For the longest time, I assumed that supportive, comfortable running shoes built to withstand long distances and trail runs also had to be a bit clunky, heavy, and more closely resembling than sleek athletic shoes. But the new Cloudflow running shoes from popular Swiss brand On Running completely changed my mind.
First released in 2016, the On Running Cloudflow sneaker has since been given a total upgrade. The new-and-improved model—the Cloudflow 2.0—is better than ever. In order to revamp the already-supportive shoe, On used feedback from professional athletes to design the optimized 2.0 version, and the result is a lightweight, fully-cushioned sneaker that’s ideal for training and racing (though it’s also great for walking around a city or going for a casual jog).
What differentiates this sneaker from the rest is a special foam cushioning element dubbed Helion, which helps your feet rebound upon impact. It’s light, responsive, and resistant to changes in temperature, so you’ll feel like you’re running on a cloud all year round.
The sole of the shoe is also ergonomically-designed to support the rolling motion of your foot for softer landings that feel natural. Even the laces were thoughtfully configured for ultimate comfort and support with the weaves covering a larger section of the sneaker and featuring an elasticated lace holder. And after testing the sneakers out for myself both indoors and outdoors—on a treadmill in an intense Precision Run class and outside in the park on my usual route—I can confidently say that these are the comfiest running shoes I’ve ever worn.
I had just changed out of my go-to ASICS running shoes when I first put on a pair of the Cloudflow sneakers, and the immediate difference in how light my feet felt was startling. It was almost like being barefoot, only with the added support and cushioning of a shoe that molded perfectly to my high arches. My skepticism of such a light and airy shoe disappeared after just a few sprints on the treadmill when I realized that they still offered all the stability and support I needed, despite the barely-there feel.
Now, these are the only sneakers I want to grab when I’m packing up my gym bag. As of this week, they’re finally available (in seven stylish colorways!) at Nordstrom—so if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your running shoes, now’s the perfect time to grab the newly-launched comfy sneaks.
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