Best On Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed 2021

Last updated: November 29, 2021

Running Shoes / Best On Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed 2021

JogTunes is reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission.

On Running has been around since 2010. They haven’t been around as much as other running shoe brands. However they’ve certainly set their mark on the industry with some of the best running shoes available today.

In just over 10 years, On has running shoes at over 6500 retail stores and in over 50 countries. You might’ve seen On running shoes in many stores, however you just didn’t know the logo. If you’re as curious as the most of us are as to why On made their way to to the top so fast then you just need to look at their range of quality running shoes.

We’ve compared and reviewed some of the best On running shoe models that are available today and rated them against their purpose, features, durability and what might be the most suitable for your foot type below.

Best On Running Shoes Compared And Reviewed

Best Overall
On Cloudflow
On Cloudflow
For Road Running
On Cloudswift
On Cloudswift
Best Cushioning
On Cloudstratus
On Cloudstratus
Cross Training
On Cloud X
On Cloud X
Most Popular
On Cloud
On Cloud

1. On Cloudflow

Key Features

  • CloudTec technology
  • Helion superfoam
  • Speedboard plate
  • Lace-up recycled mesh upper
  • 238 g (8.4 oz)
  • Drop: 6mm

Reasons to buy

  • Very responsive
  • Great for short distance runs
  • Grippy outsole
  • Breathable upper
  • Spacious toe box

Reasons to avoid

  • Tight midfoot area
  • Reduced cushioning

Designed for pure performance, the On Cloudflow is a shoe to be reckoned with.

The midfoot region is protected with a layer of CloudTec foam for a firmer shape, promoting more transition in every step. Meanwhile, the midsole comprises On’s signature Helion superfoam cushioning that, when combined with the Speedboard plate, makes for a very snappy and responsive return.

The Cloudflow is also lightweight and breathable. The upper itself is made out of recycled mesh. It hugs the foot firmly for support, while the sturdy rubber outsole provides traction no matter the weather conditions. For those who like running even on wet tracks or slippery surfaces, you’ll certainly love how grippy the Cloudflow is.

That said, cushioning is rather minimal compared to the other shoes on this list. While it doesn’t make the Cloudflow any less comfortable, it does mean that this shoe is better suited for short-distance runs, as long-distance runners may prefer a more cushioned experience. Also, although the toe box is roomy enough, the midfoot is a bit narrow, particularly if you have a wider foot width.

Overall, the Cloudflow is an excellent pair of On running shoes for speed runs, firmer rides, and high-performance training sessions.

2. On Cloudswift

Key Features

  • CloudTec technology
  • Helion superfoam
  • Speedboard plate
  • Lace-up recycled upper
  • Only narrow width available
  • Weight: 310 g (10.9 oz)

Reasons to buy

  • Solid arch support
  • Comfortable heel cushioning
  • Specifically designed for urban running
  • Supportive and breathable mesh upper
  • Revamped carbon fiber plate improves efficiency

Reasons to avoid

  • Relatively expensive
  • Slippery laces reduce heel support
  • Stiff contoured interior can be uncomfortable

Designed for running on the concrete jungle, the Cloudswift exhibits the best of On’s CloudTec engineering, making it one of the best On running shoes you can buy today.

Instead of providing excessive cushioning that will affect weight and durability, On’s signature outsole design is a combination of ‘clouds’ made of firm foam. The clouds expand upon ground contact and spring back into shape right after, providing you with the same cushioned effect without being overbearing.

On the Cloudswift, these clouds are more prominent on the heel to provide additional support and cushioning. More than that, the carbon fiber Speedboard plate on the midsole has also been re-engineered to be springier and firmer, facilitating a natural rolling transition for an incredibly smoother ride.

As for the upper, it’s made from recycled engineered mesh that hugs the foot securely without sacrificing breathability. However, the lace is made out of slippery material and can easily become loose up top. This may cause inadequate support towards the heel area.

Moreover, the interior contour of the shoe might not fit everyone. Although these shoes are meant to be stiff, the sockliner that provides significant arch support makes them feel too hard. Your feet will be forced to conform to a particular shape with the arch pressing up against them, which some runners may find very uncomfortable.

For the price it’s offered, the On Cloudswift is not a good shoe to experiment on. However, if you love contoured interiors and frequently do short to medium-length urban runs, then this is a fantastic pair of running shoes for you.

3. On Cloudstratus

Key Features

  • CloudTec technology
  • Helion superfoam
  • Speedboard plate
  • Lace-up stretchable upper
  • 4 color variations
  • Weight: 305 g (10.8 oz)
  • Drop: 8mm

Reasons to buy

  • Great support
  • Improved efficiency
  • Breathable and accommodating upper
  • Protective yet responsive cushioning
  • Good for wide feet

Reasons to avoid

  • Not for toe strikers
  • Arch support may be too stiff

For maximum cushioning in CloudTec style, the On Cloudstratus provides dual sequential cushioning for maximum feedback and protection without sacrificing durability and weight.

