This shoe is perfect for runners who prize comfort and versatility over speed or stability and want a light, smooth ride. The soft yet not overly squishy base makes it a great fit for all-day wear and a run before/after work—think nurses and salespeople on their feet all day—or runners looking for a great-feeling shoe for recovery and easy runs of any distance.
Do not choose this shoe if you have high support needs, especially under and around the heel, or want a snappy ride. This is not the shoe for runners who place heavy wear on specific parts of the sole—lateral for under-pronators or medial for over-pronators—as it is not reinforced for durability.p
The latest round of shoes from On is impressive! The brand is finally hitting its stride with the right foam and structure(s) to maximize their unique Cloud technology for comfort and performance.
New in 2022, the neutral trainer Cloudgo brings low-key comfort with a more standard outsole into On’s lineup.
Soft cushion like we find in On Cloudmonster — yet not so extravagant — and a streamlined sole such as in On Cloudsurfer sit below a Speedboard®, also seen in Cloudflyer 4 and Cloudmonster, for a soft, smooth underfoot experience.
The lack of spaces between Cloud pods beneath the foot means Cloudgo catches fewer rocks and chunks of debris than your typical On. (Just yesterday I pulled a substantial log/stick out of my Cloudflyers!)
Reviewing Cloudgo alongside Cloudflyer 4 meant that I was running and reading about both. Some of the features overlapped—comfort, lightweight, springy—but some highlights from the company seemed to better fit the other shoe!
Cloudflyer is marketed to offer “supreme cushioning plus premium comfort” and their “plushest ever tongue,” which better fits Cloudgo. Cloudgo released two months before the Cloudflyer 4 with higher cushion; see “upper” and “sole” sections below for detailed comparison.
In overview, Cloudgo is moderately plush for comfort and buoyant underfoot. Cloudflyer is quicker into toe-off and more responsive underfoot with greater ground feel.
Cloudgo feels a lot like Brooks Glycerin 20: secure upper fit and soft, smooth roll underfoot. New Balance 880 and HOKA Mach 5 are also similar shoes.
Out of the box Cloudgo looked classy, yet not fancy like the Cloudflyer. It looked and felt like a quality build.
The shoe felt roomy yet remained comfortable as I dialed in the fit. It was soft with a smooth roll forward underfoot. Early runs with both Cloudflyer and Cloudgo proved Cloudflyer better suited for faster running though both shoes have a smooth ride.
If not running in these two side by side I would say Cloudgo has a quick transition. It does—but not quite as much as Cloudflyer, which makes me recommend Cloudgo for recovery, long, and regular runs and Cloudflyer for regular into interval running, with more stability in the sole.
Surprisingly 90% of the polyester mesh upper is recycled material, so A+ to On for sustainability! The upper is soft and comfortable throughout, moderately breathable.
The front loop in the laces hints that there may be a special function, such as with the forefoot loops in Cloudflyer, but it is just a classy aesthetic. There’s nothing wrong with that—it’s a good look—but upper reinforcement strips in which the loop sits pestablish the width. The upper is flexible between this front strip and the next to accommodate variance in foot shape.
It fits narrow-medium in the forefoot into a medium midfoot which can be pulled in with the laces. The heel is medium and plush enough that my heel stays in place—with no special lacing or effort on my part to keep it in place! The heel is average in stiffness with a moderate internal heel counter.
On also offers a wide option for Cloudgo.
On promotes Cloudflyer’s tongue as their “plushest ever,” but Cloudgo’s tongue is a touch thicker and is also wider to cushion more of the foot. Laces run through a reinforced loop on the tongue to keep it in place.
There’s also a helpful toe cap on the forefoot to aid durability.
Cloudgo fits true to size for length.
The Cloudtec midsole is said to be the brand’s Helion™ Superfoam which combines rigid and flexible elements for a soft yet supported ride. It feels great underfoot—really a cloud-like ride—and only seems “squishy” at times under the heel.
If you want a more firm heel but similar shoe look to the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20. From On, the Cloudflyer 4 is built with a more firm heel foam which also stands up better under a heel strike.
The Cloudtec cushion is soft and offers “medium” movement, as in, somewhere between the firmness of Brooks Lightstrike and squish of Nike React. The closest feel underfoot comes from Brooks’ nitrogen-infused DNA LOFT v3.
Try the On Cloudrunner if you want a very similar shoe to Cloudgo but with more stable elements in the sole.
The ride is smooth and very comfortable but not remarkably quick or responsive.
Upon landing, the midsole with air spaces (moreso than “pods” in this design) compresses against a thermoplastic polymer plate called a Speedboard® located near the top of the midsole. It is not visible in Cloudgo as in others, but its presence is evident by the smooth role through footplant it helps to provide.
Given the softer foam throughout the base, the transition heel to forefoot is not a quick as in Cloudflyer, but a forefoot rocker plus spring from the board in Cloudgo get the runner quickly into toe-off.
As with most On shoes, the arch height is medium to allow for the most runners to access the shoe. Custom inserts are a great option for those who need higher arch support but still want to try this shoe. The drop is 11 mm. heel down to forefoot.
Thin rubber patches cover much of the outsole which is split by three horizontal flex grooves and and an almost full-length vertical divide. These segments allow for flexibility while a wide base and Speedboard® bring enough stability to make this shoe appealing to a wide range of runners.
Grip is average, and durability is low, though the rubber covering is slightly thicker below the heel than forefoot.
Cloudgo is a comfortable daily trainer with a stylin’ look that is a great choice for neutral runners, that is, those with average/normal pronation that does not place extra pressure on either side of the base.
This is great shoe to run in to get a feel for what On has to offer in its newest shoes yet with an “entry level” cloud base. The smooth ride is sure to please!