The 9 Best On Running Shoes of 2023

·17 min read

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The Cloudswift and Cloudrunner are our top picks for their comfort, support, and shock absorption

<p>Verywell Fit / Alli Waataja</p>

Verywell Fit / Alli Waataja

Designed for cloud-like comfort, On running shoes feature Swiss-engineered technology and a bold, attractive design that make the brand a favorite for runners and other fitness-minded people. With a deep selection of products, On has options for all types of running preferences and needs.

According to our expert Caroline Bell, an experienced runner who tests running shoes for a living at Fleet Feet, On running shoes are superior to others on the market because they “offer a really nice blend of cushioning and responsiveness.” Bell says that one of the elements that sets these shoes apart from others is their pod configurations in the midsole, which the brand refers to as CloudTec technology. According to Bell, these pod configurations propel you forward by collapsing as your foot strikes the ground and springing back open as you push off the pavement again, which helps to propel you forward.

Similar to other high-quality running shoes from top brands, On shoes are not cheap, with prices ranging from $140 to $170 per pair. However, we believe On shoes are well worth the investment for their comfort, durability, and style.

To find the best On running shoes, we researched their options and evaluated them based on fit, comfort, cushioning, support, purpose, breathability, price, and more. For recommendations and buying tips, we sought expert advice from Bell and Marlene Reid, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatrist.

On Cloudswift

Best Women's Overall


  • Very responsive

  • Modern, sleek design

  • Lightweight and breathable


  • No wide sizes

An all-around performer for running, gym workouts, or casual wear, On’s Cloudswift delivers exceptional comfort, fit, and support, which is why we chose it as our women’s best overall pick. It features On’s Speedboard, a piece of plastic layered between the midsole and footbed that encourages a quick turnover. With each step, it flexes and then snaps back into shape, helping to create springy takeoffs.

Meanwhile, the shoe’s cushioning provides a soft underfoot, keeping your joints protected from impact as you’re running or working out. The lightweight mesh upper breathes easily and has a sock-like design that hugs your foot for total comfort and security. The rubber on the outsole provides extra grip and traction for wet weather or quick movements and enhances the shoe’s overall durability.

The only downside we can think of for the Cloudswift is that the shoe doesn’t come in wide sizes, although the toe box is roomy. But we do like that the shoe’s streamlined, modern style looks great whether you’re running or heading to brunch post-workout.

Price at time of publication: $150

Key Specs: 
7.8 ounces | Drop: 6 millimeters | Cushioning: Moderate | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Polyester, recycled polyester

On Men's Cloudrunner

Best Men's Overall


  • Extremely comfortable and supportive

  • Versatile

  • Very responsive


  • Limited colors in wide sizes

The Cloudrunner provides exceptional comfort and support for running and other activities, as well as casual wear, making it an easy pick for our men’s top shoe. The plush foam midsole cushioning cradles your foot, offering a secure but comfy fit and feel right out of the box. The upper is soft and breathable, helping to prevent overheating and blister formation.

Durable and versatile, the Cloudrunner is light and responsive for shorter runs, but also works well for long distances. With reliable support at the ankle and heel areas, plus a cushioned, supportive outsole, this shoe keeps you comfortable and stable as you’re running.

The Cloudrunner’s attractive style also makes it a great option for those looking for a comfy shoe for casual wear or traveling. The versatile shoe comes in wide sizes, although we would love to see more than just one color in that width.

Price at time of publication: $150

Key Specs: 
10.5 ounces | Drop: 9 millimeters | Cushioning: Plush but responsive | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Polyester, recycled polyester

On Men's Cloudmonster Running Shoe

Best Cushioned


  • Good for distance running

  • Super soft landings

  • Rocker-style sole for excellent energy return


  • Not designed for racing

If you want a well-cushioned shoe that delivers exceptional impact protection and comfort, check out the Cloudmonster. The shoe’s maximum cushioning provides super soft landings and excellent energy return, leaving you ready to take on your distance runs with confidence.

Meanwhile, the bold forefoot rocker shape and the springy Helion superfoam midsole help propel you forward. A well-padded collar and heel tab provide good ankle stability, and the internal heel counter adds to the locked-in feel.

