7 Best On Walking Shoes

Laci
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7 Best On Walking Shoes
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Since the introduction of its iconic On Cloud, the Swiss brand has expanded its catalogue of walking shoes by well over a dozen. Now it is our mission at RunRepeat to get our hands on each and every pair of On walking shoes to let you know which ones are truly the best for your daily steps.

We have put On shoes through the wringer in our lab, measuring over 30 different parameters to finally end up with seven top picks in various categories.

How we test walking shoes

First of all, we want to keep our opinions as objective as possible. For that reason, we buy tested shoes with our own money.

We are dedicated to wearing each pair for several hours to get a good feel for it. And once we've got all of the experiential data, we proceed to scrutinise the shoe in our lab:

  • we cut the shoe in half to measure its cushioning parameters with callipers and durometers
  • we pump smoke through its upper to assess breathability
  • we drill its toebox, heel padding, and outsole with a Dremel to test the durability aspect
  • we bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle to measure how flexible it is, etc.

These are just some of the tests that help us assess each On walking shoe's performance before we give our final verdict.

Best On walking shoes overall

On Cloud 5
87
Good!

What makes it the best?

Wrapping up our walking shoe testing, we came to the conclusion that On Cloud 5 is without peer among all the other On pairs. This shoe covered everything from end to end, resulting in a sweat-free, weightless, and well-reinforced foot experience. Cloud 5 really brought it on with its wonderful in-sole sensation that we wound up also doing workouts in this pair!

From brisk walks to low-impact exercises, our feet never got clammy in Cloud 5. This is all thanks to its porous upper, which became more evident when we shed a bright light on it. These ventilation holes were also where most of the smoke we pumped into the shoe came out, so we awarded it with a 4/5 score in breathability. 

Cloud 5 also didn’t hamper our movements with a heavyweight. Instead, we were welcomed by a 7.94 oz (225g) shoe that’s 12.1% lighter than average and therefore gentler on the feet. Even though this shoe was featherlight, it still provided us with great support underfoot. We checked this using our durometer and found that the midsole registered a firmness of 28.5 HA, which is 13.1% harder than average. This translated to a blend of comfortable and supportive foam that allowed us to walk all day. 

The only thing that stopped us, or at least the wide footers among us, was the tight fit of the Cloud 5. With our calliper, we established that the widest part of the toe box is only 89.5 mm and 8.6% narrower than the average. Unless you have slim feet, we recommend searching for other wider options.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Can do low-impact workouts
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Very breathable
  • Super easy on-off
  • Great flexibility
  • Regular laces are added
  • Sustainable materials (44%)

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Lacks durability
  • Outsole catches pebbles
Full review of On Cloud 5

Best On walking shoes for travel

On Cloud 5 Push
88
Good!

What makes it the best?

Hassle-free to pack, makes our feet feel like on a real holiday and is light and breezy. These are our main criteria for perfect travel walking shoes and of all the On pairs we’ve tested, On Cloud 5 Push reigned supreme. Nothing came close to how sensational it felt while we went through our on-foot journeys. 

In our lab, we verified how pliable Push is. We didn’t struggle much in bending it using our digital force gauge, and in return, our tool reflected an opposing force of 15.5N, which is 26.5% more flexible than the standard. Weight-wise, this shoe is also on the light side. It weighs 8.5 oz (242.0g) and is 10.5% lighter than others. During our trips, we could truly bring it everywhere, whether on our baggage or feet.

Even though our durometer clocked in a midsole hardness of 31.0 HA, which is 9.9% firmer than average, on our wanders, it never felt like we were stepping on something hard. Instead, we felt zero fatigue and just pure comfort throughout the day.

We don’t think it would last us many vacations, though. When we applied our Dremel to the shoe’s upper and sock liner, we noticed that the materials were quickly eaten away. Due to this, we suggest being easy on sporting Cloud 5 Push or completely considering a more durable pair if that is what you prefer.

Pros

  • Amazing in-shoe comfort
  • Excellent for all-day use
  • Super lightweight
  • Highly breathable
  • Flexible and natural ride
  • Quick and easy to put on
  • Attractive design and colours
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials (44%)

Cons

  • Poor upper durability
  • Not for wide feet
Full review of On Cloud 5 Push

On walking shoes with the best support

What makes it the best?

