On Cloud Vs Hoka: Which Brand is Superior for Runners?

Written By Sunny

Both On Cloud and Hoka manufacture similar shoes for all types of runners, and both brands feature unique techs and materials.

When choosing between these brands, some aspects set them apart, and you must consider the feel, fit, and function before acquiring one.on-cloud-vs-hoka

Throughout this comparison, I will share my experience with both brand’s shoes to track down the most appropriate one.

Without further discussion, let’s begin!

Quick Overview of Hoka One One and On Cloud Shoes

Hoka and On Running both brands are newcomers to the shoe manufacturing industry and have already secured their place among shoe enthusiasts and sneakerheads.

Though both brands were founded within a year of each other, there are vast differences.

Before diving into an in-depth comparison, let’s get a quick overview of both shoe brands to get familiar with their unique proprietary techs and history.


The Hoka One One is a French company initiated in Annecy in 2009 by two former Salomon employees, Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard.

Hoka specializes in manufacturing running shoes that are instantly recognizable due to the maximalist cushioning.

The thick sole of Hoka shoes features maximum comfort and shock absorption.

Hoka produces shoes for every level of runner, especially those suffering from impact injuries who seek extra cushioning for additional comfort.

In a short period, Hoka has already touched all the possible shoe categories and manufactured shoes for road running, trail running, hiking, walking, training, nursing, and so on.

Some of the most prominent models are Hoka Clifton, Hoka Bondi, Hoka Speedgoat, etc.

On Cloud

On is a Swiss high-performance running shoe brand established in 2010 by former Swiss Ironman champion Olivier Bernhard in partnership with David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti.

The On Running shoes are widely known for the proprietary CloudTec cushioning system.overview-of-on-cloud-shoes

The CloudTec system comprises small, cloud-shaped pods that compress and rebound to provide ample cushioning and energy return.

They focus more on quality than quantity; hence, a smaller shoe category exists.

On Cloud is crafting shoes for all sorts of runners, especially those seeking responsive and lightweight shoes.

Some of the most popular shoes from On Running are On Cloud 5, On Cloudswift, On Cloudstratus, On Cloudflow, and On Cloudventure.

Attribute Comparison of On Cloud and Hoka Shoes

Both brands are focused on different goals, affecting their characteristics and materials. Due to distinct technologies, their performance also differs.

Comparing both brand’s facets and attributes allows us to understand all the little divergences.

So, let’s compare both manufacturers’ technical features side-by-side.

AttributeOn CloudHoka
Brand OverviewNew Swiss manufacturer best known for comfortable, stylish, and versatile shoesNew French brand widely known for manufacturing high-performance footwear
ColorwaysMore subtleVibrant
UpperBreathable mesh upperMesh
InsoleMesh and foam insolesOrtholite insole
MidsoleCloudTec pods, Helion foam, CleanCloud EVA foam, SpeedboardMeta-Rocker geometry, RMAT foam
OutsoleRubber outsole with zonal rubber placementVibram Megagrip with rubber lugs
CushioningLightweight and bouncyPlush, balanced, and responsive
TractionAggressive gripEnhanced grip
ToeboxStandardWider toe box
StabilityNeutralA base level of stability
DurabilityGood durability with an average of 300-350 milesExcellent durability with an average of 300-500 miles
VersatilityGood for everyday running, walking, and gym workoutsSuitable for running on various terrains, hiking, climbing, and fitness training
BreathabilityExcellent breathabilityModerate breathability
Lacing SystemTraditional lacesTraditional laces and quick-toggle laces
Price Range$130-260$60-300
Best forRunners who prioritize comfort and a soft, cloud-like feelRunners who prioritize top-performing shoes with ample cushioning

Core Differences Between On Cloud and Hoka

Regardless of their late entry into the shoe manufacturing industry, both brands have multiple proprietary techs and materials that you should consider before selecting a brand.

Due to the distinct techs, both brands also feature different comfort levels, cushioning, stability, durability, and sizing.

So, let’s compare both brand’s features and characteristics for a more appropriate purchasing decision.

