Cloudstratus vs Cloudace: Best Running Shoe Review 2024

Written By Sunny

Cloudstraus and Cloudace are two of On Running’s popular shoes.

Both shoes feature On’s signature CloudTec cushioning, providing a soft and responsive ride.

While the Cloudstratus is a neutral shoe suitable for long-distance running, the Cloudace is more of a stability shoe.

But whether the lighter Cloudstratus is better than the more supportive Cloudace depends on various factors.cloudstratus-vs-cloudace

Today, I will give a comparative analysis of Cloudace vs Cloudstratus to get a clear concept.

Let’s dive in.

Overview of On Running Cloudace and On Running Cloudstratus

Before diving into the shoe comparisons, let’s have a quick overview.

The Swiss brand “On” was founded in 2010. As years have passed, they have developed their shoes and offer specialized shoes for running, trailing, or hiking.

The brand released the first Cloudace in 2018. After three years, it released the Clouadace 2 in 2021.

This trainer is a go-to choice who prioritizes firm support and superior control. The built-in medial post supports inward foot roll, ensuring enhanced stability.

In Contrast, the Cloudstratus entered the scene as On’s plush-cushioned shoe in June 2019.

Later, in 2021, Cloudstratus v2 was released with added cushioning to make it more versatile and comfortable than its predecessor.

Finally, On-Running released the Cloudstratus 3 in 2023 to pursue perfection with updated technology and reduced drop.

The double-layered CloudTec® system, enhanced with Helion™ foam and updated Speedboard® for powerful forward roll, makes the Cloudstratus 3 a haven for comfort seekers.

Feature Comparison of On Cloudace 2.0 and On Cloudstratus 3

Shoemakers release new shoes to make the old ones better. What’s the difference they have in the latest models matters. A guided table tour with the attribute changes between the latest On Cloudace and Cloudstratus will highlight the shoe differences.

Below is the comparison table of On Cloudace 2.0 and On Cloudstratus 3:

FeatureOn Cloudace 2.0On Cloudstratus 3
Release Year20212023
Upper MaterialsEngineered meshEngineered mesh upper with recycled materials
Midsole TechnologiesSpeedboard®, two layers of Helion™ superfoamDouble CloudTec®, Speedboard®, Helion™ superfoam
Cushioningmoderate rocker and firmerPlush and responsive
BreathabilityModerateAbove average
Stack Height (Approx.)Heel: 31 mm, Forefeet: 22 mmHeel: 32 mm, Forefeet: 26 mm
Heel-to-Toe Drop~9mm~6 mm
Weight (Approx.)12.3 ounces10.4 ounces
SizeTrue to sizeTrue to size
Price~$120 - $140~$180
Best ForLong runs, 5k, 10k, marathonLong runs and energy return

Let’s move on to the elaborated changes of the ON Running Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2 Shoes.

6 Key Differences between Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2 Shoes

While the latest Cloudstratus and Cloudace have similar types of upper and cushioning, they have some critical differences. that can make or break the deal for many users.

Some features, like stack height, drop, breathability, etc, differ between Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2.

Here are the six significant differences between Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2 Shoes:

1. Upper Constructions and Designs

The Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2 both offer breathable upper.

Cloudstratus 3 features a thicker, engineered mesh upper with recycled materials. It nicely wraps your feet to a secure stride and provides wiggle room to the toes.

The v3 features a bootie-style gusseted tongue. While the tongue ensures a snug fit, it also works as a barrier against debris. The heel collar is also padded.

Cloudstratus 3’s lateral heel side is redesigned from its predecessor.upper-constructions-and-designs-of-cloudstratus-3

While it was U-shaped in the Cloudstratus 2, the shape is now kind of a V-shape in the new model.

On the other hand, Cloudace 2.0 comes with a slightly more structured upper.

It is thinner and form-fitting. Loaded with more Swiss-engineered technology than any other shoe in On’s lineup, this upper prioritizes comfort and support.

The tongue is slightly thinner compared to Cloudstratus 3 but comes with mesh fabric.

The eyelets are now flat, whereas they were round-shaped in the original version.

