In this On Cloud X review, we'll find out if these hybrid workout/running shoes work and whether you can really have the best of both worlds. Are the On Cloud X the best workout shoes from On Running?
On Running, or just “On” to most people, is still considered a newcomer in the world of running shoes. And in the grand scheme of things, that’s kind of true. The Swiss trainer brand was founded in 2010 with an ambition to change the world of running by developing a range of trainers using the latest technology to offer something like nothing else on the market at the time. Fats forward to 2021 and the now world-renowned trainer company has certainly made an impact in a relatively short space of time.
While On Running doesn’t boast the legacy of shoemaking that the likes of Nike and Adidas do, it’s still been able to prove that it’s got what it takes to cannot deliver an impressive and innovative pair of sports shoes.
The company’s latest kicks, the Cloud X, is a perfect example of that. Aimed at more general training - from weightlifting and HIIT to CrossFit and short sprints - these lightweight gym shoes are the Zurich-based company’s first attempt at constructing something not exclusively for running. Instead, they’re aimed at supporting stability and comfort during all types of fitness.
Want to know how they stack up against the competition? Read on.
On Cloud X: Price and features
The Cloud X workout shoes are available to buy now in the UK, US and Australian from On Running’s official store.
At launch, the shoes retailed for a pupil-dilating £130 in the UK and $150 in the US. Thankfully however, they’ve come down in price a little since then and can be picked up from On’s shop for £90 / $99. That’s not a temporary sale price by the looks of things, so we’re confident they’ll stay that price from now on.
Those who are looking to make a purchase will find that the Cloud X come in both male and female sizes and in a range of eight different colours, from a simple and understated Black or White to a more flashy Sienna and Rust (bright red and maroon) or Storm and Flash (navy and neon orange).
On Cloud X review: Design
On is a company that knows what it’s doing when it comes to design. Hitting just the right balance between unconventional and innovation, its shoe designs are what have made the firm stand out in a very crowded market. The Cloud X shoes are no exception.
The first thing you’ll notice upon inspecting these trainers is that they’re incredibly light. At 229 grams, it’s hard to believe how light these shoes are, especially with so much cushioning. The next thing you’re likely to observe is that the materials used feel super-premium, especially within the tongue and heel counter design. The whole shoe oozes workout luxe, and we love it.
What really stands out, though, is the CloudTec sole. Made of a Zero-Gravity foam, this sole has been designed especially for explosive movement in all directions. This is made possible thanks to a unique foam construction that means the shoes can offer a good range of mobility while weight is kept to a minimum.
Another feature that’s contributing to this lightweight design is a knit-weave upper, which makes the entire shoe more breathable without affecting the level of cushioning throughout - especially on the outsole. This ensures the trainers feel comfortable and agile during runs, hops, skips and jumps - you name it. Meanwhile, a firm foam padding along the collar means they are able to handle all these high-impact moves and retain their shape.
Finally, we should mention a seamless sock liner throughout the upper. This has been designed for comfort throughout mixed-sports workouts and during use, we’ve found that it helps to make a big difference to the comfort levels during longer workout sessions when you’d normally start to feel rubbing.
The only negative comment we have in terms of design is that the Cloud X don’t feel quite as sturdy as you’d find in other brands' gym shoes, and we did feel they don’t quite deliver the support you’d need in the ankle for exercises that require heavy-lifting, such as weighted squats.
On Cloud X review: Workout performance
When it comes to getting down and dirty with the Cloud X, you’ll soon realise these shoes know exactly how to deliver. And it’s their responsiveness, especially to high-impact movement, that brings us this exceptional performance.
At the forefront of this performance is the Cloud X shoes’ responsiveness. They make use of a strong speed board in the midsole, which helps to reduce the amount of sink upon strike and, in turn, add more return at toe-off. It’s this perpetual give/return action that makes the Cloud X super receptive to the movements that you put them through, no matter how powerful.
As we touched upon in the design section, comfort plays a major role in the Cloud X, and this rings true in terms of performance, too. It means that every time your foot hits the ground, you feel like you’ve got a bit of extra support. Again, this is all thanks to the CloudTec midsole. It’s an impressive bit of engineering that adds just the right amount of padding for a soft yet stable feeling on impact as you land every stride.
It’s the assortment of above-performance capabilities that make the Cloud X perfect for those in need of a versatile gym shoe to see them through all kinds of use cases, from a HIIT class to a Sunday morning jog around the block. However, it’s worth noting that they’re not ideal for long-distance running, mainly due to their lack of sufficient energy return. For that, On has a whole range of running-specific shoes available.
On Cloud X review: Verdict
The Cloud X gym shoes are not only unique in terms of their versatile and comfortable yet supportive design, but they deliver on performance, too, offering some impressive responsiveness.
Okay, so they might lose points for failing to have the same level of support and robust fit that a gym shoe like the Nike Metcon range has, but these kicks excel in the fact they are light, stable and offer a good, balanced and natural feel to move around in.
So if you’re looking for a pair of workout shoes that have your back no matter what kind of workout you’re doing, the On Running Cloud X are the ones for you.
On Cloud X review: Also consider
The Under Armour TriBase Reign 3 is not only an amazing workout shoe but it also won the T3 Awards 2021 in the 'Best Workout Shoes' category. The TriBase Reign 3 offers more breathability and better grip than its predecessor the equally as competent Under Armour TriBase Reign 2.
The Nike Metcon 6 is one of the most popular workout shoes on the market, especially among Crossfit athletes. It is more breathable and has an updated topcoat that is supposed to be even more resilient than the one found in the Metcon 5, which was pretty resilient already. Not bad!