Cloudswift Vs. Cloud X: Find the Best On Running Shoe

Written By Sunny

On Runners like us often face a dilemma when choosing between Cloud X and Cloudswift.

Both are lightweight, cushioned shoes by On, featuring the brand’s signature CloudTec® sole technology for soft landings and propulsive rebounds. They share a breathable mesh upper for comfort and a speedboard for efficient energy return.cloudswift-vs-cloud-x

But which is the best On Cloud shoe?

In this article, I’ll compare their fit, feel, and function. Then, dissect the strengths and weaknesses of each shoe.

Let’s begin!

An Overview of On Cloud X and Cloudswift

Both the On Cloud X and Cloudswift are popular running shoes from On Running, known for their unique cloud-shaped pods in the midsole for cushioning and comfort.

The Cloud X shines in versatility. It offers a good balance of cushioning, responsiveness, and support, making it suitable for various runs, from daily jogs to tempo workouts. The Cloud X is known for its comfortable fit and breathable upper, ideal for CrossFit training. cloud-x-shines-in-versatility

The On Cloudswift is explicitly designed for urban running. It prioritizes agility and comfort.

The minimalist design and flexible outsole make it nimble for navigating city streets and sidewalks. While offering decent cushioning, it’s less plush than the Cloud X. These runners are ideal for short-distance running and daily training. on-cloudswift-is-explicitly-designed

Let’s explore the specifics of both shoes to find out which choice aligns better with your needs.

Characteristic Comparison between On Cloudswift and Cloud X

The shoes vary in upper material, responsiveness, weight, and durability. Understanding these characteristics enables you to make well-informed choices according to your running and workout preferences, goals, and comfort preferences.

The following table showcases the tributes of Cloudswift 3 and Cloud X 3.

FeatureOn Running Cloudswift 3On Running Cloud X 3
Release Date20232023
Weight11.3 oz8.75 oz
Heel-to-Toe Drop5mm8mm
UpperEngineered meshEngineered antimicrobial mesh
MidsoleUpdated CloudTec®, Dual-density Helion™CloudTec® pillows with Helion™ superfoam
OutsoleCloudTec® rubberCloudTec® rubber
CushioningFirm and responsiveSoft and plush
RideSmoother transitionSofter and bouncier
StabilityLess stableMore stable
Durability300 - 400 miles300 - 500 miles
PriceAround $159.99Around $149.99
Best forShort running, Everyday wear, Daily trainingHIIT Training, Agility Workouts, Plyometrics, Short/Mid-Range Runs

The table indicates that both are exceptional shoes from On Running. Nevertheless, upon closer examination of individual features, it becomes apparent that one outperforms the other.

For further details, go to the next section.

Key Differences between On Running Cloudswift and On Running Cloud X

Knowing the distinctions between the On Cloudswift and the Cloud X enhances workout performance and running comfort. Alterations in the upper design, cushioning, fit, and durability significantly impact gym enthusiasts and runners.

Below, I’ve highlighted the major differences between On Cloudswift and On Cloud X.

Upper Material

The On Cloudswift is a breath of fresh air. This running shoe feels cozy with a seamless, one-piece construction and no traditional tongue. cloudswift-upper-material

The upper is made of recycled engineered mesh – sustainable and snug. It is 5% recycled materials and 15% recyclable polyester.

On Running has gone with the bootie design for this model, like slipping into a pair of socks.

Simple, yet roomy. Perfect when you want your feet to have a little extra wiggle room with excellent breathability.

On the flip side, the On Cloud X features a three-layered luxury upper, boasting 90-95% recycled content. Talk about walking on clouds with a clear conscience.

Extra layers in the mix ensure your feet stay on course, no matter what twists and turns your training throws. cloud-x-upper-material

The breathability here is no joke, either. You can even go sockless without breaking a sweat.

Plus, they’ve got this engineered antimicrobial mesh for a lightweight structure.

Now, choosing the better upper between Cloud X and Cloudswift is a close call.

But if I had to pick one, it’s the On Cloud X for its triple-layered mesh and the added stability.

Midsole & Cushioning

The On Cloudswift midsole, featuring Helion™ superfoam, has been a game-changer for me during long-distance runs.

Its firmness and energy return combination has significantly reduced fatigue and impact on my joints, allowing me to maintain a steady pace throughout marathons.

The CloudTec® midsole embedded within the Helion foam enhances forefoot cushioning, providing a responsive feel with each stride.cloudswift-midsole

Additionally, the re-engineered Speedboard optimizes my rolling motion, contributing to a smoother and more efficient running experience. The enlarged heel clouds offer extra comfort, especially for heel strikers like myself, making each landing softer and more supportive.

But, unlike the On Cloud X or Cloud 5, you don’t want to use the Cloudswifts for gym sessions.