1. Diverse Shoe Categories

Though On Cloud and Hoka started their journey a decade earlier, both brands had already introduced numerous shoe models for various categories and running needs.

While Hoka offers a diverse and comprehensive shoe category with a ton of models, On Cloud has a limited number of shoe categories with fewer models.

So, let’s start with On Cloud’s most popular shoe models.

CategoryShoe Models
Road running shoesCloud X 3, Cloudeclipse, Cloudmonster, Cloudswift 3, Cloudboom Echo 3
Trail running shoesCloudultra 2, Cloudvista, Cloudventure, Cloudventure Peak 3
Hiking shoes & bootsCloudventure Peak 3, Cloudtrax, Cloudventure, Cloudvista
Tennis shoesTHE ROGER Pro, THE ROGER Pro Clay
Track & Field shoesCloudspike 10000m, Cloudspike 1500m
Lifestyle shoesCloudnova Flux, Cloud X 3 AD, Cloud 5, Cloudnova Form

As you can see in the above table, only a few categories and models are available from On Cloud. But Hoka has more extensive shoe categories with a bunch of great models.

Consider the subsequent table to get an in-depth idea of Hoka’s shoe categories and the most prominent model for each category.

CategoryShoe Models
Everyday RunningClifton 9, Mach 5, Torrent 3
Race RunningRocket X 2, Mach X, Gaviota 5
Trail RunningSpeedgoat 5, Mafate Speed 4, Challenger 7, Tecton X 2
Cold Weather RunningClifton 9 GTX, Challenger 7 GTX
HikingAnacapa, Trail Code, Kaha, Skyline-Float X, Trail Code GTX, Hopara
WalkingArahi 7, Gaviota 5, Transport X, Bondi 8
Gym & TrainingKawana, Solimar
Nursing & Medical WorkBondi SR
StabilityArahi 6, Gaviota 5

Regarding diverse shoe categories, Hoka surpasses On Running with more extended shoe categories and models.

2. Materials and Techs

Both brands have unique proprietary materials and technologies to craft the most performing shoes for various indoor and outdoor activities.

Following are the most used technologies of On Cloud.

On Cloud’s TechnologyDescription
CloudTec PodsIndividual cloud-shaped pods on the outsole that compress on impact and return energy during push-off.
Helion FoamLightweight and durable midsole foam with good energy return.
SpeedboardRigid plate embedded in the midsole for stability and forward propelling.
Reflective DetailsEnhance visibility in low light.
Missiongrip Rubber OutsolesHigh-performance rubber for excellent traction.

Like the On Cloud, Hoka also has its proprietary techs and materials. Following are some of the noticeable techs used in Hoka shoes.

Hoka’s TechnologyDescription
PROFLY™Dual-density foam with softer cushioning, stability, and responsiveness.
CMEVACompression-molded EVA foam for lightweight and durable cushioning.
Meta-Rocker TechnologyCurved sole design that promotes a natural rocking motion during the gait cycle.
3M Reflective StripeEnhance visibility in dark conditions.
Vibram® MegaGripHigh-performance rubber for superior traction on technical terrain.

Hoka’s features and technologies are more comparable to Nobull. Check out the likeness and divergences of Nobull and Hoka shoes.

In this section, it’s a draw. Both brands have innovative techs and materials to assemble the top-performing shoes.

3. Cushioning & Breathability

While Hoka features a thicker midsole for maximalist cushioning, On utilizes CloudTec technology to balance cushioning and responsiveness perfectly.

I have used several shoes from each brand and figured out multiple divergences.

The open pockets of the On Cloud shoes attract people’s attention. With its unique look and feel, it compresses with each step and returns a handsome amount of energy during toe-off.

Though the On shoes are cushioned, they aren’t plush.

On the other hand, Hoka features PROFLY technology as its midsole. I really enjoyed the fluffy softness of the PROFLY.

The three-level cushioning (plush, balanced, and responsive) of Hoka shoes ensures a different feel.

