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Best On Running Shoes Ranked With Reviews 2021: Ultimate Buyers Guide

Welcome to our list of the Best ON Running Shoes, in ranked order with summarized reviews, based on our extensive testing and in-depth review articles. Below each shoe summary, you can also find a link to a full review. Having tested and reviewed so many On Running shoes over the years, I have a unique understanding of how they compare to one another. There are many great On shoes for running but which are the best? Read on to find out.

Right now my top pick for road running is the On Cloudboom for its carbon-infused plate that put simply, makes you run much faster. I love that the plate is sandwiched between two Helion Superfoam midsoles to combine performance with comfort. The best On trail running shoes right now are the Cloudventure Peak due to their high-performance ‘fast and light’ mountain racing features but because they’re so minimal, I’d recommend these only for summer trail running – if you want solid On trail running shoes for winter running then I’d recommend the On Cloudventure instead.

When it comes to the best On cloud shoes for everyday lifestyle – my top pick has always been, and still is to this day, the On Cloud. This includes the On Cloud 70/30 which essentially has the same geometry and design but with more radical colorway options, for those who like to standout a bit.

Scroll down to learn more about each On cloud running shoes, complete with my detailed On Shoe reviews – and ultimately discover which On Cloud is right for you, because not all ON shoes are created equal, but they’re all pretty great 🙂

Best On Running Shoes – Table of Contents

Best On Running Shoes for Road Running

1. On Cloudboom review

on cloudboom best road running shoes trail and kale

The On Cloudboom are, in my opinion, the best On running shoes for road runners to date, these shoes right here, are something very special. I like to test all running shoes before reading the technical details as to not bias my initial thoughts about how the shoes perform, and also why they perform that way.

As I was nearing the end of my first run in the Cloudboom, I knew there had to be some sort of carbon fiber plate in the midsole as I was moving so much faster than usual with less perceived effort. I also noticed a higher drop (9mm) than any other On running shoes due to the more aggressive forward-leaning stance I was taking on. This shoe feels similar to the Cloudrush but with just the right amount of cushioning to allow you to run fast for anything up to a marathon distance. On Running has absolutely hit it out the park with the Cloudboom and it’s now my favorite road running shoe and as such has earned itself a Trail & Kale Editor’s Award from me.

If you’re looking for super-lightweight (7.94oz / 225g), breathable, and cushioned shoes to run your fastest times on the roads, the Cloudboom is most definitely for you.

In-depth Review: On Cloudboom review

2. On Cloudflow review

On Cloudflow 2 best on running shoes trail and kale

The On Cloudflow is back with a new design that gives these popular running shoes a very different feel to the original Cloudflow.

While the new On Cloudflow looks similar to the original, it’s a very different beast. It feels much more responsive, flexible and cushioned (thanks to the new Helion outsole) while still maintaining the high-performance of the original Cloudflow. The On Cloudflow 2 is a 5k, 10k and half-marathon running shoe for fast training sessions and races, but those who enjoy running marathons in a more minimal running shoe will also love these. They also look great as an everyday lifestyle shoe.

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Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)
Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)
Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)
Plexus Co. (dba Chirp)

In-depth Review: On Cloudflow 2 review

3. On Cloudswift review

best running shoes On Cloudswift

The On Cloudswift is an excellent road running shoe and the first On to don the Helion midsole. It’s hard to explain how this shoe feels while running, but let me try. The extra breathable upper has a 1 piece construction, with no traditional ‘tongue’ so to speak. This allows the shoe to wrap around your feet really comfortably.

The Cloudswift has a flexible ‘rocker’ outsole made from On’s new Helion superfoam, which is very lightweight and has excellent energy return, which makes running on asphalt a real pleasure. The mid-foot cage support also has a cleverly hidden pocket to hide your laces once tied.

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In-depth Reviews: On Cloudswift – Full ReviewWomen’s On Cloudswift – Full Review

4. On Cloud X review

on cloud x web wide

The On Cloud X is extremely lightweight, flexible, has the right amount of cushioning, feels responsive and has a breathable upper to keep your feet cool. It’s so good that it was sitting at the top of this list, until the Cloudswift came along. I’m a big fan of the heel cage too, it holds my feet in place but doesn’t put any unnecessary pressure in the achilles area.

