Best On Shoes 2021
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
The unique look of On running shoes makes a quick statement. The performance backs it up.
One of the main features of On’s running shoes are the Cloud elements—the rounded pods beneath each shoe. The elements make use of the characteristics of traditional foam midsole but take advantage of geometry, too.
Engineers designed its On Cloud shoes to collapse when you land and spring back into shape when you take off. The result is a cushioned landing and a responsive takeoff.
On designs its shoes for a wide range of workouts. From shoes meant to eat up the majority of your miles to the lightweight trail running shoes, you can find the best On running shoes for any situation.
Here are our editor's picks for the best On running shoes:
- Best for Everyday Training: On Cloud X
- Best for Everyday Activity: On Cloud
- Best for City Running: On Cloudswift 2.0
- Best for Support and Stability: On Cloudflyer
- Best for Cushioning: On Cloudstratus
- Best for Performance in All Conditions: On Cloud Waterproof
- Best for Trails: On Cloudventure
- Best for Racing: On Cloudflow
[Updated June 15, 2021. This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
Best On Running Shoes for Everyday Training
On Cloud X
Tempo run, HIIT workout, strength training. The On Cloud X does it all.
On designed the well-rounded Cloud X to be agile and versatile. To do that, designers started with Helion foam. The lightweight foam is cushioned on landing and responsive on takeoff to give you a powerful feel.
Raised sidewalls help center your foot and give you stability, which creates security whether you’re running, jumping or changing direction. A light but durable engineered mesh upper promotes breathability, and the no-sew construction limits distractions so you can focus on pushing your workout.
With On’s signature Speedboard for a snappier ride, the On Cloud X is an ideal training partner for whatever workout you have planned.
Best On Running Shoes for Everyday Activity
The shoes you wear every day need to be comfortable, cushioned and lightweight. The On Cloud is all three.
The classic (and best-selling) On Cloud shoes use On’s CloudTec technology to create its unique look and feel. The company’s Zero-Gravity foam is shaped into Cloud elements—the name for the individual pods that make up the midsole—to give you soft landings.
Sandwiched inside the shoe, On’s Speedboard gives the Cloud a springier feel. On says the Speedboard loads with energy when you land and snaps back into form to turn that energy into forward motion, meaning it feels like the shoe is helping propel you forward.
Designers threaded quick-tie laces through the soft upper, for a performance-minded fit that’s easy to slide on and off.
Best On Running Shoes for City Running
On Cloudswift 2.0
Designers built the On Cloudswift 2.0 on top of a Helion foam midsole to give it everything you need for city running. On’s top-tier foam is light and cushioned for miles on pavement, and it provides excellent durability.
Like all On running shoes, the Cloudswift’s midsole is carved into Cloud elements, so you get the benefit of the foam and the specific shapes of each Cloud element; each element collapses when your foot lands and springs back into shape when you take off for a cushioned and powerful ride.
Fleet Feet testers said that the shoe delivers excellent arch support, feels light on foot and promotes a snappy response thanks to the Speedboard. Like all On running shoes, the Cloudswift has a smart, minimalist look that our testers love, which brings top performance and the right style to urban runs.
Read more in our On Cloudswift review.
Best On Running Shoes for Support and Stability
The On Cloudflyer adds confident stability to a lightweight, fully cushioned running experience.
To create stability, designers used fewer Cloud elements underfoot than in other On running shoes. The 12 elements beneath the shoe are wider than the standard versions, and they’re configured to help reduce inward rotation, making the Cloudflyer great for overpronators.
On’s Zero-Gravity foam provides ample cushioning while keeping the shoe’s weight low, and the internal Speedboard creates a more stable, natural transition.
With On’s unique star-lacing system that enhances flexibility and distributes pressure evenly, the On Cloudflyer is a great shoe for experienced marathoners and new runners alike.
Best On Running Shoes for Cushioning
The On Cloudstratus is inherently stable thanks to its wide base and firm cushioning.
Designers built the Cloudstratus on top of a Helion foam midsole that gives you substantial ground contact. The medium-firmness of the foam also keeps the shoe from wobbling side to side, enhancing the stable feeling.
What separates the Cloudstratus from other On running shoes, though, is the two layers of Cloud elements built into the midsole. The first layer collapses when your foot lands, followed by the second; as your landing turns into your takeoff, the process reverses itself to add a springiness to your steps.
Fleet Feet testers liked the unique star lacing system that relieved pressure on the ball of their feet, and appreciated the power of the Helion foam.
Read more in our On Cloudstratus review.
Best Waterproof On Running Shoes
On Cloud Waterproof
The On Cloud Waterproof takes the original On Cloud and wraps it in waterproofing to keep your feet dry in all conditions.
On uses a waterproof, breathable membrane to keep rain and puddles out of your shoes while still letting moisture and sweat escape. The result is a running shoe that keeps you dry from the inside and outside.
The rest of the shoe is the same as the stock Cloud: Zero-Gravity foam molded into Cloud elements cushions each step, and a molded heel gives you a secure fit. An embedded Speedboard helps transform landing impact into forward momentum, so you get a more propulsive ride.
Best On Running Shoes for Trails
The On Cloudventure delivers the signature On ride off-road.
On took its CloudTec platform and optimized it for the trails by coating it with a Missiongrip outsole. The trail-focused outsole uses sticky rubber for grip in all weather, an enhanced pattern for better traction, and varying zones of channels and lugs to prevent slipping on smooth surfaces.
Zero-Gravity foam provides the cushion, and an engineered mesh upper helps vent heat and moisture away from your feet. With a Speedboard for a responsive feel, the On Cloudventure is the best On running shoe for trail runners.
Best On Running Shoes for Racing
Light and fast, the On Cloudflow is the best On running shoe for race day.
The Cloudflow dons On’s Cloud elements for cushioning and makes use of its premier Helion foam. Working with an On Speedboard embedded in the midsole, the Cloud elements and Helion foam encourage a quick turnover and create a snappy ride.
Draped in a minimal engineered mesh upper, the Cloudflow remains lightweight and nimble. Small details round out the shoe, like an elastic strap to corral excess laces and an outsole rubber pattern designed to grip even on wet pavement.
On Shoe Reviews
Shoe Review: On Cloudflyer
On Running Shoes Technology
How We Picked the Best On Running Shoes
We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best On running shoes for most runs and the most runners.
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.
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