Welcome to our Best On Running shoes review guide, in ranked order with summarized reviews, based on our extensive testing and in-depth review articles. Below each shoe summary, you can find a link to a full review and where you can find the men’s and women’s versions if you want to buy a pair.
Having tested and reviewed so many On Running shoes over the years, and being somewhat of an On Running shoe expert and aficionado, 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?
- MY TOP PICK for the best On Running shoe 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.
- MY TOP PICK for the best On running shoes for trail running right now are the On Cloudultra 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.
- MY TOP PICK for 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 stand out a bit.
Scroll down to read each On shoes review to work out which On Cloud is the best choice for you.
Best On Running Shoes [with Reviews] – Table of Contents
Best On Running Shoes for Road Running
1. On Cloudboom
The On Cloudboom are, in my opinion, are one of the best On running shoes for road runners, 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 On 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.
ARE YOU WONDERING where the On Cloud shoe is?? The ‘On Cloud’ is certainly an awesome all-round shoe that’s best suited to everyday lifestyle usage and AS SUCH it’s sitting in the number 1 spot in the Lifestyle category below! rather than this running focused category.
The On Cloudboom feels similar to the On Cloudrush but with just the right amount of cushioning to allow you to run fast for anything up to a marathon distance while keeping a good amount of comfort. 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 Choice Award. For more about why, read my detailed review.
If you’re looking for super-lightweight (7.94oz / 225g), breathable, and cushioned shoes to run some of your fastest times on the roads, the On Cloudboom is most definitely for you but if you want to run EVEN faster with more cushioning – go for the Cloudboom Echo.
2. On Cloudsurfer
My first pair of On Running shoes back in 2012 was the original On Cloudsurfer. The Cloudsurfer was so innovative that the On Running brand immediately caught my attention.
I’m pleased to say that the On Cloudsurfer still has that bouncy, fun feeling that I love – but now there’s even more cushioning and comfort. 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.
The On Cloudsurfer’s 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 shoe definitely keeps up. 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, they are a classic On shoe for good reason! For more detail about the Cloudsurfer, read my detailed review.
3. On Cloudboom Echo
The On Cloudboom Echo takes the original Cloudboom to a whole new level in performance. The Cloudboom Echo running shoes have a hefty price tag that’s for sure, but they are certainly one of the best On running shoes for road runners who are on the racing scene. When you take these out of their box, you won’t believe how lightweight they feel – I mean there’s really no comparison to any other running shoes that I can think of. At 6.7 ounces you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing them. The upper is made with 100% recycled polyester and it’s extremely thin and lightweight which brings with it breathability.
There’s a 9mm drop from heel to toe which gives you an aggressive forward leaning position to encourage relentless forward motion. There’s a carbon fiber plate sitting above the Helion midsole, which helps propel you forwards, and a rocker design in the mid/outsole which smooths out your foot transition, from landing to take off. Lastly the Helion midsole is very responsive yet provides an impressive amount of cushioning for long distance running, like marathon distances. It’s actually quite remarkable how light the shoe is considering the amount of cushioning in the midsole.
The On Cloudboom Echo earned itself a Trail & Kale Editor’s Choice Award for its innovation for racing. This shoe is very much for racers and does sacrifice a little bit of comfort over long distances due to its slimline/narrow outsole which is designed to keep you running fast – most runners will probably prefer a wider outsole which will provide more comfort over longer distances.
If you’re looking to run your fastest 10k or marathon race in the lightest On running shoes (6.70oz / 190g) then the Cloudboom Echo are for you. They are also very breathable, and highly cushioned running shoes with a rocker and carbon infused plate which will keep you moving forward, faster than you’ve probably gone before – and that’s no lie!
As with all On Running shoes reviewed in this post, they are available for purchase in the US, UK, and Globally at on-running.com:
4. On Cloudflow
The On Cloudflow is back with a new design that gives these popular running shoes a very different feel to the two Cloudflow running shoes that came before it.
The new On Cloudflow feels very responsive, flexible and cushioned (thanks to the new Helion outsole) while still maintaining a direct medium cushioned feel that offers high-performance.
The On Cloudflow 3 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. The On Cloudflow shoes also look great as an everyday lifestyle shoe. Read my full review for more details.
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5. On Cloudswift
The On Cloudswift is an excellent road running shoe and the first of these On Swiss shoes to use 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. Helen describes the fit as being almost slipper-like – in a good way, it’s like a hug for your feet while you are running on roads.
The On Cloudswift has a flexible ‘rocker’ outsole made from On Running’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. For more about the Cloudswift, read my detailed review.
