Verdict from 9.1 hours of research from the internet

90
Great!
440 users: 4.4 / 5
19 experts: 84 / 100

8 reasons to buy

  • People have generally considered the underfoot platform of the On Cloudswift to be comfortable.
  • The flexibility of the midsole was welcomed by most consumers; they felt that their natural movements were encouraged.
  • The reactive nature of the midsole unit allowed the foot to experience energized steps, based on several user reviews.
  • A lot of reviewers were happy with the breathable upper of this On running shoe; they deemed the ventilation to be adequate and efficient.
  • The lightweight nature of the components contributed to a ride quality that didn’t feel marred down, several runners commented.
  • The embrace of the shoe’s inner walls felt steady and secure; people apparently didn’t feel any thread of slipping because the interior was agreeably snug.
  • Purchasers were mostly happy with the design and color schemes of the On Cloudswift, stating that they quickly received positive remarks from others.
  • A lot of testers were happy with the correct sizing scheme of this running shoe.

1 reasons not to buy

  • A few consumers noticed some heft to the On Cloudswift, stating that this product felt heavier than other versatile On shoes.

Bottom line

The overall reaction for the Cloudswift was positive. People were generally happy with this offering from On Running. They were intimately welcoming of the underfoot cushioning system, with its reactive technologies and form-accommodating structure. The fresh aesthetics and the well-ventilated upper were also recipients of praise. Isolated complaints about the weight of this shoe didn’t gain much traction.

The On Cloudswift is a road running shoe that’s designed for neutral pronators and those who desire fashion-forward designs along with functionality.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Our reviews

75
/100 by Marijke van den Hamer, posted on .

I’ve never ran in a shoe by On Running before. I had never even tried on a pair of their shoes before. But I did see a lot of runners, and hikers, in their shoes and I got curious (like always).

I wasn’t sure which On Running model would be the best fit for me, but when they launched the new On Cloudswift and said that it had a new kind of Superfoam and offered road protection, I had to try it.

 

 

The On Cloudswift is a neutral everyday running shoe, with a 7 mm drop. It is quite a light shoe and comes in around 240 grams.

On doesn’t provide any information on the stack height and it’s always a bit difficult to measure, because where exactly do you measure and what is included in the sole and what are just additions that do not influence the stack height? But I’m estimating that it has a forefoot stack height of 22 mm and a heel height of 29 mm.

First impression

My first thought when I opened the box was: “I now understand why On Running shoes are so expensive.” Everything about it looks fancy.

Even your receipt comes in a fancy envelope, instead of them just chucking it in the box. And I also got a free bag with my order. The shoes look well thought through, and even the insole looks fancy with it’s two different materials.

 

 

And as if that isn’t enough, they’ve printed “Put me ON” on the end of the laces.

Although I’m not entirely sure why I was that surprised about the quality, it’s Swiss engineering after all, which they’ve printed on the heel counter together with a Swiss flag, just to remind you. But the surprises didn’t end there.

 

Upper

The upper of this shoe is made up out of one piece of engineered mesh.

I’m not a huge fan of one-piece uppers. Although they are often quite comfortable, they are harder to adjust to the shape of your foot due to being one single piece. That means there mostly isn’t a way to really adjust the laces and change the fit.

 

 

The laces are also really thin and do come undone easily while running.

But it won’t be easy to swap the laces, because of the loops at the front which aren’t that wide. There also isn’t an extra eyelet to put the laces through.

 

 

To give the shoe a bit more stability, it has two bands running over the midfoot made from stretchy thermoplastic polyurethane. Sometimes overlays just create hotspots, but since these are stretchy, they are actually quite comfortable.

 

 

There is an internal heel counter as well as an external band running along the top of the heel cup.

 

Midsole

On Running is known for its innovative midsoles. Like all the shoes made by On, the Cloudswift has the Cloudtec midsole with the cloud pods. What is different about the Cloudswift compared to the other On running shoes is that it has Helion super foam to provide more cushioning.

 

 

The Cloudswift has a rocker shape, and before I tried this shoe, I assumed all rocker shapes were the same. But apparently, I was wrong.

I’m a fan of rocker shapes; it makes it easier to make that heel to toe transition. And I’m a fan of the rocker shape in the Skechers GoTrail Ultra 4, but somehow the rocker shape on the On Cloudswift isn’t the same.

