Best On Running Shoes 2023

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

By The Fleet Feet Editors Updated on
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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 11 best On running shoes:

What It’s Best For

Shoe Model

Best for Everyday Training

On Cloud X 3

Best for Everyday Activity

On Cloud 5

Best for City Running

On Cloudswift

Best for High Mileage

On Cloudmonster

Best for Beginners

On Cloudgo

Best for Support and Stability

On Cloudflyer 4

Best for Cushioning

On Cloudstratus 2.0

Best for Performance in All Conditions

On Cloud 5 Waterproof

Best for Trail Running

On Cloudventure 3.0

Best for Speedwork

On Cloudflow 3.0

Best for Racing

On Cloudboom

[This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2023. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]

Best On Running Shoes for Everyday Training

On Cloud X 3

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Tempo run, HIIT workout, strength training. The On Cloud X 3 does it all.

On designed the well-rounded Cloud X 3 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 and an updated upper help center your foot and give you structure, which creates security whether you’re running, jumping or changing direction. A new star lacing system and updated heel provide for an even better fit that is great for all sorts of workouts

With On’s signature Speedboard for a snappy ride, the On Cloud X 3 is an ideal training partner for whatever workout you have planned.

Read more in our On Cloud X 3 review.

Best On Running Shoes for Everyday Activity

On Cloud 5

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The shoes you wear every day need to be comfortable, cushioned and lightweight—the On Cloud 5 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.

On re-engineered the Cloud 5, giving it additional cushion in the midsole, a sleeker silhouette and an updated CloudTec configuration for a better fit and feel on your feet.

Designers also threaded quick-tie laces through the soft upper for a performance-minded fit that’s easy to slide on and off.

Read more in our On Cloud 5 review.

Best On Running Shoes for City Running

On Cloudswift 2.0

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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 to hold up for miles on sidewalks and streets.

Like all On running shoes, the Cloudswift’s midsole is carved into individual Cloud elements combined with On’s signature lightweight Helion foam and Speedboard gives you a snappy, cushioned ride. The unique Cloud elements give you cushion when you need it and snap back into place to give you more energy.

Fleet Feet testers said that you could really feel the arch and midfoot support thanks to the gusseted tongue that provides a bootie-like fit. Like all On running shoes, the Cloudswift 2.0 has a smart, minimalist look that our testers love which brings top performance and the perfect style to urban runs.

Read more in our On Cloudswift 2.0 review.

Best for High Mileage Training

On Cloudmonster

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When the training miles start to pile up, it can put a lot of wear and tear on your body. The On Cloudmonster gives you max cushioning to protect your joints and muscles during your long runs and high-mileage weeks. From an easy 5K to a big-effort 20 miler, it puts a spring in your step making it the perfect shoe to lace up when you need to energize your run.

The Cloudmonster uses On’s biggest CloudTec ever and a hefty dose of springy Helion super foam cushioning underfoot. Combined with the radical rocker shape and snappy Speedboard, these ultra-cushioned shoes give your run a playfully weird ride.

A roomy toe-box keeps your feet comfortable as they start to swell during your run and a soft sock liner wraps around your foot for a supportive fit.

Light, durable and temperature resistant, the Cloudmonster will get you the most out of your runs.

Read more in our On Cloudmonster review.

Best On Running Shoes for Beginners

On Cloudgo

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Stepping into the On Cloudgo is so comfortable that you immediately want to go for a run.

Made for comfort, this lightweight shoe is great for beginners. The Cloud-Tec elements absorb both the horizontal and vertical impacts of the roads, and the Speedboard propels you forward.

The Helion™ superfoam gives you responsiveness that puts a spring in your step, while the closed channel outsole will prevent rocks from disturbing your run.

Read more in our On Cloudgo review.

Best On Running Shoes for Support and Stability

On Cloudflyer 4

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The On Cloudflyer 4 adds confident stability to a lightweight, fully cushioned running shoe.

To create stability, designers used fewer individual Cloud elements underfoot than in other On running shoes. The elements beneath the shoe are wider than the standard versions, and they’re configured to help reduce inward rotation, making the Cloudflyer 4 great for people who have flexible arches, overpronators or those who want a little extra support. The newest version also has a molded sockliner and external heel counter for extra support.

