On Cloud X Running Shoe Review
On Running released the On Cloud X officially on November 4th. I got my hands on a pair on October 31st. I discovered them while researching new shoes after exceeding 350 miles on my previous On Cloud Flow shoes. I intended to get the same pair but when I ran a search for On Cloud Running Shoes through a search engine I saw a listing for the Cloud X which surprised me. There was no mention of the shoes on the On Running website, just on Road Runner Sports and a few other sites. Naturally, I had to try them out.
DESIGN & FEEL
These shoes are a bit lighter, have a less structured upper, and stiffer sole than the Cloud Flow. They have also added additional support inside the ankle area for lateral movements reinforcement. They also have a slightly lower profile look when wearing them. A welcome area of improvement is the addition of much better laces that do not come easily undone. They definitely feel like more of a general training shoe than a running specific build. Some additional feel notes: they offer a more snug fit than Cloud Flow. The cloth upper reminds me of Nike Flyknit. I love the color and pattern options. They do feel a little smaller and more narrow than On Cloud Flow.
Functionally, they use the same pod system as most other On Running products. However, they incorporate a stiffer sole and greater traction for the type of diversity you will see in gym and mixed environment training. In general, everything from the seamless tongue, to the liner, and heel design have been engineered for adapting from one workout to the next. Below is a gallery of when I unboxed them the first time.
FEATURES & PERFORMANCE
I tested these shoes over a variety of activities during the first month of owning them. In total I put about 100 miles of walking, running, jumping and sitting around in these shoes. Below is a breakdown of how these shoes performed in the three main ways I used them.
From the very first run these shoes were fun and responsive. I took them out on a course that involved a variety of terrains. Including track surfaces, gravel areas, pavement, asphalt and dirt. They adapted nicely from one surface area to the next. Getting rocks stuck between the pods is still an issue but not as frequent. The big test for me was how would these shoes feel on a long run. More importantly, how would I feel after wearing them on a 7.5 mile or greater run. I can confirm that these are a good distance trainer. You won’t break any land speed records, but if you are willing to take it slow and steady, they will hold up well. So will you, thanks to the super supportive front foot cushioning.
On another note, I definitely wanted to test these shoes out in the rain. These shoes are light years better in the rain than the Cloud Flow pair I had before. The sole has extra traction pattern and don’t give way with lateral movement either. I tested out how they held up during a 4 mile rainy run to be sure. I was worried they may get wet and soggy up front because of the perforated venting but they stayed considerably dry. All in all a much better wet condition shoe than the previous Cloud Flow. I had the weird luck of getting in multiple rainy day runs in a row with these and my initial feelings were confirmed.
The heel to toe displacement of the Cloud X is minimal. So, I was not sure these would be a good walking shoe because they would not have a lot of heel support. I took them on a few solid 5 mile walks through rolling hills to test them out. I usually look for low back pain an hour in as a sign of lots of heel striking. I didn’t experience any on the first walk and felt mostly great on subsequent ones. They are not quite as amazing to walk in as the Nike Free but they are serviceable.
I use these shoes in my Blast HIIT classes. These classes offer alternative blocks of treadmill work and strength training. The floor work generally has us doing a lot of lateral work and foot work. The treadmill work involves sprints, hill climbs, and walking. I found that these shoes held up well in all conditions and transitioning between both. I think that this exact kind of class is what On Running had in mind when designing the Cloud X.
On Cloud X - Product ComparisonI’ll stick to comparing these shoes against the last three running shoes I have owned.
|CATEGORY||vs. Nike Free||vs. Nike Zoom Pegasus||vs. On Cloud Flow|
|Style:||Nike Free||Cloud X||Cloud Flow|
|Running Use:||Nike Free||Cloud X||Cloud Flow|
|Walking Use:||Nike Free||Cloud X||Cloud Flow|
|Training Use:||Cloud X||Cloud X||Cloud X|
|Feel:||Nike Free||Cloud X||Cloud Flow|
|Durability:||Cloud X||Cloud X||Cloud X|
|Weight:||Cloud X||Cloud X||Tie|
On Cloud X - Summary
|7 out of 10||Fit is overall more adaptable to every activity type.||Low profile feels like it provides less ankle stability.|
|Stiffer sole and more cushioning.||A bit narrow in width.|
|Much better grip on sole.|