Tremendous foot support and a more than satisfactory in-shoe feel are what it takes for us to choose the On Cloudnova Form as the On walking shoe with the best support. Solid reinforcement and comfort go hand in hand in this shoe to put the well-being of our feet at the top of its priority!

Cloudnova Form excellently maintained our balance during our walks and one reason we found for this is its non-squishy midsole. We established the firmness of the midsole through our durometer which clocked in 31.5 HA. This is 25% harder than average, substantiating the shoe’s underfoot structure and stability. Cloudnova Form’s inflexibility was highlighted when we bent the shoe using our digital force gauge and it resisted with a 20.9N force, revealing a stiffness level higher than the average by 16.1%. On our walks, this equated to not having the most natural heel-to-forefoot shifts, but being incredibly supported.

Another thing that granted us superb comfort is the not-so-tight and not-so-wide fit of the shoe. While our calliper displayed that the toebox’s widest section measured 101.5 mm, which is 3.6 mm wider than most, due to the inelastic upper, this resulted in a dead-on accurate fit.

We encountered a dilemma on our chilly walks, though, as the midsole firmness and shoe stiffness increased to 40.9 HA and 32.8N in cold, respectively. This made the midsole 16.9% firmer and the shoe 14.3% stiffer than the averages. Therefore, we suggest keeping this information in mind before going on snowy trips with this shoe.

Pros

  • Excellent for all-day wear
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Great in-shoe comfort
  • Non-constricting toebox
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials
  • Appealing design

Cons

  • Lacks durability (especially the upper)
  • A little heavier than average
Full review of On Cloudnova Form

Best mid-top On walking shoes

On Cloudnova
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

Everything just clicked with On Cloudnova in terms of what makes a great mid-top walking shoe, that’s why it is our top choice for this category. It equipped us with an upheld sensation for our feet, which manifested in our side-to-side control and balance. Moreover, our toes are encased in pleasant snugness in this mid-cut bootie.

Diving into the dimensions of the shoe, we measured the part of the toebox with the greatest width to be 97.1 mm. This is not far from the average, which is only 0.8% wider. On our walks, this resulted in a nice, skin-tight fit, minus the blisters and stifling.

We also used our calliper to gauge the width of the base of Cloudnova. As expected, the midsole transpired to have a broad platform to stabilise us on our walks. It’s 116.9 mm in the forefoot and 91.1 mm in the heel, which are 6.6% and 3.4% wider than the average.

Even though Cloudnova has a mid-cut, we are still able to sport it without filling the shoe with our sweat. As it appeared in our breathability test, the shoe’s upper unleashed a good fraction of the smoke we pumped inside, so we rated its ventilation a 3/5. This is enough for our daily walks, but not for super humid days. However, this mid-top bears a weight of 10.69 oz (303g), which is 18.4% heavier than the standard. If weight is a significant aspect for you, we recommend checking out other lighter options.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Great travel shoe
  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Fits well straight from the box
  • High quality
  • 10% recycled materials

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Sole catches debris
  • Mid-cut is not for everyone
Full review of On Cloudnova

Best waterproof On walking shoes

What makes it the best?

Upon punching in countless hours in the lab and out on the streets and trails, we determined that the best waterproof On walking shoes is On Cloud 5 Waterproof. This shoe is so much more than its ability to ward off liquid. Wearing it round-the-clock doesn’t punish the toes, but it makes every moment count with its magnificent feeling all over the feet. And sporting it for lengthy hours every single day doesn’t pose any quality problem as it is also heavy-duty.

To learn more about the shoe’s material, we examined its upper through a bright light and our microscope. The first test showed an unlit upper, not even a shade of light passing through. Our microscope, on the other hand, displayed a super interwoven upper. Ultimately, both proved one thing: Cloud 5 Waterproof is airtight and watertight. Durability-wise, this shoe is smashing, too. We measured the hardness and thickness of the outsole at 84.0 HC and 3.3 mm. They are both over their averages by 10.7% and 22.22%. Simply said, it would take a long and tough time before you penetrate the outsole. 

