Cloudswift vs Cloudstratus: Which is Best for Running?

Written By Sunny

As someone who’s been running for years, I’ve gone through my fair share of running shoes. But I knew I had found something special when I discovered On Running’s Cloudswift and Cloudstratus shoes.

These shoes are well-designed to provide a comfortable, responsive, and supportive experience, no matter where your runs take you.cloudswift-vs-cloudstratus

In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between the Cloudswift and Cloudstratus shoes to help you pick the ideal shoe.

So let’s begin.

Overview of On Cloud Cloudstratus and Cloudswift

Swiss brand On Running has made waves in the running shoe scene with its CloudTec® innovation. Notably, the Cloudstratus and Cloudswift, now in their 3rd iteration, stand out.

The Cloudstratus prioritizes maximum cushioning and distance, featuring a CloudTec® for top-notch shock absorption.

Also, it has enhanced comfort and performance, which is also best for long-running.

Conversely, the Cloudswift is designed for urban running, offering a lightweight, responsive feel and excellent street grip. Its Helion™ superfoam ensures soft landings and explosive take-offs.

Both models showcase On Running’s dedication to quality, performance, and style, catering to diverse running needs. They epitomize the brand’s philosophy of delivering a soft landing followed by an explosive take-off – aptly named Running On Clouds.

Feature Comparison of On Running Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3

On Running’s Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3 stand out as renowned running shoes celebrated for their performance and comfort.

In this features comparison, we’ll go over the key differences between On Running’s Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3.

FeatureOn Cloudstratus 3On Cloudswift 3
Release Year20232023
CushioningPlush and responsiveFirm and responsive
Upper MaterialsDense engineered mesh upper with recycled materialsBreathable engineered mesh
MidsoleDouble CloudTec®, Helion™ superfoamUpdated CloudTec®, Dual-density Helion™, Updated Speedboard®
Forward Propulsive TechnologiesSpeedboard® for a smooth and efficient rideSpeedboard® for a propulsive and responsive ride
InsoleOn's premium Helion foamRemovable sock liner
OutsoleRubberized clouds, good traction on dry roadsDurable rubber over the pods
BreathabilityGood airflow and moisture-wicking propertiesWell perforated
Arch SupportModerate arch supportGood
Stack HeightHeel 32 mm, and Toe 26 mmHeel 33.1 mm, and Toe 28.1 mm
Drop6 mm5 mm
Weight10.3 oz (292 g)11.3 oz (320g)
SizeTrue to sizeTrue to size
FitSecure fitComfortable fit
Best ForStability and energy return, long runEveryday wear, short running, daily training

Having covered the key features of the Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3, let’s now explore the primary differences between these models.

The below section aims to understand better how these distinctions can impact and enhance your overall running experience.

Primary Differences between On Cloud Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3

After 200 miles on the streets of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and conquering the challenging trails of Marin County, I’ve gotten to know the On Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3 quite well.

Despite sharing On’s trademark smooth ride and snug fit, each shoe boasts unique strengths.

Here are the key differences between On Running’s Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3:

1. Design and Ideal Use

With its urban aesthetic, the Cloudswift 3 boasts a sleek design. The standard lacing system ensures a personalized fit by offering a roomy toe box and a snug vamp for security.

The thin yet comfortable tongue, supported by an excellent heel counter, adds to the overall comfort. Padded for additional comfort, the collar complements the streamlined and responsive midsole design.

Contrastingly, the Cloudstratus 3 presents a robust design with a spacious toe box and flexible vamp. The efficient lacing system, plush tongue, and sturdy heel counter enhance its appeal.

The comfort-focused collar aligns with the double layer of CloudTec® in the midsole, providing superior cushioning.

For city runs and shorter, faster workouts, the Cloudswift 3 proves incredibly responsive on pavement. In contrast, the plush cushioning of the Cloudstratus 3 makes it ideal for long-distance runs, and I’ve experienced its comfort during several marathons.

Also, for the long-distance run, you can check On Cloud’s Cloudrunner comparison, which is a similar shoe to Cloudstratus but comes at a lower price.

The Cloudstratus 3’s design is appealing and provides generous comfort for long

2. Upper Materials and Quality

The Cloudswift 3 features a breathable engineered mesh upper, allowing optimal airflow and ventilation during your runs. This lightweight and airy material will keep your feet cool and comfortable even on hot days.

Additionally, Cloudswift 3 incorporates recycled content, with a total recycled content of about 30%.

