ON Cloudflyer 4 Review: Women’s Best Road-Running Shoes of 2024?

On Cloudflyer 4 Running Shoes is a lightweight, stable daily training shoe for those who want a thicker upper and a firm rolling ride.

The upper is plush with a thicker knit lining, providing low volume in the forefoot and a secure, slightly snug fit elsewhere.

The ride is very firm and rock hard, so the weight combined makes it better for slow efforts and walking. Combining the stability of new and old, the On Cloudflyer is a more traditional On design for those who want stability and comfort.

ON Cloudflyer 4 Review 2024

Cloudflyer 4 review


A redesigned upper gives this version of the Cloudflyer more padding and structure (and weight), with plastic overlays to protect the tips, reinforced lace eyelets and frame side panels for a secure feel.

The innovation shines as the tongue slides beneath the 2-3 cm extended side overlays. Beyond attachment to the rest of the upper. The tongue is then merged with the toe box mesh underneath the overlay.

The laces first go through the “normal” hole in the bottom, then through the two loops in the toe box, and then tie the remaining laces. Combined with the flexible mesh, this allows for the most customized fit on a ball I’ve ever seen!

After several runs, I figured the shoe was narrow in the toe box and medium in the rest. However, when I loosened the laces through the front loops, it occurred to me that the overall shoe is medium but adjustable and also has a wide width.

The higher heel collar toward the rear is intended to provide a more secure feel, but has the potential to nick the lateral and medial malleolus (bone spurs on the side of the ankle) in some runners, like me.

The heel is covered with a moderately strong external heel counter to guide the foot forward.

The front of the side ankle hole also cut my skin. A strap was tied through the top hole to better secure the heel, pressing the hard edge into the front ankle.

On promotes Cloudflyer’s tongue as the “coolest” tongue. In reality it’s a pretty standard tongue that’s a hair thicker than the Cloudgo, with the Cloudgo being wider to cushion the foot more.

To avoid discomfort, I undid my top laces and got used to the less-than-ideal heel fit. This made the long straps even longer, and when they were tied and double-knotted, they sometimes hit the opposite leg as they ran.

The Cloudgo fits snugly over the heel (without using the top strap), so On knows what to do. Hopefully, they will change this in the future.

Cloudflyer fits true to size in length and medium width.

When matched with the Cloudgo, they fit the ball of the foot equally, but have more “give” due to the mesh and lace construction described above. Cloudflyer then narrows it down further than Cloudgo moves towards the end.


On Cloudflyer 4 is a solid riding, heavier daily training shoe for slower runs and walks. The midsole features two rows of Cloudtec elements with midline grooves at the heel and midfoot that transition into a full-width forefoot. The full-length Helion foam is extremely firm, and the highly curved sole design provides a rocking ride. The 10.8-ounce weight is very noticeable, making this a shoe suitable only for slow efforts. The heel drop initially feels higher and On Running lists this shoe as having a drop of 11mm. Once you break in, the rocker makes this shoe feel like a proper drop shoe. The heel transition is quite smooth thanks to the rocking heel and slightly rearward side heel. The rocky sole and torsional rigidity of the speedboard ensure a solid midfoot transition. The forefoot has moderate flexibility compared to reinforced shoes and provides a firm to soft transition at the toe. These shoes are not for people with limited mobility of the big toe. That’s because there’s still a surprising amount of curve in the front.

On Cloudflyer 4 is best suited for slow running and walking. People with high cadences who want to roll in a stiffer shoe will enjoy this shoe best. Although I struggled with the weight while running, I enjoyed the rocking and smoothness when I walked. I ran over 20 miles in my pair and walked another 15-20 miles. Durability appears to be slightly above average with only light wear on the side of the heel. For use, these shoes are only suitable for road driving. I wouldn’t wear these shoes on anything but smooth, hard surfaces because they still have rocks stuck in the center groove.

on cloudflyer 4 women's


On Cloudflyer 4 is a lightweight stability shoe that uses some new and partly traditional elements. The platform is wider except for the midfoot which is a bit narrow. There are also large guide lines on the heel and midfoot. The central clouds are less compressed than the side clouds, creating a mild pillar/wedge like design. This is minor, but noticeable when a shoe breaks. Speedboards also add a high level of longitudinal rigidity, which helps keep things centered. For those with sidewall sensitivities, the external heel counter and padding serve to gently center the heel, but are completely non-existent. The overall firmer ride adds inherent stability, especially in the forefoot. These factors are all mild and are most present in the hind and midfoot.

Bottom piece

The signature cloud pods on the On’s sole are made from the brand’s Helion™ superfoam, which combines rigid and flexible elements, and zero-gravity foam to shed extra weight. The area under the heel is denser and more rigid for increased heel striker stability and faster transitions for all wearers.

Upon landing, the pod compresses into a thermoplastic polymer plate called Speedboard® located near the top of the midsole. The pods stick out back, providing a uniquely buoyant ride with stiffness and responsiveness due to the board.

Like the Cloudmonster, the Speedboard® is custom designed based on surfer experience to provide a ride tailored to each runner.

Like most On shoes, the arch height is medium, making the shoe accessible to more runners. Custom inserts are a great option for those who need more arch support.

The Cloudflyer is built with a wide base that works with the Speedboard® to provide a stable ride. It’s about the same width as the Cloudgo, but gets slightly narrower towards the end. The drop is 11mm. From heel to forefoot.

Rubber patches cover most of the forefoot, heel pod, and rearfoot midpod to protect these high-wear areas and provide grip along with ridges cut into the foam of the exposed Cloud pod.

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The Cloudflyer is a versatile shoe in both fit and function.

The midfoot width is adjustable with forefoot and midfoot straps, but the heel may be too loose for some runners. Others will welcome the necessary heel room.

The combination of CloudPod cushioning and responsive Speedboard® makes it a great choice for runners who want one shoe for both long interval training and mid-distance running.

The long straps, high collar, and rough edges around the ankle opening may bother some runners, but a cushioned yet responsive ride with moderately quick toe transitions may be just what you’re looking for!

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