The shoe that I had been running in for a couple years (Newton Aha and Aha 2) were discontinued by Newton, so I was expecting to find a comparable Newton pair to use instead. I went to my favorite running store that carries minimalist type running shoes – anything from zero drop to 6mm drop. I personally do not like zero drop, but I do not do well in the traditional (shad) drops either – 6mm drop seems to be my sweet spot. So when I found out there wasn’t a good option with Newtons for 6mm, but there was for these Swiss made “ON” shoes, I was intrigued.
These shows just look different. Similar to Newton’s lugs, the ON Cloudflow has a series of “lugs” to give a very responsive “ride” while running. Just walking in them, they felt very comfortable. They also looked like I would get a lot of miles out of them. It was bad timing to have to switch shoes because I was in the middle of training for Chicago Marathon, and I didn’t want to introduce a new unknown factor, especially one that would result in injury. But since the shoe had the same 6mm drop and was a neutral shoe, I decided to give them a try.
Here is what I can say about these shoes: On the first couple runs, I noticed something was rubbing. My toes were slightly squashed, and over time this led to a lost toenail and also another one bruised. Although the other foot has been fine, I feel like the toe box is more narrow than the Newton Aha but over time it does seem to widen out. This shoe did get me through all my marathon training and Chicago Marathon, so I am happy about that. The integrity of the shoe seems good, except for the interior heel. The cloth material was torn fairly quickly. Still, it does not seem to compromise the shoe. The other somewhat annoying thing that can happen is rocks get stuck in the bottom of the shoe between the “cloud” grooves. This usually results in me stopping to remove the the rock. This is especially a problem in gravel areas, so if you are not running in rocky or gravel areas, it should not be an issue. I think the longevity of this shoe will be long. In fact, I am still running in them, and I would guess I can maybe get 600-800 miles or more before needing to replace. That is definitely longer than the Newtons, which seemed to need replacing by 400 miles. The other thing is these shoes are incredibly light, a big plus.
For me though, I am not sure if I will get another pair or not. The toe box is just a little too narrow for me, but it does get better over time. For now I will keep using them and reevaluate when it’s time to replace them.
My rating: 8.2/10