It is not as easy to toe-off in, and it seems to me like it just makes me roll back onto my heel while I’m trying to toe-off. I don’t know if that is because of the difference in drop, or because the On midsole is firmer, or because the curve is different.

 

Outsole

The outsole of the On Cloudswift is partially made out of rubber. The pods on the front of the shoe are covered with rubber and some of the pods in the heel area as well.

The pods underneath the midfoot don’t have any rubber on them. However, the shoe doesn’t have great traction on wet surfaces, despite the rubber being there.

 

Performance

The words “superior cushioning” are words that make me happy. I like cushioning, and a lot of it. So, imagine my surprise when I put on the Cloudswift and the words “superior cushioning” didn’t come to mind at all.

On Running has the slogan: Running on clouds. I personally imagined a soft and plush feel, because that’s what I imagined running on clouds would feel like. But I got everything except that.

The ride was way firmer than I had expected. But I assumed they just needed some breaking in. But after 50 miles in this shoe, the firmness doesn’t seem to have changed.

 

 

The ride on the road was too firm for me, so I switched to easy trail. That was more comfortable, but I managed to pick up several small pine cones in the first two minutes on the trail.

And even on the road, I managed to easily pick up some small rocks and twigs. This is a well-known problem with the On Running shoes but is also something they claim they’ve fixed by changing the curve of the flex grooves on the outsole.

 

Conclusion

I really like the look of this shoe, and I also like the colorway, which isn’t a color you see very often in running shoes. But the marketing of this shoe didn’t seem to match the experience I had in them. It was a much firmer ride than I had expected and didn’t protect as well against the hard landing on road surfaces as I had imagined.

There is nothing significantly wrong with this shoe, it is well thought out and comfortable, but I might be using this as a hiking shoe from now on rather than a road running shoe.

Marijke van den Hamer | Level 5 expert Verified
I’m Marijke, on social media also known as Heart Runner Girl. I love trying new things and inspiring others to get moving. I’ve started running in 2014 and I run races all over the world. My favourite distance is the marathon, but I also run shorter distances. I’ve ran the Berlin Marathon in 2017 and the Paris and New York Marathon in 2018. My goal is to one day become a six-star finisher.

80
/100 by Louise Shirley, posted on .

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of On Running, and have a whole collection of their shoes at this point.

My absolute favourite is the Cloudflow—the fastest, most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn. Being a self-confessed On fanatic, I naturally jumped at the chance to try out the Cloudswift!

Having run in this shoe for over 70 miles, however, I'm not as besotted with it like the others I've tried from On (the Cloudventure, Cloudventure Peak, and Cloudflow). 

That being said, this stable, 7mm-drop road shoe is still a shoe with several strengths. On had just set the bar very high indeed, leaving me a bit disappointed in this model. Let’s take a closer look.

Aesthetics

I think the best thing about this shoe is its look. The design, as is invariably the case with On shoes, is impeccable.

 

 

This shoe is stylish. The designers clearly pay attention to every little detail. I’ve received numerous compliments on the Cloudswift.

Upper

The Cloudswift runs true to size. The upper remains breathable, despite having more bulk than I’ve come to expect from the brand.

 

 

The laces are a good length and stay tied. However, the laces attach to a cage that wraps your midfoot. This creates a disconnection between adjusting the tension around the front and middle of your foot.

 

 

The cage also has more give than I expected, which makes it hard to achieve a secure fit that I prefer. During longer runs, I stop once or twice to readjust.

At least you can tuck the laces into the cage, which helps to keep them tied and looks tidy, too. The tongue is part of the shoe, making this sock-like shoe a little harder to put on but very comfortable once you’re in!

Midsole

The Cloudswift has moderate cushioning which On calls “soft,” but this is not a plush shoe. Something that On has previously excelled at, is creating a shoe that offers firm support for push-off but cushioning for landing. But I am not impressed by the new Helion “superfoam” that this shoe boasts.

Helion is a combination of flexible and rigid foam. It is intended to offer, in On’s words, “explosive energy return,” but I'm not feeling it. To me, this shoe feels pretty lifeless underfoot.

 

 

To give you some context, I am a lightweight, mid- or even forefoot striker, so perhaps a heel striker and/or someone heavier would have a better experience. I expected more cushioning from the Cloudswift, but to me, the Cloudflow provides a much more comfortable experience.