On our all-day escapades, we found this shoe non-exhausting. In the lab, we discovered that the midsole is 30.4 HA hard, which is 7.8% firmer than average. This gave the foam an optimal balance between dreamy comfort and A1 support. 

However, this is not the case during winter. We shoved the shoe into our freezer for 20 minutes and measured the midsole hardness once again. It didn’t only firm up by 41.9% but the midsole became 10% harder than average. Hence, we recommend sporting other cold-ready shoes during chilly seasons.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Super light for its kind
  • Easy on-and-off
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Sustainable materials (40%)
  • Regular laces are added
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Catches rocks and debris
  • Can get smelly
Full review of On Cloud 5 Waterproof

Best On walking shoes for the trail

On Cloudaway
80
Decent!

What makes it the best?

The On walking shoe that we can never skip for our trail adventures is the On Cloudaway. It’s superbly equipped for the demands of trail walking, especially with a base and overall structure that fortify our footwork on our hikes. What makes it a done deal is the tough outsole that doesn’t diminish even after miles.

Even after long-distance off-road walks, we didn’t feel a hint of weariness on our legs and feet because of the shoe’s extra supportive footbed. We analysed this in our lab and with the help of our durometer, we recorded a midsole hardness of 32 HA. While this is 27% firmer than average, it kept us well-balanced. Cloudaway also has an accommodating fit that preserves the comfort throughout our treks. Employing our calliper, we acquired the width of the widest part of the toebox to be 103.1 mm. This gives our toes 5.2 mm extra space compared to the average.

When it comes to durability, based on our trail walks alone, Cloudaway’s outsole could last for a long time as it didn’t even thin out after using it for a long period. This was also the case when we exposed it to our Dremel, as the tool only trimmed 0.7 mm of the outsole, which is 56.3% less than the average, proving its robustness.

However, it took a while before our feet got dry from sweat because of the insufficient airflow of the shoes. When we examined the upper under our microscope, it became clearer why: the upper is closed shut. Due to this, we recommend individuals who can’t deal with sweaty feet to search for breathable pairs.

Pros

  • Can go from city to trails
  • Great for all-day wear
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Sock-like fit
  • Quick-to-adjust lacing
  • Feels supportive
  • Quite durable
  • Good traction
  • Exclusive look
  • Uses recycled materials (20%)
  • Reflective details

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Firm cushioning
Full review of On Cloudaway

On walking shoes with the best breathability

On Cloudrift
81
Good!

What makes it the best?

Aside from sterling and uninterrupted airflow, On Cloudrift’s features are geared toward delivering dreamy comfort from sunrise to sunset. Our feet are always in a state of relief whenever we wear this pair, which is why this is our top breathable walking shoe from On!

We peeked at the Cloudrift’s upper through our microscope to closely inspect its construction and how it affects breathability. We observed that the material had large gaps that enabled the unrestricted air passage on our feet. Supplementing the breezy sensation is the lightness of the Cloudrift. Our scale entered an 8.71 oz (247g) weight, which is more lightweight than the average by 3.5%. 

It was also unchallenging for us to take our every step in Cloudrift as it synced to the movement of our feet. Upon testing its flexibility, we learned that it is easily influenced by bending. It only resisted the force with 11N, indicating that it’s 38.9% more flexible than other walking shoes and that it supports natural heel-to-toe strides.

However, with our calliper, we also found that this shoe’s tongue is not padded at all. It’s only 0.5 mm thick, which is an 87.2% downgrade from the average. While this facilitated unhindered ventilation, this is a minor trade-off in comfort. If generous padding is a requirement for you, we suggest checking out other shoes.

Pros

  • Super light on the foot
  • Great for all-day wear
  • Very flexible
  • Highly breathable
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Well-padded collar
  • Reflective logos
  • Sustainable materials (35%)

Cons

  • Very thin tongue that causes rubbing
  • Really lacks durability
  • Not a supportive shoe
Full review of On Cloudrift
Author
Laci
Laci
Laci is a contemporary dancer turned shoe aficionado. She is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to athletic shoes, size conversions and details people nitpick about footwear. She keeps the RunRepeat content gears turning 24/7. And she walks 20miles/week.