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ON Cloud X Performance Review

The Good

Thomas: The On Cloud X has the same quality craftsmanship that all On shoes share. The attention to detail is admirable. The upper is made up of several technologies. There is a dual layer engineered mesh over the vamp; the weave of the mesh creates the structure. Over the middle of the upper On uses welded overlays on stiffer fabric paired with a thin, but cushioned tongue. The collar of the X has foam pillows for comfort and to create the ideal fit around the ankle and heel. A rigid external heel counter finishes off the upper.

Along with beautiful uppers, the midsole with its cloudtec® pillows is the defining characteristic of the On brand. My guess is the X name probably stands for Cross Training. The Cloud X is firm and stable. The Cloudtec midsole is attached to a very firm plate. This trainer does not feel cushy. The toe is flexible and the plate gives the shoe some snap. Along the outsole, there is high abrasion rubber for grip and durability. There doesn’t appear to be any details overlooked, the finishing is flawless.

The weight of the On Cloud X for my size 10.5 is 8.80 oz. Nice and light. The drop is 6mm and the shoe fits true to size. The feel of the shoe is quick with easy turnover, softer in the heel with very little cushioning in the forefoot.

Meaghan: On makes great looking running shoes and the Cloud X is no exception. The upper is designed with an engineered mesh and slight padding around the collar and tongue. There’s no extra material, no crazy overlays, just a nice balance of support and breathability.  These shoes run true to size and the semi-flat laces provide a secure, locked-down fit. Even though there’s not a ton of padding, they’re comfortable shoes.

The On Cloud X feels pretty firm underfoot; firmer than other On shoes I’ve worn in the past. If you’re not familiar with the brand, On designs their shoes with “clouds” (pods) underfoot. The pods collapse on impact and expand on take-off. Some pods have more “give” than others. The Cloudtec combined with a firm plate give this particular model a little more snap.

On kept these shoes nice and light. My W7.5 came in at 6.6 oz.


On Cloud X

The Bad

Thomas: The shoe rides very firm bordering on hard. When we spoke to On, they made it clear that this is a shoe for athletes that need a shoe for running to the gym or doing some cardio between yoga etc. I would not recommend this shoe for longer miles. Meg may be able to give more feedback on that.

Meaghan: Do not wear these shoes for your long run. I made the terrible mistake of wearing them for 20 miles out of the box, not realizing they are not built for that. My feet were throbbing for miles 15 – 20. I honestly contemplated running barefoot for the last few miles, but it was too cold. These shoes look and feel great miles 1 – 8. Anything over that is probably (definitely) a mistake.

On Cloud X

The On Cloud X Conclusion

Thomas: If you are looking for a beautifully designed shoe that is great for cross training and 3-6 mile runs, then this trainer fits the bill. If you are looking for a lightweight trainer for higher mileage and speedwork, there are better alternatives. Purchase the On Cloud X and other On Cloud trainers here.

Meaghan: The On Cloud X is the perfect shoe for the runner who doesn’t love running. Heading to Cross-fit? Perfect. Gearing up for yoga class? A good choice. Walking the dog? You’ll look great. Looking to pound out lots of miles? Not the shoe for you.



Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for this review – I agree with not running the long runs in this shoe, but I very much disagree with the statement that it’s “a shoe for the runner who doesn’t love running.” Runners that focus on the shorter or middle distances and do speed work will LOVE this shoe for how light and responsive it is.

    1. Thomas Neuberger says:

      Fair enough, the comment was made more tongue in cheek. 😉

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