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On Cloud Review: On’s Most Popular Lightweight Running Shoes

Visit our On Running Shoes Buyer's Guide to find the best On shoes ranked & reviewed.

All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here's our process.

The On Running Cloud has been built with everyday active people in mind, targeting those who love being on the move while in urban environments.

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I hope this On Cloud review answers your pre-purchase questions but if you want to ask me another question, please leave it in the comments below.

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On Cloud Shoes Fit & Design

The On Clouds, in my opinion, are beautiful shoes that shows off some of that design flair that the Swiss are so famous for. I really like the little details from the reflective decals right down to a tiny Swiss flag on the back. The upper uses mixed fabrics with varying textures and a color palette that uses a classy range of green tones (in this particular color variant).

I have been wearing the On Cloud shoes as my ‘go to’ lifestyle shoe since the very first release. Every year sees a new version with design tweaks and fresh new color options, and every year I’m drawn into buying a new pair for reasons explained below.

On Cloud Shoes Outer Engineered Mesh

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Engineered mesh design on the upper

The engineered mesh material used for the On Cloud upper is very breathable, has a little bit of stretch and offers some protection with a plastic-coated toe cap. The coated toe cap will stop any front-on water splashes from entering the shoe and also prevent any cold wind from hitting your toes.

There are areas in the upper that have been protected with strips of ‘no-sew foil’ which will firmly hold fabrics together without the possibility of fraying edges.

On Clouds Inner Sock

There’s also an inner sock that attaches the tongue to the forefoot area, similar to the On CloudflowOn Cloud X and On Cloudace running shoes. This keeps the forefoot snug and stops the tongue from slipping out of place. The sock should also reduce any chaffing as there are fewer seams inside.

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The On Cloud shoes grippy insole strips are just about visible in this photo

Also worth noting is that inside the shoe there are soft rubbery strips that run either side of the insole which helps keep your foot in place while walking or running.

On Clouds tongue

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Slim tongue

The tongue is slim, soft and very comfortable to the touch, so you could even wear these shoes without socks if you like doing that sort of thing. This tongue really adds to the minimal and super lightweight feel of the On Cloud shoes.

On Cloud Shoes Elasticated Speed Laces

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On Cloud Sneakers elasticated speed lace system. Streamlined and functional with no ‘flap’ of a normal lacing system

On uses a speed lace system for the On Cloud which means you can slip them on and off really quickly if you need to, thanks to the elasticity in the laces. This is one of the reasons that in its early days, the On Cloud was marketed as a triathlon shoe.

Being able to quickly get these Swiss running shoes on, and to wear them without socks makes it a winner for triathletes of all distances, including Ironman too.

On Cloud Shoes Outsole (CloudTec Sole)

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The outsole used for the On Cloud shoes is identical to that of the On Cloud X; my current favorite shoe for speed training on the roads! If you haven’t tried to “Run On Clouds” before, I recommend you give it a try! The CloudTec sole is an innovation that always helps me to run faster, especially when putting on a new pair. The CloudTec cushioning comes in part from the cloud pods that provide a cushioned/soft 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.

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A closer look at the CloudTec sole

Taking a closer look at the CloudTec outsole reveals that the ‘clouds’ have had their inside edges sliced off, angling outward. This much-needed design tweak stops any small stones or debris getting caught in the pods, which used to be a problem shared amongst many.

On Cloud Shoes Drop and Support Type

The On Cloud has a heel to toe drop of 6mm, great for all-day comfort if you spend much of your day on foot. The Cloud has a neutral support type which means there’s not much additional arch support in the removable insole insert – this will suite most people who have average feet. If you do feel you need extra arch support then I would recommend reading our Tread Labs insoles review next, which explains how their running insoles can help improve comfort and form for those who need the extra support underfoot.

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On Cloud Toe Box

The toe box is medium width and feels very airy which is important if you lead an active everyday lifestyle. You’ll likely to be wearing these shoes every day, to work, the gym and even impromptu runs. A shoe that gets this much use could start to smell if it wasn’t as breathable as it is.

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On Cloud Weight

The On Cloud weighs in at 230g (US M 8.5) which is super lightweight. This is probably what you’ll notice first if you haven’t held a pair before. It does sacrifice a touch of cushioning because of the minimal style but for an everyday lifestyle shoe, this isn’t an issue.