On the other hand, the Cloudstratus 3 boasts a dense engineered mesh upper, providing a more structured and secure feel.

The upper material offers durability and breathability, ensuring your feet stay protected and supported during long-distance runs.

The Cloudstratus 3 also utilizes recycled materials, with an engineered base material comprising 23% recycled content, further contributing to its eco-friendly design.

Regarding quality, both models offer excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail. The upper materials are designed to withstand the rigors of running while providing a comfortable and secure fit.

The Cloudswift 3’s upper provides impressive breathability, but I prefer the secure fit and more substantial feel of the Cloudstratus 3.upper-materials-and-quality-of-cloudstratus

3. Midsole Innovation

The Cloudswift 3 showcases an enhanced CloudTec® midsole featuring dualdensity Helion™ superfoam, ensuring a responsive and propulsive ride.

I particularly appreciated this feature during my urban runs, where the shoe’s responsiveness proved beneficial. The updated Speedboard® further amplifies the overall responsiveness of the Cloudswift 3.

Conversely, the Cloudstratus 3 has a double layer of CloudTec® and Helion™ superfoam in its midsole. This combination prioritizes plush cushioning, making it a go-to for long-distance runs.

The Speedboard® in the Cloudstratus 3 contributes to a smooth and efficient ride, aiding me in maintaining a steady pace throughout my marathon experiences.

The increased stack height of the Cloudstratus 3 compared to the Cloudswift 3 enhances the overall responsiveness and helps me push my limit.

4. Outsole Traction

Both shoes feature durable rubber strategically placed over their CloudTec pods, providing reliable grip and protection.outsole-of-cloudstratus-and-cloudswifThe Cloudswift 3’s outsole feels slightly more minimal, while the Cloudstratus 3 opts for slightly thicker rubber, especially in the heel area.

In my experience, the Cloudswift 3’s outsole delivers excellent grip on dry roads and sidewalks, but I’d advise against using it on loose gravel or trails.

On the other hand, the Cloudstratus 3, with its more substantial rubber, offers better traction on slightly uneven surfaces, though it’s not an all-terrain shoe either. Keep in mind that neither shoe is designed for wet or icy conditions.

For everyday runs on pavement and tracks, both outsoles perform admirably. But if you encounter more varied terrain, the Cloudstratus 3’s extra grip might be preferable.

5. Performance Evaluation

The Cloudswift 3 perfectly balances cushioning and responsiveness, offering a supportive and comfortable ride.

The Helion foam cushioning absorbs impact effectively, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable running experience. Its reliable traction on various surfaces boosts confidence during runs.

Now, onto the Cloudstratus 3, which takes performance up a notch.

Its CloudTec system delivers exceptional cushioning and energy return, providing a noticeable spring in every step. This feature benefits forward propulsion during runs, enhancing stability on longer or uneven terrains.

Both models offer a secure fit, facilitating natural foot movement. The engineered mesh upper ensures breathability and flexibility, keeping feet cool and comfortable throughout the run.

In terms of durability, both the Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3 showcase resilience over time, thanks to their high-quality materials that withstand regular use and deliver enduring performance.

That said, many are also concerned about how Cloudswift vs Cloudstratus for walking or standing all day.

Excluding a runner’s perspective, both the Cloudswift and Cloudstratus offer ample cushioning. While both models excel at walking, the Cloudswift outshines the Cloudstratus for prolonged walking and standing. Its comfortable stack height in the heel and forefoot enhance suitability.

I was amazed by the performance of Cloudstratus 3 in my long run. Also, the outsole of the Cloudstratus 3 feels better than the Cloudswift 3.performance-evaluation-of-cloudstratus

6. Comfort and Overall Fit

The Cloudswift 3 embraces my feet like a lightweight second skin. Its airy mesh upper ensures coolness during warm runs. Also, the Helion™ foam in the midsole delivers a responsive, springy ride—perfect for tempo runs or short bursts.

However, for longer distances, I longed for the Cloudstratus’s plushness.

In contrast, the Cloudstratus 3 prioritizes comfort. Its double layer of Helion™ foam creates a pillowy-soft, cloud-like feeling underfoot, absorbing impact beautifully for effortless long runs.

While it may lack the bounciness of the Cloudswift, it provides exceptional all-day comfort.

Regarding fit, there are noticeable differences between the two models. The Cloudswift 3 boasts a generous toe box, allowing my toes to splay naturally without constriction.

