On Cloud X Vs. Nike Metcon 7: Find the Best Trainers

Written By Sunny

Choosing the right cross-training shoe can be a daunting task. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know which one will provide the best support, stability, and comfort for your workouts.

Today, I’m putting two popular contenders head-to-head: the On Cloud X and the Metcon 7.

Both shoes are known for their sleek designs and impressive performance capabilities. But which one comes out on top?on-cloud-x-vs-nike-metcon-7

In this in-depth comparison, I’ll break down the key features of each shoe, from cushioning and traction to fit and durability. I’ll also weigh their pros and cons so you can decide which shoe is right for you.

Let’s begin!

A Brief Overview of Metcon 7 and On Cloud X

The Nike Metcon 7 is a cross-training powerhouse, built for stability and powerlifting with its flat, broad base, React foam cushioning for shock absorption, and improved forefoot flexibility for lunges and sprints.

It excels in weightlifting, HIIT workouts, and box jumps, but its clunky heel is not ideal for running.

In contrast, the On Running Cloud X is designed for light, cushioned runs and high-intensity interval training. Its signature CloudTec midsole offers pillowy comfort and exceptional energy return, propelling you through every stride.

The Cloud X shines during cardio sessions, long runs, and even gym workouts with lighter weightlifting, but its lack of stability and support wouldn’t hold up well for heavy squats or Olympic lifts.

Let’s explore the specifics of both cross-trainers to determine which choice aligns better with your needs.

Attribute Comparison between On Cloud X and Metcon 7

Both pairs are training shoes but differ in upper material, responsiveness, weight, durability, and features. Knowing these traits helps you make informed decisions based on your workout preferences, goals, and comfort.

FeatureOn Running Cloud XNike Metcon 7
Release DateNovember, 2017July, 2021
Weight8.47 oz12.5 oz
Heel-to-Toe Drop6mm4mm
UpperEngineered antimicrobial meshTough chain-link mesh
MidsoleCloudTec® pillows with Helion superfoamNike React Foam with Hyperlift
OutsoleCloudTec® rubberThick and sticky rubber
CushioningSofter, plusherFirmer
RideSofter and bouncierSmoother transition
BreathabilityBetter air circulationReduced airflow
StabilityLess stableMore stable
FlexibilityEnhanced flexibilityMore structured platform
DurabilityLess durableSlightly more durable
PriceAround $139.99Around $130
Best forHIIT Training, Agility Workouts, Plyometrics, Short/Mid-Range RunsShort Runs, Plyos and Agility Workouts, Rope Climbs, Heavy Training, CrossFit Workouts

The table shows both shoes are suitable for training. However, when we look closely at each feature, it’s evident that one is better. To learn more about the superior shoe, check the next section.

Major Differences between On Running Cloud X and Nike Metcon 7

Understanding what makes the Metcon 7 different from the Cloud X is important for improving workout performance and comfort. Changes to the upper design, cushioning, fit, and durability make a big difference for gym-goers.

Here are the main differences between the On Cloud X and Nike Metcon 7:

Construction and Materials


The On Cloud X is like a breath of fresh air for your feet.

The engineered antimicrobial mesh with taped reinforcements upper is lightweight and breathable. On Running also has added some extra layers to keep you stable.upper-construction-of-on-cloud-x

But the real MVP here is the toe box and forefoot. The shoe does an excellent job keeping my feet cool even under the blazing sun.

Now, let’s talk about the Metcon 7.

In this model, Nike went for the tough chain-link mesh upper. These trainers are like a tank for your feet, and the toe box overlays make them highly durable.

Also, the extra layers at the heel keep your feet stable.

Plus, a rubber overlay on the medial side is perfect for climbing ropes.rubber-overlay-of-metcon-7

Ultimately, if you want that light, breezy feel, go for the On Cloud X. But if you’re gearing up for some serious action and need that durability and stability, the Nike Metcon 7 has your back.

But if I had to pick one, I’d choose the On Cloud X because nothing beats that airy comfort.

Laces and Tongue

The On Cloud X kicks off with a solid six eyelets with a lace-lock for good measure.

