10 Best On Running Shoes Tested

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The Swiss have given the world offshore banking, leather shorts, the Alpine horn,a huge variety of different cheeses and yodeling.
Now they are aiming to make an impact on the running shoes market, that’s a good idea from a country which can offer endless mountain and valley trial runs along with city streets and parks.
They will need to produce something very unique when it comes to running shoes and they have.

Since 2010, award-winning Swiss company On has been creating great running shoes with unique technology. Their shoes come with cloud-themed pods on their base in order to offer better bounce, impact reduction, injury reduction and speed. All of their shoes offer a lovely run, though they all vary slightly in design and style. Read “On”!

Last Updated: September 9, 2017
by Brian Price :

On Running has popped up on the scene with some cool products, which also seem to work. We have updated our list a bit this time around, while also adding some information that we came across during our research.

Cloudventure Peak
  • Cloudventure Peak
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • CloudTec® Cushion Technology
  • Price: See Here
On Cloudventure
  • On Cloudventure
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 2 Layer Fabric Upper
  • Price: See Here
Cloudsurfer
  • Cloudsurfer
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Decent arch support
  • Price: See Here

10 Best On Running Shoes

 

Cloudventure Peak

Running shoes for both ladies and men, ON offers a really unique light weight running experience. These shoes give traction on interchangeable surfaces, wherever you go they work for you. Here we take a peek at the version available for ladies.

For confidence and stability you will enjoy running when you wear the New Cloudventure Peak quality running shoes.
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Comfort/Stability.

Uphill, downhill or flat surfaces, these shoes are light weight but up to the challenge and the traction qualities remain constant.

Run with confidence because the lightness and comfort enable a sure footing on pretty much all surfaces. When you have the right shoes for you and these are right, they will maximise your running experience with regards to speed and comfortable performance. You can try different types of trails runs and the high performance will remain constant.

Stability comes from ingenious design in the form of a design known as Speedboard, this sole is very innovative and motivates energy return at an efficient rate while you are running.

The shoe designers took into account running gait and engineered incredible torsion combined with flex management because they understand these are the contributing features for running a nice challenging trail.

For perfection to achieve this level of comfort and stability the speed-board design works in conjunction with CloudTech cushioning which has been built into the shoe by ON and the qualities in this material enhance up and downhill running. Add to this that the entire innovative shoe tech is lightweight.

Quality/Durability.

Here we find suspension minimalist style, no heavy rubber soles, durability and quality are there but without the weight. The Speedboard sole system reduces the feeling of foot impact while not forgoing on sound grip and that’s exactly what we runners want on uneven trail surfaces. To be light footed, nimble, quick and in full control is a very nice combination to get from a good shoe.

Durability and quality were in the minds of the shoe designer when making the upper and this resulted in once again the use of light-weight materials with very good durability, breathability is excellent and is supported by rapid drying out of the material. For nice comfort the upper shell is lined with a soft sock padding which protects against friction so that during long runs there is less likelihood of blisters.

This shoe is easily among the lightest to be on offer and it’s a new model which is certain to become very popular among lady trail runners.

They will appreciate the durability, the quality is very evident and the comfort and stability features are certainly going to work well for runners.

To cap of the design the tech features include a six mill- drop and a light 9.2 ounces. The lace up system is really user friendly and provides a secure FIT feeling for the foot.

Cost

These shoes are not a cheap price but that is understandable because of the innovative design, the lightweight and durable materials and the innovative speedgrip system.
These are new on the market and represent a good investment for lady runners.
Pros

Speedboard sole system

CloudTech

Great traction qualities

Very comfortable

Cons

Great shoes, the price is a little high but worthwhile.


2. On Cloudventure

These provide fantastic stability and are an excellent choice if you tend to overpronate. They are also a great option for trail runners, as the grip on the sole offers good traction, especially when running downhill. They are lightweight and flexible and have a 6mm heel-to-toe drop. The diagonal lacing helps the foot to move naturally and the removable foam insole offers extra padding.
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Comfort/Stability
The lace up system with these offers fantastic stability and a real snug and secure fit without sacrificing lightness or breathability. The double layer of the shoe offers bounce and comfort while also giving a waterproof coating, which is great for trail running in wet conditions. They have a protective rubber toe cap and a heel which protects against slipping. The sole doesn’t give any uncomfortable pressure points, which is great in a trail runner.

Quality/Durability
Excellent quality with great technology and subtle, intelligent design which suits the needs of their style. They aren’t as durable as some others On offer, but this is perhaps to be expected from a trail runner. It can be said that though not overly durable, the quality factor balances this and if you take reasonable care of the shoe this will prolong the durability lifespan.

