Putting on the Cloudmonster for the first time, I instantly noticed a much more spring feeling with each step. Having previously run in the Asics Gel-Nimbus 25, I was skeptical about the cushioning that the On Cloudmonster would have. However, after my first run, I was amazed by the support and spring with each step the Cloudmonster provided. Although the Cloudmonster was not as plush as the Gel-Nimbus 25, my feet were less sore with the Cloudmonster.

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History of the On Cloudmonster:

Created in 2022, the Cloudmonster is On’s next evolution in running shoe. Right away you notice the monster cloudtec pods on the bottom of the shoe. The pods are twice the size that we had seen before with the Cloudflyer and Cloudflow.

Where the Cloudstratus used two layers of Cloudtec Pods to achieve maximum cushion, the Cloudmonster went oversized in the midsole and the heel. At first look, the shoe looks significantly oversized compared to all other previous “Cloud” models. We dig deeper into what makes this shoe unique in our On Cloudmonster Review 2022.

2023 Cloudmonster Review (Updated 8.2.23)

I purchased a new pair of On Cloud Monster running shoes to see how On has progressed their Cloudtec technology. I’ve only put in a few runs on the new Cloudmonster so far but am extremely happy being back in On shoes. In the coming weeks I will be in Vermont to put more miles in on these shoes and will update this post again after that trip.

Asics Nimbus 25 vs On Cloudmonster

Over the past six months I have been running with the Asics Nimbus 25. I decided to give the Nimbus a try since I was putting on more miles each week and have always had good experiences with Asics. This time however, that was not the case. After running the On Cloudmoster prior, my level of expectations in a shoe totally changed. The biggest difference between the Aspics Nimbus 25 and On Cloudmonster was the responsiveness of the shoe. The Cloudmonster is much more responsive than the Asics Nimbus.

When you put on the Nimbus 25, your foot instantly feels like it is walking on clouds. Key word here for me is “walking”. I think the Nimbus 25 is a fantastic walking shoe. However, for my running style, the Nimbus is simply too soft. When running on the Nimbus it felt as though I was weighed down and running through mud. Having a shoe that is so soft did not work well with my running style. Rather than getting a spring from each step, I felt that I was using more effort to run in the Asics Nimbus.

First Run with the Cloudmonster (Dec 2022)

While on location in the bay area, researching routes for Running Trails in San Francisco, I put the Cloudmonster to the test. With steep hills and hard pavement, San Francisco proved to be the ultimate testing ground for On’s latest creation.

san francisco hills
Steep SF Hills

Hard cement sidewalks are my last choice for running surface. However, the larger cloudtech pods absorbed the impact so much that I hardly noticed.

Running steep downhills on shoes with heavily curved outsoles always makes me uneasy. I feel as though I’m going to get too far forward over my shoes and face plant. Nevertheless I went for it and charged the downhill sections. The Cloudmonster, with its curved outsole, gripped the street and made me feel stable even on the steepest SF declines.

What is the Cloudmonster for?

The On Cloudmonster is designed for street running and can be used for a variety of distances. I personally love this shoe as my go-to everyday trainer. Even with the contoured bottom, I don’t feel as though I am rocking in the shoe like I do with Hoka’s. This makes it much easier to transition from a street run to the gym. The neutral profile of the shoe makes this a very stable shoe for running on pavement. And, with the max cushioning, the shoe absorbs the hard pavement well. I don’t like street running because of how hard the road is compared to trail running. However, with the Cloudmonster shoe, I am able to get my miles in when in a concrete jungle.

Is the Cloudmonster good for walking?

Yes, the Cloudmonster is good for walking. I use this shoe for walking around New York City and love to support the shoe provides. Plus, the sleek style of the shoe makes it easy to wear with most NYC casual outfits.

Cloudflyer vs Cloudmonster

Having only run one other On shoe, the Cloudflyer 4, the first standout feature of the Cloudmoster was how well the heel fit. The gradually rising rubber that increased to mid-heel at the back of the shoe has made a huge difference in overall fit.

Cloudmonster - Cloudflyer 4
Cloudmonster – Cloudflyer 4

While the heel on the Cloudflyer 4 looks much more built up, we found the Cloudmonster to fit better and feel more secure in the heel. This feeling of secure fit is a common theme with the Cloudmonster. The overall construction of the shoe seems to be form fitted to my foot. While not as soft feeling as the Asics, the Cloudmonster was actually better on my feet and knees. The unique construction was much more comfortable overall, especially once running.

Hoka Clifton 8 vs On Cloudmonster

Having ran in Hoka One One shoes for many years, the rocker visually looked like it would provide the same experience. However, the On Cloudmonster felt surprisingly more responsive considering how cushioned the shoe is.

hoka vs on cloudmonster

While the Hoka shoes seem to absorb impact, the On Cloudmonster seems to simultaneously absorb impact and provide a pop of release. This pop of release makes running in the Cloudmonster seem effortless.

Read the HOKA Clifton 8 review here.

Review Summary

In summary of my On Cloudmonster review, I found my new go-to running shoe for daily training. The combination of support and pop make this shoe great for running on pavement. While you might not feel the plushness of an Asics when you first step into the shoe, the On Cloudmonster is the best running shoe I have tried.

Stay tuned as we put this shoe to the test in our Run 2023km in 2023 challenge!