First up, if you haven’t read my first part to this topic, jump across to to read all about where I think the future of footwear design and technology lies.

After preaching to you all about what the research tells us, I thought I’d better test run some of this newer technology, so a big thanks to one of the newer players in the Australian market, “On Running” whose shoes I tested for this review as they fit with the more geometrical style I spoke about in the last blog. You will notice that all of On Running’s running shoes have the word “ cloud” in their name (eg the On Cloudflyer and the On Cloudstratus). The word cloud represents the hose/cell type arrangement of the sole that you can see in the picture here. On Running aren’t using any traditional EVA foam in their shoes, but a foam called Helion which provides great energy return and compares very favourably against the other superfoams the various running shoe companies are using.

The result for me was a super cushioned and comfortable ride. In particular, I love this shoe at impact which for me personally is a rear foot strike pattern. I have an old stiff ankle/ achilles complex and I feel more comfortable in these than most shoes I have tried in recent years. The effect of the cloud cells and the decoupling grooves on the bottom sole produces a feeling of smooth roll from impact through to forefoot

For me I found the cloudstratus more comfortable with the dual cloudtec system, feeling like it provided more protection, especially once rolling onto my forefoot where I felt the ground a bit less than I did in the cloudflyer. The cloudflyer would appear better at pace/ tempo than the slow long run, at least for me. I used the flyer for a hard Parkrun (where my pace is a bit higher) and found them very good and I definitely pulled up better in my ankle and achilles than normal. The really smart innovation in these shoes is that the thickness of the helion foam varies from front to back and medial to lateral to enhance the ride through foot contact.

If running off road in the On shoes, they do pick up some debris if using either of these models. This didn’t worry me at all but as you can see from the photo, they can pick up quite a few sticks and stones. They do produce a trail shoe that doesn’t have the same sized Flex grooves on the bottom to prevent this issue.

All in all, the stratus finds its way into my regular shoe selection especially for my longer runs. On Running is finding a real niche in the running market in Australia, appearing in more and more running stores and now have a full range of shoes including the new Cloudflash (road racing shoe) and Cloudboom (elite marathon shoe) with carbon plate competing against the other super shoes out on the market.

On another important note, the other thing that all shoe companies are turning to is sustainability. This is talked about in all companies these days but in the footwear industry where so much of the end product ends up in land fill, sustainability is a real issue as they have a huge impact on the environment. As an industry, footwear accounts for approx. 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As end users we need to be looking at footwear companies that are doing something about improving this. On Running is one company (but not the only one) that is taking this subject very seriously.
We need our footwear to be 100% recyclable so we have zero waste and that involves not only the products used in the footwear but the machines used in the production process. These processes are well under way and will contribute to the massive changes in what we are running in over the near future. Bespoke (made specifically for you) running shoes will become a common and affordable thing in the future. On Running have a shoe coming out called the Cyclon which is 100% recyclable. I believe you will not actually purchase the shoe but subscribe to it and once finished with it you will return it and get another pair- a very novel idea. Watch this space for information on this type of thing as shoe companies become much more concerned about the environmental footprint they leave.

The one thing to remember with all of this is training errors continue to cause far more running injuries than footwear or biomechanics so don’t hesitate to come and see me for planning around this if you are getting soreness with your running. In the meantime, happy training and enjoy some of the great new shoes that are hitting the market. Find a shoe that you are extremely comfortable in and vary your shoes and the surfaces you run on.

If you want to check out more about On Running, look them up at

Article written by Rob O’Donnell

Physiotherapist with a special interest in running injuries for the past 30 years and a 2 time Australian Cross Country Champion.