Conversely, the Cloud X midsole, built on CloudTec cushioning with Helion foam, provides a lightweight, responsive feel perfect for short runs and

The Helion™ foam cushioning and takeoff responsiveness make me feel like I’m walking on clouds, making each step feel effortless.

The special CloudTec® pillows within the midsole offer effective cushioning.

This cross-training shoe enhances my overall comfort and performance.

Moreover, the Zero-Gravity foam and Speedboard contribute to seamless movement transitions, improving agility during dynamic workouts.

While both midsoles have their strengths, personally, I find the On Cloudswift midsole more suited to my running needs.

Outsole & Traction

I love the flexible rocker design of the Cloudswift. It feels like a gentle push forward, propelling me effortlessly through my runs.

The Helion superfoam provides a cushiony yet responsive feel underfoot.

Running on asphalt is a breeze; the lightweight design ensures I can go the extra mile without feeling weighed down.

The energy return in the On Cloudswift is remarkable. It’s like the shoes are giving back the energy I put in, making my runs more efficient.

The re-positioned CloudTec and grip pads offer improved traction.

I feel confident on various surfaces, especially with the stiff rubber outsole ensuring durability. This On Running is a reliable shoe that keeps up with my pace and provides the stability needed for a satisfying run.

Now, let’s talk about the On Cloud X.

The wider platform caught my attention immediately. It provides fantastic lateral support, making these shoes versatile for running and dynamic movements.

The Cloud X 3, utilizing Helion foam Clouds, offers a unique cushioning experience. Its responsive traction makes the shoe suitable for different terrains.

The high-abrasion rubber on the outsole ensures both grip and durability. The grip remains solid whether I’m sprinting or making quick lateral movements. The pod design acts as mini springs, offering excellent shock absorption.

I’ve felt the difference, especially during high-impact activities.

The different pod degrees in the Cloud X enhance flexibility, adapting to my foot movements.

However, I have to be cautious about the split CloudTec design; tiny rocks can sneak in, which can be bothersome during trail runs.

Now, picking a winner is difficult. Both have their strengths. But, if I had to choose, I’d lean towards the On Running

Fit and Comfort

I’ve found the On Cloudswift generally runs true to size, which was a relief because finding the right size can be a hassle sometimes. The bootie construction locks down my foot securely.

This running shoe provides a snug fit that feels comforting, especially during longer runs.on-cloudswift-generally-runs-true-to-size

Plus, they’re comfortable right out of the box, which is a massive win for me. No need to suffer through a breaking-in period.

One thing to note is that this athletic footwear is not the best option for those with wider feet since they tend to run on the narrower side.

Now, onto the On Cloud X.

These runners/cross-trainers are designed with more flexibility in mind. They’re great for people with narrow or neutral-width feet.

The upper volume is noticeably roomier, especially in the toe box, which gives my toes some breathing room without sacrificing the secure fit around the heel. cloud-x-generally-runs-true-to-size

I also love how customizable they are; you can dial in the fit you like. It prevents discomfort during longer workouts. The stable heel cup is a game-changer, especially during activities requiring quick movements and direction changes.

While both shoes deliver excellent comfort, the Cloud X takes the win for me.

Durability Dynamics

The On Cloudswift’s Helion™ superfoam makes it lightweight yet durable. This feature appealed to me because I prefer shoes that are light on my feet but can withstand my active lifestyle.

Adaptability to hot and cold environments is a bonus, especially since I live in South Florida, with diverse weather conditions.

The durable rubber in the outsole provides excellent traction on wet roads, crucial for preventing slips and falls, especially during rainy seasons.

However, I did notice that the midsole tends to wear out faster on hard surfaces.

It was a drawback for me as I usually run on pavements.

On the other hand, the Cloud X offers a thicker outsole that significantly boosts durability.

It was a game-changer because I need shoes that can handle high mileage without breaking down quickly. The fact that it can last 300-500 miles with a no-sew design is impressive and saves me the hassle of dealing with worn-out shoes.

The CloudTec® outsole with Helion material provides explosiveness, which is excellent for activities that require quick bursts of energy, like sprinting or HIIT workouts.

The molded cushion pads add an extra layer of durability, ensuring the shoe maintains its shape and support over time.

The On Cloud X 3’s three-layer mesh and versatile midsole also contribute to its durability.

The shoe can withstand different types of workouts without any damage. However, the lack of medial side support may be concerning, especially if you have pronation issues.

Overall, while both shoes have their merits, if I had to pick a winner based on durability, I’d go with On Running Cloud X.

Breathability Showdown

The On Cloudswift’s upper mesh layer is like a breath of fresh air. The material circulated air around my feet, preventing that suffocating feeling during long runs. The inner sock construction added an extra layer of coolness.

The stretchy mesh that wraps around the foot is a game-changer. It provided a snug fit without feeling restrictive, and the breathability remained top-notch.

I found this shoe particularly suitable for runners, and the soft cushioning was a lifesaver for my joints during the high-impact moments.

