7 Best On Running Shoes for 2018

7 Best On Running Shoes for 2018

You may not have noticed, but we’re living in a golden age of running shoe innovation. The long-established major manufacturers are in a dogfight in the search for the best midsole technology, while upstarts like Hoka, Altra, and Newton are shaking up the market from below. On is another recent startup (although thanks to its stylized logo, you might know these shoes as “qc,” “oc,” “guy looking up at the moon,” or “Evan Jager’s man bun”). The group of Swiss engineers who founded On in Zurich in 2010 have set out to create the same thing that whole research divisions at shoe giants like Adidas, Nike, and Asics are trying to make: running shoes that provide soft cushion when your foot hits the ground, and a springy bounce when your foot launches you into the air again. Keep reading for the list of best On running shoes as determined by the survey responses of over 11,000 runners.

Number 7

On Cloudracer 2

On Cloudracer 2

Like other On running shoes, the Cloudracer 2 cushions impact and powers your stride with hollow Cloudtec elements in the outsole. The Cloudracer 2 is designed for race performance and interval workouts. At just 7.7 ounces in a men’s size 9, it’s also the lightest On shoe, with a firm forefoot and heel that emphasize speed.

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Number 6

On Cloudster

On Cloudster

While the other running shoe start-ups have opted for a low heel-toe drop (Hoka), even lower (Newton), and absolutely none at all (Altra), On shoes all have a more moderate drop of 6-7 mm from heel to toe. What characterizes On’s shoes instead is the differential between gentle cushioning in the heel and a firm forefoot. In a display of Swiss engineering, shoes like the Cloudster have very different cushioning profiles in front and back, with a notably soft landing in the heel and a cirm and snappy toe-off up front. Only the Cloudsurfer offers a higherdistinction between levels of front and heel cushioning than the Cloudster.

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Number 5

On Cloud

On Cloud

Next in our On shoes review is the Cloud, an uptempo trainer that at 7.9 ounces is just barely heavier than the Cloudracer. If you think you would prefer a moderate version of the On ride, with a softer heel and firmer forefoot, similar to the Cloudcruiser but with less contrast than the Cloudster or Cloudsurfer, the On Cloud is an attractive option for faster road running or interval workouts.

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Number 4

On Cloudsurfer

On Cloudsurfer

On the other hand, if you see no need to water down On’s Swiss engineering, running shoes like the Cloudsurfer might be your top choice. The heel is extremely soft, while the forefoot is exceptionally firm. If you like the On ride, theCloudsurfer is as On as it get. The approach seems to work better for runners who don’t require additional stability features in their running shoes.

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Number 3

On Cloudcruiser

On Cloudcruiser

The Cloudcruiser is a neutral daily trainer that rides similarly to the uptempo On Cloud, with a firm forefoot and a somewhat softer heel. Thanks to the On Swiss engineering, shoes like the Cloudcruiser let you try the On ride at moderate levels; if you decide you need something with more heel/forefoot distinction than the Cloudcruiser or Cloud, you can move up to the Cloudster, or to the Cloudsurfer for full effect.

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Number 2

On Cloudflow

On Cloudflow

The Cloudflow is an uptempo shoe designed for faster running like the Cloud and the Cloudracer, and the weight of all three shoes is within a fraction of an ounce of each other. On has tuned these Cloudtec running shoes so that the heel and forefoot are similarly firm, with a ride similar to the Cloudflyer, but softer and more forgiving than the Cloudracer racing shoe.

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Number 1

On Cloudflyer

On Cloudflyer

The Cloudflyer is a daily trainer with a ride like the uptempoCloudflow, with similar firmness in the forefoot and heel. The Cloudflyer adds premium cushion and just enough stability for runners who prefer support shoes, while retaining the firm, fast feel of the Cloudflow. It’s a combination that seems to be working well for On, as runners give it the top spot in ourOn running review.

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