Instead of mashing the midsole with a thick slice of cushioning as most brands do, On creates an innovative solution by stacking together two of their CloudTec systems.

Like the other models on the list that also features the same system, it uses geometric ‘cloud’ elements made of firm Helion foam that compresses and springs back into shape at every contact. This achieves the effect of an ultra-cushioned shoe while reducing weight and increasing durability at the same time.

In addition to this, Cloudstratus has a carbon fiber Speedboard plate inserted to maximize propulsion, allowing you to save energy during marathons.

The recycled mesh upper is also made to be super flexible. It even features a wider toe box to accommodate wider feet. This is complemented by a star lacing system that provides additional options for support, plus a heel cage that keeps your heel in the proper place while running.

The only things buyers should be wary about are the stiff arch support and the noticeably thinner cushioning on the toe portion of the shoe. Not that those are bad things, per se, but they’re definitely not for everybody, especially toe-strikers.

All in all, with its innovative technology that provides protection and responsiveness at an impressive weight class, the On Cloudstratus is an incredible pair that can last you long distances.

4. On Cloud X

Key Features

  • CloudTec technology
  • Zero-Gravity foam
  • Speedboard plate
  • Lace-up knit-weave upper
  • Weight: 188 g (6.63 oz)
  • Drop: 6mm

Reasons to buy

  • Versatile running shoes
  • Increased stability with the heel cage
  • Extra dense sockliner
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Features On’s signature technology

Reasons to avoid

  • Tends to run narrow
  • Not stretchy enough
  • Heel cage may be too stiff

If versatility is the name of your game, then the On Cloud X is your best bet in taking you wherever you may need to go.

This amazing shoe features the best of On’s signature innovative solutions. For one, it has a CloudTec midsole construction for a more durable and protective cushioning. it also has the carbon fiber Speedboard plate inserted for added snappiness with every step.

However, this pair of On running shoes has Zero-Gravity foam instead of the usual Helion superfoam. This specific type of foam enhances the midsole’s durability while keeping it light and cushiony, allowing for greater freedom of movement.

In addition to this, the Cloud X features a revamped heel cap that is designed to provide increased stability – keeping your heel in place and reducing joint movement while you move. It also has an extra dense sockliner for additional protection whether you’re running, walking, or jumping.

That said, the stiff heel cage does make the rear portion of the shoes feel much higher than it actually is, which could be uncomfortable for some runners. It’s also a bit on the narrow side, especially in the toe box area. It may be supportive, but it’s not stretchy enough, in our opinion.

Lastly, be ready to pay a premium for the Cloud X. To be fair, it’s still not as expensive as other truly premium running shoes, and this kind of versatility and innovation rarely comes cheap, anyway. 

For what it’s worth, the On Cloud X is a unique wearing experience that is sure to give you a bouncier and more energetic ride every time.

5. On Cloud

Key Features

  • Speed-lace system
  • CloudTec technology
  • Speedboard plate
  • Lace-up breathable, antimicrobial mesh upper
  • 12 color variations
  • Weight: 230 g (8.11 oz)
  • Drop: 6mm

Reasons to buy

  • Great for daily use
  • Made for urban running
  • Versatile, casual look
  • Molded heel minimizes joint movement
  • Soft and protective midsole

Reasons to avoid

  • CloudTec technology not yet refined
  • Deep grooves can pick up debris

Who says you can’t wear running shoes every day? With the On Cloud, you’re always ready to run wherever you are, whenever you want.

Thanks to its cool aesthetics, you can wear the Cloud from the streets to the gym, to the field, and the tracks. Although it does have an active, running shoe vibe to it, its neutral design and subtle color schemes are also perfect for various casual outfits. Whatever it is you’re doing right now, you can easily drop it and go straight for a run with the On Cloud.

It’s a good performance shoe as well, as it sports everything that defines the On brand. With its signature CloudTec midsole and strategically placed wear-resistant rubber outsole, the Cloud allows you to enjoy a secure yet bouncy running experience.

The Cloud also features On’s signature carbon fiber Speedboard plate that promotes transmission efficiency, giving you snappy feedback with every step.

Support-wise, the Cloud has a molded heel to minimize joint movement. Its upper is firm yet comfortable, featuring a speed-lace system designed with a slip-on stretchable material that hugs your foot into place.