The Cloudflow offers a considerably faster and more enjoyable ride. I am slightly mystified by this shoe.

The Cloudswift is not quite neutral, not quite a stability shoe…it lies somewhere in between. Another thing that baffles me is that this shoe has a Speedboard, designed to enhance forward propulsion, yet I do not feel its effect like I do in other models.

I am, though, looking forward to testing this shoe in the winter, as the Helion is designed to withstand extremes of temperature. The cushioning of many, if not most, running shoes can suffer in the cold.

Outsole

The outsole seems durable and offers a good grip. This shoe is fine in wet conditions.

Compared to the Cloudflow, this is a heavier shoe with more bulk to the design. I love the minimalist style of many On models, but this one has a large heel and is almost clompy to walk around in. I just don’t get that same flying feeling.

 

 

Gravel and little pinecones, stones, and sticks get stuck between the pods easily. The central groove in the heel is the most common place to get things lodged.

On has apparently changed their Cloudtec a little to reduce this issue, particularly in the forefoot area. However, I would still only recommend this shoe for asphalt roads or other smooth surfaces. Definitely keep it away from the trails.

For short, fast workouts or races, this feels like too much shoe. But for middle or longer road distances, this could be the shoe for you. On recommend this shoe for “5k or short-medium runs,” for which I would definitely point toward the livelier Cloudflow.

Pros

  • High quality
  • Durable
  • Comfortable fit

Cons

  • Lack of energy return makes this a slower shoe
  • Things may get stuck in the sole, depending on the running surface
Louise Shirley | Level 3 expert Verified
I’m passionate runner, ecologist and dog lover from Bend, Oregon. I combine these interests by trail running with my rescue dogs most days. I live for running in the mountains, but I also hit the road or the treadmill sometimes. I enjoy understanding what makes a good shoe for different conditions and runners.

95
/100 by Jeffrey Schulberg, posted on .

On launched Cloudswift is in early 2019 to address the age-old problem of delivering a cushioned running shoe that is also light enough to perform over long distances, without sacrificing comfort.

 

 

In this review, I’m going to focus on who this shoe is made for, and why you should choose this shoe over other available running shoes.

Who is the Cloudswift for?

The On Cloudswift is a road running shoe for those who want a lightweight shoe to ‘go long’ in, without sacrificing support and cushioning.

 

 

There are only a few On shoes made for distances of over 20K or so, but these clearly are. I would feel comfortable running a marathon in these.

By comparison, these shoes have enough support and cushioning than On Cloud X.

Why the Cloudswift over other On shoes?

I would not call this a minimalist shoe, like the Cloudflow or Cloud X, though it only weighs a little over 10 ounces (for a Men's 9.5). This model is definitely a more substantial shoe.

Runners can use this for longer distances where the additional support and cushioning becomes crucial the longer you go.

If your chief concern is speed or only doing around15K run, it would be better if you opt with one of the lighter On shoes.

 

 

Here are some points that you might need to take note of:

Price

The Cloudswift is valued at $149.99. It is not cheap but not too expensive either. The shoes are quite durable and feel like they will last for several years.

Using a per-mile basis, I expect to get 400+ miles out of them. With this distance, I would say this shoe is a good value

Comfort

The shoes are extremely comfortable. When you slip them on, they immediately feel as if they are part of your foot. The toe box is extremely roomy and breathable.

 

 

The Swiss company clearly have taken great care in the construction of the shoe.

I do not run without socks, but I suspect that it would be quite comfortable running in the Cloudswift without these. It is due to the soft feel of the upper and the sock-like tongue.

Unlike other shoes, the tongue is not a separate part of the shoe but is built seamlessly into the shoe itself.

Laces

One of the chief complaints about prior On shoes was the thinness of the laces. However, On addressed this by making the laces firm and integrated it into what they call as "mechanical sideband."

 

 

These innovations are supposed to deliver midfoot support via two pieces of silicone. The silicone meet at the laces, almost acting like a cage for your foot. It also acts as a place to store the laces.

 

 

It looks funny when you first take them out of the box, but you’ll never notice them afterwards. And, yes, I’ve been storing the laces in them on long runs.

Weight

These shoes feel like shoes. I do not mean that as a negative, but you can feel its weight. This is despite it not very heavy as the usual running shoes are.

 

 

Some On models feel like you’re not wearing shoes at all. But, that is NOT the case with Cloudswift. You'll definitely know you are wearing shoes with these on.