Cost
These are the priciest of the bunch, but they're absolutely worth the investment. When you invest more money you do get more for your money and these shoes will be an investment that will repay you in terms of performance and quality.
Pros
  • Great for trail runners and overpronaters.
  • Good traction.
  • Great comfort and bounce.
  • Lightweight and flexible.
  • Promote a natural strike while preventing slippage.
  • Nice and snug.
Cons
  • Not as durable as some other options.
  • Not as well-tested as some other On shoes.
  • A little pricey.

3. On Cloudsurfer

These are great particularly for two reasons: they are especially lightweight and they offer fantastic protection against injury. They’re versatile and suitable for all road runners who crave flexibility. They’re breathable, padded, have great arch support and come with a 7mm heel-to-toe drop.
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Comfort/Stability
The breathability here is nice, as is the structural support, which is offered without clunkiness. The heel locks the foot in place to prevent against slippage and the intelligent speedboard in the base of the shoe helps you to spring back into action as your foot hits the floor, aiding speed and dynamism. This also offers a good toe off. The inside of the shoe has good cushion and comfort, and they are certainly a nice fit.

Quality/Durability
These have decent traction owing to the quality design of the unusual sole. For a road runner, there is particularly good grip here. They are overall a quality shoe with a nice amount of bounce and glide to aid your running experience. That said, the sizes can occasionally run a little large, and the durability isn’t as good as you might hope for.

Cost
Again, they're pretty pricey, but they're worth it.
Pros
  • Offer good protection against injury
  • Good arch support
  • Better traction than most road running shoes
  • Versatile for all road runners
  • Excellent structure and stability without sacrificing freedom
  • Good dynamic toe off with bounce
Cons
  • The durability isn’t great.
  • The sizes occasionally run a little large.

4. On Cloudster

These provide a medium amount of support and are a good fit for road runners, but also provide enough traction and support if you trail run in mild conditions. They have a 7mm heel-to-toe drop and the outer material stops debris from getting trapped in your shoe, which may be very handy depending on where you like to run.
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Comfort/Stability
These have a nice structure to offer both a snug fit and a good amount of flexibility, which is a great combination for comfort. The toe off and landing are both full of cushion, which improves your pace, dynamism and enjoyment, and the tongue and collar are very plushy to give a nice feel. They are lightweight and bouncy and the flexibility is fantastic. Some users even claim that they have reduced stress-related injury, which is of course a fantastic touch.

Check the outsole with its cloud elements for awesome rebound qualities which merges with rebound from the mid-sole, you get a cushion safe landing and a nice stable take-off, take it all in your stride.

Quality/Durability
Great quality and decent durability, though the sizes can occasionally run a little small.

Cost
Very slightly cheaper than most others on this list.
Pros
  • Very versatile
  • Snug and comfortable
  • Nice bounce and toe off
  • May reduce stress-related injury
  • Decent traction
  • Nice flexible support
Cons
  • The sizes can occasionally run small.

5. On Cloudrunner

The lace up closure on these guarantees a nice tight fit without restriction, while the bounce and reflexive design are very good. The EVA midsole gives a nice dynamic return of energy and they’re a lightweight affair. The mesh gives breathability while simultaneously offering good structure.
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Comfort/Stability
Although these aren’t built specifically with high arches in mind, they do provide enough support if this is an issue for you. The spring and bounce are great and they offer enough structure with dynamism. They can also reduce joint pain and help your runs to get quicker and more comfortable. The plush design is comfy and they are tight and snug without feeling restrictive. That said, they are not as wide as some would like, so if you have wide feet, these might not be for you. They are slightly stiffer than other On shoes, but only marginally so.

Quality/Durability
A small amount of users have experienced durability issues, but this is pretty rare overall. These are otherwise a great shoe of great quality!

Cost
Another (relative) bargain option.
Pros
  • Nice lace up system to give structure and stability
  • Lightweight
  • Good energy-returning bounce
  • Good support for high arches and can help with shin splints
  • Pretty comfortable
Cons
  • A little stiffer than some other Go shoes
  • A small amount of durability issues have been reported
  • These aren’t great if you have wide feet

6. On Cloudflyer

These have a 6mm heel-to-toe drop and give good support, structure and bounce. They have good traction and the technology is effective at preventing injury. They are plush and comfortable and the mesh gives good breathability. They are a good option for road runners and work equally well in light trail conditions.
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Comfort/Stability
These are nice and comfy, with a padded collar, padded tongue and a cushioned molded insole. The EVA midsole also gives a nice feel and offers support during your run. The toe off and bounce are aided by the energy-returning design of the shoe’s base which offer some protection against knee and ankle weakness and injury. If you overpronate slightly, these also might be a decent option for you. They might take a slight breaking-in period, as any discomfort – which is rare – seems to happen only at an early stage with these. If you’re not accustomed to a reasonably high arch, you may not like this design.

