Summary

We spent 8.1 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what runners think:

8 reasons to buy

  • Many people claimed that they felt no skin irritation while wearing the On Cloud; the inner sleeve was apparently smooth.
  • The lightweight build of this running shoe was appreciated by many testers.
  • The in-shoe experience felt snug yet accommodating, according to most consumers; they didn’t feel as if their movements were restrained.
  • A lot of runners stated that it was effortless to slip the foot in the foot-chamber of the On Cloud.
  • The aesthetics of this product were lauded by those who wanted to have a nice-looking shoe for their daily activities.
  • The cushioning system felt like standing and moving on actual clouds, as stated by several purchasers.
  • According to a handful of consumers, the grooved configuration of the underfoot platform permitted natural movement through the gait cycle.
  • This product felt steady and comfortable when taken to workouts at the gym.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Stones and other outdoor debris didn’t work well with the On Cloud; people complained of pebbles getting lodged between the spaces of the cushioning ‘clouds.’
  • A few people noted that the back portion of the upper was a bit stiff and that it caused some skin irritation.

Bottom line

The response for the On Cloud was positive. People were generally happy with this road companions performance. They welcomed its flexible and lightweight design, the unique aesthetics, and the versatile construction as they were able to use it for activities other than running. The cloud-like cushioning system apparently evoked the feeling of standing on a soft surface. On the other hand, there were complaints about the midsole’s ‘cloud’ elements retaining stones in the holes of their façade while other issues stemmed from its apparently irritating collar.

Facts

Rankings

A top rated Road running shoe
A top rated On running shoe
Top 5% most popular running shoes
It has never been more popular than this August

Reviews from around the internet

Expert reviews:

User reviews:

SportsShoes, Jack Rabbit and 16 other shops don't have user reviews

Video reviews and unboxing

- The On Cloud running shoe is designed for the neutral pronator. It is one of the premier options from the brand, having the distinction of being the precursor to almost all of the products within its roster. The façade of the Cloud may look different to some consumers; it is actually an updated version of the initially-released Cloud model, with updated seamless upper configuration, redesigned CloudTec® cushion-and-traction system, and revamped interior foot-accommodation to welcome natural performance and heightened comfort.

- A bevy of color schemes is available for this On Running neutral shoe. Such visual variance permits stylistic modifications, especially when embarking on casual strolls around the cityscape. Also, a lightweight, close-to-the-ground construction welcomes athletes who desire a minimalistic approach to their chosen footwear.

The On Cloud was designed using the standard measurements; therefore, consumers are encouraged to get a pair using the usual sizing preferences. When it comes to width, the available variants are D – Medium and B – Medium for men and women, respectively.

This shoe has a semi-curved shape that welcomes the natural curvature of the human foot. The interior lining outlines the topmost dimensions, bringing a non-irritating wrap.


The outsole unit of the On Cloud is made up of the CloudTec® elements, foam pieces that have been integrated seamlessly to the platform to provide cushioning and traction. The malleable construction of these pillow-like units is meant to cushion the landings and energize the liftoffs. The tips have tread-patterns that provide grip.

Rubber layers are placed on areas of the outsole that are more susceptible to ground contact. These sections prevent wear-and-tear whole also heightening surface control.


High-grade ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) is used to immediately cushion the underside of the foot. It is ready to mitigate impact shock but also prepared to last long as it has a durable construction. The Nike Air Zoom Streak 7 possesses a platform with a closely similar height with the On Cloud; both shoes are designed for fast-paced runs.

The Speedboard is a layer that’s placed between the midsole and the outsole. This extra piece is meant to improve the durability of the platform. It also acts as a pressure distributor that responsibly tones the equilibrium regarding the individual ‘cloud’ elements.


The upper unit of the On Cloud is made up of engineered mesh, which is a cloth-like material. It has an open construction that accommodates air into the foot-chamber. It also has a form-fitting capacity to help the natural swelling and bending of the foot as it transitions from the heel to the toe. It is lightweight, as well.

The interior lining of this road shoe is comprised of a non-slip material, which means that it is able to hold the foot in place and prevent it from exiting the interior chamber unexpectedly. It’s designed to be soft and non-irritating to the skin.

A wraparound saddle covers the sides and the heel. This single-piece add-on connects to the lacing system, tightening and loosening in conjunction with the adjustments made to the shoelaces.

Reflective strips are placed on strategic areas of the façade. These elements are meant to make the shoe more effortless to see in low-light, thereby increasing usability for those who desire running or going out at night.

The On Cloud uses a speed-lace system which is comprised of durable and stretchy securing cables that zigzag across the instep. One aglet is located on the topmost eyelet on lateral side while the other is on the first eyelet on the medial section. This unique lacing design aims to alleviate pressure while also emphasizing that there is no need to loop both aglets together.

Extra eyelets are placed at the edge of the collar, and they’re meant to allow the option to secure the heel more appropriately. Such a mechanism locks the foot in place even more because the holes that are nearest to the collar tend to pull the rest of the upper towards the instep.

Many athletes and running enthusiasts are leaning more towards minimalist performance on the roads. The near-to-the-ground and uncluttered nature of today’s minimalist running shoes gain more favor from those who want to have more manual control and ground feedback. The On Cloud running shoe for men and women is one such model that strives to provide a stylistic yet functional approach to urban adventures.

