Neutral / cushion / high arch
Shoes for runners who do not need any additional arch support (Around 50% of runners). Best for people with normal, high or medium high arches. See the best neutral shoes.
Stability / overpronation / normal arch
Shoes for runners who need mild to moderate arch support (Around 45% of runners). Best for runners with a low arch. See the best stability shoes.
Motion control / severe overpronation / flat feet
Shoes for runners who needs a lot of arch support. Best for runners with flat feet. See the best motion control shoes.
Good to know
Cushioned shoes for your daily easy running. Great comfort. See best shoes for daily running.
Lightweight shoes good for races, interval training, tempo runs and fartlek. Here are the best competition running shoes.
Good to know
If you want just one pair of shoes, buy a shoe for daily running.
WeightMen: 10.2ozWomen: 8.5oz
Heel to toe dropMen: 7mmWomen: 7mm
The height difference from the heel to the forefoot, also known as heel drop, toe spring, heel to toe spring or simply drop.
There are many opinions about what a good heel drop is. We do not recommend any in particular. Lean more in this video.
WidthMen: NormalWomen: Normal
Release dateFeb 2019
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83 / 100 based on 15 expert reviews
On Cloudswift - Definitely surprising, but in a good or a bad way?More photos
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
On Cloudswift – The latest offering of Swiss EngineeringMore photos
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
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
The On Cloudswift is now my go-to road running shoe for speedwork and racking up weekly road miles.
Ireally like this shoe. It's comfortable.
- 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.