By Kieran Alger
On’s running shoes often draw heat for not quite hitting the performance mark. But three of its most recent launches have changed the story. First the big-stack On Cloudmonster brought more protection. Then came the On Cloudsurfer introducing a new CloudTec Phase midsole set-up with amped up softness.
Finally the On Cloudeclipse arrived – a hybrid between the two, parking max stack with the new domino-effect collapsing midsole. They’re all pegged as daily trainers, so which one – if any – should you choose? Read my On Cloudeclipse vs Cloudsurfer vs Cloudmonster head-to-head review to find out.
Stack Height, Drop, Weight and Price
First up, let’s compare some key details. The Cloudsurfer has the lowest stack and biggest drop with 32mm in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot for a 10mm drop.
The Monster has an extra millimetre in the heel at 33mm and a considerable chunk more in the forefoot at 27mm, for a 6mm drop.
While the Eclipse has the biggest stack with 37mm in the heel and 31mm in the forefoot also for a 6mm drop.
When it comes to weight, in my US men’s size 9.5 test shoe, the Cloudsurfer 7 weigh in at 8.4oz or 237g. The Cloudmonster tips the scales at 9.8oz or 278g and the Cloudeclipse comes in heaviest at 10.5oz or 292g.
At launch, the Cloudsurfer 7 was $160, the Cloudmonster came in at $170 while the Cloudeclipse was the most expensive at $180.
32mm heel / 22mm Forefoot
33mm heel / 27mm Forefoot
37mm heel / 31mm Forefoot
10.5oz / 297g
9.8oz / 278g
8.4oz / 237g
Suggested Retail Price
True to size
True to size
True to size
Let’s start with the midsoles. All three use Helion foam but the major difference here – beyond the various stack heights – is that the Cloudsurfer 7 and the Eclipse feature a softer version of Helion and On’s new CloudTec Phase domino-effect midsole. The cloud elements are designed to collapse and return in sequence, like dominoes, to help create softer landings, smoother roll through and better transitions. The Cloudmonster just had On’s regular cloud elements.
The Cloudeclipse and the Cloudmonster have Speedboard plates to add stiffness, guidance and support as you move through each step. The Cloudeclipse’s plate sits right at the bottom of the shoe while the Monsters’ plate is sandwiched in the middle. The Surfer doesn’t have a plate and that comes through in the softer ride.
There’s different levels of rockering too. The Cloudeclipse has a more aggressive forefoot rocker but is flatter in the rear. The Cloudsurfer 7 has more of a bowl-like sweep from heel to toe, while the Cloudmonster’s midsole shape is closer to the Cloudeclipse.
In terms of the uppers, all three shoes have lined uppers. The Cloudsurfer 7 and the Cloudeclipse use similar dual-layered mesh uppers with a notably boosted breathability. The Cloudmonster’s upper is more dense, somewhat stiffer and less flexible.
The Cloudsurfer 7 has more padding in heel collars and tongue for a bit of extra plushness while the the Cloudmonster and the Cloudeclipse offer medium padding
with thinner wrap around tongues. All three feature gusseted tongues with almost an internal booty.
All three shoes also have some kind of external heel clip to aid the heel hold. It’s more rigid on the Cloudsurfer and the Cloudeclipse while the heel counter on the Cloudeclipse is also stiffer, giving that part of the shoe more structure.
Flip them over and they’ve all got strategic coverings or outsole rubber. The Cloudmonster’s use pads or patches while the other two shoes have larger covered sections.
One other note: there are channels in the outsoles on all of them, too. The Monsters are the biggest, deepest and catch the most stones. While the Eclipse is smaller and less troublesome.
I ran in my regular running shoe size – a US 9.5 – in all of these shoes. There's slightly more flex in the Cloudsurfer 7 uppers, though the toe box is actually a shade roomier on the Cloudeclipse. The Cloudmonster is the most snug.
But overall I had a pretty similar lock down across the top of the midfoot, the heels held in a very similar way. They were all pleasingly secure for me and I had no problems with slipping. So in terms of the overall fit, I think unless you've got particularly wide feet, or you'd like your shoes a bit longer, I would recommend going true to size in all three shoes.
In testing I’ve clocked at least 30 miles in each of these shoes at a mix of paces, on road and light off roads. I’ve done more in the Cloudmonster and Cloudsurfer as they’re older shoes that wound up in my rotation. But I’ve covered the same kinds of runs in all three. To tease out the differences, I also did three side by side miles with one shoe on each foot.
First up, I’m a fan of all three of these shoes. I like the rolling, firmer ride of the max-stack Cloudmonster. The Cloudsurfer 7 was one of my top shoes of 2023. It brought a welcome softer edge but managed to retain a snappy and versatile edge. The Eclipse builds on a good trajectory for On and arguably its a sweet spot between the Monster and the Surfer.
What’s interesting from comparing the shoes side by side is that although the Cloudsufer 7 has the softest midsole, the lower stack means you actually get more of the road coming up than you do, certainly from the Cloudeclipse. So although the Cloudeclipse is firmer, it’s somehow more protective.
When you’re moving well with high turnover, the high-stack and more pronounced rockering on the Eclipse and Monster takes some of the edge off your landings.
You’ll have to like a stiffer, firmer ride to enjoy the Cloudmonster most out of these three shoes. If you tried the Cloudmonster and found it too firm, the Cloudeclispe almost bridges that gap between the soft Surfer and the stiff Monster.
The ride on the Cloudeclipse is also smoother than the Cloudsurfer 7. The Eclipse manages to maintain some of the agility and precision offered by the more compact Surfer but it’s balanced with a larger stack that avoids feeling over-egged.
If I’m picking one shoe from these three it’s the On Cloudeclipse. This is the shoe you probably thought you’d get when you first saw the Cloudmonster. And though it’s packing a bigger stack than both the Cloudsurfer and the Cloudmonster, the Cloudeclipse is a much better balanced shoe.
It manages to avoid feeling overbaked or cumbersome like some other max-stack daily shoes like the ASICS Gel Nimbus 25, the Novablast 4, and the Nike Invincible 3.
So I think it’ll have a much broader appeal. Why? Well for a start, the Cloudmonster definitely ran too firm for some. The Cloudsurfer 7 brought lots of softness but perhaps at the cost of response and that faster-pace capability. Because of that lower stack, there’s also quite a lot of impact coming up from the road with the Surfer 7.
The Cloudeclipse manages to sit happily in between, putting a more protective stack underfoot but also still delivering an immediate, responsive ride with smoother transitions and a nice clip-along energy.
Granted it’s heavier than the Cloudsurfer 7 but I don’t think you feel it when you’re moving and the Cloudeclipse’s snappier ride makes it better as a longer distance, faster paced shoe than either of the other two.
I ran 30 miles in the Cloudsurfer 7 during the Berlin Wall Ultra 2023 and despite the softer midsole it lacked the protection I needed. I’m sure the Cloudeclipse would have served me better.
The Cloudeclipse is obviously more expensive. But it’s a very good do-it-all daily trainer that eclipses the other two. (pardon the pun)