To get the level of cushioning that comes in most “recovery shoe” type of marshmallow trainers, you normally have to run in high-profile, “maximalist” platform-like footwear. On Running’s Cloudflyer, with its podular foam loops, called “Clouds,” provides a pillow-esque ride and does so with an impressive amount of stability. This upstart Swiss brand has been evolving its innovative and meticulously designed cloud cushioning system for several years to great acclaim. The 12 bubble-like Clouds are strategically placed and use different wall thicknesses to accommodate different gaits and a directed foot strike, even with varying strides, depending on how fresh you feel or whether you are ascending or descending. On the Cloudflyer, the underfoot nodules are tuned for lightweight stability and performance. It gives this shoe a semi-firm feeling and a penchant for quicker leg turnover and faster running. The upper is made from an intricate combination of materials engineered to provide comfort, support and fluid flexibility from touch-down to toe-off. The upper uses a unique lacing system and heel strap cage for a custom-like, secure fit and the arch accommodates those with average feet.
The wider platform also serves to provide an impressive level of stability. The rear medial pods are more substantial for a moderate amount of motion control but not so much that they interfere with the natural heel to toe motion, as aided by the Cloudflyer’s curved, rocker-shaped midsole. Best of all, the shock absorption of the Cloudflyer is outstanding so you won’t hesitate to use the shoe on long outings or on days when your legs feel trashed but you still want to eke out another training run.
This is the shoe for you if … You’re looking for a fairly lightweight everyday stability trainer and you appreciate technical engineering of smaller details of a shoe.
Weights: 9.8 oz. (men’s size 9.0); 8.4 oz. (women’s size 7.0)
Heel-Toe Offset: 7mm; 27mm (heel), 20mm (forefoot)