I Ran 7 Miles In These Brand New Sneakers Without Any Knee Pain

I’m picky about running shoes, but these check all the boxes.

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On Running Cloudmonster Shoe
Photo: Courtesy of Merchant

I love running, but my knees do not. After retiring from college swimming, I took up running and, like so many former athletes, the concept of normal exercise just for mental or physical health was hard for me to grasp. When the need to constantly compete took hold, I found myself jogging five, then 10, then 15 miles a day. Needless to say, this was unsustainable for a novice, and a year into my running journey, I had two swollen knees and a pair of sore ankles to boot. Since then, I've learned to practice balance in my workout routine, but no matter what sneakers I try, I can't step past the discomfort that inevitably comes with higher mileage. That is, until I tried the On Running Cloudmonster Sneakers.

If you're not already familiar with On, the Swedish brand is best known for its sustainably made performance sneakers. In addition to the company's mission to "decouple carbon emission from company growth," the footwear maker has released some game-changing shoes in the last few years: the much hyped Cloudventure trail runners and the super-cushioned Cloudultra road sneakers. New to the Cloud family, the Cloudmonster Sneakers (Buy It, $170, garmentory.com) are the "highest, thickest, cushiest clouds yet," according to On. The brand's Helion Superfoam, which lines the soles, is designed to be lightweight, durable, and incredibly responsive. Additionally, the sneaker's funky rounded shape seamlessly transfers weight, giving wearers a little push forward with every step.

shoes
Parade World

Buy It: On Running Cloudmonster Sneakers, $170, garmentory.com

After receiving a pair from the brand, I was a little intimidated. Despite having a super chunky sole, these sneakers felt more lightweight than the heavier, cushioned trainers I usually go for. On day one, I decided to break them in with a walk around my neighborhood, but honestly, I didn't need to. They were super comfortable and not at all pinchy. In fact, they molded to my feet perfectly and gave me the same padded support as my regular already broken-in sneakers. (BTW: This list has some of the best sneakers for long-distance running.)

Feeling ambitious, I decided to go for a run in the park — something I hadn't done since the fall. Mile one went by like a breeze. In addition to the sunshine, I was enjoying the plush feeling and bouncy return the shoes were giving me. As a former overpronation, I'm always conscious of how my foot is landing, but throughout the run, my heel was securely locked in, keeping my arches and ankles steady. In fact, when I hit the seven-mile marker, a distance I rarely reach since my injury, my knees were still pain-free.

In the two months I've been training exclusively with the On Cloudmonster sneakers, I've been able to run longer, faster, and best of all, without knee pain. For a pair of shoes that really go the distance, check out these newly released kicks.

shoe
Parade World

Buy It: On Running Cloudmaster Sneakers, $170, garmentory.com

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