On’s Helion foam provides ample cushioning while keeping the shoe’s weight low, and the internal Speedboard creates a more stable, natural heel-to-toe transition. With On’s unique star-lacing system that improves flexibility and distributes pressure evenly, the On Cloudflyer 4 is a great shoe for experienced marathoners and new runners alike.

Read more in our On Cloudflyer 4 review.

Best On Running Shoes for Cushioning

On Cloudstratus 2.0

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The Cloudstratus 2.0 is On’s most cushioned running shoe yet. With double the Cloud elements for double the cushion, this shoe feels soft on landings and is springy enough to pick up the pace when you’re feeling fresh.

Comfort and performance jump out as two of the best features of this high cushioned running shoe. In our review of the On Cloudstratus 2.0, testers from Fleet Feet loved the bouncy ride and spacious fit thanks to a wider toe box. This makes the Cloudstratus a great option for long runs and marathon training when your feet swell a little more than usual.

Built to give you a smooth and stable ride out on the road, a snappy Speedboard that comes standard in On’s running shoes is layered between soft and responsive Helion foam cushioning, adding an extra layer of performance with each step.

Best Waterproof On Running Shoes

On Cloud 5 Waterproof

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The On Cloud 5 Waterproof takes the On Cloud and wraps it with a waterproof upper to keep your feet dry in all conditions.

On uses a waterproof, breathable membrane made out of 100% recycled materials 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

On Cloudventure 3.0

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Run on clouds when you go off-road. The On Cloudventure 3.0 continually makes our list of best trail running shoes for its responsive ride and ability to grip the trail on any terrain and in all types of weather conditions.

On’s Cloudtec cushioning reacts to your unique stride and lets you feel the trail as you glide over rocks and roots. For extra comfort on long runs and days spent out on the trail, On uses a layer of their Helion foam in the Cloudventure to soften up the ride.

After listening to feedback from athletes and trail runners, On included a split-design Speedboard to keep the Cloudventure flexible and has the added benefit of working as a protective rock plate.

Ready for any adventure, the On Cloudventure 3.0 is a do-it-all trail running shoe that can just as easily replace your hiking boots.

Best On Running Shoes for Speedwork

On Cloudflow 3.0

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Light and fast, the On Cloudflow 3.0 is the best On running shoe for picking up the pace.

The Cloudflow 3.0 features On’s Cloud elements and premier Helion foam for exceptional cushioning. Working with an On Speedboard embedded in the midsole, the Cloud elements and Helion foam encourage a quick turnover and snappy ride.

Draped in a minimal engineered mesh upper, which On re-engineered to make it fit even better, 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.

Best On Running Shoes for Racing

On Cloudboom

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Built for racing, the On Cloudboom will get you to the finish line in a flash.

On’s signature Speedboard is infused with carbon fiber to create speed and explosive power. On engineered the Speedboard between two layers of On’s Helion foam, so it’s comfortable enough to run 13.1 or 26.2 miles in. If you are looking for an even faster shoe to race short distances in, check out the On Cloudflash.

This shoe is lightweight thanks to the breathable single-layer mesh upper. On thought of everything you need to race at breakneck speeds. They reinforced sections on the toe to add stability while making turns and created more traction on the rubber outsole for better grip.

Race quicker with the On Cloudboom.

On Shoe Reviews

On Running Shoes Technology

Cloud Elements + -

The unique pods beneath On running shoes cushion both vertical and horizontal forces that make for easy landings and explosive takeoffs

Zero-Gravity foam + -

The cushioning packed into On's running shoes offer supreme softness in an ultralight package

Rebound-Rubber + -

On's durable, responsive rubber compound used to construct open Cloud elements

Grip-Rubber outsole + -

Found in On trail running shoes, the sticky rubber outsole employs extra grip to keep you upright on the trail

Speedboard + -

A springy board sandwiched into On running shoes works with Cloud elements to support the natural rolling motion of your foot from landing to takeoff

Helion foam + -

On developed Helion for premium performance. The foam is lightweight yet durable, and is highly temperature resistant. This means less compression over time and long-term comfort.

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.

Best Running Shoe Brands

On makes some of the best running shoes in the business, but there are plenty of excellent shoes from other brands. See the best running shoe brands 2023 for more great shoes.