Maybe you enjoy mixing up your trail running (on buffed trails) with some road running, training at the gym or playing other sports. The On Cloud X will hold its own for all of them, I proved it by running an amazing 50k trail race in them this Summer! On Cloud running shoes really are innovative!

I bet you see a flurry of PB’s when you first start running in these, I notice this with most new On running shoes, come to think of it!

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In-depth Reviews: On Cloud X – Full Review / On Cloud vs Cloud X Comparison

5. On Cloudsurfer review

on cloudsurfer web wide

I’ve been running in the new Cloudsurfer for just over 2 weeks now and I’m already in love! My first ever pair of On running shoes was the original Cloudsurfer. On then released the 2nd generation Cloudsurfer which for me, had somehow lost all the fun of the original. I’m pleased to say that the Cloudsurfer is BACK and even better than the original! They’ll have you running faster than your current cardio may be used to, because of the new speedboard and comfortable fit that makes you feel like going much faster.

Its engineered mesh delivers the perfect balance of breathability and hold. The upper supports the forefoot nicely as you transition from soft landing into explosive take-off. When you push the pace, the re-engineered Cloudsurfer keeps up.

Land softer, run longer. An extra layer of EVA cushioning amps up shock reduction at the heel and adds durability. Prepare to spend more time on the road because you’re going to have a lot of fun running in these shoes, there’s no doubt about it!

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In-depth Review: On Cloudsurfer – Full Review

6. On Cloudstratus review

on cloudstratus

The On Cloudstratus is a marathon and half-marathon running shoe designed for heavier runners who want to soften the impact while running long distances on the roads. The toe box is nice and wide with good ventilation for temperature regulation. It’s also a very supportive shoe that has a nice heel cage that will lock your foot into the shoe.

It’s a long-distance performance shoe which carries a little more weight than some of On’s other shoes. If you’re a heavier runner however, the 305g weight of the Cloudstratus shouldn’t really be an issue for you, and that double-layered cushioned midsole will be your friend for many many miles.

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In-depth Review: On Cloudstratus – Full Review

7. On Cloudflash review

on cloudflash review best on running shoes trail and kale

The On Cloudflash has been given a radical revamp that improves the performance of these racing shoes no end! As such, the Cloudflash has climbed the ranks of this best On Running shoes for running list by 4 places. This shoe is designed with one thing in mind – run as fast as possible for a distance of 10km or less.

So, with that said, if you’re looking for the fastest On running shoes for 5k races or even 10K races, then these are the shoes to get you to the finish VERY quickly. If you run more 10k’s than 5k’s though, then I’d recommend the Cloudboom over these for their additional cushioning underfoot.

The reason that the Cloudflash is so fast, lies in how light they are (210g / 7.4oz), paired with a carbon-infused plate that is sandwiched between two cushioned and responsive Helion foam layers. The carbon plate intensifies forward-propulsion as and when it snaps back to its original state during each stride. If you haven’t tried running shoes with a carbon plate in them before, you should, it’s remarkable how much they improve overall speed and help prolong endurance.

The only reason these shoes don’t rank higher is that they are for a very specialized use, and as such don’t lend themselves to being versatile enough for enjoying long runs too, like half marathons, or marathons.

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8. On Cloudace review

On Cloudace best on running shoes reviewed web wide

The On Cloudace shoes are so comfortable for running on the roads. I find myself really letting loose especially downhill, which is where the extra cushioning really stands out. They are also good for running on buffed and dry trails due to the generous amount of support and durability.

While running longer distances on the roads I’ve noticed an improvement in speed as my feet don’t tire as quickly as when I’m running in a more minimal shoe. This has been a real motivator for me to run more weekly miles so that I can improve endurance and speed ready for future ultra trail races. While your feet remain strong, the speed-board and CloudTec pods will just keep pushing you forward, mile after mile.