Despite the plush cushioning and support, we love that the shoe still has a lightweight feel. Plus, the super soft liner and upper hug your foot for a snug, comfortable fit. We also like that the shoe is made with 80 percent recycled polyester and 35 percent total recycled materials, so you can feel good about choosing an eco-friendly product. And even though the Cloudmonster isn’t designed for racing, this shoe is still a solid performer for your long, steady runs on pavement or treadmills.

Price at time of publication: $170

Key Specs: 
9.7 ounces | Drop: 6 millimeters | Cushioning: Maximum | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Polyester, recycled polyester

On Running Cloudflow Shoes

Best for Everyday


  • Lightweight and sleek

  • Comfortable fit

  • Most affordable option from the brand


  • Not suitable for long distances

If you want a shoe that you can run 5Ks in—but also use for all-day casual wear—we recommend the lightweight, sleek Cloudflow. The streamlined shoe delivers comfy, responsive cushioning, without a lot of bulk. Made with high-performance engineered mesh, the shoe’s upper offers a precise, secure fit and excellent breathability. And it uses 70 percent recycled polyester, so it’s good for the planet.

We also love the heel cap, which provides extra comfort and support for a locked-in feel. Meanwhile, strategically-placed rubber pads give you reliable traction for surefooted running or walking in wet weather.

While the light and speedy Cloudflow is perfect for everyday wear and short races or training runs of 5 miles or less, its cushioning may not be sufficient for longer distances. Still, this shoe is one of On’s most affordable options and is available in a wide range of colors, as well as regular and wide widths.

Price at time of publication: $140

Key Specs: 
7 ounces | Drop: 6 millimeters | Cushioning: Moderate | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Recycled polyester, polyester

Related:The Best Hoka Running Shoes of 2023

On Running Cloudflyer 4

Best for Speed


  • Very responsive

  • Good support

  • Made with recycled materials


  • May be squea ky at first

For a lightweight, fast shoe that’s also extremely supportive, you can’t go wrong with the Cloudflyer 4. This running shoe features On’s unique Speedboard, which is constructed with high-quality polypropylene and embedded within the midsole, helping to propel you forward with each step for a speedy ride.

The highly-responsive Helion superfoam adds to the springy feel, while the dual-density CloudTec cushioning provides plush support. For additional stability, a molded sock-liner and external heel counter help to keep your foot locked in place. Plus, the engineered mesh upper and plush tongue add to the overall comfort.

Made with 90-95 percent recycled polyester and a total of 35-40 percent recycled content overall, the Cloudflyer 4 is planet-friendly without sacrificing quality or performance. While some wearers report that the shoes squeak at first, we think the versatile design is well worth it. The Cloudflyer 4 is a good option for those looking for a gym shoe that can go from the treadmill to a HIIT class to post-workout errands around town.

Price at time of publication: $170

Key Specs: 
8.8 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Cushioning: Plush | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Recycled polyester, polyester

On Cloudstratus

Best for Road Running


  • Excellent cushioning

  • Good for distance running

  • Wide toe box great for bunions and foot swelling


  • May be too wide for some

The Cloudstratus delivers the comfort, support, and reliable traction that runners need to protect them from the impact of road running. It features full-length, maximum cushioning for a plush underfoot that provides soft landings and good shock absorption.

Meanwhile, the plastic Speedboard in the midsole gives a stable foundation for springy push-offs. The combination of comfy support and responsiveness is perfect for marathon runners, who need a high-quality, versatile road running shoe that works for all distances. Plus, the durable rubber outsole is extremely grippy, providing outstanding traction on the pavement, even in wet conditions.

We love that the Cloudstratus’ sleek, modern design makes it a nice pick for those who want a well-cushioned, all-day wear shoe. Runners with wide feet will appreciate the shoe’s extra roomy forefoot, but it may actually be too wide for some.

Price at time of publication: $170

Key Specs: 
10.7 ounces | Drop: 6 millimeters | Cushioning: Maximum | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Recycled polyester, polyester

Related:The 14 Best Men's Running Shoes of 2023

On Cloudgo

Best Lightweight


  • Lightweight but supportive

  • Responsive

  • Wide toe box great for bunions and foot swelling


  • Not enough arch support for some

Running just feels easier when you’re wearing the lightweight, highly-responsive Cloudgo shoe. With plush cushioning and comfortable support, this running shoe is a versatile option for all types of runners, whether they’re running short or long distances. The shoe also features On’s Helion foam, which combines both rigid and flexible elements for a soft and bouncy ride.