The plush cushioning assists in minimizing impact, while the balanced cushioning favors energy return during each stride. In addition, the responsive cushioning of Hoka shoes (trail and racing) makes them more bouncy.

Lastly, the Meta-Rocker technology of Hoka shoes also assists in propelling forward.

Due to the similar mesh upper, both brands offer quite excellent breathability. However, On Cloud shoes’ open weave construction and ventilation holes are more breathable.

It didn’t mean the Hoka shoe was not breathable.

They also offer some ventilation, which severely depends on the shoe models.

While some Hoka shoes feature open weaves for breathability, other shoe uppers are less breathable for the sake of support.

Though the On Cloud shoes are breathable, they aren’t as cushioned as the heavily cushioned shoes of Hoka. Fortunately, On Cloud features better responsiveness than most Hoka shoes.breathability-of-on-cloud-shoes

4. Durability and Traction

The average lifespan of On Running and Hoka shoes is pretty comparable.

While On Cloud shoes usually last around 300 to 350 miles, Hoka shoes have a slightly better lifespan, approximately 350 to 500 miles.

On Cloud recommends changing their shoes for every 310 to 465 miles.

On the contrary, Hoka didn’t mention any miles for changing their shoes, but in my experience, you can efficiently run more than 400 miles without damaging them.

Now allow me to break down the reason behind this longevity.

The CloudTec pods of On are more vulnerable, and with time, the compressing properties lose their ability, making On shoes unsuitable for extended wear.

Though Hoka shoes last longer than On Cloud, the thicker midsole cushioning of Hoka shoes often compress more quickly than On Running shoes.

Both brand’s outsoles are incredibly durable and feature excellent traction on most surfaces.

However, the Mega Grip outsole of Hoka shoes offers superior traction on technical terrain and usually lasts longer than the little Missiongrip rubber outsoles of On Cloud shoes.

In short, Hoka surpasses On Running with its more durable materials and superior traction on challenging terrains.durability-and-traction-of-hoka

5. Fit, Sizing, & Stability

Figuring out the most appropriate size and fit of running shoes is challenging. But choosing between On and Hoka shoes is not that difficult.

After trying various models of On Running, I noticed most shoes are true-to-size and offer a standard width, meaning you are good to go with your regular shoe size.

Moreover, On also offers narrow and wide versions of the recent models.

On the other hand, Hoka has numerous models, some of which are a little narrow. But, length-wise, they are true-to-size.

Both brands have men’s sizes 7-14 and women’s sizes 5-11 with half-size options. So you won’t face any issues while choosing your regular size.

Now, let’s discuss stability.

As you know, none of them are prominent for manufacturing stability shoes like ASICS. For a better understanding, check out the differences between On Cloud and Asics.

Instead of focusing on stability features and techs, On works with foot motion and alters some materials to achieve a basic level of stability.

Hoka has selective models (Gaviota 5, Arahi 7, Stinson 7) that offer excellent stability; some are very suitable for over and underpronators.

In summary, On and Hoka shoes are true-to-size. However, Hoka surpasses On Running in terms of stability.fit-sizing-and-stability-of-hoka

6. Price and Significance

On Cloud shoe’s average price is approximately $130-260.

For example, the most popular On Cloud 5 costs around $145. Other models like Cloudvista, Cloud X 3, and Cloudaway are also available for only $145.

However, some marathon running shoes with the most premium material have a higher price tag, like the Cloudboom Echo 3, which costs $290.

Moreover, collaborating with LOEWE, On introduced the most expensive shoe model, the Cloudtilt LOEWE, which costs almost $500.

The average price of Hoka running shoes is around $140-260. For instance, the Men’s Clifton 9 is available for $145, and the Men’s Bondi 8 costs around $165.

This price range is quite comparable with other high-performance shoe manufacturers.

In addition, Hoka also offers more premium shoes with a higher price tag. The Rocket X 2 is available for $250, and the TenNine Hike GTX costs almost $275.hoka-the-rocket-x-2

Fortunately, if you opt for an older model, you may get it at a discounted price.

