Attention runners in search of shoes similar to ON Cloud!
If you’re on the lookout for fantastic alternatives that promise to deliver the same exhilarating running experience or perhaps, dare I say, an even better one, it’s time to find your next perfect pair and elevate your running game to new heights!
Shoes Similar to ON Cloud
Greetings, I’m Eric Barber, the weird guy steering the ship at Steadyfoot. Today, I’ll introduce three fantastic shoes comparable to ON Cloud Surfer in case this shoe doesn’t quite tickle your fancy or align with your foot mechanics the way you envisioned.
But before we dive into the alternatives, let’s take a moment to appreciate the ON Cloudsurfer and understand its standout features and benefits, along with exploring the unique benefits its competitors bring to the running table.
The ON Cloudsurfer marks a significant evolution in the ON shoe lineup, pushing boundaries to redefine the brand’s identity—a welcome innovation, in my opinion.
ON have been tinkering around with the shapes of the clouds for a long time probably from the beginning. In this iteration, ON employs Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to meticulously engineer the cloud shapes, elevating the technical precision in how these clouds compress and decompress to deliver the desired running experience.
The ON Cloudsurfer has kind of like a trapezoidal or a triangular shape and they are pivoted at different heights and angles depending on where they are in the shoe.
The idea is that as your foot is hitting the ground and rolling through that foot strike, it’s going to compress these different clouds differently depending on what you need at different phases of that foot strike.
The foam that they’re using to make the clouds is still their Helion foam, and as far as I know, it’s the same formulation of Helion foam.
They’ve also removed something that I’ve been wanting them to get rid of in ON shoes for a really long time, and that’s the Speed Board. The Speed Board was a rigid layer in between the upper where your foot is sitting and the midsole foam.
In my opinion, removing this feature that many, including myself, have wished to see go for quite some time is a smart move from ON.
How I’ve been using the Cloudsurfer
In my experience, I must assert that the ON Cloudsurfer stands out as the finest ON running shoe I’ve ever had the pleasure of running in. Although the ON Cloudstratus presented a solid option, personally, its appeal pales in comparison to the sheer enjoyment I’ve found in the Cloudsurfer thus far.
I’ve noticed there’s a really nice softness to the Cloudsurfer, and the best thing is, unlike some other shoes, it doesn’t give off the sensation of running on clouds as a mere marketing gimmick. This shoe, to me, is all about delivering a genuinely comfortable and cushioned running experience without relying on flashy technologies or unnecessary frills.
I’ll point out that it may not be the springiest shoe, making it less suitable for workouts in my opinion. However, its smooth rolling motion and exceptional underfoot comfort make it perfect for some of those “set it and forget it” runs where you just put the shoe on, head out there, and just enjoy the run for what it is and you’re not thinking about what’s on your feet.
Also, its comfort extends seamlessly into casual wear, courtesy of its less structured upper—a departure from the typical ON running shoe experience. The relaxed design adds to its versatility, making it a pleasant choice for everyday wear.
Yet, the Cloudsurfer undergoes a subtle transformation, distancing itself from the quintessential ON feel and adopting a character reminiscent of a Hoka Clifton rather than the distinct ON identity, which brings us to the fist shoe that I think bears the closest resemblance to the ON Cloudsurfer…
Hoka Clifton 9 vs. ON Cloudsurfer
Despite the changes in the Clifton 9’s midsole with the new compression-molded EVA configuration, its core essence as a daily trainer remains unchanged. Interestingly, the midsole adjustment had a notable impact, creating a running experience that momentarily made me overlook the fact that I was in a Clifton.
In the Clifton 9, you’re treated to the contemporary Clifton ride that Hoka has refined over numerous iterations of this shoe. What sets it apart is the added dimension—extra springiness, lightness, and airiness—that injects an exciting element, especially when pushing the pace to faster speeds.
How I’ve been using the Clifton
It felt really good when I needed it to absorb impact on my recovery runs but it also could rise to the occasion if I needed to take it on some faster-paced workouts, unlike the ON Cloudsurfer which lacks that level of springiness.
Again, if you’re on the lookout for a shoe ideal for recovery runs like the ON Cloudsurfer but engineered to handle workouts with greater efficiency, the Hoka Clifton 9 emerges as a formidable alternative.
