Shoe Review: On Running Cloud X

Innovative cushioning, clean designs make this lightweight trainer/racer something to behold

On Running Cloud X

Price: $140

Specs: 6mm heel-toe offset; 28mm (heel), 22mm (forefoot)

Weight: 8.3 oz. (men’s size 9), 6.7 oz. (women’s size 7)

The Scoop: On has made waves in recent years with its innovative cushioning system (underfoot pods known as “Clouds”), lightweight shoes and clean designs. The Cloud X is a fast and light training/racing flat that has just enough cushion to be an everyday trainer too. Two things make this shoe so enticingly energetic: First, the 16 Clouds cushioning pods are tuned differently, allowing for a softer feel in the rear and a more responsive feeling up front. (They’re all different sizes, shapes and densities and play a specific role in the transition from foot strike to toe-off.) Secondly, this shoe has a full-length Speedboard under the foot that works in concert with each of those pods to provide a consistently smooth and near-custom ride based on how your foot rolls through the gait cycle. The bottom line, this shoe packs a lot into a modern featherweight package.

Who It’s Best For: This could be a fast-paced shoe for training and racing for a lot of runners, but it could also be an everyday training for a very fit runner who has strong lower legs and feet and runs with good form.

Plus: The lacing system seems a bit minimalist when you first put this shoe on, but the sophisticated minimally-stitched mesh uppers, lightly padded tongue and thin, flat laces not only create a comfortable, reliable fit but also stay tied without fail.

Minus: Truth be told, there’s not a lot of shoe in the Cloud X. In other words, for those runners who feel it’s too minimalist and lacking support, well, that’s probably true.


Adam W. Chase
Adam W. Chase has run more than 150 marathons and ultra-distance races. At this point in life, he writes faster than he runs and also serves as President of the American Trail Running Association and works as a lawyer in Boulder, Colo.