6 Best On Road Running Shoes in 2023

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on
6 Best On Road Running Shoes in 2023
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Famous for its uniquely designed platform, a patented cushioning technology that delivers softer landings and firm toe-offs, On running shoes have become a new favorite among runners, and even world-class triathletes.

Whether it's for marathons, a daily trainer on cobbled paths, or all-day wear, On has the shoes for every runner of all types and experiences. They’re also offering its fully recyclable running shoe for eco-warriors out there.

But in a world of information at your fingertips, it’s too easy to find a gazillion of different opinions and choices for choosing the right pair of On shoes. To help you navigate, we’ve handpicked and tested running shoes from the On brand. We analyzed them critically and then narrowed down the selection to the best-only options.

Best On road running shoes overall

On Cloudmonster

What makes it the best?

Cloudmonster is a max-cushioned trainer with a technology that remarkably blends comfort, vibrant energy and a reliable outsole into perfect harmony. We enjoyed the pop of power we felt running in this pair. Our lab findings further cement the Cloudmonster’s position as the best overall among On road running shoes.

With stack heights rising to 34.9 mm and 28.1 mm in the heel and forefoot — vs. the average of 33.2/24.2 mm — its monstrous foam provides much comfort and bounce to the legs. It gives a fun ride even on long runs.

Its rocker design promotes smooth and snappy toe-offs, making it easier to stride forward with less effort. We tested its flexibility in the lab with our 90° bend test and it emerged 12.4% stiffer than average. We noticed how we were being launched in every step — kind of like being on a trampoline.

The outsole could handle most pavements we ran in and it was grippy on wet roads. Its outsole is 8.8% thicker than average, meaning it has more rubber to handle wear and tear. We saw how the shoe looked new even after miles of running.

At $170, this pair is on the expensive side of the On spectrum. Other On road running shoes average $162 while other road running shoes average $132.


  • All-day comfort
  • Bouncy cushion
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Protective for long runs
  • Stable when cornering
  • Weighs less than it looks
  • Grippy on wet roads
  • Can work on light trails
  • Perfect lockdown
  • Durable
  • Sustainable upper


  • Firm for recovery days
  • Not for wide feet
  • Expensive
Full review of On Cloudmonster

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Any color
Iron/Hay (6198244)
White (6198243)
Acai Aloe (6199027)
All Black (6199025)
Frost/Cobalt (6198653)
Eclipse/Turmeric (6198656)
Magnet/Shark (6198082)
Dust Vapor (6198084)
More colors

Best daily trainer On road running shoes

On Cloudswift 3

What makes it the best?

On’s Cloudswift 3 is a balanced, all-around shoe that ticks all the boxes for a perfect daily trainer. It effortlessly blends responsiveness, support and a superb upper — making it a fun companion for logging in our miles.

This model includes On’s Dual Density Helion foam, which seamlessly combines soft and firm elements for a balanced underfoot feel. It emerged 13.4% more flexible than average on our 90° bend test, making it a perfect daily trainer. In terms of torsional rigidity, this shoe scored higher than average at 4/5 — enhancing stability by keeping the ankles in place.

For a flexible shoe, Cloudswift 3 was surprisingly responsive when we tested it by running faster paces. This is attributed to the TPU Speedboard in its foam and On’s CloudTec cushioning technology that flattens with landings and pops back to its original form on take-offs. This gives us a smooth and bouncy ride with less effort.

Cloudswift 3 houses a top-notch sock-like upper that adapts perfectly to our feet. It’s well-ventilated, scoring a 4/5 on our breathability test in the lab, which is why it didn’t feel stuffy. We enjoyed the breeze on our toes even on hot, summer days.

The drop felt high, as confirmed by our 9.7-mm measurement in the lab — a solid 21.3% higher than the brand's 8.0-mm claim.