This is also On’s most expensive shoe with a pretty high price tag of $199.99; is it really worth that? Well I’d personally say yes and this is why: If you consider that the On Cloudace will more than likely last you double the mileage of your average running shoes because of its durability and high-quality build then it makes sense that they should cost twice as much. They probably actually only cost 50% more than your last pair of running shoes so if you look at it like that, then it’s a good deal.

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In-depth Review: On Cloudace – Full Review

9. On Cloudflyer Waterproof review

On Cloudflyer Waterproof best on running shoes web wide

The On Cloudflyer Waterproof is a very comfortable shoe for running in cold and wet conditions. It has the added benefit of being covered in reflective detailing for when you have no choice but to run during the early morning hours or after work at night.

I noticed that running long distances in them felt easy because of the support provided by the addition of the heel cage to the rear, the cushioning helps too.

So, if you’re looking for a running shoe to take away ALL your excuses not to run in the cold and wet weather, then the Cloudflyer Waterproof is your shoe.

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In-depth Review: On Cloudflyer Waterproof Review

10. On Cloudflyer review

on Cloudflyer best on running shoes reviewed web wide

The On Cloudflyer’s unique dual-density sockliner provides next-level foot comfort. Whether you’re running in a marathon or for 1 mile, your inner-shoe comfort will be the same as when you first put the shoe on. The latest Cloudflyer now has extra features such as the adaptive V-molded heel cap and smart memory-foam all to provide a snug and stable heel feel with every step.

The Cloudflyers are for runners looking for a supremely cushioned and stable shoe that retains a light and agile running feel.

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Best On Running Shoes for Trail Running

1. ON Cloudventure Peak review

On Cloudventure Peak FW19 2nd Gen 2019 trail and kale

The On Cloudventure Peak is a trail running shoe, designed for moving fast in the Mountains whether you’re racing or just love running up hills. The Cloudventure Peak is also our favorite On trail running shoe. On has added some significant new design features to their 2nd Generation Cloudventure Peak! The new Missiongrip outsole has been improved in terms of ‘trail-feel’, cushioning, grip and durability, all the while maintaining the same lightweight of 260g. The breathable ripstop upper mesh is still there, albeit redesigned but still weighing next to nothing.

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In-depth Review: On Cloudventure Peak Review (2nd Edition)

2. On Cloudventure review

on cloudventure best on running shoes web wide

The On Cloudventure is for runners looking for a versatile trail shoe with full cushioning protection. The outsole combines multiple grip patterns so you can stay in control as conditions around you change and the improved traction pattern of Zig-zag channels combine with flatter details to prevent slipping on smoother surfaces.

On cloudventure review outsole pattern

The most fun part of all On running shoes is the cloud pods that give you that feeling of a cushioned landing, as they compress under your weight and then provide a barefoot take off as your foot leaves the ground and the pods spring back. It’s a really innovative and effective system!

On cloudventure review outsole

This NEW Cloudventure takes that system one step further by combining On’s Zero Gravity cloud elements with a grip overlay that adds trail-level toughness to the unmistakable sensation of running on clouds. This means you can truly own the downhill, again and again.

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In-depth Review: On Cloudventure – Full Review

RELATED: The Best Trail Running Shoes this year (So far): The Ultimate Buyers Guide!

3. On Cloudventure Waterproof review

On Cloudventure Waterproof best on running shoes web wide

The new On Cloudventure Waterproof trail shoes look so badass and offer excellent cushioning while thrashing the trails. When wearing these I was able to storm down the hills much faster than usual on harder terrain. Don’t let winter stop you running with these, the best all-terrain/all-weather running shoes from On Running!

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In-depth Review: On Cloudventure Waterproof Review

Best On Running Shoes for an Active Lifestyle

1. On Cloud review

on cloud review best on running shoes trail and kale

The On Cloud is a very comfortable shoe that I choose to wear all day long. I feel free knowing I can break into a run whenever I happen to feel like it or if I’m running late for something. The stylish design keeps me looking fashionable, and on that note, It’s incredible how many people comment on them when I’m out. Some even come up to me asking what brand they are and where they can buy them from.

