Best On Running Shoes Reviewed for Performance

We all want to stay in shape, but the hefty yearly prices of gyms and workout accessories can turn someone with a limited budget off. What’s free that can keep us healthy and feel good? Our bodies are like workout machines and we don’t even notice it, especially our feet. And we all know that running is one of the best ways to stay healthy. But running can be a burden if you don’t have the proper tools; that’s why you need a good pair of running shoes, that can last you a few years, and offer you an experience that makes it feels like you’re literally running on clouds.

Best On Running Shoes

On running shoes, a Swiss company, came out with one of the best inventions to make your running sessions bliss. Three-times World Duathlon Champion and winner of many Ironmans, Olivier Bernhard wanted to create a new sensation for running. He teamed up with Caspar Coppetti and David Allemann and officially created On in 2010.

Last Updated: December 5, 2017
By Stephanie Ladurantaye:

The recent update offers you many of the On running shoes now on the market. Whether you want running shoes for competitions or just to get back in shape, On really has models, shapes and colors to please everyone. If you really want to feel like you’re running on cloud, then check out the 2017 models!

Featured Recommendations

On Cloudflow
  • On Cloudflow
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Synthetic sole
  • Mesh
  • Price: See Here
  
Middle
  • Middle
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Synthetic sole
  • Rubber/Synthetic
  • Price: See Here
  
On Cloudflyer
  • On Cloudflyer
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mesh /Rubber /Synthetic
  • Synthetic sole
  • Price: See Here

But what was so remarkable in those running shoes that it awarded On with two winning ISPO (Internationale Fachmesse für Sportartikel und Sportmode)? The engineer that worked on the patented soles  (that later Bernhard would continue to improve on them) created a technology that cushions your landing and hardens your take-off. This new technology is called ‘CloudTec’ where the outsoles look like honeycomb. So if you’re ready to start running on clouds, then check out our Top 10!

 

10 Best On Running Shoes

 

1. On Cloudflow

If you're looking for a pair of On running shoes mainly for neutral road running, then you should definitely consider these Cloudflow. These shoes create a faster running output. The new mesh weaving technology brings more breathability. Like all of the On running shoes, they offer you the CloudTec honeycombs on the outsoles, making your landing and departures so much easier.
Expand to see more
Various Colorways
On really has thought about everything. From innovative technology to pickier clients who need their shoes to fit their ensembles. This is why the Cloudflow running shoes offer various colorways, both for men and women. Though the colors might be a bit flashy, there are far from bothersome to the eye.

Antimicrobial Treatment
Are you tired of always having to put powder in your running shoes after a run because they smell? Well, believe or not, the Cloudflow receive an antimicrobial treatment before leaving the distribution center. This means that no matter how many runs you have, the smell should always remain the same: non-smelly.

Cost and Value
With their shoes varying between $110 and $230, the Cloudflow are smack in the middle of these price ranges. You’re definitely paying for comfort and quality, which is what any runner is looking for. Let’s face it, no one likes to run while their feet are in pain
Pros
  • Wearing the Cloudflow during long periods doesn't disturb or discomfort the leg muscles
  • Visually appealing with the many colorways
  • Perfect for flat surfaces (city roads, for example)
  • Cushioning system is comfortable and responsive, as it should be
  • Perfect for those looking to purchase competition running shoes
Cons
  • Some reviewers found that rocks can easily get caught in the crevices, but are hard to remove
  • Outsoles cannot grip wet surfaces well

2. On Cloud

As per the Cloudflow, these running shoes are specifically made for competitive running on road terrain. They come with a lighter build compared to the Cloudflow, but the heel to toe drop is the same (6mm). Thankfully, these shoes are available for those with medium-size feet and those with slight wider forefeet, for both men and women. This means that you won’t feel tightened at the widest part of your foot.
Expand to see more
Laces
The laces on the Cloud are different than what you’d find on any other running shoes. They don’t tie, but there is a special bead that secures the lace when you find it tight enough.

Fine Sock Liners
Cloud is most famous for its ‘unmatched step-in feel’. Indeed, On updated their sock liner using a dual-density material, which makes your comfortability level higher than with any other pair of running shoes.

Cost and Value
The On Cloud cost a little less than the Cloudsurfer and Cloudflow. I think that what would make you choose from here would definitely be the color and style you’re looking for.
Pros
  • Flexibility because of thin material and fine sock liners
  • CloudTec responds well to all the reviewers
  • Comes in many colorways
  • Good impact protection
Cons
  • Some reviewers found that pebbles easily entered the shoe while they were running
  • Not as durable as some reviewers expected

3. On Cloudsurfer

If you're a daily runner and appreciate long workouts on neutral roads, then the Cloudsurfer would suit your lifestyle greatly.
Expand to see more
Outsoles
These running shoes are for city runners, where asphalt cover the grounds wherever you look. The Cloudsurfer outsoles have an arrow pattern that provides extra traction on that type of road, which means that there is less effort given and thus can make you run for longer periods of time.