In short, both brand’s prices are justifiable and offer the best value for your money.

On Cloud and Hoka Shoes for Different Types Of Running

Nowadays, most manufacturers produce shoes for various categories and running styles to cope with different demands.

Like other prominent shoe brands, Hoka and On Cloud also walk on the same path and introduce various models for diverse needs.

So, let’s compare some of the best shoes from each brand to determine the most appropriate shoes for your running styles and individual needs.

Best for Everyday Walking

On Cloud 5

With the newest Cloudtec configuration and a stable landing experience, On Cloud 5 is an excellent choice for everyday and all-day walking.

The speed lacing system of this shoe makes it easier to wear on and off. It features a minimal heel drop of 2.5mm and a firm & light insole, which is preferable for daylong walking.

In addition, this shoe is considerably suitable for casual wear, gym sessions, and travel days.

Hoka Clifton 9

Clifton 9 is a well-cushioned and stable shoe with a breathable engineered knit upper, a compression molded EVA foam midsole, and a gusseted tongue, making it ideal for all-day walking.

The maximalist cushioning of this shoe allows better shock absorption and dramatically reduces fatigue.

This shoe doesn’t have the snug fit of speed-oriented shoes; instead, it has a roomier toe box, which is preferable for all types of walks and recovery runs.

Best for Standing All Day

On Cloudmonster

The Cloudmonster is a high-performing shoe with a lightweight upper, responsive Speedboard, and the signature CloudTec cushioning.on-cloudmonster

Blending all these factors, Cloudmonster provides excellent cushioning and secure fit, which makes it recommended for all-day standing.

Hoka Bondi 7

The significant features of Bondi 7 are maximum cushioning, low heel-to-toe drop, wider toe-box, and a smooth transition experience.

Whether walking or standing all day, this shoe will keep your feet pain-free and ensure the best comfort in all circumstances.

Best for Trail Running

On Cloudventure

The best trail running shoes from On Running feature two layers of breathable upper construction, re-designed CloudTec, and grippy Missiongrip outsole.

Though this shoe is unsuitable for racing due to its increased weight, it is the best shot to conquer the most challenging terrains.

Hoka Speedgoat 5

Hoka’s Speedgoat 5 is the best trail running shoe I’ve ever tried. Its springy ride, stable platform, and lightweight & breathable design can handle challenging terrains effortlessly.hoka-speedgoat-5

Moreover, the Vibram® Megagrip and late-stage Meta-Rocker will ensure a smooth ride on the trail.

Best for Marathon Running

On Cloudstratus 3

The Cloudstratus 3 is a comfortable and reliable running shoe with a thick, engineered mesh upper, a plush tongue, and a cushioned heel collar.

The double layer of CloudTec technology provides additional comfort for marathon running. Once you’re on this shoe, you can effortlessly run a full marathon or beyond the marathon.

Hoka Clifton 8

The Clifton 8 is the perfect combination of softness and lightweightness, making it ideal for half-marathons and full-marathons.

Its breathable mesh upper will keep your feet cool while running for extended periods.

Best for Speed Works

On Cloudflow 4

Combining the lighter weight and firmness, the Cloudflow 4 is the best choice to pick up the pace.

Its dual-density Helion™ Superfoam cushions provide excellent energy return, and the signature CloudTec® technology absorbs the impact during each stride, making it suitable for various speed works.

Hoka Mach 4

Similar to Cloudflow, Mach 4 also features a firmer material designed to assist in an efficient push-off.hoka-mach-4

The low-profile cushion of this model gives a closer-to-the-ground feel, making it preferable for various speed works and tempo runs.

Best for Nurses

Cloudstratus 2

With a wide toe box and good ventilation for temperature regulation, the Cloudstratus shoes are highly suitable for nurses.

Whether standing all shift or working out, its stable base under the foot and the lightweight construction will free your feet from knee pains.

Hoka Arahi 6

The Arahi 6 is a lightweight shoe that has good stability for additional support, making it ideal for nurses and medical professionals with wide feet.