It's because of the added layer of On's Helion superfoam in the Cloudswift. This layer provides the support and cushioning that this shoe delivers.

Conclusion

These are terrific shoes for long-distance running, without sacrificing support or comfort. The only knock is the weight. At 10+ ounces, it is a tad heavier than most long-distance runners would prefer.

 

 

But, it is certainly not a deal-breaker. (The On Cloudflow, by contrast, weighs under 8 ounces but does not provide the cushioning that the Cloudswift provides, so there’s a trade-off.)

I ran the 2017 NYC Marathon in the original On Cloud. Now, I am planning on running the 2019 NYC Marathon in the Cloudswift mainly because of the additional cushioning.

The Cloudswift is available in blue, grey, orange and beige.

 

Jeffrey Schulberg | Level 3 expert Verified
I am a runner but not a super fast or super long runner. I've done several marathons and dozens of half-marathons. Also, I'm an avid biker. So, I think I speak to a lot of guys who want to be a runner but don't want to necessarily be a marathon runner or a sprinter who runs races on weekends. I appeal to people who want to run more than most—that is 10+ miles on the weekend.

93
/100 by William Rowan, posted on .

At the end of February, On released their first of two new shoes for 2019. The On Cloudswift is billed as a lightweight shoe to run in the city and features their new Helion Superfoam. 

Helion Superfoam is designed for high performance in an urban environment (I read it as shoes for running on concrete).

 

 

I’m a pretty big fan of On Running and their various models of shoes. As someone who has owned several On Cloud shoes, two pairs of Cloudflyer running shoes, the made-for-trails Cloudventure, and the limited edition Cloud Edge.

In addition to testing out their ultimate cushioned Cloudace running shoes, I was very excited when I heard that On would release the Cloudswift especially because they designed them for urban running.

On offers several features in the Cloudswift that I found fascinating coming and noticed that they took feedback from owners and manufactured this particular shoe.

I believe they used the Cloudswift as a testbed of sorts to experiment with what can be incorporated in later designs and models of On shoes, especially one's own Helion Superfoam.

 

Design & aesthetics

On offers these shoes three color schemes per gender. These are the list:

 

                    Men's color variation                     Women's color variation

Denim and Midnight

(blue and dark blue)

Glacier and White 

(light gray and white)

Rock and Slate

(gray)

 Plum and Dawn

(purple with orange shoelaces)

Rust and Rock  

(orange and gray)

 Teal and Storm

(teal and gray with blue shoelaces)

 

I went for the Rust and Rock pairing, because I liked the orange look, especially on the rubberized side band of the shoes, though I wish On offered the women’s colors to men because I would have enjoyed an off-purple shoe to wear.

The Cloudswift upper is very breathable. On’s running shoes don’t have a problem with this feature, and On’s engineers and design team really went the extra mile with the Cloudswift to ensure that our feet could breathe as summer road running temperatures rise. 

While the upper sock feels great, I highly suggest wearing an actual sock when wearing the Cloudswift. I had the clear sticker that On puts on each of their insoles actually catch and stick to the bottom of my feet whenever I would wear the Cloudswift barefoot, which I would do all the time with my Cloud Edge shoes. 

The Cloudswift’s sole has the familiar CloudTec pockets, but the back heel and the balls of the feet areas have reinforced rubber for extra traction. In fact, reinforced areas’ grooves go diagonally from the shoe while the regular CloudTec pockets’ grooves flow vertically and line up with the length of the running shoe. 

Both design features prevent and reduce slippage on wet surfaces, and I can attest to On’s design team incorporating this into the Cloudswift, because I did not slip on any of the races I ran while wearing these shoes.

 

 

The outsoles are also where the Helion Superfoam comes into play. On’s Superfoam is supposed to be lighter while still offering plenty of cushioning.

However, the Cloudswift weighs more than my preferred On running shoes, the Cloudflyer, 21.5 ounces (610 grams) and 19 ounces (540 grams) respectively. Despite this, the Cloudswift does feel a little lighter on my feet than the Cloudflyer.

In fact, I had to reweigh both sets of shoes to make sure that the Cloudswift came in at a heavier weight than the Cloudflyer.

Comfortability

I found the Cloudswift to fit my feet very comfortably. The shoelaces adjusted quickly and correctly to my feet, thanks mostly to the rubberized sideband that runs from the sole up to the tongue. 