But the On Cloud is not the only one to capture the attention of consumers. Here are some of the other neutral running shoes that are similar to On Running’s flagship product:

Asics Kanmei

Asics is one of the premier brands when it comes to providing shoes that are meant for functionality and style. The Kanmei road shoe breathes functionality but from within a spick-and-span silhouette. It doesn’t have a bevy of bells and whistles. In fact, this model is lauded by consumers for its lightweight and ‘fun’ design, which meant that they were able to use it for casual walks and as part of their daily attire.

The technologies that are present in this running shoe serve the most fundamental of purposes, shaving off the bulk and retaining a sleek form-factor in the process. Industry-standard foam offers underfoot cushioning while seamless mesh and printed overlays make up the upper unit.

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon

Speed training and sprinting competitions may require running shoes that have sufficient cushioning. But strong midsole performance doesn’t mean that the platform itself has to be heavy or laden with features. Many running shoes are weighed down by extra elements in the midsole. But the Fresh Foam Beacon from New Balance isn’t such a shoe. Though this product has a bulbous midsole outline, the material used for it doesn’t have a lot of weight. Runners were genuinely surprised by the lightweight configuration of the cushioned platform, stating that it was responsive yet long-lasting.

Rounding out the Fresh Foam Beacon’s features are strategically placed rubber nodes on the outsole, an engineered knit upper that offers breathable support, a set of thin and sparingly-used printed overlays, and a padded yet form-securing tongue and collar.

Topo Athletic ST-2

Grippy performance on both wet and dry surfaces is the promise of the ST-2 road shoe from Topo Athletic. It utilizes a rubber outsole that generously doles out traction to handle even slippery ground. The external pad also has several flex grooves that welcome the natural bending capacity of the foot as it transitions through the gait cycle.

The forefoot design of this product is spacious. It permits the toes of the wearer to splay naturally when standing idly or when gearing towards the toe-off. The freedom to spread the toes offers a lot of advantages to movement and balance, mainly when running for long periods. The wideness of the toe-box may also serve individuals who have broader foot dimensions and those who just don’t want their feet to feel cramped while inside the shoe.

The upper combines the functionality of woven mesh and printed overlays. Working together causes these rudiments to be breathable, flexible and durable. The heel area has stretchy Lycra to embrace the ankles and Achilles tendon while also staving off skin irritation.

New Balance Fresh Foam Veniz

Just like the On Cloud, the Fresh Foam Veniz from New Balance is a daily speed training shoe that can pass as an accouterment of casual attire. Some of the colorways that are available for the Veniz channel the black-white-gray color scheme of On’s flagship model. Breathable mesh grants a well-ventilated coverage while a mix of printed and stitched-on overlays contribute to a snug and secure fit. The sturdy-looking yet orderly façade is visually similar to the Cloud.

A near-ground midsole made of Fresh Foam is used for the Veniz. New Balance’s proprietary single-piece cushioning unit offers a luxurious yet responsive ride throughout the running session. Blown rubber, which is a traction-ready yet malleable material, covers the midsole, protecting it from wear-and-tear while also providing additional cushioning and bounciness. The ridged and grooved tread-pattern of the external pad heightens both flexibility and traction.

On Cloudflow

Like its in-brand counterpart, the On Cloudflow doesn’t have a lot of features on its façade. What it has is a sock-like interior environment, an external cover system that is highly breathable, and a set of non-intrusive overlays that ultimately help in achieving a secure yet accommodating fit. Furthermore, people have welcomed this shoe’s treated upper, a feature that staved off bacterial buildup and odor.

The ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) topsole and the CloudTec® cushioning nodes are also present in this road running shoe. They are a duo that provides relentless cushioning whether merely standing or going through the gait cycle. The same rubber pods that protect the original Cloud model’s contact points also shield the Cloudflow’s external pad, thereby decreasing material breakdown and wear.

It was the year 2010 when three Swiss friends worked together to realize a dream that they’ve been cooking: to provide a set of performance running shoes that are sure to keep the performance as agreeable as possible and as equally effective. They believed that the natural biomechanics of the human foot can be supported without restricting ground-feel and full flexibility.

So, Olivier, Caspar, and David went on a journey to make a company that would focus on providing runners with quality products to take across their myriad active adventures and kinetic activities.

One of the most essential innovations done by On Running is the CloudTec®, a cushioning technology composed of several ‘cloud-like’ nodes that support the underfoot platform. These pillow-shaped protrusions are exposed to the ground, though high-wear-areas are protected by rubber.

People became curious about this unique-looking midsole design, so they flocked to this new company from Switzerland with hopes of getting a pair of shoes that featured these new-wave cushioning elements. After all, aside from being mechanically fresh, especially regarding performance, the intricately placed ‘clouds’ also look like nothing on the running shoe market.

Though mainly focused on functionality and the athletic side of footwear performance, On Running made various colorways for their shoes, eventually offering eye-catching hues that are evocative of urban styles and casual trends.

On continues to create high-quality products to this day, churning several versions of the same family of shoes, whether for the roads or the trails. Sometimes, they don’t change the name; instead, they take their original designs and make some improvements or modifications to suit the needs of runners.

Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com