The 11 Best On Running Shoes in 2024

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Founded in 2010, Swiss brand On has seen remarkable success in a relatively short amount of time.

One of the fastest-growing running shoe brands in the world, it produces high-quality footwear with a unique aesthetic, incorporating cutting-edge technology to boost performance.

Every type of runner is catered for, so whether you’re training for a marathon or looking for comfortable footwear for your daily jog, there will be a perfect On shoe for you!

But given the wide range of models the brand offers, choosing the right one for your needs isn’t always easy.

That’s why we’ve designed this guide to help, with a list of the 10 best On running shoes available right now.

We’ve outlined the main features of each model – along with their pros and cons – so you can find the perfect pair for your next run.

Before we get started, though, let’s take a look at some of the distinctive elements of On running shoes that are earning them an ever-increasing fanbase worldwide.

Best On Running Shoes

The 11 Best On Running Shoes in 2024

Why are On Running Shoes so Popular?

The secret of the brand’s success lies in its ability to design shoes that are simultaneously fast, lightweight, and comfortably cushioned.

It’s a winning combination that’s hard to achieve, yet something that On delivers consistently throughout its range.

Here’s a look at some of the technology behind it:

CloudTec

This unique cushioning system comprises hollow pods underfoot that compress horizontally and vertically to absorb impact when you land and then rebound for a propulsive takeoff.

These make the shoe feel both comfortable and responsive.

The pods vary in size from shoe to shoe, depending on the type of running that the particular model is designed for.

man running on road with clouds

Speedboard Plate

This stiffening plate in the midsole is designed to work like a carbon plate, bending and flexing with your run to help achieve a more aggressive push-off.

It also gives the shoes a feeling of stability.

The material, thickness, shape, and curve of the Speedboard vary from model to model and depend on the goal of each shoe.

CloudTec Phase

This year, On has introduced its latest cushioning technology – CloudTec Phase – currently seen in the Cloudsurfer.

Instead of featuring individual pods, CloudTec Phase fuses them together so that they collapse and interlock one after another, in a domino-type effect.

This is designed to provide a rolling motion and smoother transitions than ever.

Another bonus is that the Speedboard plate is no longer needed, reducing the shoe’s overall weight.

Other features of On shoes include:

  • Helion – this is the Swiss-engineered superfoam created by On for a smoother performance. Lightweight and tough, it also performs well at all temperatures.
  • Missiongrip – Developed in the Swiss Alps for safety on mountain runs and used in On’s trail shoes, this rubber compound – along with enhanced traction patterns – provides excellent grip on a variety of off-road terrain.
woman sprinting

The Best On running Shoes

#1. Best On Running Shoes for Comfort: Cloudmonster

Weight: Men: 275g / 9.7 oz; Women: 230g / 8.1oz; Heel: 30mm, Forefoot: 24mm, Drop: 6mm

On Cloudmonster
ProsCons
Largest pods of any On running shoesMay feel a little too soft for heavier runners
Soft landings with unmatched energy returnOn the heavy side for an On shoe
Temperature-resistant for great year-round performance

The Tech:

At its launch, the Cloudmonster was the brand’s most cushioning and highest-stack running shoe.

The large CloudTech cushioning elements were bigger than any seen in previous models from the brand and the shoe instantly had the appearance of being their most cushioned model.

It also features another of the brand’s signature technologies, the Speedboard.

This plastic plate runs the length of many of their shoes and acts to provide a little stability and add to the energy return.

It’s worth noting that whilst this speedboard sits in a similar place to that of a carbon plate used in other performance models, the board here is much more flexible than carbon and doesn’t work in the same manner.

A more exaggerated and aggressive rocker is evident in the Cloudmonster and is required as, like many higher-stack shoes, the rocker helps the foot roll forward from the deep layer of cushioning.

The CloudTech midsole elements are made from the brand’s proprietary midsole foam, HELION foam.

This is a lightweight material that’s essentially a blend of CM-EVA and polymers and is very similar to something like that used in a Saucony Ride 16. It does feel very different and that’s from the formed Cloud elements with the space between each of the ‘clouds’.

On Cloudmonster

The Run:


Like the vast majority of On running shoes that I’ve tried over the years, the quality of the upper and fit around my foot is great. The Swiss design and engineering make for a high-quality finish and I find the fit second to none.

I’d describe my own feet as slim to regular in width, so the volume of On shoes does tend to work perfectly for me.

Sizing with On running shoes is a little different from many of the other brands I wear and I usually wear a half size up (in UK size) with On shoes compared to other brands such as Brooks, Saucony, and Mizuno.