Knitted Mesh
Because of the single-layer mesh that these running shoes have, they remain soft yet durable to last you many runs. Because the overlays are blended to the upper sole, it offers you a secure fit.



Cost and Value
These are priced at around the same value as the Cloudflow, but if you’re not looking at competitive shoes, but simply just really good running shoes, then these would be more suited for you and the use you’d be making of them.
Pros
  • A lot of cushioning
  • No pressure on knees and ankles, even during long runs
  • Secure fit
  • No need for break-in period unlike many other running shoes
Cons
  • Laces are very long and thin, and some reviewers found that they are difficult to adjust
  • Half-size smaller

4. On Cloudflyer

4. On Cloudflyer
On’s Cloudflyer features enhanced midsoles, as well as lighweight and stable outsoles. The star-crossed laces provide snugs the foot well and provide extra stability and support. The shoe is responsive to the runner and fits the wider-range of feet.
Expand to see more
Enhanced Midsoles
The goal of On is truly to create a running experience on the road that would feel like you’re running barefoot (or with socks on). This is why the Swiss company uses proactive elements that give you enough cushioning all the while promoting the foot’s natural movement.

Outsoles
The Clouflyer offers a ground-breaking Speedboard (which is a thin Pebax lining that helps the runner during his variations of speed) that’s directly attached to the outsoles, offering runners more stability without adding any weight. Seriously, how better than this can it get?

Cost and Value
The Cloudflyer are close to the top prices of theOn price ranges. For what they offer, and the slightly heavier feel they give the runners, I would have to say that On perhaps might overpriced this running shoe.
Pros
  • Generous padding
  • Good heel support
  • High quality materials and excellent craftsmanship
  • 12 “clouds” zero-gravity on the outsoles add cushioning and stability
Cons
  • Ground perception isn’t as good as the other On running shoes
  • Expensive

5. On Cloudster

5. On Cloudster
The On Cloudster is the heaviest running shoe pair in this top 5, but the reason it’s this high on our list is because of its reliability and durability. These shoes are made for endurance runs, and some reviewers even use them on marathons. They have solid arch support, with On’s usual cushioning.
Expand to see more
Fabric
The On Cloudster’s material is a 4way-stretch fabric that offers adaptive-fit to the wearer. Because of its stretch, the fabric is able to adjust itself to the runner’s foot natural shape, allowing the foot to spread naturally and securely.

Upper
The upper on the Cloudster features the mesh-weaving coverage that offers maximum breathability. It promotes effectual air-flow, thus keep the runner’s feet cool and dry. The tongue of the shoe is perforated to give extra comfort. There is also a non-slip lining that keeps the foot secure and stable.

Cost and Value
With everything that the On Cloudster has to offer, the low price they are currently being sold at is a truly fair price (that’s because I can’t say it’s a steal!). If your budget is on the lower side, I would have to recommend these, especially if you want them to last a long time.
Pros
  • Takeoff and landing are surprisingly comfortable
  • Springy sensation (because of the CloudTec)
  • Reliable performance
  • Heel cushioning is beyond the expectations of some reviewers
Cons
  • The heaviest in the top 5 On running shoes
  • Runs large

6. On Cloudventure

6. On Cloudventure
If you like running on backroads, gravel and in forests, then the Cloudventure could be what you are looking for. These the On running shoes are made especially for trail terrains, with a daily running use.
Expand to see more
Water-Repellent
Because its main use would be for running in trails and uneven terrain, these shoes were made with a water-repellent 2-layer membrane upper. Not to be confused with Waterproof. Water-repellent means that water is staved off from the shoe, but if you end up jumping in puddles, water will enter the shoe. This feature is very useful if you’re a hardcore runner and don’t mind a little bit of rain.

Outsole
The the On Cloudventure’s outsoles have a micro-engineered grip rubber that allows the runner to move around easily, no matter the surface of the ground. There are various sized nodes, providing extra grasp on uneven roads and thus making your run a more agreeable sport and adventure.

Cost and Value
The Cloudventure is close to the top-range in pricing, but the fact that they can used on uneven terrains and that they are water-repellent makes a good deal out of the price.
Pros
  • Water-repellent
  • Protective toe cap
  • Cushioning of underfoot thanks to lightweight foam
  • Outsoles designed to keep the running fully in control, no matter the surface ground
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Fully waterproof upper would have been even better

7. On Cloudrush

7. On Cloudrush
If you’re more of a runner that focuses on speed and low mileage, then the the On Cloudrush are what you’re probably looking for. They replace the discontinued Cloudracer (but still available somewhere online).
Expand to see more
Cloud Pods
Compared to the other the On running shoes, the Cloudrush offer the runners 18 cloud pods, adding extra cushioning and comfort. These pods collapse and compress when the runner hits the ground with his foot, giving more responsiveness to each step.

