On Cloudstratus Vs Cloudmonster: Pick the Best Cloud

Written By Sunny

As someone who loves a plush and comfortable run, the ON Cloud shoes have been my go-to choice for the last few years. However, I wanted a bit more cushioning than my current daily driver, the Cloudmonster.

So, when the brand released its third edition of the Cloudstratus runner, I quickly grabbed a pair to see how it compares to my existing On-Cloud running shoe.

In this write-up, I have thoroughly discussed all the major and minor differences between Cloudstartus and Cloudmonster to determine which one deserves a spot in your cabinet.cloudstratus-vs-cloudmonster

Let’s begin.

A Quick Rundown of the On Cloudmonster and Cloudstratus

The On Cloudstratus 3 and the On Cloudmonster are some of the most highly cushioned running shoes on the market right now.

Both shoes have been designed for long distances and everyday training.

Despite releasing one year earlier, the Cloudmonster is quite comparable with the Cloudstratus 3 as these are the flagship models from On Cloud.

Starting with the Cloudmonster is a max cushioned shoe that promises to deliver monster-level bounce and exceptional energy return, which are very advantageous for high-performance runners.

The ON(the actual name of the brand) wanted to take things to a whole new level by adding extra support without sacrificing the existing dense cushioning.

Hence, they released the Cloudstratus 3 in 2023.

Technical Comparison between the Cloudstartus 3 and the Cloudmonster

Since these Cloud shoes are from two different footwear series, they have certain dissimilarities in their technical specifications. These variances can greatly impact how these shoes perform in day-to-day scenarios.

So, let’s do a side-by-side feature comparison between the Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudmonster to get a better understanding.

AttributesOn Cloudstratus 3On Cloudmonster
Release year20232022
Weight10.2oz for men’s US size 99.7oz for men’s US size 9
SizingTrue to sizeTrue to size
Upper materialEngineered mesh with a few reflective elementsEngineered reflective mesh
InsoleRemovable socklinerRemovable sockliner
MidsoleHelion™ superfoam with CloudTec® pods, Speedboard technologyHelion™ superfoam with CloudTec® pods, Speedboard technology
Stack height31-37mm24-30mm
Heel drop6mm6mm
OutsoleSegmented rubber over the cloud podsSegmented rubber over the cloud pods
Break in periodShortShort
Best forDaily training, recovery runsEasy runs, long-distance, recovery runs, walking
PricingAround $180Around $170

Key Differences between the On Cloudstratus 3 and the On Cloudmonster

These aforementioned Cloud shoes might be from the same running category, but they have different implications for different running styles.

After running with both pairs for over 400 miles, I have noticed a few apparent and not-so-apparent differences between the two Cloud shoes that can help out any potential buyer.

So, go through the following fundamental differences between the Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudmonster to pick the best runner.

1. Design Language

The Cloudstratus 3 takes a completely different approach to its silhouette design than the Cloudmonster.

While the Cloudmonster opted for bolder and chunky aesthetics, the Cloudstratus 3 settles for a sleeker, minimalistic design.

The geometric shapes/blocky design and contrasting colorways of the Cloudmonster shoe make a performance-oriented statement, which appeals to runners who prefer a modern vibe.

Additionally, this model also has more prominent branding across its build.

Conversely, the Cloudstratus 3 has a more classic and streamlined silhouette to appeal to the urban running crowd. This simple design can be worn up or down with any outfit.

This model also has a few reflective details for better visibility in low-light environments.

Furthermore, Cloudstratus offers noticeably fewer colorways compared to the Cloudmoster.design-language-of-cloudstartus-3-and-the-cloudmonster

Despite such dissimilarities, both shoes feature the brand’s iconic CloudTec hollow pods and a similarly rockered design.

2. Upper Construction

The underlying upper material, as well as the tongue and toe box construction of these Clouds, have a few major and minor differences.

Let me explain.

Upper Material

Both shoes feature engineered mesh made from sustainable material.

However, the Cloudmonster features reflective mesh, which lights up whenever a bright light shines over the shoe in dark environments.

The Cloudstratus might not have a reflective mesh, but it has a few reflective overlays on its upper that serve the same purpose.upper-material-of-cloudstartus-3-and-the-cloudmonster

Furthermore, the Cloudmonster features larger perforations and lighter upper construction. As a result, it feels more comfortable and softer during long runs or gym workouts.