The On Cloud running shoes are my ‘go-to’ lifestyle shoe. Many other training shoes just don’t look cool enough for me to want to wear them all day long, while I’m at work or heading to the city. I love being able to break into a run and have the comfort of a running shoe without sacrificing style.

It’s also a very good shoe for running and triathlons due to their easy slip-on design which makes cycle-to-run transitions fast, and because they’re also comfortable to run in without socks. They are a bit more minimal than say the On Cloud X for running, but if you enjoy running in a minimal shoe and want to look great while doing so, then these shoes are for you! If this list was for Lifestyle shoes, the On Cloud running shoes would certainly be number 1. It’s also available in 10 color variations for both men and women at

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In-depth Review: On Cloud running shoes Review / On Cloud vs Cloud X Comparison

2. On Cloudnova

on Cloudnova review best on running shoes trail and kale

The On Cloudnova is such a unique casual shoe and has earned its place as the second-best On running shoe for everyday wear. Now, I understand the retro design may not be to everyone’s taste but I personally love it, especially because not only does the form look great but there’s function there too, with On’s latest performance tech materials and design.

On’s latest CloudTec® outsole cushions impact and there’s also a Speedboard in the midsole that helps propel you forward. And you’ll notice that there is a subtle ‘rocker’ side silhouette to the Cloudnova, with rubber reinforcements to help support the natural rolling motion of the foot which makes walking feel more efficient – because it is. Adding to the efficiency of walking in these shoes is their relatively wide outsole, this spreads your weight across a larger surface area, hence reducing the pressure of all-day walking impact on your feet. Having this wider outsole also provides additional balance and support.

The Cloudnova is a great shoe for people who are always on the move, looking to add some fashion flair to their wardrobe. The materials used are breathable and sweat-wicking but will also help keep your feet warm in the colder months.

3. On Cloud Hi Edge

on cloud hi edge trail and kale

The On Cloud Hi Edge is really comfortable, especially considering these could almost be classed as a boot. Everything about them feels plushy and supportive and I love the retro design that’s inspired by the street movement in the ’80s.

The low drop gives your feet and legs a more natural stance and footfall position which makes them really comfortable when worn all day long, while the breathable upper materials ensure a well regulated internal temperature as well keeping your feet fresh and free from overheating. I love the curved Achilles heel support too, it really adds to the comfort while you’re blasting through your daily step count.

Full review: On Cloud Hi Edge Review

4. On Cloud Terry review

On Cloud Terry Best On Running Shoes trail and kale

For an active lifestyle shoe, the On Cloud Terry is everything I could ask for – stylish, super-comfortable, lightweight and easy to get on and take off. I love the mixed-use of textures and fabric.

The Cloud Terry is more of a lifestyle shoe than for performance running, but you can effortlessly break into a run when required to in the city. The On Cloud Terry is a very versatile active lifestyle shoe, so whatever you decide to do in them during your day, you should be covered.

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FULL REVIEW: On Cloud Terry Review

5. On Cloud Waterproof review

on cloud waterproof best on running shoes reviewed web

The On Cloud Waterproof is the first pair of shoes I reach for when I’m faced with a wet and cold day ahead. It’s a versatile shoe that can be worn throughout the day for running, cross-training or even lifting.

They will keep your feet warm and dry during the winter months without sacrificing on style and although they’re all black, you won’t be missed at night because of all the reflective detailing that’s elegantly placed around the shoe.

For me, it’s important to be able to feel comfortable while on my feet all day at work and then break into a run whenever I feel the urge. This is why I repeatedly choose the On Cloud running shoes as my everyday lifestyle shoe.

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In-depth Reviews: On Cloud Waterproof Review / On Cloud Waterproof Women’s Review

6. On Cloud Dip review

on cloud dip best on sneakers trail kale

The Cloud Dip is On’s latest addition to the Cloud collection, only this time it’s more durable than ever. Designed to be tough and ready for all-day adventures, the On Cloud Dip brings a new military-inspired ballistic weave canvas upper, a hand-applied (dipped) 360° rubber mudguard, and some new aesthetic tweaks to the much loved On Cloud.

