On Running Shoes: Cloud Monster vs. Cloud Surfer vs. Cloud Eclipse

Are you looking for a new pair of running shoes? If so, On might be the brand for you. On’s shoes have turned heads with their unique sole design and focus on comfort. Three of their most popular models  – the Cloud Monster, Cloud Surfer, and Cloud Eclipse – are excellent choices for daily runs.

The On Cloud Monster

The On Cloud Monster is known for its distinctive design and plush cushioning. Let’s break down its key features:

  • CloudTec® Pods: On’s signature hollow ‘clouds’ on the outsole are designed to collapse on landing for soft impact and then lock together for a powerful, responsive push-off. The Cloud Monster features the largest CloudTec® pods of any On shoe for even more cushioning.
  • Rocker Geometry: The noticeable upward curve of the sole (or toe spring) encourages forward momentum and a smoother stride, especially at faster paces.
  • Speedboard®: A hidden thermoplastic plate within the midsole adds stability and a touch of snappiness to the shoe’s responsiveness.
  • Upper: Engineered mesh upper designed for breathability and comfort.

Who is it for?

  • Runners seeking maximum cushioning: If you crave a soft, plush ride for long runs, the Cloud Monster delivers.
  • Those who enjoy a rockered feel: The pronounced rocker shape propels you forward and feels particularly good at steady to up-tempo paces.
  • Neutral Runners: While designed as a neutral shoe, the Cloud Monster offers a degree of stability making it potentially suitable for mild overpronators.


  • Durability: Some users report faster wear on the outsole and midsole compared to other On models. Consider the Cloud Surfer or Cloud Eclipse for potentially better longevity.
  • Firmness: The Cloud Monster, while softer than traditional On shoes, might feel firm to those used to maximalist cushioned shoes from brands like Hoka.
  • Price: It’s on the higher end of On’s pricing scale.

The On Cloud Monster is a unique running shoe that prioritizes plush cushioning and a propulsive feel. If those are your priorities and you enjoy a slightly firmer ride, the Cloud Monsters are an excellent choice, especially for long runs at easy to moderate paces.

Extra Tips:

  • Try before you buy: The Cloud Monster’s specific feel is best experienced in person.
  • Look for sales: Older colorways often go on sale, making the Cloud Monster more budget-friendly.

The On Cloud Surfer: Beyond the Basics

The On Cloud Surfer is often lauded as an all-around excellent running shoe. Here’s what makes it stand out:

  • CloudTec® Phase Midsole: A departure from the traditional CloudTec® pods, this updated midsole offers a softer, more continuous cushioning experience. It strikes a great balance between responsiveness and comfortable impact absorption.
  • No Speedboard: Unlike other On shoes, the Cloud Surfer omits the Speedboard. This creates a more flexible and forgiving ride, especially for those who find traditional On shoes too stiff.
  • Versatile Feel: The Cloud Surfer handles a wide range of paces and distances. It’s comfortable for daily runs, easy long runs, and even picking up the pace for tempo efforts.
  • Closed Outsole: The fully closed outsole prevents those annoying pebbles from getting stuck, a common issue with earlier On models.

Who is it for?

  • Runners seeking a do-it-all shoe: If you want a single pair of shoes to comfortably handle various runs, the Cloud Surfer is a top contender.
  • Neutral runners: The neutral design works well for those who don’t require significant stability features.
  • Those who prefer a softer ride: The Cloud Surfer delivers a noticeably plusher feel underfoot compared to traditional On shoes.


  • Stability: If you need substantial stability for overpronation, the Cloud Eclipse, with its Speedboard, might be a better choice.
  • Maximal cushioning: Runners craving that super-plush, pillowy feel of maximalist shoes might want even more cushioning than the Cloud Surfer offers.
  • Durability: While it offers improved durability over the Cloud Monster, the Cloud Surfer might not be the most long-lasting shoe for those who put in serious mileage.

The On Cloud Surfer is a fantastic option for runners who want a comfortable, versatile shoe that can handle most types of runs well. Its balance of cushioning, responsiveness, and flexibility makes it a potential favorite for a wide range of runners.