That said, since this is also the first model that makes use of the CloudTec technology, the cloud elements haven’t been refined yet on the Cloud. As a result, the grooves that make up the CloudTec system are still too deep and too close together. Small debris such as twigs or rocks can still get stuck in between them – something that isn’t a problem with the latest On models.

If you don’t mind that, though, the On Cloud offers great comfort, durability, and versatility in your day-to-day life for a great price.

6. On Cloudflyer

Key Features

  • CloudTec technology
  • Helion superfoam
  • Speedboard plate
  • Lace-up ultra-lightweight mesh upper
  • 6 color variations
  • Weight: 280 g (9.88 oz)
  • Drop: 7mm

Reasons to buy

  • Works well for long-distance concrete runs
  • Appealing modern and minimalist look 
  • Extra-large CloudTec midsole
  • Waterproof variant available

Reasons to avoid

  • Wears out rather quickly

The On Cloudflyer sports the perfect combination of an irresistibly modern, minimalist design and On’s personal, distinct taste. To top it off, the Cloudflyer performs as well as it looks.

Made to be worn on the streets, the Cloudflyer is made for long excursions on the urban sprawl. With some of the largest CloudTec Helion-foam cloud elements in the On lineup, this shoe is made specifically for maximizing comfort when running on hard city streets.

With a 3D-molded heel to perfectly secure your feet and a wider outsole for added grip, the Cloudflyer is meant to be super supportive. The thick slice of CloudTec-molded outsole results in effective weight distribution and impact support. Paired with a custom-engineered carbon fiber Speedboard plate, the Cloudflyer works amazingly well for heavier runners or longer runs.

Other than that, it’s also designed to be relatively lightweight. The engineered mesh upper was created with a new airflow pattern in mind, which is not only great for cooling you down but also for assisting your agility due to the significant weight reduction. It does sacrifice some durability, though, with the shoes noticeably wearing out quicker than other models.

If you need something that can take you past wet roads, you might also want to consider the waterproof version. This variant is made with a water-resistant upper to keep you comfortable and protected no matter the weather.

For all its support, comfort, and functionality, the On Cloudflyer is a solid pick from this solid brand.

How to Choose the Best On Running Shoes

On offers high-quality performance shoes that definitely hit the sweet spot for many people. Currently, their lineups include a wide variety of models with distinctive appearances and specialized purposes.

With all these choices available to you, how do you choose the best On running shoes for you? Here are three factors you should consider when picking the best On running shoes.

Running Type

The kind of running you do determines what kind of On running shoes can draw out your best performance. For example, the On Cloudflow is made to be light and fast without sacrificing comfort and protection, making it perfect for both speedwork and training sessions.

If you’re exclusively a long-distance runner, you can pick the Cloudstratus, which features double rows of CloudTec for double the protection. This results in a super protective layer that reduces the impact on your joints and maximizes energy returns during your runs.

Comfort

Just like other brands, On running shoes offer different levels of comfort. Some runners find certain models super comfortable, while others can hurt their feet when they run. We all want our feet to feel comfortable when we run, so this is a serious factor when choosing which On shoes to buy.

One example of this is the Cloudswift, with its significant arch support on the insole. While it can be a great choice for people who appreciate solid arch support, it could be uncomfortable or even painful for those who either don’t need it or are not used to it.

It’s also best to keep the amount of cushioning in mind. If you’re a short-distance runner aiming for speedy runs, you may not need as much cushioning. Still, if you’re a long-distance runner or if you enjoy running on hard, concrete pavements, you’ll need the best cushioning you can get to stay comfortable and protected.

If the latter sounds like you, the Cloudstratus is a good option, as it’s one of the most cushioned and protective shoes on this list of best On running shoes.

Fit

There’s more to your feet than just the length. You also need to consider the width of your foot and your foot’s shape. 

Most On shoes tend to run on the narrow side, so be especially careful of this. If you believe that you might have non-standard feet width, it’s best to run with shoes specially equipped for that purpose, like the Cloudstratus or the Cloudflyer, for instance. Avoid Cloudflow or Cloud X, as they’re known to be narrower than usual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are On shoes good?

On shoes are good high-performing shoes for both casual and serious runners alike. Each pair of shoes is made with quality materials and superb craftsmanship. In addition to this, each model serves a specific purpose that is geared to bring measurable impact to your performance.

Which On shoes are the best?

The great thing about On shoes is that there’s one for every type of runner out there. In this article, we listed down our top six On shoes for runners. All of them provide good value, regardless of what kind of runner you are. If you want something that can suit all occasions, though, try the Cloud or the Cloud X.

Who sells On shoes?

On has its own website where the shoes are put up for sale. However, you can also find many of their models on Amazon. To make your search easier, we’ve already provided product links to every item included in our list.

Leave a Comment