Like many others, the first time I saw ON Running shoes, I had a negative reaction; the weird sole with holes seemed more like a gimmick than a technical innovation, and yes, I thought they were kind of ugly.
I suppose that seeing more and more people wearing the brand over the last few years has made me change my mind, and in a way, it has also piqued my interest to try the shoes that promise to make you feel 'like running on clouds'.
With Christmas approaching and a new marathon block about to start, I seized the opportunity to grab a pair of CloudMonster (I almost got a pair of Hokas as I haven't tried them yet, so you know what will come next in this section).
I’m not going to lie, I love the design. I don’t know if I've been influenced by the brilliant visual content ON creates, but I really like how the shoe looks. I even considered using them as everyday shoes. The combination of white and mint, with the orange accents peppered around the sole, is just flawless.
As I stepped into the shoes for the first time, I felt the airiness and cushioning of the sole, along with the rocking effect that makes you feel like you’re rolling when using them. On my first run, I noticed how the rocking motion provides a massive energy return without being too bouncy.
I’ve used them now for all sorts of running: speedy 5ks, tempo 10ks, and long runs (21-27k), and although they perform well as a workhorse shoe, I don’t think they would be my go-to for short/mid-distance runs. Instead, I think they are great for longer distances or easy-paced runs.
Returning to the design aspect, it might sound like a trivial comment, but the laces are great. So many shoes I've had so far (mostly Nike) either come with laces that are too short or too long, or the shape makes them come loose easily.
The mesh that shapes the body of the shoe is also quite breathable, and despite being a chunky shoe, it's more lightweight than expected.