Sole unit
On’s Cloudrush’s sole is really thin yet firm and nimble. It’s made out of high-grade EVA CloudTec that is built for speed, as well as Speedboard, helping the runner while he changes speed.

Cost and Value
These On running shoes are on the lower price range of the Swiss company. Sadly, its durability is to be questioned compared to its compatriots.
Pros
  • Shorter track runners will appreciate its light weight
  • Sleek design
  • Extra flexible for more comfort
  • Innovative heel structure
  • Speedboard paired with EVA CloudTec
Cons
  • Not made for long runs
  • Durability concerns because of the makeup of the shoe

8. On Cloudventure Peak

8. On Cloudventure Peak
These On Cloudventure Peak are made for trail and daily running. With a neutral arch support and a heel to toe drop of 6mm, these running shoes offer you support and stability, no matter the road you decide to take. With its stylish look, tough built, almost perfect grip and admirable durability, these running shoes are made to last.
Expand to see more
Tape Reinforcements
On decided to reinforce their Cloudventure Peak with nearly weightless tape, adding more structure to the upper of the shoe. They are very light and provide more protection to the runner’s feet while they run.

Rubber Toe Cap
Because these shoes are made to be taken off-road, On has thought about guarding the runner’s toes with rubber toe caps, adding extra protection against rocks and ground irregularities while running.

Cost and Value
Its price is higher than the Cloudflyer and Cloudsurfer, but less than the Cloudventure. If you want to save a few bucks while still buying quality for trail running, the Cloudventure Peak is a must-have.
Pros
  • Lighter than the On Cloudventure
  • No break-in period needed
  • A lot of reviewers confirmed that they never got blisters with these shoes
  • Snug fit, perfect for trail running
  • Good for marathons
Cons
  • Sizing can be a little confusing with these shoes – some reviewers found them narrower and others found them wider than shown sizes
  • Not water-repellent like the On Cloudventure

9. On Cloudracer 2

9. On Cloudracer 2
Yes, these shoes are discontinued, but still available on Amazon, and this is why they’re still on the list. They are part of the best On running shoes because of its sleek design for speed running on regular roads. If you want to focus on competitive running, then get yourself a pair of Cloudracer before they’re all gone.
Expand to see more
Low to the Ground
Because the soles are lower than the rest of its compatriots, the On Cloudracer 2 makes the runner feel like he is running barefoot.

No Stitching
This is a really important feature of this shoe, as the stitching often adds unnecessary weight to a shoe, thus lowering your performances. The fact that there are no stitching makes the mesh-weaving of the upper even more flexible, light and softer.

Cost and Value
These shoes are worth more than what they cost and should be a must in your wardrobe if you're looking for something that can pair up with anything casual. And for once, the resale is close to the retail price.
Pros
  • Low to the ground compared to other On shoes
  • More stability thanks to the Speedboard
  • Craftsmanship quality is remarkable
  • Perfect for speed work on races
  • No stitching, thus making it lighter than other comparative running shoes
Cons
  • A bit narrow
  • Expensive

10. On Cloudventure Midtop

10. On Cloudventure Midtop
Similar to the On Cloudventure, the Cloudventure Midtop is made for daily runs on trails, and they’re water-repellent. The only difference is their height: On added an extra cushioned inch in height to rest no higher than the runner’s ankle. They are 10 grams heavier than the Cloudventure (because of the additional upper’s height). The only thing if you want your shoes to match your outfits is that the Cloudventure Midtop only has one colorway for men (green and grey), and one colorway for women (mulberry and grey).
Expand to see more
Water-Repellent
I mean, what’s not to like about this awesome feature? No matter the temperature, rain (to a certain point) or shine, you get to have the chance to experience an enjoyable run without having your feet soaked. I’ll repeat myself, but the water-repellent feature is not to be confused with waterproof.

Removable Sock Liner
On decoded to add a removable sock liner to their Cloudventure Midtop to create more support and comfort for the runner. The sock liners have also been treated with an antimicrobial treatment to prevent bacteria from settling in the shoe (they’re the ones that end up making your shoes stink).

Cost and Value
The On Cloudventure Midtop is usually the same price as the Cloudventure. What could make you hesitate between both models would be if you need extra support around your ankle or not. If you do, then the Cloudventure Midtop should go on your consideration list.
Pros
  • Breathable thanks to the mesh
  • Quality material
  • Flexible soles
  • Higher mudguard at the back of the shoe
Cons
  • One colorway for men only
  • One colorway for women only

No matter what kind of running you do or what kind of <em>runner</em> you are, <em>On</em> has what you need. From performance running shoes to trail ones, from racing shoes to performance and active, the Swiss company came out with a technology that really makes it seem like you’re running on clouds. Almost all of the models come with many colorways, making it possible for you to fit your clothes to your shoes (or vice versa), but the most important thing is to feel comfortable, stable, and have enough support to make running the best sport ever.