bounce, or you prefer rigidity over absorption, the Cloudswift 2.0 delivers a ride you’ll love.
“Reshaping clouds” sounds rather magical. But that’s what On did with the repositioned and enlarged cushioning loops that On makes out of Helion, its high-rebound foam material that sits below the plastic plate, together making up the midsole of the Cloudswift 2.0. The clouds toward the rear of the shoe were expanded, for greater heel strike protection, and the rocker shape and re-engineered Speedboard were designed to optimize the foot’s roll forward from impact to toe off for greater propulsive power.
The firm ground effect parlayed into a metronomic sound emanating from each push-off and release of the cloud component. While that helped to keep pace, the overall experience was a rather stiff one. Testers found the midsole combination quite rigid — for better or worse.
One tester who has been training in super shoes said he found himself reaching for these on morning runs when he wanted the shoe to take care of holding his footplant stable. “The midfoot wrap positions my foot right where I want it, centered over the firm-but-not-hard footbed that provides a comforting sense of stability,” he said, adding, “While they don’t deflect much, the clouds seem to smooth the landing and transition, and the shoe speeds me off my toes quickly without having to balance and wait for the squish and rebound of most shoes today.”
Another tester, with low-volume feet, also found the snug fit comfortable and appreciated “the snapback of the highly-tuned plastic midsole plate.” The tester noted that while the Cloudswift 2.0 “isn’t plush, it does deliver an efficiency that gets you on your toes.”
That said, one tester found them off-putting, reporting, “They drained me of energy, completely lacked cushioning of any sort and this caused the ball of my foot to ache while doing runs in these. They were uncomfortably stiff.” And another tester found them so snug she couldn’t fit into them (you should consider a size up).
The upper snugness may be attributed to the bootie construction, integrated lacing system and the 2.0’s cage-like saddle overlay that covers the recycled-material, engineered upper mesh bootie. The lacing system and saddle provide both security and remarkable lateral support, making the Cloudswift well suited for cross training — and one tester took them on moderate trails with comfort. The tongue of the Cloudswift is sewn into the side of the shoe, also providing security as well as affecting sizing, as does the pronounced arch.
To assure traction on wet surfaces On integrated rubber grip pads into the outsole, which seem to work, as testers didn’t notice the slippage that has affected other On models on rainy days. While the Cloudswift isn’t as light as some other training shoes, our testers didn’t feel any heft or, if they did, it was offset by the comfort and security.
And they’re undoubtedly attractive. “I do like the futuristic look!” said one tester, while another reported wearing them for casual shoes as much as on the run.
How We Review Shoes
Each shoe we review is tested by a group of 6–8 experienced runners, who wear them on several runs of different distances, paces and surfaces. Our testers are equally divided between men and women, as well as in age and specialty distance, ranging from 20s to 50s, milers to marathoners to triathletes, all with considerable experience wearing a variety of running shoes, giving them the context to evaluate and compare. Testers provide subjective opinions on each shoe, describing her or his experience in the shoe and explaining why they reached their conclusions. Two editors, Adam Chase and Jonathan Beverly, who have both run in virtually every running shoe made for 20+ years, extrapolate tester information, combine it with their experience running in the shoe, and translate it in an effort to place the right shoe on the right runner. Brands provide test samples and tech details of each shoe but do not pay for reviews nor influence our evaluation.