ON Cloudmonster 2: Your Max Cushioned Daily Trainer

ON Cloudmonster 2 - toebox

The versatile On Cloudmonster 2 is a max cushion daily trainer that manages moderate speeds and endures long distances. Although it has extra upper space, the fit remains comfortable.

Do you deserve ON Cloudmonster 2?

The Cloudmonster 2 is ideal for individuals engaging in extensive weekend runs or those participating in marathons or ultra-distance races, thanks to its exceptional cushioning.

The Cloudmonster 2 may not be the best choice for those with specific fit preferences, especially for those with high-arched or narrow feet as the shoe tends to fit wider.

Although it offers ample cushioning, the Cloudmonster 2 has a somewhat stiff feel. Thus, it might not be suitable for those in search of shoes with a softer foam.

ON Cloudmonster 2 Brief Introduction

ON Cloudmonster 2 - midsole

The On Cloudmonster 2 lends an element of fashion to endurance running. It's the kind of shoe you'd expect to see on the feet of every nurse or doctor as you step into a hospital.

Apart from their attractive appearance with a variety of color options, the Cloudmonster 2 also has the ability to surpass performance expectations in running.

This is a maximally cushioned daily training shoe that can deftly manage lengthy weekend runs without any issues, while also handling speed in a fairly decent manner.

In case your long-distance run includes brief, intense interval workouts interspersed throughout, this shoe can adeptly manage that brief burst of speed for several minutes at a stretch.

Though it weighs 10.4 oz (in men's size 9), the shoe doesn't feel heavy. The firmness of the foam underfoot contributes in such a way that the Cloudmonster 2 doesn't give the impression of being a supremely soft, maximally cushioned trainer.

Hence, the blend of its weight and the rigidity of the foam successfully meets expectations in terms of its effectiveness with brief, speedy runs.

Key features of the shoe include the largest Cloudtec pods to date. According to Cloudtec technology, each pod compresses upon impact and then springs back during footstrike, producing an enhanced energy return.

The larger the pod, the greater the energy return. Also, the nylon-blend speedboard adds to this effect by allowing the shoe to flex alongside the foot's movement.

As you advance in your gait cycle, the shoe returns back to its original form. This creates a productive and reactive feeling during the toe-off phase.

The Helion dual-density midsole foam delivers a union of stability and softness, thereby enhancing the durability of the midsole.

Despite all the technical jargon that goes into these running shoes, the bottom line is that they perform remarkably well during long-distance runs.

This footwear is designed for those extensive and taxing days when you're constantly on your feet.

Related: Mizuno Wave Inspire 20 Suitable for Long and Slow Runs

ON Cloudmonster 2 Running Experience

ON Cloudmonster 2 - heel

The On Cloudmonster 2 instantly sparked a huge amount of excitement in me.

Its visual appeal is undeniable. The distinctive On running overlay that extends across the upper part and continues seamlessly into the midsole certainly grabs attention.

Upon trying it on, I anticipated ultra-soft padding. However, it was somewhat rigid, but not in an uncomfortable way.

The lacing process was somewhat perplexing. I had to pull them tight nearly all the way down to achieve a feeling of secure fitting.

There felt like additional space in the upper area around the tops and sides of my feet. Nevertheless, the expanded toe box turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The collar around the heel also supplied comforting padding.

The tongue rests finely and evenly on the top of your feet, presenting a rather thin profile.

My initial outing with the Cloudmonster 2 featured a 12-mile run paired with ten sessions of 3-minute intervals. I anticipated that my 3-minute speed spurts would be sluggish, but I maintained pace quite well. This was an unexpected delight, especially considering the fact that the shoes are designed for maximum daily cushioning.

After the maiden run, there were no signs of irritation or the emergence of blisters, which I suspected might occur due to the uneven fit throughout the upper part of the shoe.

I didn't observe any extreme bounce back effect; it felt quite comparable to other shoes in the maximum cushioning category.

On the whole, my initial impression was more favorable than anticipated, particularly during the brief speed drills.

ON Cloudmonster 2 Upper/Vamp

ON Cloudmonster 2 - upper

The upper part of the Cloudmonster 2 was essentially my sole worry.

The fitting around the upper regions, like the top and sides of my feet, had additional space—a characteristic not typically present in other shoes I've worn before. While it wasn't a terrible idea, it just took me by surprise.

The additional space in the toe box is beneficial as it reduces pressure points which can restrict foot motion.

The heel collar is sufficiently padded, but not overly soft. The laces are threaded through material similar to a slender bungee cord. It has a nice aesthetic, and despite the additional space around the upper, it allows for a firm secured fit.

The tongue of the shoe is slender, yet it aligns well with the top of the foot when it's secure. There's nothing particularly distinctive about the upper, but it adequately serves its purpose and enhances the overall appearance of the shoe.

ON Cloudmonster 2 Sole Units

ON Cloudmonster 2 - sole units

The padding supplied by the Cloudmonster 2 is exactly as you'd anticipate from a daily trainer with maximum cushioning.

I was skeptical about the cloudtec pods, fearing that the noticeable gap between each pod would result in each one demonstrating signs of wear and tear rather swiftly.

Each cloudtec pod effectively absorbs impact during foot strike as promised, and the resilience of the foam becomes evident after each run due to the minimal wear on the pods.

Grip wasn't a significant worry for me when running on rural roads; I didn't anticipate any problems with traction.

During a 30-mile run amidst snowfall and icy roads, I experienced a few anticipated slips. However, the rubber on the base generally performed decently over such a long distance.

The experience of using the Cloudmonster 2 leaves me puzzled: I can discern that it's a maximum cushioned trainer, yet it seems like it could serve other functions as well.

I think that could be attributed to the firmness of the foam and the reactivity of the speedboard plate.

Related: ON Cloudeclipse for Easy or Recovery Runs

The journey isn't monotonous, and surprisingly, you've covered 45 miles in a single weekend. Upon inspection, you notice that the Cloudmonster 2, particularly the midsole and sole, maintain excellent condition; a testament to its durability.

Summary and Conclusion

The On Cloudmonster 2 is an unquestionably sturdy option for a maximum cushioned daily trainer.

It appears to straddle the boundaries between being a moderately cushioned shoe and a maximally cushioned shoe. Even though it provides ultimate cushioning, its performance resembles that of a moderately cushioned shoe.

ON Cloudmonster 2 - midsole

This implies that it's adept at managing brief speed training as well as lengthy runs but wouldn't be the preferred go-to choice for a recovery run despite its maximized cushioning.

Related: Altra VIA Olympus 2 for Easy and Recovery Runs

In my opinion, On Running has excelled at creating a maximally cushioned daily trainer that can fulfill nearly all demands you would expect from a shoe in this category.

Considering its efficient performance, I would classify the Cloudmonster 2 as a dependable workhorse.

I might even suggest that it could serve as a suitable marathon racing shoe, especially if you find the cost of the super shoes unaffordable.

Provided you're comfortable with a slightly larger upper and the $299 price tag, I'd absolutely recommend giving it a go, especially if you're a fan of the On Running brand.

  • Product: ON Cloudmonster 2
  • Price: $299
  • Styles&Colors:
    • Undyed | Frost
    • Undyed | Flame
    • Black | Frost
    • Sand | Frost
  • Usages:
    • Interval training
    • long distance running
    • marathon
    • long time standing