In contrast, the Cloud X brought its A-game regarding breathability.

The breathable mesh expanded effortlessly during exercise, adapting to my feet’s changing needs. I noticed that my feet even shrunk slightly in cooler temperatures, and the shoe adjusted accordingly, maintaining a comfortable fit.

The high-quality materials, especially in the heel and tongue, contributed to a breathable and airy experience.

The wide surface area dedicated to breathability was a noticeable plus. My feet stayed ventilated even during intense workouts.

The Cloud X performed exceptionally well in both hot and cold environments.

This cross-training shoe has become my go-to for shorter, up-to-5-mile runs. It provides the right mix of comfort and breathability for my feet.

But, if you ask me, my go-to would be the On Cloudswift for that perfect balance of comfort and breathability on the road.

Stability & Support

The Cloudswift gives me mild midfoot stability, which means it’s supportive without feeling overly stiff. It helps maintain a natural foot position during my runs, avoiding fatigue.

Then there’s the responsive Helion™ foam.

This foam is fantastic for keeping me stable while moving forward. It’s like having a little boost with each step, helping me maintain my stride and preventing any wobbles or shifts that could throw me off balance.

When it comes to weight, the Cloudswift strikes a nice balance. Though heavier than the Cloud X and Cloud X Shift, it’s not too weighty or light.

These joggers make me feel grounded and stable while still agile enough to run.

Now, onto the Cloud X.

This one’s more geared towards cross-training, bringing some serious stability, especially for folks under 275 pounds. It delivers a sturdy base to work from during those intense workouts or agility drills.

The Speedboard in the Cloud X is a game-changer for stability during lateral movements.

It keeps me grounded and agile, whether doing quick cuts on the basketball court or moving through a HIIT workout. It helps me feel confident and secure in my movements.

Ultimately, the On Cloud X wins the stability round for being a dedicated exercise shoe.

Pros and Cons of On Cloudswift and On Cloud X

Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of Cloudswift and Cloud X assists in selecting the appropriate athletic shoes tailored to your running and workout preferences, performance objectives, and comfort requirements. It ensures that the chosen shoe aligns with your needs.

Let’s delve into the strengths and weaknesses of On Cloudswift and On Cloud X.

On Running Cloudswift

  • »Cozy one-piece construction.
  • »Sustainable recycled upper mesh.
  • »Bootie design for a sock-like fit.
  • »Superb breathability.
  • »Responsive midsole reduces fatigue.
  • »Flexible rocker design for efficient runs.
  • »Remarkable traction with re-positioned CloudTec.
  • »Not ideal for wider feet.
  • »The midsole wears faster on hard surfaces.
  • »Limited medial side support.
  • »Heavier compared to On Cloud X.
  • »More expensive.

On Running Cloud X

  • »Lighter shoes.
  • »Three-layered luxury recycled upper.
  • »Helion foam Clouds for a responsive feel.
  • »Enhanced support with a broader platform.
  • »Pod design for shock absorption.
  • »More durable outsole.
  • »Versatile for running and cross-training.
  • »Excellent breathability.
  • »Less expensive.
  • »Small objects get stuck under the shoe.
  • »Stability issues during lateral movements.
  • »Midfoot feels confined.

On Cloud X or Cloudswift: Which is the Better Option for You?

Both the On Running Cloud X and Cloudswift are excellent shoes, each presenting distinctive strengths and weaknesses.

Ultimately, your optimal choice hinges on your individual preferences.

If you prioritize comfort, versatility, and a lightweight experience, the Cloud X is perfect. But if you prefer breathability, responsiveness, and support, go with the Cloudswift.

Regardless of the shoe you decide on, one thing’s for sure: you’ll be investing in a high-quality shoe that will elevate your workout and running experience.


Is ON Cloudswift good for walking?

Yes, the On Cloudswift can be suitable for walking, especially with its recent softer Helion Superfoam. It offers moderate cushioning and a stable feel, making it comfy for everyday wear.

Does Cloudswift have arch support?

Yes, Cloudswift has noticeable arch support thanks to its design. The midfoot area hugs your arch for a secure fit. But it’s not overly restrictive, so your foot still moves naturally. However, if you need precise arch support, it’s best to try them on first or consult a professional.

What is the difference between Cloudswift and Cloud 5?

Cloudswift is softer and bouncier, with more heel cushion for comfort, while Cloud 5 is lighter and faster, with better forefoot support for performance. Think of Cloudswift as your plush running shoe for everyday jogs and errands and Cloud 5 as your sleek trainer for speedier workouts and tempo runs.

Are On Cloud sneakers good for bad knees?

On Cloud sneakers can be good for bad knees, especially models with plush cushioning like the Cloudmonster. The unique cloud pods absorb impact, reducing stress on your joints. However, they are not suitable for everyone with knee problems. It’s always best to consult a doctor or specialist for personalized advice on the best shoes for your condition.

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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