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

On Cloud X Review: Here’s Why They SMASH The Competition!

The On Cloud X is marketed as the do-it-all workout shoe. This shoe has it all; stability, agility, versatility, with the potential to crush runs and mixed-sport workouts in a lightweight and very reactive training shoe. This is exactly why this shoe is so popular with so many, including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. This shoe is for those who love to mix up their training but want to only have 1 pair of training shoes. I hope this On Cloud X review answers your pre-purchase questions but if there’s anything else you would like to know, please leave me a comment down below.

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This shoe is built with versatility in mind, from running, training and racing in mixed environments across a range of different events/sports involving running.

This means you can hit your goals wearing these shoes for trail running on light trails (like I did – read on later for how I smashed a 50m race in these shoes!), road running, in the gym, and even for triathlon training as they are comfortable to wear without socks, resulting in fast transitions. Keep reading this On Cloud X review to gain valuable insights into the stellar shoe from On Running.

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On Cloud X Review

On Cloud X Fit & Design

The On Cloud X shoes have a neutral fit, similar to the most popular On Running shoes, the On Cloud, reviewed here. When I first slipped them on, I was impressed at how comfortable they felt, easily as comfortable as the infamous On Cloud, which in itself is impressive. When you combined this comfort with their minimal weight, they really feel like an extension of your foot.

Inner & Outer Meshes

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The Cloud X shoes have a stretchy mesh material that has an inner and outer layer [On Cloud X Review]

The inner and outer mesh materials that On are using for the Cloud X really stand out to me as something innovative. They both stretch but the inner ‘sock liner’ is much softer than the outer, which negates the need for socks, should you prefer running in that style. The stretchy mesh is breathable and allows your feet to expand comfortably as they warm up during exercise. Feet can also shrink marginally during a workout or race, if external temperatures shift suddenly, so it’s important to have a running shoe that can accommodate these changes. The On Cloud X shoes do this very well.


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On Cloud X Heel Support

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On Cloud X shoes have a comfortable slim heel support with interior heel-lock cushioned pads which keep your feet locked into the shoe

The Cloud X shoes heel support is sturdy yet slim in its construction and also very soft and comfortable to the touch.

The On Running Cloud X ankle-wall height is just right for me allowing my ankles to fit snugly above while benefiting from their support!

On Cloud X Shoes Inner Sock

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On Cloud X shoes have a nice little sock which attaches the tongue to the forefoot area, similar to the On Cloudflow running shoes. This helps keep the forefoot snug within the shoe and stops the tongue from slipping out of place. As a result of this sock, I didn’t feel any discomfort caused by rubbing materials. All seams inside the shoe appear to be really well hidden, which also helps.

The Tongue in the On Cloud X Shoes

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The Cloud X shoes’ tongue itself is very thin, and lightweight but also has a good amount of padding to help give them that “run on clouds” feeling. Kudos to On Running!

On Cloud X Laces

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Laces and clean upper mesh design in the On Running Cloud X

On Running has massively improved their laces for this shoe. In some of my other On running shoe reviews, you will learn that I’m not a fan of their slim, non-stretchy and most of the time overly long laces. These, on the other hand, are a perfect length and only require 1 tie for a secure knot.

This is down to the stretchy fabric they are built with which is another design feature to allow your feet to expand and shrink comfortably over the course of a run. This whole experience makes for a much smoother ride that your feet will thank you for.

On Cloud X Outsole

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The outsole is a thing of beauty with a lot of clever design work gone into it.

If you haven’t tried to “Run On Clouds” before, you must! They somehow make you want to run faster. I always notice this, especially when putting on a new pair. The cloud pods give you that feeling of a cushioned landing, as they compress under your weight and forward force but also provide the feeling of a barefoot take off as the pods are compressed and then spring back at the time of your foot leaving the ground.

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The ‘clouds’ have had their inside edges sliced off, angling outward (stopping any stones from getting stuck)

Taking a closer look at the outsole reveals that the ‘clouds’ have sliced-off inside edges, 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 X Drop

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The On Cloud X has a 6mm drop from heel to toe

The Cloud X running shoes have a heel to toe drop of 6mm, which is a recurring theme for most of their shoes. 6mm is a happy medium for runners moving towards a more minimal style of running, which I highly recommend.

On Cloud X Toe Box

I would say that the toe box area has a medium width. I have pretty average feet and they fit me really well. I’m guessing that the new stretch mesh will support almost any size feet anyway.

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On Cloud X Toe Box

The On Running Cloud X weighs in at 8.47 ounces (240g) which is very light for a shoe with good cushioning. I really felt the benefits of having such a lightweight shoe after my long runs.

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On Cloud X Review – Run on Clouds!

The On Running Cloud X shoes come in a large variety of men’s and women’s specific colors, so be sure to check them all out in the On-Running store before purchasing a pair.