That being said, the Cloudstratus 3 provides better support and a more durable upper as it has reinforced overlays, which are more concentrated down the lateral side.

That is also why this model feels more structured and supportive than the Cloudmonster.


There’s not much difference between the tongue construction of these running shoes.

Both Clouds feature gusseted tongues with the standard profile. It provides adequate midfoot support and keeps your feet well-ventilated.

However, Cloudstratus offers slightly more padding and a thicker tongue than the Cloudmonster.

Neither shoe had any tongue slippage issues during my fast-paced running sessions, and both delivered a pleasant ride.

Toe Box

The Cloudmonster’s toe box is generally considered wider than the Cloudstratus 3, offering more room for toe splaying and wiggling. It also prevents bunions or blistering while offering a roomier fit.toe-box-of-cloudstartus-3-and-the-cloudmonster

Furthermore, the Cloudmonster’s toe box has a rounder shape, providing more volume in the forefoot area.

On the other hand, the narrower profile of the Cloudstratus 3’s toe cap offers a snugger fit for high-performance running and daily training.

However, its structured fit and less flexible upper might not feel as comfortable as the Cloudmonster, especially for those with wider forefeet.

3. Midsole and Cushioning

The Cloudmonster has been touted as the max cushioned running shoe by the On-Cloud brand. However, it was before they released the Cloudstratus 3.

Currently, the Cloudstratus offers the highest amount of cushioning compared to any Cloud shoes.

That being said, the Cloudmonster is still the king of bouncy cushioning.

Both Clouds utilize their in-house Helio superfoam in their midsole but in a different way.

For Cloudstratus, the denser, dual-layer cushioning felt very plush and responsive. The upper layer is adequately soft, while the lower layer is firmer.

In the meantime, the lightweight cushioning of the Cloudmonster gave a pillowy and comfortable feel in every stride.

Nonetheless, both shoes feature On-Cloud’s renowned CloudTech pods, which compress and rebound to increase propulsion and shock absorption.

But the Cloudmonster is more bouncy due to having larger hollow pods.

Another feature that both Cloud shoes incorporate is the Speedboard technology.

It’s a plastic shank infused into the midsole that enhances the energy return and springy feel during fast-paced running.

4. Outsole and Durability

Both On shoes feature segmented rubber outsole strategically placed on the CloudTec pods.outsole-of-cloudstartus-3-and-the-cloudmonster

However, these rubbers only cover the forefoot and rearfoot area. The midsole in the midfoot is completely exposed for both models. This creates a concern for the overall durability of these runners.

After running 100 miles on rougher terrain, both shoes started to show early signs of wear and tear in the exposed area. Despite having more rubber in its outsole, the Cloudstartus 3 didn’t fare any better compared to the Cloudmonster.

If you only run on pavements, you might get better longevity out of these Cloud runners.

Furthermore, these shoes feature flex grooving to improve traction and minimize slippage on wet surfaces.

The most annoying aspect is the occasional rock and debris that gets wedged into the outsole break of these Cloud shoes.

Although, the Cloudstratus is less prone to this issue than the Cloudmonster.

FeatureOn CloudmonsterOn Cloudstratus 3
Outsole MaterialDurable rubberDenser rubber compound
TractionGood on most surfacesGood on various surfaces
DurabilityModerate (300-400 miles)Slightly higher (400+ miles)
Outsole BreaksLarger, more likely to collect debrisSmaller, less likely to collect debris

5. Fit and Comfort

Both Cloud runners have standard profile construction.

However, the Cloudmonster provides a more conforming fit without feeling too restrictive due to a more flexible upper. It also has a slightly narrower midfoot than the Cloudstratus.

I’d recommend going for a half-size up for both models if you have wider forefeet.

And that’s not all!

Collar and Heel Cup

A structured heel counter can be found on both Cloud runners.

But the Cloudstratus feels more structured with reinforced overlays.

Regardless, both kicks offer excellent ankle support and prevent heel slippage for any running style.

Continuing its focus on comfort, the Cloudmonster offers more padding in its collar to keep your foot happy throughout the day.

