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Finlay McAndrew  •  Running Gear •  27.02.2024 •  6 min read

On Cloudmonster vs Cloudstratus vs Cloudeclipse - Best On Running Shoes for Road

Three of the most popular On running shoes are the Cloudmonster, Cloudstratus, and Cloudeclipse. This is likely because these On models offer the greatest amounts of cushioning and protection within On’s range. However, with them all being described as high-cushioned running shoes, you might be confused as to which ones are right for you. If so, this article should help you.

We’ll cover which ones are the softest, which deliver the most propulsion, which provide the most protection, and what types of running each one are suited to.

We’ve extensively tested the On Cloudmonster 2, Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudeclipse so that we can compare them accurately. To start, the following comparison chart displays the technologies and attributes for each model: 

On running shoes comparison chart

In terms of the weight, there’s not much variation between the models. The drops are also similar. However, the key point of difference to note in the stats is the stack height. The Cloudeclipse have the highest stack, and the Cloudstratus 3 have the lowest. What does this mean and how does it affect the performance? While all three On models offer a lot of cushioning, these variations in stack height make a significant difference to the underfoot experience. Especially as the midsoles feature varying technologies. With that being said, let’s get into how they’re different.

Which of these On running shoes are the softest?

While all three options deliver a lot of protection, they vary considerably in terms of how soft they are. 

The Cloudeclipse are likely to feel the softest. This is for various reasons. First of all, they have the thickest midsole stack and there’s only a partial Speedboard in the midfoot section at the bottom of the midsole. This is important as it means your feet sit directly onto soft Helion foam. Next, the double layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning delivers an ultra smooth and plush underfoot sensation. This is a result of the CloudTec Phase cushioning collapsing in sequence under your feet - a bit like dominos. 

On Cloudeclipse road running shoes propped against blue tiled wall

On Cloudeclipse Running Shoes.

Going back to the point on the Speedboard, both the Cloudmonster 2 and Cloudstratus 3 feature full-length Speedboards. This relatively stiff structure aids propulsion, energy return, and can improve the forward rolling effect. However, it does deliver a more responsive underfoot feel. This is why these two models are very likely to feel firmer than the Cloudeclipse. 

The Cloudmonster 2 should feel softer and more cushioned than the Cloudstratus 3. Even though the Cloudstratus 3 feature a double layer of CloudTec cushioning, the Cloudmonster 2 features the largest CloudTec elements and they have a thicker stack. They also have a top layer of On’s Bounce board foam which offers a softer sensation. 

So in summary, on a scale from soft to firmer, it should go Cloudeclipse, then Cloudmonster 2, and then Cloudstratus 3. 

Which ones feel the most propulsive?

This is slightly trickier to answer as all three models have their own qualities when it comes to propulsion. To explain further, although the Cloudeclipse feel very plush, they deliver a prominent forward rolling sensation under your feet - which feels amazing at slower to steady paces. Ultimately making that type of intensity feel easier to maintain. In contrast, the Cloudstratus 3 offer a responsive and spring-like feel that generates a highly energetic sensation. This helps you on steadier effort to tempo paced runs. 

Man holding an On Cloudstratus 3 running shoe in front of graffiti wall

On Cloudstratus Running Shoes.

Finally, the Cloudmonster 2 feels closer to the Cloudstratus 3 than the Cloudeclipse - but as they feel softer, they offer propulsion over the widest pace curve. For example, they feel energetic on slower paced runs, steadier efforts, and even some tempo-like runs. 

In short, how propulsive each model feels depends on what you’re using them for. If you match a given model with the right type of intensity, they should feel very good. Having said that, the Cloudstratus 3 does offer the most propulsive sensation if you pick up the speed. 

What types of runs are they best suited to?

We’ve touched on a lot of points already that should hopefully help you understand what type of runs each model are suited to. Nevertheless, let’s break down exactly what we suggest using the Cloudmonster, Cloudstratus, and Cloudeclipse for. 

The Cloudeclipse are the ultimate cruiser. They’re likely to feel the softest, most comfortable, and most protective when you’re looking to make the miles feel as easy as possible. The ultra smooth sensation that’s delivered by the double layer of CloudTec Phase cushioning is perfectly suited to slower to steady paced miles. Of course, these are therefore one of the best options for longer distance runs. 

As the Cloudmonster are also max-cushioned running shoes, they also feel great for slower to steady paced runs, and longer distances. The main difference is that full-length Speedboard means they’re likely to feel slightly better than the Cloudeclipse at faster paces. In all likelihood, the Cloudmonster 2 should feel the most versatile and should perform across the widest range of paces. 

On Cloudmonster 2 running shoes in Undyed/Flame colourway propped against a pink painted wall

On Cloudmonster Running Shoes.

While On describe the Cloustratus 3 as feeling soft, these performance-orientated running shoes feel much more responsive than the Cloudeclipse and Cloudmonster 2. As a result, we expect you’ll find they feel best for steadier to tempo paced runs. Yes, you can use them for easier effort days. However, you’ll probably feel a bit more impact in comparison to the other two. The unique quality of the Cloudstratus 3 is that they offer a lot of protection and comfort for how responsive they are. This makes them a great choice for steady zone 2 training runs, when you’re aiming to hit specific paces and bank some miles. 

How do they fit?

Even though some On running shoes can fit very differently from one another, you’re unlikely to experience significant variations between these three. The Cloudmonster 2 probably feel the most spacious in the toe box, with the Cloudstratus 3 feeling the most encapsulated - but they’re by no means tight.

We’re not trying to sit on the fence with this one, but they all offer a spacious toe box fit, good midfoot lock-down, and great ankle security. If you fit one, you’re unlikely to have any issues transitioning to another.


Hopefully this On Cloudmonster versus Cloudstratus versus Cloudeclipse running shoes article helps you decide on which ones are the best On road running shoes for you. 

As a final recap, the Cloudeclipse should feel the softest and most protective - perfect for easy and steady runs. The Cloudmonster 2 are likely to feel the most versatile - as they combine max protection with lots of propulsion. Ideal for slow to steady days, and some tempo-like runs. Finally, the Cloudstratus 3 should provide the most responsive sensation, with lots of protection. A great combination for steady runs and some tempo/interval sessions. 

The Cloudmonster 2, Cloudstratus 3, and Cloudeclipse should all deliver great comfort over a range of distances as well. Whether you’re running short or long, each model offers lots of protection.

Shop On Running Shoes.

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