Extra Tips

  • Test it out: The Cloud Surfer’s softer feel is a significant change for On – try them on before buying to make sure it’s what you want.
  • Check for squeaking: A small number of users have reported a squeaking noise developing in the midsole over time.

Deeper Analysis of On Cloud Eclipse Running Shoe

Similar to the previous breakdowns, here’s a dive into the On Cloud Eclipse:

Key Features:

  • Maximum Cushioning: The Cloud Eclipse boasts the thickest stack height of On’s lineup, using their Helion™ superfoam for a plush, soft ride.
  • CloudTec® Phase Midsole: Like the Cloud Surfer, it offers a softer and smoother experience than traditional Cloud pods.
  • Speedboard®: Unlike the Cloud Surfer, the Eclipse includes a Speedboard located at the bottom of the midsole. This enhances stability and provides a snappy, responsive feel during toe-off.
  • Stability Focus: The combination of thick cushioning and the Speedboard creates a more stable shoe compared to the flexible Cloud Surfer.
  • Upper: Breathable engineered mesh focuses on comfort.

Who is it for?

  • Runners craving maximum comfort: If plushness is your top priority, the Cloud Eclipse delivers it in spades.
  • Neutral runners or mild overpronators: The added Speedboard provides a degree of stability absent in the Cloud Surfer.
  • Those who enjoy a higher drop: The Eclipse generally has a higher heel-to-toe drop, which some runners find more natural.


  • Potential bulkiness: The substantial cushioning can make the shoe feel slightly bulky compared to the lower-profile Surfer or Monster.
  • Slightly less flexible: The addition of the Speedboard reduces the shoe’s overall flexibility.
  • Price: It’s the most expensive of the three models discussed.

The On Cloud Eclipse is best for runners who want supreme cushioning and a touch of stability. It’s ideal for easy daily runs, recovery sessions, and those who prioritize pure comfort over speed.

Key Considerations across the On Running Shoe Models

  1. Cushioning & Feel:
  • Cloud Monster: Prioritizes a plush ride with a slightly firmer feel compared to the other two models. Best suited for long, steady-paced running where you want a cushioned feel.
  • Cloud Surfer: Strikes a balance between softness and responsiveness. A great middle-ground and a versatile option for different paces and distances.
  • Cloud Eclipse: Maximum cushioning – the softest and plushest of the three. Ideal for anyone who ranks pure comfort as their top priority.
  1. Stability:
  • Cloud Monster: Offers a degree of stability but might not be enough for runners needing significant support.
  • Cloud Surfer: Least stable of the three due to the lack of a Speedboard. Best for neutral runners or those with very mild stability needs.
  • Cloud Eclipse: Most stable, thanks to the Speedboard. Suitable for neutral runners and potentially mild overpronators.
  1. Durability:
  • Cloud Monster: Known to have relatively shorter lifespan compared to the other two models. The outsole and midsole may wear out faster.
  • Cloud Surfer: Improved durability over the Cloud Monster, potentially lasting longer with regular use.
  • Cloud Eclipse: Likely offers the best durability of the three, though extensive mileage will still wear it down over time.
  1. Price:
  • Cloud Monster: The most affordable, especially if you can find older colorways on sale.
  • Cloud Surfer: Mid-priced between the other two options.
  • Cloud Eclipse: The most expensive of the three models.

Additional Considerations:

  • Rocker Geometry: The Cloud Monster has the most pronounced rocker, encouraging forward motion, particularly at faster paces.
  • Footwear Preferences: Do you prefer a firmer ride, a softer one, or maximum cushioning? Do you like the feel of a rockered shoe or prefer a more traditional design?
  • Running Style: Do you have a neutral stride, or do you overpronate?

How to Choose

  • Your Priorities: Rank your needs in terms of cushioning, stability, durability, and price. This will highlight the shoe that best aligns with your requirements.
  • Individual Fit: Always try the shoes on before purchasing! Each model’s feel is unique, and finding the right fit is crucial regardless of other factors.

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