6. On Cloud X
The On Cloud X running shoe 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 On 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’ve proved it by running an amazing 50k trail race in them! On Cloud running shoes really are innovative!
I bet you see a flurry of PRs when you first start running in the On Cloud X. I notice this with most new On shoes I review, come to think of it! You can read my detailed Cloud X review here and this post includes a comparison to the On Clouds.
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7. On Cloudstratus
The On Cloudstratus is a marathon and half-marathon cloud running shoe designed for runners who want to soften the impact while running long distances on the roads, so these will be the best on running shoes for you if you need cushioning for running on pavements for long periods of time without sacrificing responsiveness.
The toe box is also 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.
The On Cloudstratus is On’s long-distance performance shoe featuring a dual layer CloudTec midsole made from Helion foam. This striking cushioned midsole will be your friend for many many miles. For more about the Cloudstratus, read my detailed review.
8. On Cloudace
The On Cloudace shoes are so comfortable for running on the roads. They’re designed for maximum support yet with a ‘responsive ride’. 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 in the On Cloudace shoes 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 On Cloudace’s speed-board and CloudTec pods will just keep pushing you forward, mile after mile.
The On Cloudace is also On’s most expensive running 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 their 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 the On Cloudace is a good deal. For more about this shoe, read my detailed On Cloudace review.
9. On Cloudflash
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 review guide 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.
10. On Cloudflyer Waterproof
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 the On Cloudflyer feels easy because of the support provided by the addition of the heel cage to the rear, and the cushioning in these running shoes helps too.
So, if you’re looking for a pair of On waterproof shoes to take away ALL your excuses not to run in the cold and wet weather, then this is the one for you. For more about the Cloudflyer Waterproof read my detailed review.
11. On Cloudflyer
The On Cloudflyer’s unique dual-density sockliner provides next-level foot comfort for running. 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 On Cloudflyer shoe 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 On Cloudflyers are for runners looking for a supremely cushioned and stable shoe that retains a light and agile running feel. A very nice ride!
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Best On Running Shoes for Trail Running
1. ON Cloudultra
The On Cloudultra is one of On Running‘s latest trail running shoes and it’s their excellent contribution to the ultra marathon and endurance trail running arena. Long overdue I’d say, as I’m a big fan of On Running shoes due to their constant ability to innovate on their running shoes for both road and trail running.
The On Cloudultra has answered my calls for an On trail running shoe that can handle technical terrain very well and remain comfortable mile after mile on trails and even the roads due to their comfortable helion midsole foam – they really are great trail running shoes for any distances up to and over the marathon. Learn more in my detailed On Cloudultra review.
As with all On running shoes reviewed in this post, they are also available for purchase in the US, UK, and Globally at on-running.com:
2. ON Cloudventure Peak
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 in these new Cloudventure Peak shoes, albeit redesigned but still weighing next to nothing. For more about this On shoe, read my detailed review.
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3. On Cloudventure (3rd Gen)
The On Cloudventure is for runners looking for a versatile trail shoe with full cushioning and protection.
The outsole of the new On Cloudventure combines multiple grip patterns so you can stay in control as conditions around you change and the improved shallow gully along the bottom of the shoe makes for a much more controllable shoe on technical terrain.
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!
This NEW On Cloudventure takes that system one step further by combining On Running’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. Read my more detailed On Cloudventure review here.
4. On Cloudventure Waterproof
The new On Cloudventure Waterproof trail shoes look so badass and offer excellent cushioning while running trails. When wearing the Cloudventure Waterproof I have been able to storm down the hills much faster than usual on harder terrain, which is just the best fun, even in wet weather conditions!
Don’t let winter stop you running with these, which are undoubtedly the best all-terrain/all-weather On waterproof running shoes. For more about these shoes, read my detailed review.
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Best On Running Shoes for Everyday Use
1. On Cloud
The On Cloud is a very comfortable shoe that I choose to wear all day long. When I’m wearing my On Clouds (which is almost daily) 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. To learn more, read my popular On Cloud On Running shoes review here.
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 when I’m wearing these On shoes.
The On Cloud is 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! Read my more detailed comparison between the On Cloud and Cloud X in this post.
If this list was for Lifestyle shoes, the On Cloud running shoes would certainly be number 1. The On Cloud is also great because it’s available in 10 color variations for both men and women at on-running.com, so you have plenty of choice when it comes to color-ways.
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2. On THE ROGER Centre Court [On Tennis Shoes]
The On THE ROGER Centre Court Edition fast became an iconic shoe for the Swiss running brand because of how well it conforms to the old classic tennis shoe style. These On tennis shoes can also be worn as everyday lifestyle sneakers – and that’s exactly how the majority of buyers are choosing to wear them.
