On Running Cloud X
Specs: 6mm heel-toe offset; 28mm (heel), 22mm (forefoot)
Weight: 8.3 oz. (men’s size 9), 6.7 oz. (women’s size 7)
The Scoop: On has made waves in recent years with its innovative cushioning system (underfoot pods known as “Clouds”), lightweight shoes and clean designs. The Cloud X is a fast and light training/racing flat that has just enough cushion to be an everyday trainer too. Two things make this shoe so enticingly energetic: First, the 16 Clouds cushioning pods are tuned differently, allowing for a softer feel in the rear and a more responsive feeling up front. (They’re all different sizes, shapes and densities and play a specific role in the transition from foot strike to toe-off.) Secondly, this shoe has a full-length Speedboard under the foot that works in concert with each of those pods to provide a consistently smooth and near-custom ride based on how your foot rolls through the gait cycle. The bottom line, this shoe packs a lot into a modern featherweight package.
Who It’s Best For: This could be a fast-paced shoe for training and racing for a lot of runners, but it could also be an everyday training for a very fit runner who has strong lower legs and feet and runs with good form.
Plus: The lacing system seems a bit minimalist when you first put this shoe on, but the sophisticated minimally-stitched mesh uppers, lightly padded tongue and thin, flat laces not only create a comfortable, reliable fit but also stay tied without fail.
Minus: Truth be told, there’s not a lot of shoe in the Cloud X. In other words, for those runners who feel it’s too minimalist and lacking support, well, that’s probably true.