Meanwhile, the Cloudstratus 3 aims to strike a perfect balance between comfort and support with its engineered mesh collar and decent padding.

TraitOn CloudmonsterOn Cloudstratus 3
Collar MaterialPadded meshEngineered mesh
Collar FeelPlush, comfortable, secure lockdownBreathable, comfortable, structured
Heel Cup/CounterStructured, locked-inStructured, stable, supportive
Ideal forComfort, plush fitStability, heel control


These Cloud runners feature a standard lacing system with additional eyelets for a complete heel lockdown fit.lacing-of-cloudstartus-3-and-the-cloudmonster

However, the Cloudmonster showcases a roundabout lacing design in the midfoot instead of going with the Cloudstratus 3’s traditional criss-cross pattern.

Nonetheless, you can employ a custom lacing system on both models.

6. Overall Sizing

The Cloudmonster and Cloudstratus 3 generally run true to size and offer half-sizes to accommodate a wider range of foot shapes.

Apart from the toe box, these shoes have a similar sizing profile.

Hence, you can use one sizing chart for both On Cloud models.

Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudmonster Size Chart for Men

US SizeUK SizeEU SizeCM Size

Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudmonster Size Chart for Women

US SizeUK SizeEU SizeCM Size

7. Weight Distribution

The Cloudmonster is around 0.5 ounces lighter than the Cloudstratus 3, mainly due to sole construction.

This slight variance might not seem much, but the lightweight feel of the Cloudmonster makes it more suitable for those concerned about foot fatigue.weight-distribution-of-the-cloudmonster

Furthermore, the overall weight of the Cloudstratus is more concentrated in the midfoot and heel area to promote a forward rolling motion and smooth transition.

Conversely, the Cloudmonster’s weight is more focused on the rear half portion of the shoe, which is suitable for any running style. Whether you’re a midfoot or heel strike runner, this model allows a natural gait cycle and smother toe-off to gain speed.

8. Price and Value Proposition

The Cloudstratus 3 is around $10 more expensive than the Cloudmonster.

Whether this extra cost is worth it or not depends entirely on your running needs and preferences.

If gym training is your main concern, the Cloudstratus 3 will be worth it due to its better daily training performance.

However, if you want a comfortable running shoe for high-mileage sessions, the Cloudmonster would provide a better value proposition.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the On Cloudstratus 3 and On Cloudmonster

Despite having a few differences, each of the Cloud shoes has its unique set of pros and cons that make them better suited for different types of runners. These benefits and drawbacks can also make or break the deal for either of these runners.

On Cloudstartus 3

  • »Plush yet responsive midsole.
  • »Offers excellent energy return.
  • »Stable and supportive.
  • »More durable upper.
  • »Heavier than the competitor.
  • »Less breathable upper.

On Cloudmonster

  • »Lightweight yet max cushioning.
  • »Provides a softer and bouncier ride.
  • »Excellent breathability.
  • »Cheaper than the competitor.
  • »Less responsive.
  • »Less durable upper.

To know more about Cloudstratus, check out the differences between the On Cloudswift and Cloudstratus 3.

Cloudstratus 3 Vs Cloudmonster: Which Cloud Fits Better?

Despite having a slightly higher price tag, the Cloudstratus 3 is a more versatile running shoe than the Cloudmonster. It will provide a plush ride for any running style and excel in any gym workout.

To be blunt, the Cloudmonster is more suited for recovery or long-running sessions where you want the most comfortable experience.

But the Cloudstartus 3 ticks most boxes that the majority of runners and athletes are looking for.

It’s a durable running kick that offers a perfect balance of comfort and responsiveness, making it an easy option to recommend to the masses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are On Cloudstratus shoes comfortable?

Yes. Out of the box, the Cloudstartus shoes are very comfortable for everyday wear. It provides a socklike feel with its flexible upper and plush cushioning with its midsole foam for a pleasant running or walking experience.

Which On Cloud has the most cushioning?

The Cloudstartus 3 is currently the most cushioned On Cloud shoe. The double-layer Helion foam and high stack height provide a plush, springy ride.

What kind of shoe is the Cloudmonster?

The Cloudmonster is a road-running shoe from the On Cloud brand. This model has a keen focus on maximal cushioning and is engineered to promote a natural rolling motion.

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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