On Cloudmonster 2 Review

The On Cloudmonster 2 is a more cushioned shoe than the original, but bigger isn’t always better

On Cloudmonster 2
(Image: © Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Our Verdict

The On Cloudmonster 2 is a highly cushioned shoe with a firmer ride than most options in its category, which makes it a good pick for those who don’t like their shoes too squishy. However, it’s bulkier and less versatile than the original Cloudmonster, which I prefer to the new shoe.


  • Protective cushioning
  • Looks good
  • Stable


  • Heavier than original
  • Not versatile
  • Some will prefer a softer ride

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The On Cloudmonster 2 is quite different from most cushioned shoes. It has a firmer, stiffer ride than most of the best cushioned running shoes, and traditional geometry that snaps you onto the forefoot of the shoe rather than a smooth rocker.

As a result, it will suit some runners who are not widely catered to in the cushioned shoe market, but I don’t think the On Cloudmonster 2 will be the best pick for most, and I still prefer the original shoe. I found the 2 a little too heavy and hard to really enjoy on easy runs, and prefer the rockered ride of shoes like the On Cloudeclipse or Brooks Ghost Max, or the springier, more versatile ride of the Puma Magnify Nitro 2 or Saucony Triumph 21.

On Cloudmonster 2

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

On Cloudmonster 2: Price And Availability

The On Cloudmonster 2 launched on February 15, 2024 and costs $180 in the US and £170 in the UK. That’s a $10/£20 price rise on the original Cloudmonster, and although cushioned shoes are getting more expensive in general, the Cloudmonster 2 still sits at the top end of the price range.

How I Tested This Shoe

I have run 30 miles in the On Cloudmonster 2, mostly using it for easy and recovery runs during my marathon training. I have also tested the original On Cloudmonster, and a range of the best On running shoes, including the On Cloudsurfer and On Cloudeclipse cushioned shoes.

On Cloudmonster 2

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Design And Fit

The On Cloudmonster 2 sticks to a similar set-up to the original shoe, but increases the cushioning in the midsole. This cushioning is still a combination of the brand’s Helion foam on top of On’s signature CloudTec pods, and has a nylon Speedboard running through it to add some stiffness to the ride and make the transition through your foot-strike more efficient.

With a stack height of 35mm at the heel and 29mm at the forefoot the Cloudmonster 2 stands 6mm taller than the original, though it’s still not as high as many cushioned shoes. It still has a drop of 6mm, but the extra cushioning on the shoe has increased its weight. The Cloudmonster 2 weighs 10.7oz/302g in my UK size 9, while the original was 10oz/284g in the same size. 

The Cloudmonster 2 has a breathable mesh with a little padding around the collar of the shoe. Although it has less padding than other max-cushioned shoes, I found the upper very comfortable and the Cloudmonster 2 fit well in my normal running shoe size.

On has removed the deep cut-out on the bottom of the shoe that on the original Cloudmonster had a habit of catching stones, but the 2 still has the podded design on the bottom rather than a full-contact outsole. There is rubber covering the heel and forefoot pods and the shoe gripped well for me in wet conditions.

On Cloudmonster 2 sole

(Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Running Performance

The original Cloudmonster was a shoe that grew on me. While it wasn’t especially soft, it did make up for that by being light and versatile for a cushioned shoe, and it was still comfortable for long runs

The Cloudmonster 2 trades in that versatility for the extra cushioning underfoot, but it is still not a particularly soft or bouncy shoe, and it’s heavier. I found that it was a bit too heavy for me even on relaxed recovery runs, and without a rocker or a particularly springy foam, it wasn’t as easy or enjoyable to tick along in the Cloudmonster 2 as in other shoes.

It is naturally quite stable, though, and the ride isn’t uncomfortable. The Cloudmonster 2 does a good job of protecting the legs at easy paces and some will find the natural, firm ride a welcome difference to softer or highly rockered cushioned shoes.

I think you could get all the same things from the original Cloudmonster, though, and it felt a bit more fluid and easy to run in at a variety of paces. I also prefer On’s other cushioned shoes—the Cloudsurfer is softer and smoother, and the Cloudeclipse more rockered and versatile.

On Cloudmonster 2 and On Cloudmonster

On Cloudmonster 2, left, and On Cloudmonster (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry / Future)

Is The On Cloudmonster 2 Worth It?

Given the price rise and the changes to the shoe that have made it heavier, I don’t think the On Cloudmonster 2 is one of the best cushioned running shoes available. It’s a good-looking shoe you can wear when not running, and some will like its firmer ride, but there are better alternatives available.

Those include the original Cloudmonster, which shares a similar design but is lighter and more fun to run in, and On’s other cushioned options, the Cloudsurfer and Cloudeclipse. I also prefer several other cushioned shoes for both comfort and versatility, including the Puma Magnify Nitro 2, Brooks Ghost Max and Saucony’s Triumph 21 and Ride 17.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.