  • Comfortably snug upper
  • Immensely breathable
  • Secure lockdown from heel to toe
  • Responsive and protective cushioning
  • No break-in necessary
  • Smooth forward-flowing ride
  • Doesn’t collect debris as much as v1 and v2
  • Very good grip on various surfaces
  • One fine-looking runner
  • Solid sustainability elements
  • Best for daily training and easy runs
  • Also great for gym workouts


  • Slightly firm underfoot
  • Not advisable for long runs
Full review of On Cloudswift 3

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Best value On road running shoes

On Cloudrunner

What makes it the best?

At only $140 (vs. the brand’s average price of $162 for road running shoes), Cloudrunner goes beyond what is expected and offers excellent value for money. It surprised us with steady support, reliable traction and breezy runs. On top of that, it’s great for daily mileage and other activities too.

This shoe inspires confidence as it serves elements of a stable shoe, even if it’s a neutral trainer. It provides ample support and guidance with its wider platform and Speedboard, raised sidewalls and structured heel counter. All these kept our foot in place even in fast corners.

Locking down our feet is also its 10.1-mm tongue — almost double the 5.8 mm average! It felt extremely comfortable without being obstructive. We still felt the breeze on our toes as we ran under the sun. We put the upper to the test in the lab, and it scored 4/5 on our breathability test.

Cloudrunner’s reliable outsole offered plenty of grip and rubber in high-impact areas, keeping us secured even on wet pavements and light trails.

Though the shoe is light in the pocket, it’s heavy on the foot at 10.4 oz (294g) vs. the 9.5 oz (268g) average of other On road-running shoes.


  • Unintrusive stability
  • Versatile (walking, gym, casual)
  • Well-fitting
  • Doesn’t catch pebbles
  • Good breathability
  • Excellent grip
  • Lasting durability
  • Appealing design
  • Recycled content (30-35%)


  • Not for severe overpronation
  • Firm and dull ride
  • A bit heavy
Full review of On Cloudrunner

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Any color
Alloy Moss (4699021)
Frost Turmeric (4698644)
Eclipse/Frost (4699017)
Glacier/Black (4698647)
Shale/Cobalt (4698238)
Blue (4699016)
White (4698199)
Iron Black (4698079)

Best lightweight On road running shoes

On Cloudflow 3.0

What makes it the best?

On’s third version of the Cloudflow is a versatile trainer that highlights energy rebound and reliable traction — all wrapped in a clean-looking, lightweight package. It felt airy at every step, making it our best lightweight On running shoe.

Staying true to its name, this shoe flows with our feet’s natural movement with its lower-than-average stack. We measured it at 32.0/22.4 mm in the heel and forefoot, respectively, vs. the average of 33.2/24.2 mm. This contributes to the shoe’s light weight of 8.9 oz (251g) vs. the average of other On road running shoes (9.5 oz / 268g).

On’s trademark CloudTec technology is present in this shoe with an added “speedboard” in the middle. This springs back to its original form once stepped on which explains the incredible energy return we felt in our runs. We checked for its stiffness in the lab by bending it to 90° and its result sits above average (33.2N vs. 30.6N). The higher the force needed to bend the shoe, the stiffer it is.

The outsole was reliable even on wet and smooth pavements despite its thin 1.8-mm rubber. This contributed to the shoe’s lighter weight as well.

The midsole is not only stiff but firm as well, with a cushion that’s 114.3% firmer than average. Runners who prefer a softer foam should check other options.


  • Fits true to size
  • Great ground feel
  • Durable
  • Surprisingly good grip
  • Steadfast lockdown
  • A super speedy energy return
  • Perfect as an all-rounder


  • Outsole catches debris
  • Not highly padded
  • Grip is only good on pavement
Full review of On Cloudflow 3.0

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Any color
Ink/Meadow (3599034)
Meadow/White (3598687)
Alloy/Magnet (3599235)
Black (3599238)
Glacier/Creek (3598211)
Black Turmeric (3598398)
Rust White (3599236)
Blue (3599237)
More colors

Best On road running shoes for gym workouts

On Cloudswift

What makes it the best?

