On running shoes for women are more than their sleek and fashion-forward looks. They are performance-oriented, and are ready to swallow miles on the road and trail.
Want to make the most out of your money? We’ve carefully examined and selected the ten best On running shoes for female runners from across categories. These are On’s best ones yet, and we’re more than confident they can get you through your miles.
We have allotted time and money to create our own shoe testing lab. Here, we scrutinize each model, gathering data to compare one against the other. This gives us a clear picture of which is best and second best.
To be as objective as possible, we strictly follow these:
On running shoes for women can be quite expensive. That said, we buy them with our own money.
Our testers clock up at least 30-50 miles in each model to assess their durability and performance.
To see what’s inside, we slice them open in our lab.
We then measure each aspect of the shoe using our durometers, scales, calipers, and more.
Gathering thousands of expert and user reviews, we then generate their CoreScore to see how they stack up against other running shoes.
Among all the On running shoes that we own, nothing can top the Cloudswift when it comes to style and performance.
It’s sleek and unique, it’s the sexiest running shoe on our roster!
What’s great about it is it goes beyond its looks. Style aside, it’s also the absolute best in traction. Whether it’s on asphalt, cement, gym floors, and more, it clings like claws.
The Cloudswift is also built tough. In our durometer test, we found out that it’s 45% stiffer than the average running shoe. You can pound and hammer it on the pavement all you want, but it’s a full-fledged tank that will eat up miles.
We thought its solid build forgoes comfort, but no. The On Cloudswift is really the byword for cloud-like plushness. It’s upper is so soft, it’s as luxe as luxe could get.
It may be a tad heavier than other daily trainers. But with all the features it comes with, its weight is more than justified.
With its lush cushion, we were blown away by the Cloudflow 2.0’s lightness. It barely has any weight, it felt like we were running barefoot.
Comfort is paramount in the Cloudflow. Upon step-in, our feet were welcomed with pillow-like softness. After clocking up miles in it, our legs and feet didn’t even need recovery. They were as fresh as the first mile.
Underneath all the plushness, the shoe also has a hint of bounce. Unlike other cushy shoes in our arsenal, it wasn’t hard to run fast in the Cloudflow 2.0.
Running in wet conditions? Don’t worry. Rain or shine, the shoe’s traction won’t be a letdown. The outsole bites so well, it’s more than confidence-inspiring.
Sharp turns should be the least of your concerns as well. Apart from the superbly grippy outsole, the upper also provides first-rate lockdown. It’s very snug, you won’t find your feet slipping at all.
Stability shoes, in general, tend to be very dense. They can become a tad uncomfortable and overbearing.
But what makes the On Cloudflyer number one in this category is it’s the exact opposite of support shoe stereotypes.
It’s anything but taxing to the feet. From the bottom up, it’s extremely cushy. We didn’t want to take it off.
The upper is well-padded, it pampered our feet just as the midsole made our feet cozy and at home.
And of course, it wouldn’t make the cut without its unrivaled support. The upper hugged the contours of our feet and the midsole had some hint of stiffness. Not once did we feel tippy in it.
But what took us by surprise was the shoe’s awesome ride. Apart from stabilizing our strides, it also bolted us forward. It’s springy, we were bouncing from one step to the next.
To top it all off, the On Cloudflyer nails it in keeping weight at the absolute minimum. It’s so light, it felt like air. The weight (or the lack thereof) seals the deal for us. It’s not just a one-of-a-kind stability shoe, it’s also a great speedster.
If you want the perfect middle ground between support and protection, don’t write off the On Cloudstratus.
It kills it in the stability arena. It’s firm, it’s kept our strides surefooted. Even during sharp turns, we never lost our steps.
Its firmness also hits two birds with one stone. One, being stability. And the other, protection. It’s semi-rigid foam shields the feet from all the impact and sharp ground elements. In this shoe, strained feet and legs are a thing of the past.
The upper is also one of the masterminds in keeping support at peak. It wraps around the feet so snugly, there’s zero wobbling and slips.
Even better, we had plenty of room for our toes to splay. And in the rear, there’s sufficient padding to keep everything locked in place.
Lockdown? An easy 10/10.
Of course, the outsole makes stability out of this world. It’s extremely grippy, we were anchored even on slippery surfaces. Even more, it’s crazy sturdy. After 80 miles of putting it through the wringer, it remained unscathed.
Our area of expertise includes nitpicking. But with this shoe, it was hard to spot something to dislike.
Among the 20+ On running shoes in our database, the Cloudboom reigns second in this category because it's one of the snappiest racing shoes we’ve ever tried. Even better, it’s not harsh to the feet. It’s got a tinge of rigidity to create that pop, but never to the extent of discomfort.
What’s more is that it’s incredibly light - on paper and on the run. Our steps felt so effortless.
It’s also big on traction. The outsole is fantastic in adhering to uneven terrains and slick surfaces.
And if you want to make the most out of your $200, we can’t recommend the On Cloud X enough. It’s race-ready and a true tempo speedster. And with its undeniably good looks, it can also double as your walking shoe.
We can’t stress it enough - traction is king in the Cloudventure. It bit its way through everything we threw at it. On muddy terrain, steep uphills and downhills, the On Cloudventure is your reliable go-to.
And like a true On shoe, it’s heavy-duty. After putting it through paces in gnarly and unfriendly terrains, it proved itself a beast. It had no wear and tear from the upper down to the outsole. Even more, the midsole is not showing any signs of packing out.
If you’re logging many miles on the trails, consider the Cloudventure your friend. It has so much room up front, your toes and feet will have enough space to splay comfortably, especially when they start swelling.
In this shoe, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The On Cloudventure may look bulky and clunky. But when you put it on, it’s the exact opposite. Not once did it drag our feet down.
Want one shoe for your adventures on the road and trail? Take the On Cloudultra.
Apart from being a road-to-trail hybrid, the Cloudultra is also designed to swallow up long miles on either terrain. True to its name, it has cloud-like comfort. It’s so cushy underfoot, it even felt like we could run another stretch.
It’s not boring like most trail shoes. Running in it was loads of fun. Its spring may not push you forward, but it makes the ride peppy and lively.
The midsole and outsole work hand in hand to make the ride stable. The midsole has some firmness to guide the feet, while the outsole has lugs that dig into the ground for confidence-inspiring steps.
If you want to run ultras without any hitches, nothing beats the On Cloudultra. All the perks it comes with are stored in a featherlight package.
It didn’t break the bank, and it delivered its job with flying colors. We were impressed with the On Cloud, to say the least.
As a speedster, it went above and beyond our expectations. It was even better than all the other tempo shoes we’ve ever tried. It’s bouncy and springy, it literally launched us forward.
And because it’s snappy, it has some touch of firmness underfoot, making the ride stable. To take it up a notch, the upper wrapped around our feet like a glove, we never had any slips.
To balance out the rigidity, there’s ample cushion underneath. It cradles the feet with softness and dampens the impact.
And last but definitely not least, the Cloud wouldn’t be a true On running shoe without its signature durability. For such an affordable price, it’s fantastically solid. After miles of hammering, the outsole almost looks completely untouched.
Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.