In the UK, On sizing is just a half size less than the USA size. So a USA 10 is a UK 9.5, whereas most other brands (except New Balance) use a full-size conversion.

When first trying the Cloudmonster, the first thing I noticed was the stack height. It feels high and significantly higher than other shoes from the brand that I had worn. The shoes feel more than the quoted 30mm stack in the heel.

This high-stack feel isn’t a bad thing, it’s not a wobbly shoe and it’s not unstable in the way an Adidas Prime X feels.

The Speedboard doesn’t feel as obvious in the Cloudmonster and the shoe is less stiff than many of the previous models from the brand I’ve tried in the last few years.

I think this comes from the higher amount of cushioning whereas other models feel much firmer, particularly under the forefoot.

The shoe feels light on the foot, especially for a shoe with such an obvious amount of cushioning. But the fact that lots of the cushioning comes from the ‘space’ within the cloud elements reduces weight significantly.

On Cloudmonster

The feel on impact is good and soft, but not squishy and reasonably stable. Rolling onto the forefoot is relatively smooth and it’s helped by the prominent rocker geometry.

To me, I don’t get much ‘feedback’ or ‘energy return’ from the Cloudmonster. In that respect, it’s a little like the ASICS Nimbus, well cushioned, but not a responsive shoe.

As I have said previously about such shoes as the Nimbus, not every shoe needs to feel responsive, and good cushioning is just as welcome.

In summary, the On Cloudmonster is a good, steady miles kind of shoe. It soaks up the impact and feels good around the feet.

It’s a durable shoe too and the cushioning holds up pretty well, with none of the durability issues the brand suffered in its earlier days.

#2. Best On Running Shoes Without a Speedboard: On Cloudsurfer

Weight: Men: 275g / 8.6 oz Women: 205g / 7.2oz; Heel: 36mm, Forefoot 26mm *approx., Drop: 10mm

On Cloudsurfer
ProsCons
Cushioned comfort through every phase of your strideMay be too unstable for overpronators or heavier runners
Soft, bouncy rideNot ideal for up-tempo runs
Rockered geometry for smooth transitionsUpper feels too warm in hot weather

The Tech:

The On Cloudsurfer took the brand’s cushioned shoes to the next level.

After the release of the Cloudmonster, the brand clearly took note of the demand for higher stacked and softer cushioned shoes and produced the Cloudsurfer.

Previous versions of the Cloudsurfer used the brand’s Speedboard and CloudTec cushioning.

Whilst there were fans of these shoes, they were much firmer than many competitor models, and with the trend to softer and higher stacked, more cushioned neutral shoes, On stepped away from their usual running shoe playbook.

The Cloudsurfer no longer features the Speedboard and as such, the shoe is both softer and more flexible.

CloudTec has also gone and we now see CloudTec Phase. Designed with the help of computer modeling, this midsole is essentially a regular midsole foam with Cloud elements cut into it.

The arrangement of the Clouds (holes within the midsole) helps the shoe absorb impact and how they are arranged is designed to help the foot roll forward smoothly. They resemble dominoes toppling over, one after the other.

On Cloudsurfer

The Run:

I instantly found the Cloudsurfer to be the softest and smoothest riding shoe from On that I had tried to date.

The removal of the Speedboard allows the shoe to flex more and it instantly feels more agile and softer riding.

The cushioning is soft, the softest On available and it’s a nice feeling shoe because of it. It’s a soft neutral shoe, so those with concerns over stability should perhaps steer clear, but for neutral runners it’s great.

The ride does have an element of energy return to it. Again, it’s not super-springy, but it does provide a touch of feedback and feels perfect for steady runs or those with a touch of tempo pace built in.

On Cloudsurfer

The upper is more padded than the Cloudmonster and feels plush around the foot. Again, it’s very well made and for me a great fit.

I always enjoy the fit of shoes with good padding in the tongue, ankle collar, and heel area and this ticks all those boxes.

In summary, the Cloudsurfer is a good, versatile, everyday shoe for a variety of paces and distances.

Light, soft, and flexible it’s fun to run it and makes each run feel good thanks to that soft fit and feel.

#3. The Best On Running Shoes for Versatility: On Cloudeclipse

Weight: Men: 285g / 10 oz Women: 240g / 8.5oz; Heel: 40mm, Forefoot: 34mm *approx. Drop: 6mm

On Cloudsurfer

The Tech:

The latest high-stack, max-cushioned shoe from On is the new Cloudeclipse. The brand’s highest stacked shoe to date, it features a 40 mm heel stack and 6 mm drop.