Best for Race Day

On Cloudsurfer

Cloudsurfer is a neutral daily trainer with CloudTec Phase cushioning, a light and comfortable upper, and a computer-optimized midsole, providing a smooth ride and softer landings.on-cloudsurfer

Combining all characteristics, Cloudsurfer is perfect for your race day.

HOKA Rocket X 2

Though Hoka has numerous running shoes, and I have chosen the Rocket X 2 due to its dual-density midsole foam, propulsive PEBA foam, and carbon fiber plate that can dramatically increase racing efficiency.

This shoe is a top-tier racer with a soft, energetic ride, smooth, stable transitions, and a stiff carbon plate for speed racing.

Best Podiatrist-Recommended Hoka & On Cloud Shoes

People often ask, do podiatrists recommend shoes from Hoka or On Cloud?

To answer that question, I have talked with two of the best podiatrists in New York, Dr. Emmanuel and Dr. Glenroy, and asked them the same question.

According to Dr. Emmanuel, On Cloud 5 is an excellent pick for long periods of standing and walking.

“I have been using the On Cloud 5 for the last few months and am impressed with its cushioning and ability to stand for long periods,” he says.

For Hoka, he recommended the Clifton 9 (for flat feet) and the Gaviota 4 (for overpronation).

Dr. Glenroy added, “If you need extra stability for your fallen arches, the breathable and lightweight design with enhanced stability feature of Hoka Clifton 9 is highly recommended”.

However, I always suggested consulting with a podiatrist for a personalized assessment and recommendation based on your unique needs, foot type, and any specific conditions you may have.

Pros & Cons of On Cloud and Hoka

It is evident that the two brands will have numerous dissimilarities. Still, when choosing the best pair from Hoka and On, you must evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of their shoes.

A unique property or material is not preferable for all scenarios. You may need to reconsider your purchasing decision based on your daily usage and running style.

I have sorted both brands’ pros and cons to assist you with acquiring adjudication.

On Cloud

  • »Lightweight and responsive cushioning.
  • »Multiple options for various activities.
  • »Sleek and eye-catching design.
  • »Secure and snug fit with speed lacing system.
  • »Ideal for faster-paced runs and speedwork.
  • »Less stability.
  • »Limited arch support.


  • »Thick midsole for topmost cushioning.
  • »Various options for long distances.
  • »Excellent traction on all kinds of surfaces.
  • »Vegan-friendly option.
  • »Meta-Rocker technology for improved efficiency.
  • »Less feedback from the ground.
  • »Limited breathability causes sweaty feet.

On Cloud vs Hoka: Which Brand Stands Out?

When choosing the best shoe from On Cloud and Hoka, the ultimate option depends on your biomechanics, running needs, and style preferences.

If you’re seeking responsiveness and cloud-like cushioning, On Cloud offers better responsiveness than Hokas, and you should choose any model from One Running.

On the other hand, if you prioritize longevity and stability, you should pick a Hoka shoe.

In addition, if you’re looking for an everyday walking shoe, go with the On Cloud. Conversely, choose Hoka shoes for standing all day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which brand is better, HOKA or On?

Both brands offer excellent shoes for various needs. On Cloud shoes is the ultimate pick if you prioritize a firmer midsole with more responsiveness. Conversely, choose the Hoka shoes if you seek thick and stacked cushioning for maximum comfort.

Are On Cloud shoes suitable for walking?

Yes, some On models are highly preferable for walking. For example, the Cloud X3 is widely known for its sleek appearance and outstanding performance, which is suitable for all types of walking.

Are Hoka shoes any good for walking?

Yes, Hoka has several shoes that are great for all kinds of walking. For instance, the Bondi 8 and Clifton 9 are Hoka’s most popular walking shoes. With strong shock absorption and a ton of extra cushioning, these shoes are highly recommended for walking.

What shoe is comparable to On Cloud?

Brooks and Hoka are comparable to On Cloud due to their similar features and product offerings. All these brands offer multiple models for various running needs and moderate to maximum cushioning for overpronators.

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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