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    I've Tried Dozens Of Different Running Shoes And Nothing Compares To On's New Cloudstratus Sneakers

    The curved sole makes them a lot friendlier on the joints and shins.

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    In the melodic words of Lizzo: I've been workin' on my fitness. More specifically, I've become certifiably obsessed with Orangetheory Fitness. While the class requires endurance, strength, and power, it also requires high-quality shoes to get you through the process. As such, I've been on a quest to find my perfect pair.


    I've tested a bunch of great sneakers and was able to determine the five best shoes for Orangetheory Fitness, but even in doing so, I admitted that none of the shoes were entirely without structural cons. Still, I assumed that those shoes were as good as it gets, but then a publicist from On reached out to me to introduce me to a soon-to-launch silhouette and, once I received them, put them on, and laced them up, it's as if the heavens opened up. 

    Enter: the On Cloudstratus running shoes ($169.99 from On). The lightweight sneakers are geared toward road runners, so they're specifically designed to absorb the harsh impact associated with striding across hard surfaces. While I don't do a ton of road running these days, I've quickly learned in the form of stubborn and painful shin splints just how unforgiving treadmills can be. And, spoiler alert: These sneakers are the solution.

    model running in The On Cloudstratus Shoes in Rose and Red

    For starters, let's talk about what sets these sneaks apart the most. Despite feeling super cushioned, they don't actually tout a thick chunk of cushion the way so many other running shoes (like Hoka One and Adidas) do. Instead, they use two layers of molded CloudTec cushion to absorb any and all shock, all without making you feel unsteady on a heavy bed of cushion.

    the cushioned bottom of the writer's on cloudstratus running shoes
    Rebecca Norris/ BuzzFeed

    Part of why they're so responsive (which means they work with the road, not against it) is because they're also made with a Helion superfoam midsole, which further absorbs shock and stabilizes the foot. (The reason this is such a big deal is because a bunch of highly cushioned running shoes I've tried are comfortable, yes, but aren't as stable as I'd like them to be on faster runs and sprints. It's partly because of that that I developed intense shin splints in the first place. However, since switching to these sneaks for all of my OTF workouts, they've almost entirely disappeared.)

    Despite being very flexible and sock-like, the heel is reinforced with heavy plastic, which is designed to hook your foot in place and prevent rolling. Again, why these newbies are such a godsend for my aching shins.

    writer holding the shoes captioned "the plastic heel cage ensured even more security while running, making ankle and foot rolls less of a possibility"
    Rebecca Norris / BuzzFeed

    Another thing that's super cool about these sneaks is that the inside is lined with a sock construction, so you never have to worry about distracting chafing along where the tongue is. Truly, they've thought of just about everything when it comes to the On Cloudstratus running shoes.

    About my shins: They've been killing me for nearly two months. I got an intense bout of shin splints after hitting a new PR (11 mph on the tread) at OTF. While my shins felt fine during the sprint, the aftermath was brutal and stretched on for nearly eight weeks. It wasn't until trying these well-rounded sneaks that those aches and pains entirely subsided and I began to be able to jog and run again.

    Rebecca Norris / BuzzFeed

    According to the Internet, shin splints can occur from a variety of things, including running on hard surfaces, wearing improperly cushioned shoes, and going too fast too soon. In my case, I ticked off every single box. And so, as I tried shoe after shoe after shoe on the tread, I found myself having to power walk because the cushion was overarching and/or the full stability my shins needed was lacking as a result.

    While I haven't dared to run another PR, I'm simply grateful to be back up at 6.5 to 7 on pushes, as opposed to the 3.7 I frustratingly dwindled down to and plateaued at for weeks on end as a result of my injury). In that way, I suppose you could call the On Cloudstratus Running Shoes my Cinderella fit — albeit for comfortable shins, not a charming prince.

    Another thing I love? The shoes are made with 20% recycled materials, and if we've learned anything from the past few months of wild weather occurrences, it's that climate change is very much a thing and we all need to be taking steps toward a more sustainable future.

    model running in the sneakers in blue

    My only complaint with these shoes is aesthetic, so it's not enough to make me give them anything less than a raving 5-star review. That said, at this time, the Cloudstratus running shoes are only sold in two colors for women and two colors for men. Is it the end of the world? No (especially not for me, someone who loves the idea of orange-ish shoes considering where I wear them the most). Do I still wish there were more colors to choose from? Absolutely.

    The Rose and red On Cloudstratus Running Shoes

    Psst! Hey On, how about some funky colorways? Mustard and olive green, purple and teal, that sort of deal.

    While I would normally be wary of reviewing a product that's not already earned notable accolades, On is a cult-favorite among runners. From the Cloud silhouette to the Cloudswift and Cloudflyer, the brand's running shoes have garnered hundreds of glowing reviews across retailers, including On, Bandier, Zappos, and more.

    Suffice it to say, if you've been searching for a pair of top-notch running shoes, these babies are just what the doctor ordered. Get a pair of On Cloudstratus running shoes for yourself from On for $169.99 (available in women's whole and half sizes 5–11 and two colors, and men's whole and half sizes 7–14 and two colors).

    model running in the sneakers in green

    The product was provided to BuzzFeed free of charge but we were not obligated to review it, let alone positively review it.

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