A running shoe that can double as an awesome lifting partner — look no further because On Cloudswift is our top pick. It has the critical elements needed for strengthening sessions — a firm cushion, elevated heel-to-toe drop, and reliable traction.

Cloudswift’s stack height is around the average which gives a balanced underfoot feel. The cushion is firm and keeps our feet planted to the ground. Foam that’s too soft may give a wobbly feeling and we’re happy to report that our durometer in the lab measured this pair to be 51.8% firmer than average.

The 11.6-mm high drop that keeps our heels elevated adds to the support. This is very helpful in lifting heavier weights and improving one’s squat form to avoid injuries.

What we also love about this shoe is its awesome traction on any surface — whether on the road, on the treadmill or inside the gym. We felt that we were secure and in control.

Gym shoes are meant to be more flexible than running shoes —  with agile workouts such as lunges and burpees. This pair may lack flexibility for other gym workouts since it emerged slightly stiffer on our 90° bend test vs. other running shoes (31.4N vs. 30.6N).


  • Durable
  • Flawless grip
  • Wow looks
  • Great for the gym
  • Excellent laces
  • Feels like a slip-on
  • Laces stay tight


  • Weird lockdown
  • Lacks cushioning underfoot
  • Not so breathable
Full review of On Cloudswift

Today's best price

Any color
Rock/Slate (4199583)
Magnet Citron (4199227)
Denim/Midnight (4199584)
Black/Rock (4199585)
Glacier/Cobalt (4199004)
All White (4198926)
White/Flame (4199582)
Alloy Eclipse (4198925)
More colors

Best On road running shoes for flat feet

On Cloudstratus

What makes it the best?

After multiple lab and run tests, Cloudstratus is our top choice among the On lineup as best for flat feet. Though not branded as a stability shoe, it has a build for it — combining a wide platform, a steady ride and lots of padding for comfort.

On shoes are known for being firm and the Cloudstratus is no exception. Its foam is 22.04% firmer than average. Combined with an adequately stiff midsole and heel counter, all these elements contribute to a more stable and energetic ride.

Keeping the foot in place is also its wide midsole in the forefoot. It measures 5.1 mm wider than average. It also houses a generous toebox that can accommodate flat and wide feet — measuring exactly 100.0 mm vs. the average of 97.9 mm. 

Like most On shoes, these trainers feel both firm and soft at the same time. The high stack balances the firm cushion and the upper provides a great deal of padding for added comfort. It has a bootie-type tongue that is 7.8 mm thick vs. the average of 5.8 mm.

The tradeoff for the extra comfortable upper is that it is not very breathable. Best to check other options if breathability is a priority.


  • Super stable
  • Top-notch build quality
  • Versatile as a walking or gym shoe
  • Bouncy midsole
  • Excellent for winter conditions
  • Plush upper and heel for comfort
  • Unique ride


  • High price point at $170
  • Questionable outsole durability
  • Could have better breathability
Full review of On Cloudstratus

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Any color
Frost/Niagara (3998659)
Black (3999214)
Fossil/Midnight (3999007)
White (3998246)
White (3998997)
Black/Shadow (2999845)
Orange (2999868)

Comparison of the 6 best On road running shoes

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How we test road running shoes

Using our own knowledge and years of experience in both running and the running shoe market, we’ve reviewed the best road running shoes that the On brand has to offer. We put each pair to the wringer to see which ones are really the best in different categories.

Here’s exactly how we approach our selection process:

  • In the spirit of transparency and freedom from bias, we purchase all the road running shoes from On using our own funds.
  • Inside our shoe lab, we perform stringent mechanical tests on each model by cutting them all into pieces. We then measure and weigh 30+ parameters of the shoe, from cushioning technology to durability, stability, and many others.
  • We log at least 30 to 40 miles of running on each pair in various training and racing conditions.

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.