On Cloud X Womens
On Cloud X Women’s [white | black]

The color scheme of the shoes In my review is called “Glacier | Olive“. I love having the “flash” of orange on the shoe, it really spices up my running outfit. The color of the On Cloud X Women’s shoe, pictured to the right (above on mobile) is called “White | Black“. Pretty nice hey!

Running in the On Cloud X

The On Running Cloud X are so comfortable for running on the roads and light trails. I haven’t tried any technical trails with them yet but if I do, I’ll update this post to share my thoughts with you. So far they have been very good for long and fast runs and I feel like I can push harder in my training sessions knowing that my feet won’t suffer for it. This, in turn, motivates me to want to run more often, which is so important during training blocks.

UPDATE: I ended up running a 50km trail ultramarathon in these during the summer and they performed better than I thought they would! The trails were mostly forest and buffed. I still rate these as one of my favorite On shoes for running!

On Cloud X Review Summary

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On Cloud X Review Summary
On Cloud X Review Featured Latest Edition Trail and Kale
On Cloud X
Comfort
9.5
Design & Function
9.2
Durability
8.7
Flexibility
8.7
Performance
9.5
Pros
Very lightweight (240g)
Very breathable dual mesh material
Many colours to choose from (men's and women's specific)
Great for multiple uses
This new outsole no longer picks up stones
springy cloud pods help your run faster
Cons
Tread could be more durable
9.1
Overall Score

Maybe you enjoy mixing up your trail running with some road running, training at the gym or playing other sports. The Cloud X running shoes will hold its own for all of them. I bet you notice a flurry of PBs when you start running in them too because the outsole transfers energy to forward motion so well! If you enjoyed this On Cloud X Review please share it with a friend who would also love these shoes.

Still not sure which On Running Shoes to buy?

Visit our Best On Running Shoes Guide for an ordered list of the top ON shoes for road and trail running. It has been designed to make your buying decisions easier.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,

    As you seem to be in a unique position…. how would you say these fair compared to the Cloudsurfer? I’ve tried those on and quite liked them but I’m a bit concerned at the weight when it comes to racing Half Marathons in them (at the end of an Ironman 70.3 so on slightly tired legs…) these seem to have a similar forefoot shape… I basically want something with a bit more cushioning than my current shoe – the Cloudsurfer ticks the box but the weight!!! Cloudflow didn’t quite do it for me, it felt lacking in cushioning at the front and as you have said, a bit narrow….

    Thanks

    Scott

    • Hi Scott,

      Everything you’re saying is spot on with regards to these shoes! I would definitely go with the On Cloud X for a half marathon. They are very lightweight but also have enough cushioning to get you comfortably through a half mara but also a full marathon too. The Cloudsurfer is an excellent cushioned shoe but you’re right, it does carry extra weight.

      The Cloud X and Cloud Edge Moonlight (both very similar shoes) are my two favorite road running shoes for going fast! I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with either one of them. Here’s my Cloud Edge Moonlight review: https://www.trailandkale.com/running/on-cloud-edge-moonlight-review/

      Hope this helps,

      Alastair

      • Hi Alastair,

        Thanks for the reply. I’ve ordered both the X and the Cloudsurfer to see how they feel…. the X looks to be a similar shape/style so I’m hoping the fit is as good! I’ll let you know how I get on (of course I may keep neither as i’ve ordered 3 other pairs of shoes to try too!)

        Thanks

        Scott

  2. Hi Scott,

    Everything you’re saying is spot on with regards to these shoes! I would definitely go with the On Cloud X for a half marathon. They are very lightweight but also have enough cushioning to get you comfortably through a half mara but also a full marathon too. The Cloudsurfer is an excellent cushioned shoe but you’re right, it does carry extra weight.

    The Cloud X and Cloud Edge Moonlight (both very similar shoes) are my two favorite road running shoes for going fast! I’m pretty sure you’ll be happy with either one of them. Here’s my Cloud Edge Moonlight review: https://www.trailandkale.com/running/on-cloud-edge-moonlight-review/

    Hope this helps,

    Alastair

  3. Hello,
    Do you think these could be worn below 0 degrees Celsius? It is clearly not insulated, but maybe with warm socks?
    Thank you so much for your thorough and helpful review!
    Kai

    • Hey Kai,
      I personally wouldn’t have any issues wearing them in 0 degrees Celcius as my feet tend to warm up after running for 15mins or so. This may be a personal choice though, and will depend on whether or not you tend to get cold feet while running in the cold weather. Warm socks will definitely help too.

      The Cloud X is a super comfortable shoe by the way!

      -Alastair

  4. Hi, since you seem to have tried all (or at least most) of the shoes that On have to offer I’m hoping you could give me some final advice on which shoe to commit to. I’m currently leaning towards the Cloud X but am also considering the Cloudflow and Cloudsurfer. My current running shoes are Asics gel super J33 which are super lightweight shoes for road running, weighing in at only 208g. I have previously done most of my running on tarmac but last year I developed an interest in tail running and have moved on to that, with the occasional speed session of about 5-10km where I stick to roads. I’d say its about a 60-40 split between trail and road and that’s a mix I’m happy with. My distances are between 5-20km and I try to run 3-4 times/week.

