On Cloud VS Hoka For Walking: How To Choose Between These Brands in 2024

The key differences between Hoka and On, my top recommendations for walking and trail hikes, PLUS considerations to keep in mind when choosing the perfect pair for you

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When it comes to walking shoes, two brands often stand out, On and Hoka. Both brands offer exceptional cushioning, support, and innovative designs, but how do you choose between them? I’m going to break down the key differences and top picks from each brand for different walking needs.

Every gear roundup or informational guide we write here at Trail and Kale Running Co. is based on our in-depth testing and reviews – this is how we are able to provide such accurate recommendations to our readers and YouTube subscribers; this article is no exception.

In this brand battle all about On Cloud VS Hoka for walking, I’m going to gives you all the insights you need to be an expert in both brands, and will also recommend one shoe from each brand for walking on the roads, and another for hiking on the trails.

On Cloud VS Hoka For Walking: How To Choose Between These Two Great Brands
Hoka is well known for their bright and bold colorways but On also has some wild color options to choose from, and both brands also have more understated colors available

Hoka is well known for their bright and bold colorways and although the shoe photos in this article depict bright colored On’s and Hoka’s, that’s only because they’re the shoes I own. Both brands have plenty of colorways, better suited to the majority of walkers who prefer more understated/muted color palettes on their shoes.

For complete roundups of the best Hoka and On cloud shoes for walking (updated whenever I review a new Hoka or On running shoe), visit the links below:

And if you’re into running as well as walking, you’ll definitely want to read our best On Cloud and Hoka running shoe roundups, via the links below:

Overview of the Hoka and On Cloud brands

Hoka brand overview

Hoka, originally a French brand now based in Goleta, CA, was founded in 2009 with a mission to design running shoes that provide a blissful balance of cushioning, support, and a responsive ride.

Hoka shoes are renowned for their exceptional cushioning, relatively low heel-to-toe drop, and innovative design that promotes a natural walking form, efficient cadence, and reduced fatigue over long distances. Hoka shoes are also durable and versatile, making them a solid investment for any runner or walker.

On brand overview

On, a Swiss brand established in 2010, focuses on delivering the ideal mix of cushioning, support, responsiveness, and style. Known for their CloudTec cushioning technology and Helion superfoam, On shoes offer a soft landing and an energetic take-off, making every step feel like walking on clouds.

On shoes are also recognized for their stylish designs (with major partnerships with stars like Roger Federer and more recently, Zendaya), making them a great choice for both walking and everyday wear.

Here are my top shoe recommendations for walking on road surfaces

From the Hoka lineup, the Clifton 9 is my top pick for walking on road surfaces. With its compression-molded EVA foam midsole, it provides excellent cushioning without sacrificing on stability.

The soft, supportive, breathable upper with articulated heel design ensures a comfortable fit that gives your achilles room to breathe, making it perfect for long walks. The 5mm drop promotes a natural walking gait, and its lightweight design reduces fatigue when worn all day. To learn more, read my in-depth Hoka Clifton 9 review.

From the On lineup, the Cloudsurfer 7 is my most highly recommended running shoe for walking on road surfaces. Featuring On’s CloudTec Phase midsole, the Cloudsurfer 7 provides a cushioned yet responsive feel. The engineered mesh upper offers breathability and stability, making it ideal for long walks or standing all day. To learn more, read my in-depth On Cloudsurfer 7 review.

Here are my top shoe recommendations for walking on the trails

From the Hoka lineup, the Speedgoat 6 is the only choice you should be making when it comes to walking on the trails, it’s also one of the best choicees for trail running too. The Speedgoat excels on technical trails with its Vibram Megagrip outsole and deep 5mm traction lugs, providing excellent grip on loose terrain. It also comes with classic Hoka comfort with a lightweight feel, making it perfect for long hikes on various terrains (moderate or technical). It’s available in a wide version too, accommodating those with wider feet. To learn more, read my in-depth Hoka Speedgoat 6 review.

From the On lineup, the Cloudultra 2 is my top recommendation for hiking on the trails. Designed for ultra-distance and endurance trail running, the Cloudultra 2 features a comfortable Helion foam midsole and Missiongrip outsole for excellent traction. It has a nice stable ride, and the double-layer CloudTec cushioning provides comfort over long distance walks, making it an excellent choice for trail hikes. To learn more, read my in-depth On Cloudultra 2 review.

How to choose the right walking shoes for you

When selecting the perfect walking shoes, for YOU and YOUR requirements, you should be considering factors such as cushioning, support/stability, breathability, style, price, and the specific surfaces you’ll be walking on. Both Hoka and On offer excellent options for different needs, whether you’re walking on roads or trails.

If you have very specific requirements, share them in the comments and I’ll get you hooked up with the perfect walking shoes for you.

Cushioning and comfort

Hoka shoes are known for their plush cushioning, thanks to their EVA foam midsoles and rocker geometries. On Cloud shoes also provide excellent cushioning with their CloudTec technology and Helion superfoam, offering a soft landing and a responsive take-off.

So, knowing that both brand have cushioned, or responsive running shoes for walking with is important to note, my point being Hoka no longer just produce high stack super cushioned shoes, they do it all.

Support and stability

For those needing extra support, Hoka’s Active Foot Frame and J-Frame technology offers lightweight stability, cradling your foot and securing your heel in place. On’s CloudTec and speedboard technologies ensure a stable and supportive ride, ideal for long walks or standing all day too.

On Cloud VS Hoka For Walking: How To Choose Between These Two Great Brands

If you’re still not sure which is best for you, the easiest way to find your perfect shoe would be to simply state you requirements in the comments below and I’ll very quickly share my top recommendation for your needs.

Breathability and fit

Both brands use breathable mesh uppers to keep the temperature of your feet well regulated, adn to allow sweat to evaporate and escape out. Both brands use gusseted tongues (but not on every model) for a good supportive fit, and both produce engineered meshes to ensure a snug and secure fit (and heel lock), reducing the risk of blisters and discomfort.

On Cloud VS Hoka for walking: In summary

Choosing between On Cloud and Hoka shoes for walking comes down to personal preference and specific requirements. For you to be most accurately matched up with the best Hoka or On shoes for your walks just let me know your requirements in the comments and I’ll share my top recommendation for you very soon.

If you prioritize plush cushioning and a natural walking form, Hoka might be the better choice but if you prefer a responsive ride and stylish design (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course), On Cloud could be perfect for you. Both brands offer excellent options for road walking and trail hiking, ensuring you’ll find the perfect pair for your walking adventures. -Alastair

Alastair
Alastairhttps://www.trailandkale.com
As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, can you help me figure out which brand would be best for me? My lower back hurts if I walk for too long. I tried the Hoka Bondi and it worked fine, but I didn’t like how bulky it looks. I don’t mind sacrificing looks for comfort, but wanted to see if On would work to alleviate my lower back pain.

  2. Hi,
    What would you recommend for a flat feet and plantar fasciitis. I need a recommandation for good walking shoes (long walks in the streets and parks). I have the aesics but they’re done.

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