This setup is like a high-security fortress for your feet, especially in the midfoot. You’ll feel snug, and it’s great for keeping your foot in place during high-intensity moves.

However, the toe box might bunch up slightly. But it’s not a deal-breaker for me.

The tongue on these workout shoes is a game-changer. Lightweight and secure, it won’t be flapping around annoyingly. Also, the mid-tongue loop stops it from slipping and sliding.laces-and-tongue-of-on-cloud-x

Over on the Metcon 7 side, we’re dealing with five eyelets, three of which have the Nike Flywire.

Regarding stability, these exercise shoes got my midfoot on lockdown.

Now, the tongue’s got a lace-lock tab, which is pretty neat. It makes the fit more secure. But I think it might be a bit too extra because I rarely use it.laces-and-tongue-of-on-metcon-7

So, after putting both through the paces, the On Cloud X takes the crown for me. The fit is just right – not too tight, not too loose.

Midsole & Cushioning

The midsole boasts special CloudTec pillows, a unique technology from On Cloud that provides effective cushioning during activities.cloudtec-of-on-cloud-x

It features Zero-Gravity foam to support my natural movements while connected to a Speedboard for seamless transitions. The Speedboard not only aids in energy distribution but also enhances flexibility and provides torsion guidance.

The firmness of the plate can impact comfort, but overall, the midsole design ensures a lightweight and responsive experience, making it ideal for short runs and workouts.

As the name suggests, using the On Cloud X is like walking on clouds. That’s how it felt with the Helion superfoam midsole.

The cushioning is legit, and you feel this delightful compression with every step.

But, if you’re into lifting, such as squats and deadlifts, the Cloud X won’t be ideal.

The compressibility is a bit too much for heavy-duty weightlifting. Trust me, I tried, and it felt like I was standing on marshmallows. Not good at all.

Now, let’s talk about the Nike Metcon 7.

First off, the midsole is made of Nike React Foam. It’s like they found the perfect equilibrium between cushioning and stability. It’s not just comfort; it’s a supportive hug for your feet.

I noticed it immediately during my cross-training sessions.

And the cool part is the rubber outsole wrap in the midfoot. So I could climb ropes without worrying about shredding my shoes.

Also, they threw in React Foam and a Hyperlift Insert in the heel, meaning these gym shoes can handle intense HIIT workouts.react-foam-and-hyperlift-of-metcon-7

I must admit, the Nike Metcon 7 stole my heart. I love the Cloud X for a casual stroll, but when it comes to the actual workout grind, the Metcon 7 is the MVP.

Outsole & Traction

The high-abrasion rubber on the Cloud X outsole is not just about traction but durability, too.

But what really grabbed my attention was the little pods. They expand and collapse, like mini springs, providing shock absorption and energy return.

Plus, the different degrees of the pods improve flexibility.

However, I am not a fan of the split design of the CloudTec outsole. Sure, it’s unique, but tiny rocks often get stuck in the tread divisions. So don’t go off-road with these trainers.

On the flip side, we’ve got the Nike Metcon 7.

The outsole is like a thick, sticky rubber fortress, offering ultimate grip and no slipping. It feels like your feet are glued to the ground but in a good way.

The traction ridges deliver excellent traction on wood, rubber, astroturf, asphalt, concrete, gravel, and trail. You name it, they conquer it. These exercise shoes are suitable for both indoor and outdoor workouts.

No discomfort from the flex grooves and the forefoot grooves showcase the Nike React Foam.

So, after countless hours of sweaty workouts and contemplation, I have to give the outsole crown to the Metcon 7.outsole-of-on-cloud-x-and-metcon-7

Performance Comparison

Versatile Training

The On Cloud X and Cloud X Shift is a super lightweight cross-training shoe. I put on my size 9, and with just 8 ounces, it feels like I’m strapping clouds to my feet.

The CloudTec outsole is like a trampoline for my workouts, especially those front-to-back movements—no issues doing jumping jacks and forward sprints.

But it’s not the best exercise shoe for lateral work. The midfoot support is not that good.

I tried some side shuffles, and the bouncy feeling of the shoe resulted in uncertain footing. Not ideal at all.