However, the laces are still flat and have a standard lacing system similar to the Cloudstartus v3.

2. Breathability Showdown

Breathability-wise, Cloudstratus 3 is airy enough, providing sufficient ventilation for most conditions.

The tongue and toe box has enough perforations for good ventilation. However, the reinforced sections down the lateral side slightly block the air circulation.

If I had to give a breathability rating on a 0 to 10 scale (10 being the superior), I would give 8 to the Cloudstratus 3.

Shoe NameBreathability Rating (0 - 10 scale)
ON Cloudstratus6
ON Cloudstratus 26.5
ON Cloudstratus 38
ON Cloudace6.5
ON Cloudace 27

In contrast, On Cloudace 2 also shines in breathability despite having a relatively thick upper.

The adequate perforations in the upper ensure enough airflow for warmer conditions.

The inner layer offers support and structure, whereas the outer layer features a more open design. It ensures your feet remain well-ventilated.

I give a 7 rating to Cloudace 2.0 for its breathability.breathability-showdown-of-on-cloudace-2-0

3. Midsole Cushioning and Outsole Design

The On-running Cloudstratus 3 offers pure comfort with its double layer of Helion™ foam. Those who like high-mileage runs find this comfortable for its plush cushioning.

The firm nylon plate-Speedboard helps propel you forward with a bouncy stride.

With a stack height of 32 mm on the heel and 26 mm in the forefeet, this shoe has an official 6 mm drop.

However, I felt the heel stack was higher than the 32 mm. So, the drop felt close to 9 mm, considered a high drop.

This drop benefits heel strikers, but if you want a slightly lower drop, Asics Novablast 3 or 2 is a good alternative.

But besides the drop, this shoe features CloudTec technology, and the hard rubber outsole below the two-layer cloud pods is excellent in durability with traction without slipping.

Shoe NameHeel HeightForefeet HeightDrop
On Cloudstratus~33 mm~24 mm~9 mm
On Cloudstratus 2~36 mm~28 mm~8 mm
On Cloudstratus 3~32 mm~26 mm~6 mm
On Cloudace~30 mm~23 mm~7 mm
On Cloudace 2~31 mm~22 mm~9 mm

On the contrary, Cloudace 2 takes center stage if you prefer stability and control.

It shares the luxurious double Helion™ midsole with the Cloudstratus 3. It has responsive Rebound Rubber in the forefeet and Helion® superfoam under the heel.

Besides the foams, Cloudace v2 adds a crucial layer: a wider Speedboard.outsole-design-of-on-cloudace-2-0

The aggressive rocker design promotes a quicker turnover and minimizes pronation.

The stack height cushioning is lower than the Cloudstratus but is still comfortable. The drop is also 9 mm, which feels similar to the Cloudstratus v3.

The rubber outsole is high-abrasion, making it a reliable companion for long-lasting and stability-seeking runners.

4. Size, Fit, and Comfort

The On Cloudstratus 3 fits true to size.

The toe box has ample room and is slightly wider than the average. This roomy toe box can support slightly wider feet.

Moreover, the toe box width at the big toe is also broader.


It prevents hotspots or blisters, even for those with wide feet.

The generously padded tongue is quite comfortable. There is no lace bite, no matter how tightly you lace up. There is also no tongue moving, which ensures a secure midfoot lockdown.

Meanwhile, On-running Cloudace 2.0 also fits true to size.

Shoe NameFit
Cloudstratus 3True-to-size
Cloudace 2True-to-size

size-fit-and-comfort-of-on-cloudace-2-0While the heel was slightly narrow in the Cloudstartsus 3, it fits wider in the Cloudace 2. The midfoot is also slightly broader, so you should lace the lock carefully for narrow feet.

The more robust and rigid heel counter ensures maximum heel lockdown.

However, this shoe can feel uncomfortable if you have sensitive Achilles insertions.

5. Performance and Durability

The Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2 perform differently but are both very good.

It is excellent for long-distance comfort. Its plush Helion™ midsole ensures a smooth ride mile after mile without fatigue. The responsiveness is also impressive.

Moreover, the latest Cloudstratus is lightweight, only around 10.4 ounces, making it a fantastic, versatile everyday trainer.