Quality/Durability
They are pretty durable overall, though a small amount of users have found slight issues. The sizes can also occasionally run a little small and narrow, which you may want to consider when buying a pair.

Cost
A little on the pricey end of the scale.
Pros
  • Lots of users really like the aesthetics of the design
  • Comfy, molded and with nice bounce
  • Decent for slight overpronation
  • Good for ankle weakness and knee weakness
  • A good amount of traction for light trail work
  • Good breathability
Cons
  • Slightly pricey
  • May require a small breaking-in period
  • Sizes can run small and narrow
  • The arches may be slightly too high for some

7. On Cloudcruiser

These are very lightweight with great bounce technology and have a 7mm heel-to-toe drop. The design of the lacing and upper is crafted to reduce pressure and ease comfort, which is a great touch if your feet often swell or hurt. They are padded and give a swift gliding run.
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Comfort/Stability
The avoidance of pressure points with these is a great addition, and offers much comfort. The breathable inner lining of the shoe gives a nice feel on the feet, and the sole is removable if you’re seeking something slightly stiffer. The 15 rebound-promoting segments on the base of the shoe are fantastic for comfort and for returning the impact of the foot strike. They have a heel pull loop at the back of the shoe for swiftly getting in and out of them. A small amount of users have said that running long distances in these gives discomfort, but this seems to be very rare.

Quality/Durability
Again, the design with these is great and the technology really shows. There seem to be very few durability issues.

Cost
These run around average for a On shoe.
Pros
  • Good bounce and great energy return.
  • The lacing really reduces pressure on the foot.
  • Breathable and soft inner, which gives a nice feel.
  • Very good impact reduction.
Cons
  • Some users have found that long distances in these can be uncomfortable, though this is a rare comment.

8. On Cloudracer

These are built particularly for speed, so they’re a good option if you’re looking to increase your times. If you want efficiency and speed, this shoe has you covered, especially for the road, but also to an extent in light trail conditions. The overlays are ultra-thin without sacrificing support and structure. They also offer good comfort, a 5mm toe-to-heel drop and decent shock protection.
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Comfort/Stability
These are pretty comfortable and are great if you’re seeking something lightweight for picking up speed. The inner sock has two layers of comfort, which feels good on the foot and the base of the shoe as well as gives good bounce and energy return. The base of the shoe also evenly distributes the pressure of the strike across the entire foot, which helps with comfort and also allows the feet to glide across the entire stroke. These offer firm support without any heaviness or clunkiness and the wide tongue gives support without restriction.

Quality/Durability
If you run on the forefoot, you might not like these – it seems that the quality control is a little off and a small amount of these are uncomfortable on the forefoot. They are a little small and narrow on occasion, so you might want to consider buying a size up. They are otherwise a great shoe with great technology.

Cost
Another average price!
Pros
  • Great if you’re looking to work on your speed.
  • Nice comfortable feel on the inner part of the shoe.
  • Evenly distribute the pressure of the strike.
  • Nice support without restriction.
  • Very lightweight.
Cons
  • Sizes sometimes run a little small and narrow.
  • Not suitable if you run on the forefoot.
  • Some find that they aren’t cushioned enough.
                                                                                                                                                                                 

10. ON Cloud

I like the ON running shoe brand and it's nice to review different shoes and I must say, I particularly like this shoe.

Let’s round of this review with a shoe from the same maker but with its own set of unique features which blend in with the ON running shoe philosophy.

We see that flexibility is maintained, the sole give a firm feeling for your standard runs, yet, the more challenging the hollows thrown at you on trial runs, the more comfortable and responsive the shoe.

All of us look for that special shoe which works for us, this shoe invites you to try it out with promises that you won’t be disappointed.

Certainly up there with the best quality running shoes.

Let’s test and review this shoe so that you can decide if this is your next item to add to your running kit.
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Comfort/Stability.

Starting with the outsole and testing out the featured and unique sole pads, we see and while running we can feel differences, emanating from the midsole are the unique styled sole pads.

Constructed from foam which has been hollowed this is a shoe with strong structural support is given through thick support pillars, compression is there and it is balanced by the firm pillars.

The Outsole gives off a feeling of being flexible but firm which really lets you pour on the heat and move up a pace. Some might argue that this combination is not so hot for a long distance ride but I suggest that it’s down to individual taste and I do not feel these sole innovations are restrictive in terms of longer runs.