With that said, these tennis shoes have been designed in partnership with the tennis legend himself, Roger Federer – so make no mistake,THE ROGER tennis shoes also provide high performance on the court.
The ROGER has been built with On’s Speedboard and CloudTec midsole so you know it’s going to be responsive out there, whether you choose to wear them around the city, or on centre court.
3. On Cloudnova
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 Cloudnova’s 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.
The cushioning is great 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 On 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.
4. On Cloud Hi Edge
The On Cloud Hi Edge is really comfortable, especially considering these could almost be classed as a lightweight 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 as keeping your feet fresh and free from overheating.
I also love the curved Achilles heel support in the On Cloud Hi Edge, it really adds to the comfort while you’re blasting through your daily step count. For more about the Cloud Hi Edge, read my detailed review.
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5. On Cloud Terry
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, and that it doesn’t use leather in its construction, that will appeal to people wanting to avoid leather and suede products.
The On Cloud Terry is more of an everyday 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. For more about this vegan On shoe, read my full review.
6. On Cloud Waterproof
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 is a versatile shoe that can be worn throughout the day for running, cross-training or even lifting.
The On Cloud Waterproof shoes 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 – whether it’s the On Cloud Waterproof for wet days, or one of the other On Cloud shoe styles. For more about this shoe, read my detailed review.
7. On Cloud Nexus
The Cloud Nexus is essentially the On Cloud with some spicy exterior modifications added. The base shoe is 100% Cloud, with the same upper materials, midsole, speedboard, and outsole but you’ll notice the addition of faux velcro adjustment straps which will probably give you that 80’s throwback feel. On is really good at replicating fashion ‘feels’ from various generations, and this is just another great example of that.
The velcro straps don’t actually do anything and exist purely for style but that’s ok because this shoe is based on the On Cloud, which means a comfortable fit out the box with stretch lace adjustments. Speaking of laces, On has gone with an all new lacing system for the Cloud nexus, which is definitely an ‘out there’ look but I welcome the uniqueness and fresh design work. The faux Velcro straps do add a touch of extra weight to this very lightweight shoe but you’ll still feel like you’re running, walking, or living on clouds while wearing the Cloud Nexus.
8. On Cloud Dip
The Cloud Dip is designed to be tough and ready for all-day adventures, and 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 On 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 On Cloud Dip, on the other hand, offers more protection from the elements and a slightly more cushioned ride.
This lightweight, super durable daily-wear lifestyle shoe is in my opinion On’s most durable On Cloud running shoe ever built (so far). For more detail on the Cloud Dip, read my full review.
9. On Cloud Beam
The On Cloud Beam may be marketed as a lifestyle shoe for active everyday explorers but it’s also an excellent running shoe.
You can think of the On 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. You can even hit the gym with these lightweight breathable training shoes, which makes them a versatile choice if you’re trying to choose between different styles of On Clouds. For more about this shoe, read my detailed review.
Best On Running Shoes for Hiking
1. On Cloudridge
On’s latest hiking boot, the Cloudridge, is designed to be ultralight for everyday as well as fast and light hikes, weighing in at 14.5oz (410g). The Cloudridge is also available in Black and like other On shoes there are different color options for the men’s and women’s versions.
This boot is more like a trail running shoe in feel than a boot, and fits more like a sock, snugly wrapping around your feet once on The Cloudridge boot is designed to be perfect for summer hikes, with breathable mesh construction in the lining and the tongue to help keep your feet comfortable in the heat. It would also be a great shoe for travel due to its lightweight, supportive design.
The Cloudridge is a go-to summer hiking boot, although if you’re looking for some On Cloud boots that are going to perform in wet weather and help keep your feet warmer then check out the On Cloudrock Waterproof below.
2. On Cloudrock Waterproof
If you’re looking for a pair of waterproof On Cloud boots for hiking, these are the ones! The Cloudrock Waterproof is On’s first hiking boot and they have created something very special.
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 most of its hiking boot competitors.
The On Cloudrock Waterproof will provide excellent sticky grip with its rugged outsole all the while keeping your feet dry during long, fast-paced trail hikes. We also love the latest color range – available in more than just the black version shown above! For more detail about these On Cloud boots, read my full review.
For more On shoe reviews and On clothing reviews head over to our On Running Gear page. And if you’re still not sure which On Cloud or other On Running shoes are best for you, leave a comment below and I’ll let you know my thoughts based on my experience wearing all of these on shoes.