    When I do trail running it tends to be on mountain bike trails and packed dirt roads but also the occasional completely off road run where I’m likely to go through/across a mire or some dense woods (however, I’m not interested in any of the waterproof models of On shoes).

    I feel the Cloudsurfer would be an excellent choice for me but I am concerned about the weight of the shoe as an additional 80g/shoe from what I’m used to feels like a lot of added weight.

    The Cloud X seems like another great choice that ticks pretty much all the boxes but I can’t help wondering if a shoe can really be so versatile that it can be used for gym/road/trail as well as daily wear. I find gym shoes are usually quite “clunky” and not very flexible or responsive which is something I definitely don’t want in a running shoe. Perhaps that isn’t the case with the Cloud X, though? What’s your experience?

    The third shoe I’m currently considering is the Cloudflow. What’s putting me off is that it’s sold as a road running shoe (then again, my Asics are road running shoes and they’ve been great for off road runs too) have you tried the Cloudflow on trails and if so what were they like? I suppose my main concern would be grip on muddy trails but I’m also wondering how well it would perform stability wise as one is dodging rocks or negotiating uneven terrain.

    Thank you for your excellent reviews of these shoes and such a great website!
    All best
    Jennica

    • Hi Jennica,

      With what you’re saying I would definitely go for the Cloud X out of those three shoes.

      The pod system on the Cloudsurfer is the old style and won’t be too good on uneven terrain, and yes they are heavier than the Cloudflow and Cloud X. The Cloudflow is a more minimal shoe though, so I wouldn’t recommend running trails with them as you may feel sharp rocks dig into your feet as you run over them. They are all classed as road shoes but the Cloud X is the shoe that I found to work well on buffed trails too. I actually ran a 50km ultra-marathon (trail) with them and had a great race, even though they are primarily designed for roads and lifestyle use.

      Hope that helps!

      Alastair

  5. Hi, do you recommend this for a full marathon, im training for my first and used to train in Asics. now i bought this ones but not sure if i should use them for long runs. Also, i use an orthopedic insole, should i use it or use the one that comes with the shoe, because ive read it molds to your step.

    Should i use a recomended type of sock?

    • Hi Diego,

      The Cloud X has a good amount of cushioning and I have successfully run a 50km trail race on buffed hard trails so I think you should be ok running a marathon in them. Try with your insoles but if they make the shoes too tight then I would recommend using the ones that come with the Cloud X, which I actually really like.

      For socks, check out this Buyer’s Guide of the Best No-Show socks for running: https://www.trailandkale.com/gear/best-running-socks/

      -Alastair

  6. Hi,

    Between the Cloudflow 2 & Cloud X, which do you recommend for road racing, about 5-21km runs? I’m stuck in between because both reviews are super good but I just don’t know which one is the better one for me.

    • Hi Clement,

      Definitely the Cloudflow 2 for road racing. The standard lacing system will give you a more adjustable fit and the midsole and outsole is better designed for racing.

      -Alastair

  7. Hi there, do you size up or down in the Cloud X vs. your Nike running shoe size?
    I’m a 11 U.K. in Nike shoes across the board (which is a US 12). I note a 11 U.K. is a US 11.5 in On shoes.
    Thanks!

  8. bonjour,
    j’ai une paire de ON pour la vie de tout les jours, une cloud flow pour mes séances route jusqu’au semi et j e viens de prendre une X pour des séances au seuil et VMA.
    je me retrouve pas trop dans votre critique de la on X. déja le chausant est beaucoup plus étroit. a taille égale l’avant du pied est beaucoup plus serré, à la imite de la gène. j’ai la sensation qu’elles ont moins de maintien que la flow en latéral et l’avant du pied tape dur sur le sol. l’amortie est différent mais a mon sens pas optimal pour de la course.
    pour les éances de salle et au quotidien elles sont trés bien. trés légère. attention pour de séances de muscu jambes avec poid , un peu trop souple je trouve.
    je positionnerai plus cette chaussure dans la case sport indor, cardio training, tapis de course et leger running.

  9. Hi I’m just wondering if you have tried these out in more slippery conditions- ie. mud/ wet/ loose terrain? I need a good trail shoe and definitely notice the issue with my current shoes. Have you had a chance to test over more technical terrain yet?

    • Hey Sheena,

      No, I wouldnt use the Cloud X for wet weather trail running – they are road running shoes. I have used them for dry, hard-packed/buffed terrain for a 50k race before and they worked well for that however.

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On Cloud X Review: Here's Why They SMASH The Competition! 19 - Trail and Kale | Trail Running & Adventure

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