Its vamp provides a snug yet comfortable fit, securing my foot without excessive pressure, and the heel counter ensures stability.

On the flip side, the Cloudstratus 3 offers a slightly different fit.comfort-and-overall-fit-of-cloudstratus

While the toe box remains roomy, the vamp feels snugger compared to the Cloudswift 3, offering a more locked-in feeling. The secure heel counter on the Cloudstratus 3 provides a stable platform for my foot.

7. Size & Weight

Based on my experience, the Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3 fit true to size. However, it’s worth noting that both shoes offer an overall snug fit. Going half a size up or even a full size up might be a good idea if you have wider feet.

Now, let’s discuss weight. The Cloudswift 3 weighs approximately 11.3 ounces.

In my runs, I discovered it strikes a good balance between cushioning and weight, providing a lightweight feel without compromising comfort.

In contrast, the Cloudstratus 3 is slightly lighter, tipping the scales at around 10.3 ounces.

This reduced weight enhances its agility and responsiveness during runs, making it an excellent choice for those who prefer a lightweight and supportive shoe.

Overall, I am happy with Cloudstratus 3. It is lighter and more comfortable. It checks many of my boxes.size-and-weight-of-cloudstratus

8. Price Comparison

Let’s talk about the price difference between the Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3.

The Cloudswift 3 is priced at $160, making it a more affordable option compared to the Cloudstratus 3. This price point offers a great balance between value and performance, making the Cloudswift 3 a budget-friendly choice.

On the other hand, the Cloudstratus 3 is priced at $180.

While it may have a slightly higher price tag, the Cloudstratus 3 offers additional features and benefits that may be worth the investment for some runners.

It provides enhanced stability and support, making it an ideal choice for those who require extra structure during their runs.

Benefits and Drawbacks of On Cloud Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3

When it comes to running shoes, the details matter. The Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3 from On Running have unique strengths and weaknesses.

Here are the pros and cons of Cloudswift 3 and Cloudstratus 3:

Cloudswift 3

  • »Have better heel and upper comfort.
  • »Better for everyday wear, and all-day wear.
  • »Increased padding on the heel portion.
  • »Better for training and urban concrete running.
  • »For short and fast-paced runs it excels over Cloudstratus 3.
  • »Cheaper than Cloudstratus 3.
  • »Overall cushioning feels firmer than Cloudstratus 3.
  • »It’s not a proper running shoe.

Cloudstratus 3

  • »Snuggly fit provides superior stability and helps to avoid foot slippage.
  • »Dynamic flex grooves in the outsole improve flexibility and agility.
  • »Better cushioning helps to cover the long run.
  • »A very perforated upper helps to keep your foot cool.
  • »More responsive and forward propulsive than Cloudswift 3.
  • »Lighter shoe compared to Cloudswift 3.
  • »Priced at $ 180, more expensive than Cloudswift 3.
  • »The arch support is not suitable for everyone.

Cloudswift 3 vs Cloudstratus 3: Pick Your Ideal Daily Running Shoe

The Cloudstratus 3 and Cloudswift 3 by On Running have their strengths and cater to different running preferences.

The Cloudswift 3, priced at $160, is perfect for urban runners who value responsiveness and forward propulsion. Its cushioning and traction excel in city environments.

In contrast, the Cloudstratus 3, which costs $180, is a lightweight option with luxurious padding and stability, thus making it a good choice for long-distance. Its focus on comfort and endurance ensures a comfortable running experience during extended runs.

Ultimately, if you want to save money and get a shoe that can be used for casual wear and some running, the Cloudswift 3 is a great choice.

However, if you are looking for a dedicated running shoe with some of the best features, the Cloudstratus is a better option.


Which shoe is better for long-distance running, the Cloudswift or the Cloudstratus?

Among these two Cloudstratus is suitable for long-distance running. Cloudstratus offers additional stability features and enhanced cushioning, making it a preferred choice for runners seeking extra support during longer runs.

Are the Cloudswift and Cloudstratus suitable for different types of terrain?

Yes, both shoes are designed for various terrains. The Cloudswift offers good traction and is versatile enough for road or light trail running. The Cloudstratus, with its enhanced stability, can handle a wider range of terrains, including uneven surfaces.

Are the Cloudswift and Cloudstratus suitable for runners with different foot types?

Both shoes can accommodate a variety of foot types. The Cloudswift has a comfortable and adaptive fit, while the Cloudstratus offers added stability for runners who overpronate or require extra support during their runs.

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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