On promotes the sideband as a place to hold any excess laces after you tie them together, but I didn’t need to use that feature. The On Cloudswift’s tongue is completely attached to the rest of the shoe.

It helps act as a part of the mesh sock that makes the shoes feel great to wear without socks you take the clear sticker off the insole since it has a tendency to gently stick to the bottom of my bare feet when walking around in that manner.

As I’ve said before, the Cloudswift is a neutral shoe, but it offers so much support and stability, that the cushioning comparable to the Cloudflyer. I ran the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k, one of the United States’ most popular 10k races, while wearing the Cloudswift.  

The weather was cloudy, the streets were crowded, and the bands played all along the course, but what I noticed the most was how comfortable and cushioned the Cloudswift shoes were to my feet.

 

 

There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to On’s shoes, mostly due to the CloudTec pockets making natural bending points all along with the shoes, and the Cloudswift is no exception.   

The next week, I did a 10-mile race in Columbia, South Carolina, while wearing the Cloudswift shoes, and the new Superfoam Helion definitely lived up to the hype that On placed on the feature for high performance and working in an urban environment.

The On design team incorporated durable rubber reinforcement to parts of the shoes’ soles for extra traction. As with every On running shoe I’ve owned, the materials are durable, do not look cheaply manufactured, and live up to the whole "Swiss Engineering" moniker that On stamps on many of its products.

 

Pros

  • More traction for wet surfaces
  • Durable materials
  • Very comfortable
  • Very breathable upper body
  • Neutral shoe that offers a lot of stability
  • Side band of shoe offers good midfoot support
  • Side band makes the shoe visually stand out among other shoes
  • Decently priced for On running shoes

Cons

  • Brand is infamous for shoes picking up rocks, burrs, and large seeds with the outsole
  • Heavier than expected
  • The insoles have a sticker that will catch and hold onto the bottom of the foot if not wearing socks

Conclusion

I have a tendency to use the word phenomenal when I describe On’s running shoes, but it is especially true when it comes to the On Cloudswift. These shoes are designed for the urban environment, and I can see and feel the shoes’ features being put to good use. 

I used my On Cloudswift for two distance races. Both times, the On Cloudswift exceeded my expectations and worked very well. They are a very good alternative to the On Cloudflyer, and on average, cost ten dollars less than the Cloudflyer as well.  

The only hang up with the Cloudswift, as with any On shoe built for the road, is that the shoes tend to pick up rocks, burrs, acorns, or any other object that can get stick in between the CloudTec pockets. But, I am completely impressed with these shoes and hope they continue to make the Cloudswift model for many years to come.

 

William Rowan | Level 2 expert Verified
I've been running consistently for over 25 years since I first joined the Army. The military gave me a renewed appreciation for running and I have taken to heart lessons I learned about running to include form and care for my legs. While I may have retired from the Army last year, I am still active out in my local community with running, be it 5k and 10k up to the half marathon distance.

57
/100 by Jacob Brady, posted on .

I was excited to try the Cloudswift as I recently demoed one of On Running’s other recent releases, the max-cushioned Cloudstratus, and liked the ride and locked-in feeling the shoe provided.

 

 

After the demo, I talked to the On Running rep who recommended the Cloudswift in response to my comments about the Cloudstratus.

On Running markets the Cloudswift as an “urban running” shoe. This category of shoe is arguably non-existent and certainly ill-defined.

My expectations for a shoe designed for city running would be a light, quick, and secure shoe to facilitate making sharp corners and stopping abruptly and sprinting when needed.

Outside of being “for the city,” the Cloudswift is a do-it-all trainer designed for everything from short faster runs to long weekend cruisers.

Sample stats

  • Weight: 12.0oz/340g
  • Size: US Men’s 12

First impressions and fit

On Running certainly strives for clean and modern design, which is apparent in the shoe box and other packaging as well as the Cloudswift itself.

The shoe box is pure black and includes a plastic “Owner Card”; they’re really going for it with the unboxing experience and presentation here. I’m not a fan of the colorway I received, though.

The Cloudswift looks unique, and the materials feel high quality, but the shoe is noticeably heavy. The first line on On’s website for the Cloudswift claims it as “light,” which is not a good start because it’s an objectively heavy shoe.