You do still get good cushion effect it’s just delivered via a different innovative shoe tech.

Trail running throws up hollows of different depths and these shoes react to this with an enhanced cushioned response, it’s due to the design features in the sole, challenging variations in surface conditions are met with engineered thoughtful cushioned responses.

Midsole has minimal neutral qualities because the outsole design has taken on more responsibility for enhancing shoe performance.

Excellent foot arch support works in conjunction with the full shoe length EVA Speedboard, your foot and notably the foot arch are embraced by protective shoe design.

Traction is very good on pretty much most surfaces and while running you will have a constant feeling that these shoes want you to get moving, they really are nice for speeding up.



Quality/Durability.

A nice sock liner is engineered into the shoe, with tech grooving for the forefoot, heel and arch; this screams out comfort and backs up the claim by providing a high quality of durable comfort. To put it in everyday English, this is luxury built into a running shoe and it’s very appreciable.

The Upper style can play mind games with you, at a glance it resembles a style of fashion shoe that can be worn anywhere but wait a minute, this is a running shoe which is telling you “wear me for more than running “and when we look inside the shoe it looks like a single structure ready to take your foot and mould itself to you.

The forefoot structure is constructed from durable mesh and it’s there at the front to take on whatever the weather throws at it, good wick-ability and water resistant and your toes are  nicely capped and shielded. Too the rear of the shoe the thick durable material gives off a comfortable foot hugging canvas feel.

Breathability is expectedly very good, you have a sense of airy, and this is a result of the durable high quality mesh. You can be confident that your feel will maintain a feeling of dryness and coolness. Regardless of the weather conditions, breathability remains very good.

The shoes even have night time reflective tech subtly designed into the shoe.

We feel bucket loads of comfort, the shoe allows foot hugging security while also providing space, especially in the forefoot area, the size is standards like most of our feet so if you have overly wide feet you will need to think about what size shoe you buy.

Protection for our feet is felt through the solid but flexible materials used in construction which works nicely with the shoes cushioning system and unique sole features.

Weighing in at 7.0 ounces the shoe is stunningly lightweight and even out class the popular lightweight CloudRacer by a few ounces. The shoes are offered in a really broad range of attractive colors which suit all levels of feminine or masculine tastes. The shoes come with a choice of two laces, the elasticated laces suit some runners but most prefer the added secure feeling from standard style laces.

Cost.

Surprisingly the price is very customer friendly when you look at the unique features provided by the shoes.
Pros

CloudTec sole.

Deepflex grooves.

Really lightweight.

Zero-Grav-Foam.

Quality Mesh Material.

Excellent Traction.

Secure efficient lacing system for stability.

Cons

A small downside, watch out for the sole sometimes picking up surface debris.

On creates great shoes and there’s something for everyone. Get some “On” your feet!

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Our Criteria for 10 Best ON Running Shoes Tested

Business Employee Climbs Up Evaluation Improvement Form

The shoes are mainly targeted at trail running but can be used on other surfaces. We looked at the design of the outer sole, for good traction in combination with either a flexible or rigid sole.

What is the sole made from is it a heavy rubber? or as in some of the running shoes we looked at, a light weight durable material such as the SpeedBoard which is a new feature being used for ON brand Swiss designed running shoes.

We found it interesting that the characteristics engineered into this sole actually enhance traction qualities for up hill or down hill running. The spring back or rebound from this sole give help to ongoing momentum while also have shock absorbing features.

We looked at features which improve and maintain stability and these shoes do have such innovative features. Even the diagonal lacing system was found to serve towards stability while ensuring comfortable FIT.

We wanted to know about the materials used and how good they were for breath-ability and for wicking away moisture? drying out was also a very important factor.

How protective are the shoes, do they have design features incorporated to protect runners from injury?

We wanted to know how much structural support is provided by the shoe and did structural support mean the potential for a chunky or bulky design?

Do the shoes offer good effective cushion qualities and where in the shoes has the cushioning been put and does the cushioning offer any other additional benefits?

It was interesting to see that the shoe designers had paid a lot of attention for designing in good toe-off features.

How versatile are the shoes in running on other surfaces other than trail running?

We looked at the construction of the mid-soles to see how much they benefited the runner. We looked closely at the shoe upper, the construction of it, the mesh qualities.

It was very interesting to note that some of the shoes had specific features engineered into the model to prevent irritation or blisters

We concluded our testing and analysis with a look at cost. Good quality shoes will always cost more because they offer more helpful features for the runner. For the shoes in a lower price range we were happy to see that quality and good features were not overly absent.

