On Running, the brainchild of former pro triathlete Oliver Bernhard, have introduced a lightweight shoe to their range. The new 245g Cloud Racer uses many of the design principals found on the Cloud Surfer but in a lighter package.
The obvious change is a thinner lighter weight breathable upper. But there’s far more when you look closer and this is what makes it a race shoe rather just a lightweight upper. While the open lug system remains on the Cloud Racer it’s a lower profile version of that found on its big brother. With a smaller cavity on the lugs compared to the Cloud Surfer there is less cushioning and a more rigid feel to the ride, which we liked. There is less instability because the idea here is about going fast, not trying to make the leg muscles work to make you a stronger and more stable runner as with the Cloud Surfer. This combined with the flexible front end of the shoe make the Cloud Racer feel far more responsive out on the road.
It is designed for those with a neutral gait and with just a 5mm drop between the heel and forefoot this helps to bring you naturally on to your mid and forefoot when running. The lower profile and closeness to the ground makes this shoe feel more like a racer and offers more road feel as a consequence. They don’t come with elastic laces but are easily made race ready with a slider or a change of laces. Getting in and out is made easier with the heel loop and we had no issues running with or without socks.
While we found the Cloud Surfer took a while to get used to, we felt more at home with the Racer in a single run and would have no issue using them over any distance. Both David Dellow and Caroline Steffen have won Ironman events wearing them.