Featuring CloudTec Phase, Helion foam cushioning, it resembles the Cloudsurfer a little, just with a higher stack of cushioning.

The brand’s Speedboard returns in the Cloudeclipse and this contributes to a more stable ride, perhaps by necessity due to the higher stack of the soft cushioning material.

On Cloudsurfer

The Run:

The Cloudeclipse has instantly become my favorite shoe from the brand.

The high stack of cushioning may give the impression of the shoe being much softer.

Still, the combination of the stack and the shape of the new CloudTec Phase ‘clouds’ (holes in the midsole) – makes, for me, a great ride that provides cushioning, stability, and a nice touch of response.

The Speedboard is visible on the outsole and its ‘cross’ shape adds torsional stability to the shoe.

It’s not an out-and-out support shoe, more stable enough to allow a wider range of runners to experience the shoe without being overly concerned.

On Cloudsurfer

The upper is similar to that of the Cloudsurfer, with a little more support with the structure of the engineered mesh. Again, it’s plush and well-made, fitting my feet very well.

In summary, the shoes here run from the Cloudmonster being for easy miles to the Cloudeclipse being better for longer easy miles with a more responsive feel.

The Cloudsurfer sitting in the centre, is great for medium-length runs or varying pace.

#4. Best On Running Shoes for Newbies:
On Cloudgo

Heel Drop: 11 mm, Weight: 9.03 oz, Cushioning: Mid, Support Level: Neutral

On Cloudgo
ProsCons
Great combination of steady speed and comfortMidsole a little too firm for very long distances
Very flexible midsole plate
Plush upper suitable for multiple foot shapes

When designing the Cloudgo, On aimed to create a shoe to boost your energy and make you feel faster.

This it does in spades, making it perfect for motivating new runners and inspiring established athletes to push harder.

The gentle rockered midsole and the energy return from the TPU Speedboard help propel you forward, while the Helion superfoam feels lively underfoot and effortlessly absorbs the shock of impact.

But there’s a big emphasis on comfort, too, with a soft, generously padded upper and a pleasantly roomy toebox.

A bonus with this shoe is that it doesn’t have the deep grooves in the outsole that you see on some other On shoes, so it doesn’t pick up random pebbles en route.

#5. Best On Running Shoes for Trail Runners:
On Cloudultra 2

Heel Drop: 5 mm, Weight: 10.41 oz, Cushioning: Max, Support Level: Neutral

On Cloudultra 2
ProsCons
Cushioned comfort for ultrarunnersLittle recycled content compared to other On shoes
Closed channel on the outsole prevents rocks from sticking
Knitted sock upper keeps out debris and gives a snug fit

A trail racing shoe designed to handle any terrain, the second generation of the On Cloudultra features a softer Helion foam than its predecessor.

This – combined with the more accommodating upper – translates to a noticeable increase in comfort over longer distances.

The Missiongrip outsole has been redesigned too, with an updated stud layout that gives 50% more ground contact for better traction on everything from muddy trails to steep descents.

The signature CloudTec cushioning and TPU Speedboard keep you rolling smoothly forward while protecting you from impact, and the Flip Release tab on the laces is a nice touch, making it easy to adjust the fit on the fly.

#6. Best On Running Shoes for Race Day:
On Cloudboom Echo 3

Heel Drop: 9.5 mm, Weight: 7.58 oz, Cushioning: Plush, Support Level: Neutral

 On Cloudboom Echo 3
ProsCons
Race-specific fitVery expensive
Incredibly lightweightOnly 1 color option
No rock-trapping pods underfootNarrow fit

This is On’s fastest racing shoe, built with CloudTec and a new Helion HF hyper foam midsole made from Pebax for excellent shock resistance and superior energy return at all temperatures.

The lightweight full-length carbon Speedboard has an extreme rocker shape for explosive propulsion and the higher heel drop promotes a forward leaning position to encourage forward motion.

Lockdown is great thanks to the silicone inserts on the laces and insole, and the streamlined microfiber upper offers great breathability.

The only real downside with this shoe (aside from its eye-watering price tag) is its firmness, which may make it less than comfortable over longer distances.

#7. Best On Running Shoes for Stability:
On Cloudrunner

Heel Drop: 9 mm, Weight: 10.6 oz, Cushioning: Plush, Support Level: Stable

 On Cloudrunner
ProsCons
Unobtrusive supportNot supportive enough for serious overpronators
Good grip in wet and dry conditions
Wide fit available

The Cloudrunner is one of the few shoes in On’s stability category, similar to the Cloudflyer but slightly more responsive, made with lighter Zero-gravity foam instead of Helion.

