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Finlay McAndrew  •  Running Gear •  27.02.2024 •  8 min read

On Cloudmonster 2 Running Shoes - 400km Review

The On Cloudmonster 2 might look relatively similar to its predecessor, but they have some significant updates. We were lucky enough to get our hands on a pair ahead of the launch date. As a result, we’ve racked up a decent amount of kilometres in them (400 kilometres to be precise) so we can let you know how they perform. 

What’s changed in the On Cloudmonster 2?


The midsole now features a new dual density foam construction. In the image below, the orange section in the forefoot shows off this new Bounce board foam insert. This foam should offer an even softer underfoot experience, while maintaining great energy return. 

Close-up of On Cloudmonster 2 running shoe in Undyed/Flame colourway

The rest of the midsole foam (white foam) is On’s Helion superfoam cushioning. This section of the midsole still features oversized CloudTec Elements - On’s signature cushioning system.

On Cloudmonster 2 running shoe in Undyed/Flame colourway perched on wooden railing with cityscape in background

A new nylon blend Speedboard is sandwiched between the two midsole foams. The purpose of the Speedboard is to improve energy return and aid forward momentum as you transition from midfoot to forefoot. In summary, the updated midsole construction should deliver more cushioning and more rebound. 


Upgraded rubber pads offer high traction and durability in both wet and dry conditions.

Outsole of On Cloudmonster 2 running shoe seen perched on timber rail with cityscape in background


We’ll go into detail with regards to how they fit later on. The technical changes to the upper include: a reworked engineered mesh and lining for more comfort; an adjusted eyestay design for better lockdown; and increased recycled content. 

Close-up of upper on On Cloudmonster 2 running shoe in Undyed/Flame colourway

Cloudmonster 2 stats:

  • Weight: 295 grams (men’s US10) / 230 grams (women’s US7.5)
  • Heel Stack: 35 mm
  • Forefoot Stack: 29 mm
  • Drop: 6 mm

How does the midsole feel to run in?

As mentioned above, I’ve run just over 400 kilometres in the Cloudmonster 2. I’ve run a range of distances and paces in them. This includes slower effort runs at around 5.00min/km pace, all the way down to steady effort runs at sub 4.00min/km pace. 

The midsole definitely feels like max cushioning. However, the cushioning takes a couple of runs to break in. As the initial sensation is a lot firmer than what it feels like after you’ve done 15-20 miles in them. So don’t be put off if they’re firmer than you’d expect when you try them on. Additionally, even though the foam softens up, the midsole retains the responsive/energetic sensation that’s delivered from the get go. 

From my perspective, the best way to describe the cushioning is spring-like. In contrast to the On Cloudeclipse, which deliver a very smooth, soft, and fluid underfoot experience - the Cloudmonster 2 offers a more propulsive and livelier ride. Don’t get me wrong, the midsole still feels very fluid at a range of paces, it’s just the midsole offers a springier sensation than a lot of comparable models. For example, while competitor models such as the HOKA Bondi may feel similar to the Cloudmonster 2 at slower speeds, the Bondi don’t cope with injections of pace. 

This means the cushioning feels very good over a range of paces and distances. On slow runs, it offers a lot of protection and comfort. Particularly if you’re landing heavily on your heels. When you’re running with a bit more purpose, and hitting some steadier paces, the midsole performs at its best. The cushioning definitely makes steady efforts feel easier to maintain. The midsole construction alleviates a lot of stress on the lower legs area too. Such as the calf muscles. The image below shows how the CloudTec Elements collapse and help transition you from landing to take-off. 

Image showing a runner's gait cycle

If you do decide to pick up the pace and get closer to tempo effort, the midsole is more than energetic enough to take you there. It’s just the weight becomes a bit of a factor at this pace. At the same time, the added weight from the extra cushioning also helps you on the days when your legs are feeling a bit fatigued and tired. 

We probably don’t need to write this, but needless to say the Cloudmonster 2 are amazing over longer distances. This is simply down to the fact that the midsole offers so much protection. Not only does the midsole reduce the impact of landing, the propulsive design helps you as the inevitable fatigue kicks in. 

Finally, the midsole feels very stable. You can almost feel each CloudTec Element adjusting under your feet to keep you in the right position. Overall, the support and stability that’s on offer is very impressive. While some high-stacked midsoles can feel unstable, these certainly don’t. Especially around corners. 

How do they fit?

The Cloudmonster 2 should fit a wide range of foot shapes. This is because the toe box feels very spacious, the midfoot offers great lockdown, and the heel counter fits securely. It’s pretty hard to find any flaws in the upper. As it’s easy to adjust the midfoot area by tweaking the laces, you should be able to get the right fit for your arch shape/height. 

Front view of On Cloudmonster 2 running shoes in Undyed/Flame colourway

My only criticism is that I would prefer some padding on the tongue. I’ve done a couple of runs where I’ve tightened the laces slightly too much, and this has led to some pressure on the top of my feet. I understand the tongue has probably been left thinner to reduce the weight. However, when comfort is the goal, some extra comfort in the tongue would also make sense. Let’s be honest though, I’m definitely nitpicking here. 

How does the outsole perform?

The outsole on running shoes often gets overlooked. When something doesn’t perform well, it normally receives a lot of criticism. In contrast, outsoles don’t often receive a lot of praise. With that being said, the Cloudmonster 2 outsole performs very well. I’ve run over icy patches, wet leaves, shiny wet pavements, and around lots of tight corners; while also weaving around pedestrians. You can feel the outsole rubber doing its job and deliver traction when it’s needed.

Rear view of On Cloudmonster 2 running shoes in Undyed/Flame colourway

On Cloudmonster 2 vs Cloudeclipse

Like the Cloudeclipse, the Cloudmonster 2 are unequivocally On. By this, I mean both models feel distinctly different from other brands. You’d know you’re wearing On running shoes if you were blind folded - they just feel a certain way. However, the double-layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning in the Cloudeclipse offers a contrasting experience to the oversized CloudTec Elements in the Cloudmonster 2. Both models deliver a max-cushioned experience - and are ultimately designed for the same type of runs: slow to steady paces. However, the Cloudeclipse offer a smooth butter-like sensation. Whereas the Cloudmonster 2 feel more alive and spring-like. In reality, the Cloudmonster 2 feel like a more cushioned and protective Cloudstratus 3

The choice is ultimately yours. If you’re like me, you might like both - for different reasons. Our advice is this: if you’re looking for a soft and plush experience, choose the Cloudeclipse. If you’re seeking a more energetic feel, choose the Cloudmonster 2. 

The final point is that the Cloudmonster 2 definitely offer more versatility than many of the models they’re competing against. As great as max-cushioned running shoes feel on slower/easier effort days, they often lack the responsiveness for steadier to faster days. This is not the case with the Cloudmonster 2, as they feel very propulsive - this is a compelling reason to choose them. Building on this - some runners simply don’t get on very well with carbon-plated shoes, potentially because they’re too unstable in them - the Cloudmonster could function as your performance-orientated running shoes if this is the case. For example, you could do your easy runs in the Cloudeclipse, and then steadier to harder effort runs in the Cloudmonster.

On Cloudmonster 2 summary

In summary, the On Cloudmonster 2 offer amazing comfort, protection, propulsion, and energy return. These max-cushioned running shoes perform over a wide range of paces and distances. If you’re looking for running shoes that add some extra energy to your daily miles and long runs, these deliver.

Not only does the midsole reduce the impact of landing, the propulsive design helps you as the inevitable fatigue kicks in.

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