The rocker is extreme, and the shoe has a minimal contact point with the ground when sitting on a flat surface.

On Running is known for their superb and innovative uppers; the Cloudswift does not disappoint here. The fit is true to size, very comfortable, and well-proportioned for my foot.

It was apparent just from stepping into the shoe that the midsole + “Speedboard” plastic plate combination in the Cloudswift makes for a very firm-feeling cushion.

Upper

The Cloudswift upper is a bootie-construction composed of a padded engineered mesh with a sock-like interior. There is no tongue, and the heel collar is continuous around the ankle.

The laces run through soft TPU “cages,” which give the soft mesh structure and are crucial for a secure fit. The insole foam wraps up slightly around the sides of the upper a bit, adding to the seamless feel.

 

 

The upper is smooth and would likely accommodate a variety of foot shapes well. The fit is not uncomfortable even with a tight lace as there is adequate padding below the laces to prevent lace bite. Also, the TPU cages help disperse some of the pressure.

However, it is difficult to pull the laces tight as the TPU cages are sticky. The lace either sticks or doesn’t hold at all. The laces are also extremely long.

 

 

The upper is solid overall but too loose in the forefoot/toebox for cornering at speed. This was unexpected for an “urban running” shoe as sharp corners are common on city sidewalks.

The plastic “Speedboard” below the footbed prevents the midsole from conforming to the bottom of the foot. So, the foot slides around on top of it—not that ideal.

 

Midsole

The midsole is composed of a full length, heavily-rockered plastic plate (On calls this the “Speedboard”) that sits above On’s distinctive CloudTec pod system.

The pods and midsole are On’s “Helion superfoam” and are supposed to be “soft”. However, they feel a lot like the firm, traditional EVA to me.

 

 

I think of “superfoam” as a soft, light, airy, springy foam, such as Skechers Hyper Burst, Nike Zoom X, or Reebok Floatride. Helion is dense, heavy, and has decent rebound but is not at all springy.

Outsole

The Cloudswift outsole is a continuation of the CloudTec pods described in the midsole section with an open channel running laterally from the heel to forefoot.

The midsole foam is exposed on the midfoot and coated with a rubber layer on the high-wear areas in the toe and heel. The outsole grips very well overall. But, the channels between the pods provide a great place for rocks to get stuck.

 

 

Hilariously (and horribly), I stepped in dog poop with my first pair of On shoes (the original Cloud). It went inside the pods; that was that for those shoes. Thus, I don’t like the pod system in part due to these annoyances.

Ride

I’m generally a fan of a shoe with rocker as I feel the rocker helps promotes stride consistency and encourages turnover. I was hoping the Cloudswift’s significant rocker would lead to a smooth ride despite the firmness of the shoe.

I liked the rocker in the similar Cloudstratus, but the Cloudswift’s overly firm plate/midsole rendered the ride less fluid than I’d hoped.

 

 

My first run was an easy 5-miler on rolling hills. Flat sections felt okay, but I had to make sure to keep my strike precise on the downhills. This is to avoid vibrations/harshness, which almost led to a bit of numbness in my toes at one point.

I’ve talked to other runners who have had issues with numbness in certain shoes. I have only experienced it myself once before, so this was a huge negative for the shoes.

The Cloudswift ride is unforgiving and might cause foot-numbness and possibly injury for a runner with poor form.

 

 

Overall, the Cloudswift runs a bit harshly though not slappy. The rocker is kind of fun but is overshadowed by the weird feel of the plastic plate.

There is give to the firm midsole foam. Unfortunately, the plate makes it hard to feel that at all. In fact, the plate mutes the ground feel almost entirely.

The Cloudswift makes a distinct and unavoidable hollow sound on strike that multiple of my running partners have commented on. It is certainly not a great running shoe.

Conclusions and recommendations

The Cloudswift does some things right—the upper is plush, and the shoe seems durable and high-quality—but is, overall, a failure for On Running.

The ride is unique, and it’s possible that runners with certain preferences and form would like how the Cloudswift runs. But, it would be imperative to give it a test run first as it’s hard and may feel immediately off-putting.

Regardless, for the high cost, there are much better options for a daily trainer. As for the “urban running” niche On is trying to hit, I live in a city, and from all my testing the “for urban running” claim is just an advertising technique.

For those just looking to try an On Running shoe, I would not recommend the Cloudswift. I have run the Cloudstratus and Cloud and liked those both significantly more.