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on cloud 2018 women's review
On Cloud Womens shoes – $129.99

The On Cloud shoes come in many different colors for the men’s and for the women’s too, which is fantastic so be sure to check them all out.. On is constantly updating the colorways so I won’t list them all here in case they change next week. The color scheme of the shoes in my review is called “Forest & Jungle” (creative naming as ever!) and the color of the Cloud Womens shoes, pictured to the left (above on mobile) is called “Denim & White“. I love the sailing style of this one, very stylish!

Moving in the On Cloud

The On Cloud is a very comfortable shoe that I 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. And the stylish design keeps me looking fashionable, important for me as a creative. 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.

Where to buy On Cloud Shoes


On Cloud Review Summary

The On Cloud is my ‘go-to’ lifestyle shoe. Many other training shoes just don’t look stylish 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, have the comfort of a running shoe without sacrificing style. This is why I keep choosing On Cloud shoes for my everyday lifestyle.

on cloud 2018 review
On Cloud 2.0
Comfort
8.8
Design & Function
9.5
Durability
8.5
Flexibility
9
Performance
8.5
Style
9.5
Pros
Very Lightweight
Beautiful design
7 color options for men and women
Mixed use shoe for lifestyle, running, gym...
They slip on and off - great if you're a triathlete or just getting ready in a rush
Breathable
Reasonably priced
Cons
Midsole is too minimal for running long distances
9.1
Overall Score

It’s also a very good shoe for running and triathlons due to their easy ‘slip on’ design and comfort while running sock-less. 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!

On Cloud Review Image Gallery


Still not sure which On Running Shoes to buy?

I hope you enjoyed this On Shoes review, if you’re still not sure which On Running shoes to buy, visit our Best On Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide for an ordered list of the top ON Clouds for road and trail running. It has been designed to make your buying decisions easier.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Just got my first pair of On Running and your review is spot on! I find the Cloud 50/50 extremely comfy for walking in but I’m not 100% sure they are the right running shoes for me. Perhaps I just need to get used to them, but if they don’t work out, fine, I’ve got myself a very nice looking pair of casual trainers for all day urban adventures. I might wear them for the walk to Park Run or local races then change into my familiar pair

  2. I just bought my 4th pair of the CloudRush (50/50). It’s an awesome workout/treadmill shoe. Great support with just the right amount of cushion. I’m hearing that this model may be discontinued, if not already. Please reconsider. The CloudRush IMO is the best looking, performance running shoe I’ve owned. It’s not overdone or looks like someone threw-up a bag of Skittles. I’ve been running since the late 70’s.

  3. I just purchased my first On Cloud. Very comfortable but not sure if it’ll hold long runs. I’ve been using Brooks for years and so used to a heavier more bulky running shoes. What do u think will be great On shoes for long runs? Thank you!

    • Hey Carina,

      Agreed, the Cloud is more of a lifestyle shoe than one I’d choose to run with. For longer distance running on the roads I’d look towards either the Cloudsurfer (medium cushion with good bounce), Cloudswift (a great all-round runner), Cloudflow (a bit of a harder ride but great for anything up to a half marathon), or cloudstratus (very cushioned but heavier)- Here’s my run-down complete with reviews of each of them for more details: https://www.trailandkale.com/gear/best-on-running-shoes-reviewed/

    • Hey Khara,

      I have never had this problem before. I’ve literally worn On Clouds for over 6 years as my daily lifestyle shoe (every day) and the tread has always held up well on each pair I have owned. In what ways are you using them? and what types of surfaces? Also, define ‘super fast’ – do you have a mileage count, or months used?

      -Alastair

  4. I bought a pair of Cloudstratus ON running shoes on September 2020 but started using from December. Just after 4 months for 3-4 days per week and 35-40 minutes/day I can see that the material close to the eyelet part of all sides worn out. the shoes checked by store and they just commented that it’s normal because of rubbing. how comes that the 260 CAD running shoes only after 4 month use worn out?

  5. Most comfortable everyday workout shoe I’ve ever owned. I’m on my 4th pair. However expect the white fabric of the edge of your shoe to ear out within 4-6 months.

    • Hi Maggie,

      I personally wear the same size through all of the On range but I do know some people have to follow the advice set out on the On Running website to size up half a size.

  6. It recommends getting half a size up for the terry’s and originals did you find this is the case? I brought Terry’s and they felt tight.

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