 

Running shoes really became popular during the last 40 years, brand names we see now and which feel like part of our everyday lives were unknown not that far back in time.

Yes, its really difficult to imagine a world without the amazing variety of innovative running shoe choices which we now have.

What did we wear before running shoes were created?

Barefoot running on beach at sunset.

Are we challenging natural evolution each time we put on our favorite running shoes? Seems a strange question but one worth asking.

Ancient people often ran bare foot and this meant toes to the ground before the rest of the foot in order to minimize impact and shock. Modern running involves the heel impacting first and running shoe designs are innovative to build features into the shoe to protect the foot.

For barefoot running people had much stronger legs muscles and for those of us wanting to take up this running style we would need to first get stronger muscles, or else we could develop painful  tendinitis.

Imagine running bear foot and hitting your heal constantly on the ground? the impact is a few times your own body weight, without strong legs muscles you would quickly do a lot of damage.

The popular recent book Born To Run has raised a lot of interest in barefoot running and most people understand that it’s really not advisable to run far distances on hard man made surfaces as even the evolution of the foot has not designed it to do that. Those cultures that still run barefoot do so on natural Earthen ground surfaces.

Having said that, this observation only counts if a barefoot runner uses a heel down first running style because even on a hard surface if you touch down toe first the shock impact is very much reduced and the chances of injury are minimal.

Interestingly, a study of natural bare foot runners in Africa found that the runners also often landed with their mid-foot and this again reduced the shock impact. Modern running shoes house our feet comfortably and the shoe construction guides.

It’s not all bare foot running in ancient times, red Indians in North American tribes wore moccasins and were able to comfortably run for long distances.

Have you ever wondered what the ancient Greeks wore on their feet for those early Olympic games? IN 720 BC Greek Athletes competed naked in the Olympic games and it was felt at that time that this was a feature for a civilized society.

Notably for us runners is that the first recorded naked Athlete in the Olympic games was actually a runner. His garment came off while he was running but he would not drop out of the race and so he continued bare foot and naked.

All racing-running was done barefoot and they held four race types, the “1 Stade” which was a 192 meter sprint, the 2 Stade, 384 meters while wearing battle Armour and still barefoot, the Armour weighed 60 lbs. Can you imagine the foot shock impacts hitting the ground while running bare foot in heavy Armour?  The third was a long distance race of 1,344 meters and the fourth 4,606 meters. These races were on dry soil surfaces and ancient Greek writers described the barefoot runners as kicking up clouds of dust.

A particularly challenging run without shoes was the cross country style race which was at two levels, 5,000 or 10,000 meters and this race really tested the stamina of bare footed runners.

So there we have it, running has a very long history but modern running shoes only really came into being about forty years ago.

 

FAQ

Q: Why men’s and ladies running shoes?

A: Generally the features designed into both will offer the same criteria for comfort, durability, lightweight, stability & protection though the design features mat vary in terms of masculine and feminine. Best ladies and best men’s running shoes reviewed.

Q: Is barefoot running more natural than wearing running shoes?

A: In terms of evolution it may well be more natural but running shoes offer far more in terms of comfort and protection. There are running shoes designed for barefoot style running. HERE. (Take a look).

Q: Which offers more chance for speed, barefoot or wearing running shoes?

A: This will depend on which type of running surface and who is actually running bare foot? For example studies show that some African cultures have very fast barefoot runners.  But the environment they run in is unique. It’s all about the type of running: a race or just exercise and which surface, sprinting, trail running, hard surfaces, marathon running etc. Barefoot running reviewed.

Q: Are there any fully water proof running shoes?

A: Many brands offer water proof running shoes which are exceptionally protective. Fully water proof? It might be fair to say that the only shoe that could be fully water proof would have to be a fully designed boot style made from rubber, without any seams, laces or mesh qualities. Not at all ideal for running. Best water proof running shoes reviewed.

Q: Which running shoe has the best grip or traction? Check runner click for more info.

A: Grip factor and traction depend on the type of surface that a shoe is designed for, shoes for running in wet mud or on wet grass will not have as good a traction as shoes designed for running on a hard surface. We can read runnerclick reviews for shoes designed for running on different types of surfaces to find the best recommended shoe.

Q: Which brand leads in the running shoe market?

A: Apparently Nike has the top share followed by ASICS and thirdly Adidas. Read runnerclick reviews to see which other high quality brands are available for you.


Check out a few of the sources we used:

Sources

  1. LiveScience.com, Running Shoes Changed How Humans Run, Science publication,
  2. On Running Blog, Finding the perfect marathon shoe, Brand publication,
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