On running shoes are one of those ‘unique’ brands that has developed its own quirk to find a niche in the shoe market. It’s obvious from the outset what their two special attributes are: Fashion and Cushioning. Here we take a look at the Cloud, footwear made for lightweight comfort.
From a style perspective they’re about as good looking as a running shoe can be. Not so much the look of your traditional sporty runner, the Cloud leans more towards the trendy end of the spectrum. Being a Swiss company, what more would you expect. There’s an attention to detail in the manufacture that says ‘Quality’ and if you’re the type of runner that wants to stand out from the crowd, these are ideal.
The upper is supportive and comfortable, snugly hugging around what I would call a medium to narrow fit. The elastic quick-lacing system they came with did however not provide the type of secure feel I like. But in the box came a second pair of traditional laces that did the job.
The sole is made from what they call zero gravity foam, designed to be light but provide good cushioning. But it’s the 16 pods that are what really sets these kicks apart from the rest. The odd looking bubble-like pods are designed to give and move more freely than a traditional shoe and the result is a very soft ride. But I couldn’t help but feel they didn’t offer the stability I was use to from my regular runners. The other downside is that the pods got a few pebbles stuck in them when I did lots of trail or dirt running. That said, this is by no means a trail shoe. Why would you want to take sch pretty shoes into the mud anyway?!
The lack of a midsole gives a more minimalist feel, however the Speedboard the sole attaches to provides a bit more support and structure to them. The end result is that you’ve got a shoe that I think sits somewhere between the Nike Free and a normal, highly supportive runner. The heel to toe drop of 6mm is not too aggressive and weighing just 198g (US men’s 8) they’re quite light.
This happy medium suggests to me that these would make a good transitional shoe if you’re heading towards the minimalist approach, or simply after a good lightweight trainer for low volume sessions. A word of warning though, if you’re carting around a frame of 80kg or more, then these are not for you. They’re realistically suited to those that are smaller or “Less heavy”…to put it nicely!
Priced around 200AUD