Are 'On' running shoes good for you?

Photo by On 

Photo by On 

By Takia McClendon

You've seen them on the trails, at local races and in magazines. Some of your favorite Instagram athletes even wear them during their long runs. But even with all the buzz around these shoes, you may still be wondering if On running shoes are good for you. In this guide, we discuss the scoop on On running shoes and break down five of their popular models. 

Keep reading to find your perfect fit. 

What are On running shoes?

'On' (not QC as I've heard many runners mistake them as) is a Swiss running brand that specializes in performance shoes. They were founded by Olivier Bernhard, a former Ironman Winner, and two engineers in 2010. Their mission? To create a shoe that gave the "perfect" running sensation -  a soft landing and a firm push off.

Do they live up to the hype?

From personal experience, I can say that I've enjoyed running in On shoes. They're lightweight, comfortable and they offer a variety of models to accommodate different runs (and runners).

On uses elements, called "Clouds", in their shoes. According to the brand, "the Clouds act like tiny stability balls, responding to every movement of your foot. They activate your postural muscles and enable you to stabilize your foot strike without artificial support, you are back in control."

How do I know which On shoe is best for me? 

As with any running shoe brand, they offer a variety of shoes to meet the needs of different runners. They have lightweight neutral styles, cushioned stability shoes and even trail running shoes. We've included a list of five of their popular styles to help you narrow down which shoe would be a great fit for you. 


Cloud [$120]: The Cloud is a lightweight shoe designed for runners who like the idea of barefoot running but love the fact that there's cushioning to absorb shock and reduce impact. It's perfect for neutral runners training for a 5K or 10K. The Cloud uses speed laces that make the shoes easy to slip on and off -- ideal for triathletes. It comes in a variety colors so it's a great shoe to just run errands in. 


Cloudflow [$140]: Prepping for your next long distance race? This shoe may be the choice for you. It has a breathable upper made with engineered mesh and is responsive to propel you on race day. Rumor has it that On challenged 10 New York Marathoners to switch to the Cloudflow the day before the big race (apparently, it went well). If you like the flexibility of the lightweight Cloud, but you want something with a little more cushion, the Cloudflow may be the perfect combination.  


Cloudsurfer [$150]: Like the Cloudflow, the Cloudsurfer is great for training and performance. The major difference between the two models is the placement of the Cloud elements. The Cloudsurfer features 13 elements that help you run more efficiently. 

You may also like: How to pick your next pair of running shoes


Cloudflyer [$160]: Overpronators rejoice. The Cloudflyer is a lightweight stability shoe that's perfect for runners looking for a little more support in their shoes. One of its other great features is the Cloudflyer's "star lacing" system for a secure and snug fit.

Like the Cloudflow and Cloudsurfer above, the Cloudflyer is a perfect shoe for longer distance running. 


Cloudventure [$150]: If you spend more time on the trails than you do on the road, the Cloudventure may be the lightweight On running shoe for you. It has a 2-layer upper that is treated with a water repellent coating to keep your feet dry. The Cloudventure features uses a Grip Rubber sole that keeps you stable on technical trails but also works well on days when you run on the roads. 

You may also like: Everything you need to know about trail running shoes


All photos via On. 

Takia is the co-founder of City Fit Girls. She works full-time at Philadelphia Runner, an independent run retailer in Philadelphia, where she has fitted hundreds of new and experienced runners for shoes. 

Want more training content and resources? Sign up for City Fit Girls newsletter and get free training tips delivered to your inbox every Monday morning. Sign up here.