"Your shoe is full of holes." In any other context, this would be an alarming and disappointing statement to be on the receiving end of. However, when it comes to On's's futuristic and boundary-pushing designs, it's seen more as a point of pride.
On's shoe design is instantly recognizable, and the Zurich-based brand's newest model, launched today, highlights and maximizes that aesthetic. The Cloudmonster is just that — a veritable monster, compared to On's previous sleek designs.
Playing on the exaggerated silhouettes that we've seen dominate sneakers for the past few years, the Cloudmonster features highest, thickest, cushiest "clouds" from the brand yet. Paired with helion superfoam, the result is an almost luxurious running experience that isn't hindered down by excess weight.
I tested the Cloudmonster over multiple stages and weeks, running on roads, tracks and even hiking in them in Joshua Tree, in a pinch. The new shoes live up to the hype, and delivered a ride that was both playfully explosive and disarmingly cushioned, without weighing me down.
Most running shoes (and active shoes in general) feature a solid sole, packed with cushioning and responsiveness tech like rebound foam and highly-engineered rubber to provide a feeling of comfort and support. Not so with On — its shoes primarily lean on strategically placed gaps that work to spring you forward, while minimizing weight.
The updated version on the Cloudmonster sees the brand's easily-recognizable hollow cubes pumped up to maximum dimensions — they're longer, bigger and slightly offset, which makes for a whimsical look and an even more comfortable run. The amplified rocker shape practically propels you forward, meaning the next step is never far from reach.
Aside from the comfort of the midsole, the Cloudmonster also boasts plush features like the soft sockliner, which hugs the foot without feeling abrasive. The shoe is made with 80-percent recycled polyester content, which accounts for 35 percent of the entire shoe. It's got a 6 mm drop, and weighs in just under 10 ounces. It's available in both men's and women's styles.