Like many of On’s shoes, it features a Speedboard – but in this version, it’s a bit wider than usual to provide stability.

Several other elements make this a great shoe for mild to moderate overpronators, including midsole cushioning that cradles the foot, raised sidewalls, and a wider-than-usual base to limit lateral motion.

As with many of On’s shoes, the thick upper has a welcoming feel, with a plush tongue and plenty of padding around the heel.

#8. Best On Running Shoes for Versatility:
On Cloud 5

Heel Drop: 7 mm, Weight: 8.81 oz, Cushioning: Mid, Support Level: Neutral

 On Cloud 5
ProsCons
Comfortable enough to wear all dayNot a performance shoe
Molded heel for a secure fit
Plenty of colors to choose from

The 5th iteration of its best-selling Cloud shoe, this model carries on the tradition of being a fabulous all-rounder, as great for casual running and cardio workouts as it is for everyday wear.

Made with 44% recycled content, it is designed to support On’s signature speed lacing system that makes it easy to slip on your shoes or remove them in a flash (although it comes with a spare pair of old-school laces too).

The Zero-Gravity foam Cloudtec cushioning ensures soft landings and gives the shoe a lightweight feel, and there’s a little more of it in this generation so it feels more comfortable than ever.

And if you regularly run in wet conditions, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a waterproof version of the On Cloud 5 too, with a membrane made from 100% recycled materials to keep out moisture while allowing your feet to breathe.

#9. Best On Running Shoes for Speedwork:
On Cloudflow 4

Heel Drop: 8 mm, Weight: 8.29 oz, Cushioning: Low, Support Level: Neutral

 On Cloudflow 4
ProsCons
Light, minimal designOutsole is vulnerable to wear
Highly responsive
Comfortable, secure fit

The design of the Cloudflow was inspired by On’s fastest shoe – the Cloudboom Echo – and the ultra-light woven upper is made from the same material.

There’s a real emphasis with this model on pushing you forward – it features a strong but lightweight nylon-blend Speedboard and a rocker profile with a forefoot toe spring that together give it an undeniably propulsive feel.

You’ll find this generation feels even lighter and smoother than ever, with a welcome increase in cushioning boosting your comfort.

The updated upper gives the shoe a much more sleek and stylish look, while the outsole rubber grips well – even on rainy days – and has a newly closed channel to avoid picking up debris.

#10. Best On Running Shoe for Longer Distances:
On Cloudstratus 3

Heel Drop: 6 mm, Weight: 8.5 oz, Cushioning: Plush, Support Level: Neutral

On Cloudstratus 3
ProsCons
Double layer of CloudTec for excellent shock absorptionSomewhat pricey
Roomy but secure fitMay not suit very narrow-footed runners
Good energy return

The demands of high-mileage runs require a very special kind of shoe, and On’s best-selling Cloudstratus 3 fits the bill perfectly.

Instead of just one, this model has two layers of the brand’s distinctive cloud pods.

According to On, an independent study conducted with Progressive Sports Technologies at Loughborough University found that this feature helps “reduce both the onset and duration of muscle soreness“.

And the improvements with this generation go beyond basic comfort – it has a sleeker look (and more eco-friendly appeal) thanks to the removal of all TPU and plastic overlays.

#11. Best On Running Shoes for Cross Training:
On Cloud X 3

Heel Drop: 8 mm, Weight: 8.57 oz, Cushioning: Low, Support Level: Neutral

 On Cloud X 3
ProsCons
Lateral support and stabilityOutsole picks up debris
Stiffer Speedboard for powerful take offs in any directionNot enough cushioning for longer runs
90-95% recycled upper

Cross-training can help you be a better runner, improving your strength and endurance while reducing your risk of injury.

And the good news is that On has created the perfect shoe for the job, designed for running but with features that make it a great choice for HIIT workouts, strength training, and more.

It has a 3-layer mesh upper with raised sidewalls for lateral support; an engineered heel cap and wider platform for stability; and the reactivity you need for plyometrics.

It also uses a star lacing pattern that wraps around and holds the foot securely in place so you can tackle explosive moves with confidence.

The Best On Running Shoes: Key Takeaways

With their distinctive design, intriguing tech, and growing commitment to sustainability, it’s no wonder that On running shoes have become some of the most popular with athletes worldwide.

I hope you’ve found this guide useful in picking a great pair for your next run, whether you’re new to the brand and itching to put it to the test, or an established fan looking for more great On footwear to add to your rotation.

Photo of author
Christine Albury is a dedicated runner and fitness nerd and certified personal trainer: when she's not working out she is studying the latest fitness science publications, and testing out the latest running gear!

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