The Cloud Dip weighs 254g (8.96oz) which makes it a tiny bit heavier than the On Cloud running shoes, which weighs in at an impressive 230g (8.11oz) but the Cloud Dip, on the other hand, offers more protection from the elements and a slightly more cushioned ride. I’ll let you decide which is best for you.

This lightweight, super durable daily-wear lifestyle shoe is in my opinion On’s most durable On Cloud running shoes ever built (so far).

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In-Depth Review: On Cloud Dip Review

7. On Cloud Beam review

On Cloud Beam trail and kale

For an active lifestyle shoe, the On Cloud Beam has done a fantastic job of reaching #3 on this On running shoe list! It may be marketed as a lifestyle shoe for active explorers but it’s also an excellent running shoe.

You can think of the Cloud Beam as a lifestyle shoe that’s comfortable enough to be worn all day long while exploring a city, but also with the performance of a running shoe ready for an impromptu post-work run. The Cloud Beam has you covered whatever you decide to do in them. You can even hit the gym with these lightweight breathable training shoes.

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In-depth Review: On Cloud Beam – Full Review

Best On Running Shoes for Hiking

1. On Cloudrock Waterproof review

On Cloudrock Waterproof which on running shoes trail and kale

The Cloudrock Waterproof is On’s first hiking shoe and they have created something very special with this hiking boot. Designed for speed-hiking and fastpacking, this lightweight hiking boot weighs in at 445g. Not light for a trail running shoe but 35% lighter than its hiking boot competitors.

The Cloudrock Waterproof will provide excellent sticky grip with its rugged MissionGrip outsole all the while keeping your feet dry during long, fast-paced trail hikes

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FULL REVIEW: On Cloudrock Waterproof Review

For more On shoe reviews and On clothing reviews head over to our ON Gear page. And if you’re still not sure which On Cloud running shoes are best for you, please leave a comment below with your individual requirements and I’ll reply within a day or so with the right On shoes for you.


  1. The ones I’m wearing all the time right now are the On Cloud Edge Moonlight and the Cloud Beam. I love them both but the Edge Moonlight is more breathable whih makes it better in the heat, coming into fall though, the Cloud Beam is probably a better choice.

  2. I’ve read a few reviews that are quite critical of the Cloudboom – mainly that it’s too firm and batters the feet above 10k. I have 5 pairs of Ons (both models of the Cloudflow, 2x Clouds and the Cloudrush) and am pretty well used to the firm ride. Do you think the On ‘old hands’ among us would get on well with the Cloudboom?

    • Hey Sam, I’m assuming those reviewers don’t have much experience running in On Running shoes because the Cloudboom to me feels more cushioned than the Cloudflow and Cloudrush for sure 🙂

      If you run in the Cloudrush, Cloudflow, and Clouds – and you enjoy them, as I do, then you’re really going to love running in the Cloudboom! They’re a very fast shoe due to the carbon plate running through the midsole and the cushioning feels really good. Let me know how you get on! 🙂


    • Hey Sam – I usually run in the Cloud Flow and Cloud X. The Cloud Flow being my go-to training shoe. I recently bought the Cloud Boom to replace my Nike Zoom Fly’s for my longer runs. I have run a few half marathons in them and find them more cushioned than a lot of reviews would have you believe. After 13 miles, my feet felt fine, and they were a worthwhile upgrade on my old Nikes. I think ON have done a great job on these.

  3. Do you have a recommendation for an On crossfit shoe? More gym time – treadmill sprints, uphill and endurance, plus burpees, power jumping jacks, etc. I need a good all around show that provides support and cushion!!


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Hey, I'm Alastair. I started Trail & Kale to share the mental & physical benefits that trail running and nature had given me. This site now inspires hundreds of thousands of people all over the world to trail run, hike, adventure more, and live a healthy plant-based lifestyle. It's also a place to learn how to chase your dreams, untether from convention and live more self-sustainably.

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Best On Running Shoes Ranked With Reviews 2021: Ultimate Buyers Guide

The ULTIMATE 'Best of' list for On running shoes (Trail & Road), ranked & reviewed. Find out which On running shoes are best for YOU!
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