Plus, the durable rubber outsole provides reliable traction and grip that keeps you sure-footed and confident, even when running in wet conditions. An engineered polyester mesh upper wraps comfortably around your foot for a secure and comfortable fit, while the roomy toe box offers room for toes to spread. And, the plush tongue and padded heel collar enhance the overall comfort.

Some wearers who prefer a stiffer shoe wish it had more arch support, but we think the Cloudgo is still a solid pick for neutral runners who want a lightweight, springy pair of running shoes

Price at time of publication:  $150

Key Specs: 
7.5 ounces | Drop: 11 millimeters | Cushioning: Moderate | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Recycled polyester

Related:The Best Women’s Running Shoes, According to a Running Coach

On Cloudventure Waterproof

Best Wateroproof


  • Great for all weather conditions

  • Excellent traction

  • Reflective elements


  • No wide sizes

With a comfortable fit, grippy traction, and effective waterproofing, the Cloudventure is perfect for running in less than ideal conditions. The shoe’s wind- and water-proof membrane keeps the elements out, but the mesh upper is still breathable, so you don’t have to worry about your feet overheating.

Meanwhile, the shoe’s rubber outsoles offer outstanding grip on dry or wet surfaces as well as soft, muddy terrain. And unlike some waterproof shoes that feel stiff or heavy, this pair is soft and highly stretchable so you can move freely.

Even better, the shoe’s Helion superfoam midsole is soft yet supportive, providing comfort and good shock absorption. We also love that they’re made with recycled materials and have reflective elements for running in low-light conditions. The Cloudventure doesn’t come in wide widths, but they do feature a spacious toe box.

Price at time of publication: $170

Key Specs: 
11 ounces | Drop: 10 millimeters | Cushioning: Moderate | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Recycled polyester, textile, and synthetic upper, rubber

Related:The 14 Best Waterproof Sneakers of 2023

On Cloudvista

Best for Trail Running


  • Excellent traction

  • Breathable mesh upper

  • Attractive style


  • Run small for some

Lightweight and comfortable, the Cloudvista is a multipurpose, great trail running shoe that’s ideal for running on dirt paths, moderately technical trails, and gravel or asphalt roads. In addition to its supportive and comfy midsole cushioning, it has a flexible rock plate that provides good protection but enough flexibility that it doesn’t inhibit your natural gait on varied terrain.

The grippy outsole features a combination of squared and multi-angled lugs for exceptional traction. Yet, the sole is not clunky or heavy, helping to keep you agile on the trails.

Made with more than 70 percent recycled polyester, the breathable mesh upper and perforated tongue help keep the air flowing around your foot. Even better, Cloudvista’s attractive style makes them a versatile option for casual wear, too. Some wearers note that the shoe feels too tight, especially around the ankle and arch, so we (and On) recommend going up one half-size.

Price at time of publication: $150

Key Specs: 
9.8 ounces | Drop: 9 millimeters | Cushioning: Plush | Outsole: Rubber | Materials: Recycled polyester, rubber

How We Selected the Best On Running Shoes

To choose the best On running shoes, we first asked Marlene Reid, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatrist, and Caroline Bell, head shoe reviewer at Fleet Feet, for their expert advice on selecting the top running shoes from the brand, based on different needs and preferences. With their tips in mind, we researched On shoes and evaluated them for fit, comfort, cushioning, support, design, breathability, price, and more.

What to Look For in On Running Shoes


Like most quality, high-performance running shoes, On’s collection comes with a premium price tag. In general, you should expect to pay between $140 and $170 for a pair of On running shoes, although you can sometimes get a deal on an older model right before a newer version is released. The shoes on the higher end of the price range usually offer maximum cushioning or a feature such as waterproofing.


Be sure to consider where you’ll be running or how you’ll be using the shoes to choose the best pair for you. For road running, you’ll want a shoe with good traction and plush cushioning to absorb the impact from the pavement. On’s road running shoes, such as the Cloudstratus and Cloudrunner, are lightweight and flexible, but still have enough cushioning to handle hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete.