Now, the Nike Metcon 7 is a whole different trainer.

It’s a versatile exercise shoe suitable for HIIT, athletics, and plyometrics workouts. However, It is heavier than the Cloud X and Cloud X Shift. But that doesn’t stop it from conquering any training.

The Nike React Foam gives the cross-training shoe bounce and responsiveness, making every move feel like a power play. And the forefoot grooves are like they knew I wanted a fast break-in.

Also, my foot grip was excellent during walkouts and mountain climbers, thanks to the full rubber outsole.

But the real game-changer is midfoot support. My squats and box jumps felt grounded and secure. The Metcon 7 is the trainer you want for serious omnidirectional work.squats-with-nike-metcon-7

In the end, if I had to pick a winner for my diverse training adventures, I’d go with the Nike Metcon 7.

Additionally, to find out whether the Metcon 7 beats the newer edition, check out our in-depth comparison of Nike Metcon 7 vs. 8.

CrossFit and Stability when Lifting

I must say, the lightweight mesh of the On Cloud X feels great on the feet – super comfy. But, it falls short when it comes to lifting, especially heavy weights.crossfit-with-on-cloud-x

The mesh lacks abrasion resistance, and I am concerned about its durability, especially with all the friction during CrossFit sessions.

While the CloudTec® outsole and Helion™ superfoam are comfortable, they have stability issues. When the weights got heavy, I felt my footing wasn’t as secure as I’d like.

Now, let’s talk about the Nike Metcon 7.

Right off the bat, you can tell this exercise shoe is made for lifting and CrossFit.

The stability under heavy lifting is impressive. I pushed it up to 500 lbs without a hiccup. The midfoot wrapping is a genius move by Nike, making these trainers perfect for rope climbs, and they add a layer of durability that the On Cloud X lacks.stability-and-lifting-of-nike-metcon-7

Dragging exercises cause no problem with the Metcon. The upper layers protect the toe box like a shield. Also, the built-in Hyperlift insert is a game-changer for stability during squats and lifts.

It’s like Nike has thought of everything.

Ultimately, the Metcon 7 clearly takes the win. It excels in design and stability, especially for lifting and CrossFit.

Casual Wear and Shorter Runs

As I’ve said, using the Cloud X feels like walking on clouds. They’re super comfy for those quick runs up to 3 miles. If you want more, then I’d suggest getting a running shoe.

The secret sauce is the Helion superfoam. It is light as a feather but packs a punch of comfort.

These workout shoes are my go-to for running errands, and those days when I know I’ll be on my feet for hours.

They’re not the top pick for hardcore training, but for everyday wear, they’re ideal.

Now, let’s talk about the Nike Metcon 7.

These training shoes are not lacking, either. They are perfect for short runs, and I wouldn’t recommend running in them beyond 1 mile.

If you’re into CrossFit, most routines will have 800m runs, which these workout shoes will cover comfortably.

The forefoot construction is like a standing cushion, making them surprisingly pleasant for daily wear. Ideal for those who strike with the forefoot or midfoot.

However, if I had to choose a winner for short runs and daily wear, I’d lean towards the On Running Cloud X. It is my go-to for most everyday activities.shorter-runs-with-on-cloud-x

Fit and Sizing

According to On’s website, the On Cloud Xs shoes are built with an athletic fit. They’re designed on a neutral last, offering a comfortable fit without being excessively narrow.

So, if you have a neutral foot shape, you will find them accommodating.

However, this exercise shoe will feel snug in the midfoot if you have flatter or wider feet. But the toe box has enough room, which is a plus.fit-and-sizing-of-on-cloud-x

On Running suggests sticking to your actual size when selecting these shoes.

Now, onto Nike Metcon 7.

If you’ve rocked the Metcon 6 before, you’re in luck because the fit is pretty similar. Nike recommends sticking to your true size, especially if you’ve worn the previous model.

These cross-training shoes have a slightly narrow fit, typical for the Metcon line. They’re a safe bet for most lifters and athletes, especially those with narrow or standard feet. However, the midfoot might feel restrictive if you’ve got wider feet.

So, which one offers a better fit?

Well, it really depends on your foot shape and preferences.