The Cloudswift is too different from most shoes that its only role in my rotation is as a random, non-workout, “I need something different today” shoe.

Overall Score: 5.7
Ride: 5 (50%) Fit: 7 (30%) Value: 5 (15%) Style: 7 (5%)

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • Comfortable and plush upper
  • The unique ride provides a good change of pace on occasion

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Dull and overly firm ride
  • Mediocre forefoot hold
Jacob Brady | Level 2 expert Verified
I’m a runner and general endurance sports enthusiast. I started my run streak (at least 2mi, every day) in April 2018. I run largely on roads but love the trails as well. I run between 50-70mi per week and am currently focusing on longer distance events. I recently qualified for the Boston Marathon 2020 and completed my first 50km trail race. In addition to running, I surf, nordic ski, and occasionally hop on the bike.

- The On Cloudswift is a daily running shoe that’s meant to be used for urban adventures. The silhouette has a sporty design that’s prevalent in most modern-day performance footwear. Cloth-like mesh offers a soft and breathable coverage while various overlays add more oomph to the overall quality of the façade’s embrace. A sock-like feel given by a one-piece opening ensures extra snugness.

- Underfoot cushioning is the responsibility of the unique On Running midsole configuration. A traditional platform still serves as the main resting surface of the foot, but it’s buttressed by CloudTec® elements, pillow-like nodes with hollow centers that heighten the responsiveness of the midsole while also contributing to the traction capacity of the outsole, especially since its bottom is a part of the external pad.

The On Cloudswift was designed to follow the regular sizing expectations of people. The standard measurements used to create this shoe accommodate the typical choices of consumers when it comes to length.

The width options are as follows: D – Medium for men and B – Medium for women. These profiles welcome the feet that have low or medium volumes.

The curved lasting board works with the form-fitting upper unit to let the natural curvature of the foot to acclimatize well to the in-shoe experience.

CloudTec® is a set of pillow-like segments that make up the bottom part of the On Cloudswift’s midsole. These rounded yet isolated pieces of foam tech have a spongy construction which is meant to receive the brunt of the landing impact, giving runners well-attenuated foot-strikes and enabled takeoff.

The contact points of the forefoot and heel are covered by rubber. This compound is designed to protect against wear-and-tear while also bringing improved traction over the surfaces.

The CloudTec® elements are stable accoutrements in On’s offerings. The lightness of these mallow-shaped protuberances evokes the feeling of walking on ‘clouds.’ The spaces between the elements are meant to amplify the inherent flexibility of the foot.

The Helion™ super foam is On’s answer to the most popular cushioning technologies in the market. This feature is configured to give a springy and long-lasting performance.

A padded insole brings extra cushioning for the underfoot. It has curved edges to steady the arch and the heel.

The upper unit of the On Cloudswift is comprised of engineered mesh. This textile has a cloth-like quality which allows it to follow the shape and movement of the foot while maintaining a perceptible lightness. Breathing holes permit environmental air into the foot chamber, thus upholding a cool and dry ride.

The one-piece opening of the façade is made of a seamless fabric that wraps around the foot and keeps it in place. The lack of unnecessary seams and stitching enable the runner to wear this neutral running shoe without socks.

The forefoot and the sides have printed overlays to protect against tears and abrasive road debris.

Mechanical side-bands made of stretchy thermoplastic polyurethane hold the lateral and medial sides of the foot. The shoelaces go through eyelets at its tip, allowing the fit-adjustment method to be precise. These panels also have pockets in which to keep the extra length of the laces.

A molded cap reinforces the back of the façade, allowing it to hug the heel of the foot and preventing it from quivering during the run or exiting the in-shoe chamber unceremoniously.

Size and fit

True to size based on 190 user votes
Small (28%)
True to size (72%)
Large (0%)
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Size comments

The Cloudswift runs true to size. - Louise Shirley, Level 3 expert
The fit is true to size, very comfortable, and well-proportioned for my foot. - Jacob Brady, Level 2 expert
Forefoot fit
Narrow Wide
Heel fit
Narrow Wide
Toebox
Tight Roomy

How Cloudswift compares

This shoe: 90
All shoes average: 86
54 98
This shoe: $150
All shoes average: $119
$40 $350
This shoe: 10.2oz
All shoes average: 9.5oz
3.5oz 16.2oz
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