If the Clifton’s allure catches your eye and maybe want a shoe to tackle those intense workouts, look no further than the Hoka Carbon X2 for a harmonious pairing of comfort and speed.
Next, let’s explore the second shoe that, in my view, aligns closely with the ON Cloudsurfer…
Asics Novablast 3 vs. ON Cloudsurfer
A good daily trainer should be versatile enough to tackle various terrains and demands. The inclusion of FFBlast+ in this shoe marks a significant upgrade from the already impressive FFBlast.
FFBlast+ takes the qualities I appreciated in FFBlast—lightness, resilience, and quick rebound—and elevates them to a new level. The result is enhanced cushioning underfoot, increased springiness, and a delightful level of squishiness, making it an all-around performer.
How I’ve been using the Novablast
The Novablast, in my opinion, stands out as a stellar daily trainer, showcasing exceptional versatility. Whether you’re embarking on easy runs, tackling long distances, engaging in workouts, or aiming for quick paces, this shoe proves to be durable, comfortable, and nimble across the board.
I also think it’s a really universal shoe as well, meaning so many different types of runners are going to be able to enjoy this shoe.
With the Novablast 3 featuring 100% FFBlast+, you’re getting even bouncier even squishier of a sensation. The added advantage is that it maintains stability in the heel, addressing concerns from previous iterations that were perceived as almost too squishy and unstable.
While the Novablast 3 remains a neutral shoe, not venturing into stability territory, I find it surprisingly impressive how they’ve achieved a significant level of squishiness without compromising stability in the heel and ankle.
Again, if you’re looking for a single shoe that can accompany you from the initial days of your training plan right through to crossing the finish line of your next significant race, the Novablast 3 is bound to be a delightful choice for you.
New Balance 1080v13 vs. ON Cloudsurfer
Over the past few years, the 1080 has grappled with a bit of an identity crisis. Initially positioned as the maximum cushion counterpart to the 880, New Balance introduced the Fresh Foam More, altering the dynamics of the 1080’s role in the lineup.
This version features an updated iteration of Fresh Foam X, a technology that has exhibited various qualities over the years, adapting to the specific characteristics of the shoe it’s employed in.
In the 1080v13, the Fresh Foam X takes on a lighter feel, offering substantial cushioning coupled with an impressive level of springiness and bounce.
While the super stretchy mesh from the 1080v12 is no longer present, the new material in the v13 brings a high level of comfort with its soft feel on foot. Despite not featuring extensive padding, the shoe provides an overall sense of comfort.
Here’s our comparison of the New Balance 1080 vs. 880.
How I’ve been using the 1080
I really feel like the 1080 is starting to make sense to me and the people that I think are going to like the 1080v13 are someone that wants something that’s a little bit more cushioned than a regular daily trainer but still want that daily trainer type of feel, the nimbleness, the agility, and that lightweight bounce that’s lacking in the ON Cloudsurfer.
It has been a versatile companion for me, serving well on easy runs, recovery sessions, and even when I decide to push the pace a bit.
If you’re considering the 1080v13 as your go-to cushioned daily trainer, I would recommend adding two more shoes to your rotation: a dedicated workout shoe and a reliable race-day option. This trio would cover all your bases and ensure you’re prepared for various training scenarios.
For workouts, consider the Topo Cyclone v2, a somewhat underrated but genuinely enjoyable shoe. It features an all-pure PEBAX midsole foam without a plate, providing a neutral and bouncy experience. This shoe is particularly exciting to take for those threshold mile repeats or those fartlek runs when you need to pick up the pace.
Then for race days as well as those long runs with marathon effort work and substantial workouts, I highly recommend considering the Saucony Endorphin Pro 3. I think that it’s a fantastic choice to pair with the 1080v13, offering a blend of speed and performance for your key running sessions.
I feel like the delightful squish and responsive bounce-back in both of these shoes create a seamless transition from your easy day paces to the intensity of race day. They offer a versatile performance spectrum that caters to various running scenarios.
It becomes evident that the world of footwear offers a rich tapestry of alternatives, each weaving its unique blend of comfort, style, and performance. As we conclude this journey, consider the diverse array of options at your disposal—each meticulously crafted to cater to distinctive preferences and individual nuances in foot mechanics.
From innovative designs to cutting-edge technology, these alternatives not only mirror the ON Cloud but also stand as independent contenders, inviting you to elevate your stride with confidence.