Shoe NameWeight
On Running Cloudstratus~10.3 oz
On Running Cloudstratus 2~10.4 oz
On Running Cloudstratus 3~10.4 oz
On Running Cloudace~11.8 oz
On Running Cloudace 2~12.3 oz

However, like other breathable shoes, the upper durability is unsatisfactory in the latest Cloudstratus model. But the heel durability is amazing.

If you want good breathability and durable uppers, Asics Kayano 30 or Kayano 29 is a viable option.

The outsole’s durability is fantastic and can last up to 500 miles with proper care.

In contrast, while the Cloudstratus 3 embraces comfort, the Cloudace 2 takes the role of stability champion.performance-and-durability-of-on-cloudace-2-0-and-on-cloudstratus-3

This shoe is excellent for those who have slight pronation issues. The locked-in feel and exceptional control ensure that you can run without fear of falling.

Additionally, the high-quality materials guarantee long-lasting performance.

6. Price and Value

The Cloudstratus is slightly pricier than the Cloudace.

Cloudstratus 3 can cost you around 180 bucks.

The On-Running discontinued Cloudace, which is disappointing. However, they resale it with a price range of 120 to 140 bucks. But some retailers can charge up to 200 dollars.

Cloudstratus 3
  • »Around $180
Cloudace 2
  • »Varies from $120 to $200

With plush cushioning for long runs, the Cloudstratus 3 is worth the price.

For 140 bucks, Cloudace is worth the value for its stability and control. However, if it costs you $200, it’s not worth it.

Pros & Cons of the Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace v2

Though these two models are born from the same Swiss engineering brilliance, they have some strengths and considerations that can make or break the deal.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the ON Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace v2:

On Cloudstratus 3

  • »Lighter than the Cloudace 2.
  • »Superior shock absorption and effortless stride.
  • »Distance-ready design and durable construction.
  • »Secure and stable underfoot platform for every stride.
  • »Generously padded tongue and heel collar.
  • »Sleek and Eco-Conscious style.
  • »Cushioned comfort and spacious toe box.
  • »A break-in period is not required.
  • »Expensive than the Cloudace 2.
  • »Less comfortable at slower paces.
  • »Drop feels high.
  • »Pebbles and stones can accumulate in the gaps within the midsole.

On Cloudace 2

  • »Cheaper than the Cloudstratus 3.
  • »Great stability and supportive platform.
  • »Comfortable and responsive.
  • »Durable rubber outsole.
  • »Versatile.
  • »Sleek and modern design.
  • »Heavier than Cloudstratus 3.
  • »Availability issue.
  • »Slightly less cushioned compared to the Cloudstratus.

Which One Should You Choose: Cloudstratus 3 or Cloudace 2?

Picking one between the Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudace 2 can be head-scratching.

If comfort, cushioning, and sustainability are your ultimate goals, the On Cloudstratus 3 fits all the criteria. The fatigue-reducing technology and design it offers can be your perfect everyday companion.

The On Cloudace 2 shines when you need maximum support for long runs. The wider Speedboard and firmer Helion midsole foam ensure it. The resale price is also cheaper.

I frequently use the new-gen Cloudstratus over the latest Cloudace, as I don’t need extra support.

However, I also use the Cloudace 2 when I need another pair to give a rest to the Cloudstratus.


Which is more comfortable, Cloudstratus or Cloudace?

Comparing the latest model of Cloudstratus and Cloudace, Cloudstratus takes the win regarding comfort. The high cushioning with softer Helion midsole and plusher materials make the journey more comfortable for the Cloudstratus 3.

Is Cloudstratus 3 a neutral or stability shoe?

Usually, Cloudstratus 3 is a neutral shoe. But a few elements are used to add slight stability.  However, it is not a fully stable shoe that can handle severe overpronators.

Is the Cloudstratus 3 lighter and more breathable than the Cloudace 2?

Yes. The Cloudstratus 3 is lightweight compared to the Cloudace 2, even with higher cushioning. Moreover, while both are breathable, Cloudstratus 3 is slightly better for better mesh construction.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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