Maximum-cushioned road shoe for long runs
The On Cloudeclipse running shoes are a new max cushioned model. Following the success of the highly popular On Cloudmonster running shoes, On decided they needed another option in this category. Although, the new Cloudeclipse are designed to offer a different type of maximum cushioned experience to the Cloudmonster. The concept was to design a midsole that makes transitions from landing to toe-off feel incredibly smooth, so you can run longer. In order to make you feel like you’re running on a cloud, and reduce the impact of landings, the Cloudeclipse midsole needed to offer a lot of protection and cushioning.
On very kindly sent me a pair of the new Cloudelipse running shoes - so we can let you know exactly how they feel and perform.
‘Don’t run - glide’, was the starting point with this new model. This underfoot sensation was the desired outcome of the cushioning, to help make longer runs feel easier and more comfortable.
On’s CloudTec Phase cushioning technology was introduced in the On Cloudsurfer running shoes, earlier in 2023. The stand out feature of this computer optimised cushioning system is that it delivers a very smooth transition from landing to toe-off. The Cloud elements are orientated in specific positions that help transfer forces along the midsole. This was clearly the perfect technology for the new Cloudeclipse running shoes.
However, unlike the Cloudsurfer, the On Cloudeclipse features a double layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning. Making it the thickest midsole stack in On’s performance running collection. The 37mm high heel and 31mm high forefoot offers maximum cushioning and underfoot protection. In order to make sure the thick midsole feels stable, a Speedboard is positioned in the midfoot shank area. This also has the added benefit of helping propulsion.
There’s a thin rubber outsole for improved durability and extra traction in wet and dry conditions.
The engineered mesh upper of the On Cloudeclipse doesn’t have any TPU/plastic overlays. Instead, certain areas feature functional embroidered support, made from recycled yarn. The upper colour also uses dope dye colouration. While this limits the range of colour choice, it uses 95% less water than traditional techniques. Significantly reducing the impact on the environment.
How do they feel to run in?
The initial step-in feel is impressive. Not too soft, not too firm, but a lot of cushioning. I could also feel the midsole was rocking me forward. Immediately, I thought to myself, I’m going to enjoy running in these - and I wasn’t wrong.
As the max cushioned midsole is designed to make it easier to run longer, I headed out on an easy 10 mile morning run. In my experience of testing a lot of running shoes, only a handful have felt good from the start. The On Cloudeclipse made it straight into this exclusive list.
The thick layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning feels so protective, cushioned, and yet energetic at the same time. It’s quite hard to articulate how smooth the landing to take-off feels. Very rarely has a cushioning system delivered so well on what it’s been designed to do. On really has absolutely mastered the use of the Cloudtec Phase cushioning. The image below shows off the double layer of CloudTec Phase in action.
I could go on at length about how impressive this midsole construction is. But the reality was, every stride felt the same and I found myself completely forgetting about my feet and legs - even though I kept reminding myself I needed to think about it for the purpose of this review. This is all you can ask of a pair of running shoes. If you stop thinking about your feet, and your run feels easier, the shoes are doing everything you need.
The average pace on this run was 4:31 minute/kilometre pace, on a relatively hilly route. I ran over uneven pavements, even cobblestones, and had to navigate some tight corners in the centre of town. Unlike some other higher stacked running shoes, I never experienced any instability from the midsole - this is a big plus. The Speedboard in the midfoot shank area appears to do a very good job of stabilising the midsole. It’s worth noting that this doesn’t extend the entire length of the midsole. This means the midsole maintains a plush underfoot feel.
I've also run up to 32 kilometres in the Cloudeclipse running shoes, averaging 4:10 minute/kilometre pace. The cushioning, protection and support felt amazing on the longer distance. As a result, my legs felt very fresh at the end.
How does the upper fit?
I’m pretty lucky in that I can wear a lot of different fitting running shoes, and generally not experience any problems. However, I’ve hopefully got a relatively good understanding of what will and won’t work for the majority. With that being said, I expect the On Cloudeclipse should suit a lot of runner’s foot shapes.
That’s because they feel spacious, but not overly wide in the toe box. And the heel counter feels secure, whilst some light padding adds some extra comfort. There’s also a partially gusseted tongue that stops any unwanted movement during the run. As the tongue features a pretty thin construction, you should be able to get the fit just right by adjusting the laces accordingly. On this note, I tried some different thicknesses of socks, and found mid-cushioned socks delivered the best fit for me.
Ultimately, there’s nothing in the upper that’s trying to be too clever. It’s just a very well made engineered mesh upper that offers great support. I genuinely wouldn’t be able to suggest any alterations that would make an impactful improvement on the design.
How can the On Cloudeclipse improve your run?
Most runners would like to make their everyday miles feel easier. This includes the short recovery runs, the steady aerobic miles, and the long distance slower paced efforts. The On Cloudeclipse running shoes are probably one of the best options available for these types of runs.
For me, I’d go as far to say these are the best running shoes I’ve ever worn for this style of training. I know, this is a bold claim. Whilst a lot of running shoes help take the stress off my legs on easier miles, there’s just something about the Cloudeclipse that seems to work exceptionally well for my gait and running style. As you’ll see from the sequence image above, I land prominently on my heel. The thick layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning and midsole geometry appears to complement this style very well. Most likely down to the way in which the midsole smooths out the transition from landing to take-off, while also rocking the feet forward.
I must stress, there can’t ever be a ‘best pair of running shoes’, as everyone is different. However, if you’re looking for maximum cushioning, to make your daily miles and long runs feels easier, these are definitely worth considering. Particularly if you land in the heel to the midfoot area.
I’ve now run 110 kilometres in the On Cloudeclipse running shoes. The image below shows some of the distances I’ve covered in them:
Hopefully these runs show off the versatility of the On Cloudeclipse running shoes. While I wouldn't run faster in them, they are very well suited to a range of paces.
How do they compare to other On models?
It’s probably best to compare them to the On Cloudmonster first, as these are On’s other maximal cushioned running shoes. The Cloudmonster should offer a different underfoot experience, as they don’t feature CloudTec Phase technology and they have a full-length Speedboard. As a result, the Cloudmonster should offer a snappier, more performance-orientated feel, that is probably better suited to steadier paced runs, and even some intervals.
The On Cloudstratus 3 also offers a lot of underfoot protection, but they’re much firmer than the Cloudeclipse. I love using the Cloudstratus 3 for my steady paced miles, where I’m getting close to tempo effort. I have also really enjoyed using them for slower efforts, but the Cloudeclipse feels significantly better for this sort of intensity. A lot of runners tend to enjoy a softer underfoot experience on their easy miles.
Even though the On Cloudsurfer features CloudTec Phase cushioning, and there are similarities between them, they’re ultimately pretty different shoes to run in. The Cloudsurfer feels very soft, but they’re more suited to shorter distance runs, than longer ones. That’s because the midsole doesn’t offer as much protection as higher stacked options, so is less likely to take as much stress off your working muscles. As a result, the Cloudeclipse should feel better for longer miles.
Shop the On Cloudeclipse.