ON Cloudeclipse Introduction
There’s a Bonnie Tyler song called Total Eclipse of the Heart about a past lover overshadowing her life so much that the sun’s light is blocked out, plunging her heart into darkness.
Now you might be wondering how this 80’s ballad relates to On’s latest running shoe. On claims that the Cloudeclipse possesses their thickest midsole ever and perhaps they named it this because the midsole doesn’t block out the ability to love (like in the Bonnie Tyler song) but it completely blocks out ground feel, eclipses it. If this is indeed true, then I would say that this is a great name for their new maximalist trainer.
The Cloudeclipse is one of On Running’s new generation of maximalist running shoes. It features their new Cloudtec Phase midsole technology which was first introduced in the Cloudsurfer earlier this year, a trainer I thoroughly enjoyed. Cloudtec Phase is also in their Cloudtilt lifestyle sneaker which is a collab with fashion brand Loewe and costs $490.
The Cloudeclipse is one of the heaviest On trainers. It weighs 10 oz (285 g) which is 0.3 oz (10 g) heavier than the Cloudmonster and 0.9 oz (27 g) heavier than the Cloudsurfer. It has a 44mm/36mm stack height and demands a premium price of $180.
ON Cloudeclipse First Impressions
My first run was a very slow, easy 10 K. My first thought was that this is a trainer for easy or recovery days only. It felt a little bit sluggish, very well cushioned but not very plush- not like the Cloudsurfer.
The ride felt extremely comfortable and it didn’t need any breaking in. Transitions felt really smooth and I didn’t feel much energy return from the midsole.
It didn’t remind me of any other shoe I’ve tried but even though it’s a brand new On trainer, it felt very much like an On.
ON Cloudeclipse Upper
The Cloudeclipse has a really soft, comfortable upper which is more foot conforming than the Cloudmonster but not as plush as the Cloudsurfer. It feels more like a daily trainer upper than a cushy max-cushioned upper.
The tongue is a soft, flat, knitted kind which is attached on both sides and the laces pass through 2 separate loops on the tongue to ensure no slide. I find heel and overall foot lockdown to be really good.
It has a true to size fit with a really accommodating forefoot and toe box. Runners who prefer a snug fit can go down a half size but I enjoy the extra room in the forefoot.
On boasts a dope dyed upper which uses 90% less water but the problem with it is that when it gets wet, the dye runs onto the white laces. That’s the only upper flaw.
ON Cloudeclipse Sole Unit
If you find the Cloudmonster too firm and the Cloudsurfer too mushy, the Cloudeclipse is the perfect goldilocks On trainer for you. It’s a very balanced shoe with a likeable and engaging ride.
On states that it’s a double layer of Cloudtec Phase in the Cloudeclipse but I don’t see where that extra layer is. It looks exactly the same setup as the Cloudsurfer’s midsole but just a taller version of it. The large holes in its midsole allow it to compress very easily, giving you a unique feeling of mechanical cushioning.
It has a very cushioned, very padded ride but I wouldn’t describe it as soft. It doesn’t have a squishy underfoot feeling like the NB 1080V13 or the Nike Invincible Run 3 so it doesn’t feel as slow.
In that sense, the Cloudeclipse feels more like a daily trainer than a super soft, max-cushioned trainer. It feels more suited to slower paces though, due to its thick midsole which doesn’t provide a lot of rebound or energy return but it can handle steady-paced runs which are on the slower side of the spectrum.
For such a tall shoe (44mm in the heel), the Cloudeclipse feels relatively stable. Its midsole compresses a lot when loaded so it doesn’t feel like it’s 44mm- it feels much lower. Its Helion midsole is also not overly soft so there isn’t a lot of lean bias like in the Cloudsurfer.
The Cloudeclipse is the first On shoe to feature a speedboard on its outsole. This results in a much softer ride than having the hard speedboard closer to the foot. The Speedboard is necessary for stability and structure or else the ride will be too sloppy.
The Speedboard also stiffens the midsole, allowing the forefoot rocker to feature more prominently. It’s not an extremely rockered ride but it does quicken transitions and improve efficiency.
My favourite characteristic of the Cloudeclipse’s ride is that it has very little ground feel so it protects my legs from the pounding on the road. This makes it a good trainer for long runs at slow paces. It’s a great workhorse for soaking up daily junk miles.
Unfortunately it doesn’t have a workhorse-like outsole. The Cloudeclipse has better durability than the average On Running shoe because its outsole is flat and it doesn’t have outsole pods however the rubber wears down fast and I’ve noticed an alarming amount of wear on the outer heel area. Traction is average on dry surfaces. On wet surfaces, it’s below average.
ON Cloudeclipse Conclusions
The Cloudeclipse is another really polished, first generation trainer from On. Currently, if I could only pick one On training shoe, it would be the Cloudeclipse. I like the fact that it completely eclipses ground feel and allows my legs to recover much faster during this marathon training block.
I’ll continue using the Cloudeclipse in my rotation for easy and recovery runs. It has more cushioning than the Cloudsurfer and it has a more comfortable ride than the Cloudmonster. It also has a more accommodating upper than most of the trainers I’ve tested this year which is a nice departure.
As a max-cushioned trainer, I think there are other, cheaper options which have more modern midsole foams and feel more energetic. On’s Helion foam needs to be lighter and more bouncy.
The Triumph, Invincible Run, Glycerin, and More all offer as much protection as the Cloudeclipse but have more lively rides. With the Cloudeclipse, you pay a premium for the Swiss badge. It’s definitely overpriced.
I predict the Cloudeclipse will be a very successful trainer for On and will be one of their most popular shoes in the next 12 months. On is now using the same template which has been the recipe for success for Hoka all these years: a super thick midsole with no ground feel and plenty of protection.