On Cloudmonster Hyper review: rolling thunder

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On's Cloudmonster Hyper delivers lightweight power and comfort for faster runs

On Cloudmonster Hyper review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
T3 Verdict

The On Cloudmonster Hyper, featuring Helion HF foam and CloudTec cushioning, is designed as an ideal companion to the Cloudboom Echo for fast training. While lacking a propulsion plate, its comfortable fit and excellent grip make it a versatile daily trainer with potential for improved speed.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Generous upper

  • +

    Grip is excellent

  • +

    Rolls like a dream

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The omission of the speedboard is a strange one

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Even if you follow running shoe news as closely as I do, the release of the On Cloudmonster Hyper might come as a surprise. Designed to work in tandem with the race-ready Cloudboom Echo series, the new shoes are supposed to be your best friend for pacier training runs.

In my humble opinion, the launch of the original On Cloudmonster was a pinnacle moment in the brand's history. Although On shoes were good prior to the OG Monster, they were also kind of firm, limiting their accessibility.

The Cloudmonster came in with an extra serving of On's Cloudtec cushioning system, and despite looking like a tank, it felt sublime underfoot. From then on, many of the brand's shoes came equipped with more foam, and, surprise-surprise, the popularity of On shoes went through the roof.

The Cloudmonster Hyper is an interesting concept and not one without controversies, some of which I'll detail below. I've been using the shoes for around a week, so this isn't my final verdict. However, I know enough about them for hands-on review. Here we go!

On Cloudmonster Hyper review

Price and available

The On Cloudmonster Hyper was announced in March 2024 and will be available to buy from 4 April 2024 directly from On for the recommended retail price of $220/ £210 (approx. AU$ 425). 


On Cloudmonster Hyper review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
  • Best for: faster training runs
  • Weight: 265g (EU M 42), 210g (EU W 38)
  • Sizes: Men US 7-14, Women US 5-11
  • Stack height: 37.5mm (heel), 31.5mm (forefoot)
  • Drop: 6mm

Design and construction

On Cloudmonster Hyper review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

The On Cloudmonster Hyper is built on the Cloudmonster platform and features the brand's new Pebax hyper foam called Helion HF, which first debuted in the fabulous On Cloudboom Echo 3.

This is not a coincidence, as the idea behind the Cloudmonster Hyper is that it should be the perfect training partner for the Cloudboom Echo for fast training days, much like how the Brooks Hyperion Tempo works in tandem with the Hyperion Elite shoes.

The Helion HF foam works in tandem with On's CloudTec cushioning system, which provides the unique look and sensation On shoes are famous for. The Cloud elements contract and expand, providing energy return; they also shear to a certain degree, helping you shift your weight forward.

The sole has an aggressive rocker shape that helps you move forward more easily, similar to Hoka running shoes or, to be fair, many other high-stack trainers these days. The rocker shape certainly complements all that foam underfoot.

The upper is very similar to other On shoes, especially the Cloudmonster. From what I can tell, it's an engineered mesh upper and feels more generous than the original Cloudmonster, which I found very tight.

The outsole is applied strategically in critical areas to reduce overall weight.

Performance and comfort

On Cloudmonster Hyper review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the Speedboard—or, more accurately, the lack thereof. Speedboard is On's version of a propulsion plate, and many of its shoes have it, including the Cloudmonster and the Cloudboom Echo.

The Speedboard comes in two versions: one made from nylon and the other from carbon. The Cloudmonster uses the nylon variety (for training), while the Cloudboom Echo has carbon (for racing).

The Cloudmonster Hyper is deliberately built without a carbon fibre Speedboard to "ensure it can be part of the daily shoe rotation," which is an interesting choice for two reasons.

First, the Cloudmonster has a nylon plate, and that should also be part of everyone's rotation, so I don't really understand why the Cloudmonster Hyper doesn't have one. Secondly, of the two shoes, the Hyper is supposed to faster shoe, so not including the plate is even more puzzling.

I assume the idea is that the Cloudmonster Hyper uses the same Helion HF foam as the Cloudboom Echo, which is a high-energy return material and should provide enough oomph to keep you going.

Based on my experience, it's only partially true. Sure, the Cloudmonster Hyper rolls beautifully, and you certainly don't struggle with moving forward, but there is no pop at toe-off due to the lack of propulsion plate.

Plus, no matter how many layers of Cloud elements On mounts on its shoes, these won't replace continuous foam materials. The air in between those grooves provides an absolute zero energy return.

On Cloudmonster Hyper review

Twin towers: On Cloudmonster 2 (left) and On Cloudmonster Hyper (right)

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Paradoxical design choices aside, there is a lot to love about the On Cloudmonster Hyper. The shoes roll beautifully, and the grip is superb, too. I really liked the fit and found it way better than the original Cloudmonster a couple of years ago.

Funny story: I recently ordered a pair of On Cloudmonster 2s from SportsShoes.com (before I was offered the Hyper) and went half-size up because I thought I could outsmart the system.

What I haven't accounted for is that On coming to the same conclusion regarding toe box room I did and making the upper more accommodating for wide feet, which is exactly what happened.

Anyhow, knowing this, I opted for my normal size with the Cloudmonster Hyper, and the shoes fit perfectly. My big toe is the only one that could have used a tad more space, but otherwise, the Cloudmonster Hyper is the most comfortable On shoe I've ever tried.

There is less padding around the ankles than the Cloudmonster 2, but the two shoes are remarkably similar, which I guess shouldn't come as a surprise. The Cloudmonster Hyper looks and feels more agile than the max-cushion Cloudmonster 2, though.


On Cloudmonster Hyper review

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

I have been criticising the shoes about energy return levels, but they aren't half bad; it's just that I think they would be even better if they had a nylon plate, like the Saucony Endorphin Speed 4.

The shoes seem to have a slight identity issue, but once you forget that the Hyper can only be used for tempo runs, you're left with a brilliant little daily trainer that pairs perfectly with the Cloudboom Echo.

The foam is nice, the upper is accommodating, the grip is excellent, and the shoes look great, too. There is nothing else we can possibly ask, is there? Maybe some more speed; or perhaps I just have to start running faster and stop complaining. 

Also consider

The Adizero Adios 8 boasts a re-engineered mesh upper and updated EnergyTorsion Rod 2.0 propulsion system, claiming to be the lightest Adios yet. Featuring Lightstrike Pro and Lightstrike 2.0 foams, it offers balanced cushioning and responsiveness. Compared to the Cloudmonster Hyper, it's more versatile for training and occasional racing, providing control over speed and agile responsiveness. Read my full Adidas Adizero Adios 8 review.

Featuring a combination of premium cushioning compounds and a three-quarter-length carbon plate, Saucony's Kinvara Pro promises a smooth forward roll. Compared to the Cloudmonster Hyper, the Kinvara Pro focuses on blending premium cushioning and a carbon plate for an agile yet cushioned ride. Read my full Saucony Kinvara Pro review.

Another excellent option for tempo runs, Hoka's Mach X blends high-rebound cushioning with a Pebax nylon plate, offering a mix of comfort and propulsion. With features like the creel Jacquard upper and Early-Stage Metarocker, it promises a cushioned yet responsive ride. Read my full Hoka Mach X review.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.