If you lean towards narrow or neutral feet and want a consistent fit, the Metcon 7 might be your best bet. But if you want slightly more room in the midfoot and toe box and don’t mind a snug fit, get the Cloud X.

Durability and Longevity

Both models have limited long-term durability, meaning they may not withstand extended use as well as other shoes.

On has advised against using the Cloud X excessively as a daily wear.

This workout shoe is prone to quick breakdown with intense use. Its midsole and outsole are susceptible to deterioration, and the upper lacks abrasion resistance.

On the other hand, the Nike Metcon 7 also has limited long-term durability and restricts daily wear for longevity.

It is susceptible to intense use, especially outdoors, which may cause issues with the forefoot outsole and midsole.

In summary, both shoes have similar limitations in terms of durability and longevity, but they differ in the specific areas where they are prone to wear and breakdown.

But if I had to pick a winner, I’d choose the Metcon 7 for offering slightly better durability.

Pros and Cons of On Cloud X and Metcon 7

Examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Cloud X and Metcon 7 helps you choose the right athletic shoes based on your workout preferences, performance goals, and comfort needs. It ensures the chosen shoe meets your requirements.

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of On Cloud X and Nike Metcon 7.

On Running Cloud X

  • »Lightweight shoes.
  • »Breathable upper.
  • »Snug fit.
  • »Plush and soft cushioning.
  • »The midsole provides lightweight comfort.
  • »Suitable for short runs and everyday wear.
  • »Neutral fit with enough room in the toe box.
  • »Not ideal for heavy-duty weightlifting.
  • »Stability issues during lateral movements.
  • »Small objects get stuck under the shoe.
  • »Limited long-term durability with intense use.
  • »Midfoot feels confined.
  • »More expensive.

Nike Metcon 7

  • »Rugged upper with durable toe box overlays.
  • »Improved stability.
  • »Suitable for climbing ropes.
  • »Enhanced cushioning and stability.
  • »Better support for lifting and CrossFit.
  • »Excellent grip on various surfaces.
  • »Suitable for HIIT, athletics, and plyometrics workouts.
  • »Slightly better durability.
  • »Less expensive.
  • »Midfoot feels restrictive for those with wider feet.
  • »Not ideal for long-distance running.
  • »Heavier compared to On Cloud X.


As you can see, both the On Running Cloud X and Nike Metcon 7 are fantastic shoes with unique strengths and weaknesses.

Ultimately, the best choice for you comes down to your personal preferences and training style.

Suppose you prioritize comfort, versatility, and a lightweight feel. In that case, the Cloud X is the ideal choice, but if you’re all about stability, power, and durability, go with the Metcon 7.

No matter which shoe you choose, one thing’s for sure: you’re getting a top-quality cross-training shoe that will help you take your workouts to the next level.


Is Metcon 7 good for squatting?

Yes, the Nike Metcon 7 is a good shoe for squatting. It has a wide, flat heel that provides stability and a grippy outsole that helps you stay grounded. The Metcon 7 is also comfortable enough to wear for other types of workouts like box jumps and running.

Can you wear Metcons to walk?

You can walk in Metcons, but they’re not ideal. These cross-training shoes are designed for gym training with less cushioning, so they might feel stiff and less comfy for long walks. The On Cloud X will be better if you want a shoe that can handle casual walks and workouts.

How do Onclouds fit compared to Nike?

On Cloud tends to fit similarly to Nike in length, but Nike can run slightly narrow, especially in the toe box, while On Cloud offers a more spacious fit. If you have wider feet, consider going a half-size up in On Clouds.

What shoes are comparable to On Cloud?

On Cloud is known for its unique cloud pods for comfort and a springy feel. Similar comfy shoes with good energy return include Hoka Clifton for plush cushion, Altra for a zero-drop natural experience, Nike Metcon for agility, and Brooks Ghost for a smooth, balanced ride.

Which On Cloud is best for lifting?

While On Clouds are known for their comfort and versatility, they aren’t the best choice for weightlifting due to their soft, cushioned soles. But if you’re set on an On shoe for the gym, consider the On Cloud X or Cloud X 3.

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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