If you prefer trail running, a shoe with rugged lugs on the sole will provide extra grip on technical trails or wet conditions. A trail running shoe such as the Cloudvista is stiff and sturdy with enough cushioning to handle uneven terrain. Most of On’s trail running shoes come in a waterproof model if you want even more protection.

Finally, some of On’s running shoes are lightweight, very supportive, and extremely comfortable, making them a good option for cross-training or everyday wear. For example, Cloudflow andCloudswift are both suitable for running but are versatile enough for all-day casual wear.

For cross-training and HIIT workouts, Bell recommends opting for On shoes that are “lower to the ground, giving you more stability for box jumps, lunges, squats, and similar movements.” Examples of these types of shoes worth considering if you’re a fan of plyometrics include the On Cloud 5.0 and the On Cloud X.


Getting shoes that fit properly is key to staying comfortable and injury-free. Dr. Reid suggests selecting a running shoe that moves with your feet and not against them. If you experience any sliding or slipping, the shoe is not a good fit. The shoe should feel comfortable right from the start, with little or no break-in period required.

Not all On running shoes come in wide sizes, so look for ones that do if you need some extra space, especially in the forefoot. For the best fit, make sure there’s a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoes. You want your toes to feel unrestricted, Dr. Reid says.


Plush comfort is a hallmark of On running shoes, but the brand actually offers a wide range of cushioning levels, so you can choose what works best for your needs and preferences. Whether you want a soft, squishy midsole underfoot or a firmer feel that provides more structure and support, On has plenty of options available.

Some On models, like the Cloudflow, offer firmer cushioning that’s more responsive, so they’re a good option for racing and speedwork. On the other hand, if you prefer a softer underfoot with excellent shock absorption, the Cloudmonster is one of the most cushioned On shoes available.


On running shoes are made with quality materials that can handle all types of surfaces and, like most high-quality running shoes, should last about 300 to 500 miles.

Their trail running shoes have a more rugged, sturdy sole, so opt for one of those models if you frequently run off-road. And to extend your shoe’s life, make sure you follow recommended running shoe care instructions, such as letting them air dry rather than putting them in the dryer or near a heat source.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s so special about On running shoes?

On running shoes are popular with runners and other athletes because they offer an ideal combination of plush comfort and responsiveness, while still managing to feel lightweight and not bulky. With a wide range of options, the brand has shoes that are suitable for all types of activities, including road running, trail running, or cross-training.

Additionally, some people are drawn to the shoes’ attractive design and unique aesthetic. Bell says that the shoe’s underfoot pods, combined with their contrasting colorways, set them apart from other shoes on the market. We love that you can wear these as everyday shoes to run errands, travel, or attend sports games. We think they’re just as fashionable as they are functional.

Are On running shoes good for your feet?

Yes, On running shoes are comfortable, supportive, and durable, making them an excellent option for exercise or all-day casual wear. However, it’s important that you get the right fit for optimal comfort and performance, as well as to prevent injuries. To find On running shoes with the right fit, Bell suggests making sure your feet feel snug within the shoe, but without any pressure on the top of your foot. Likewise, your heel should feel firmly locked into place without any sliding or slipping.  You also shouldn’t feel any pinching or rubbing on your toes, heels, or ankles.

Should you size up for On running shoes?

Running shoes often need to be a half size to one size larger than your typical shoe size to accommodate normal foot swelling, and this is true of On running shoes. For a proper fit, allow for at least 1/2 to 1 inch (a thumb’s width) between your longest toe and the shoe’s end.

How long do On running shoes last?

On running shoes are made with high-quality, durable materials, but they’ll still get worn down over time with regular use. A good rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes after 300 to 500 miles or every six months, depending on your running style and the surface on which you run. For instance, if you typically run on pavement your shoes will break down faster than if you primarily run on the treadmill. Be sure to check your running shoes for signs of wear so you know when it’s time to replace them.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing health and fitness content and product recommendations. As a certified personal trainer, running coach, and avid runner, she’s always researching and testing running shoes and knows what features to look for to determine the best running shoes for various needs.

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