On Cloud X Training Shoe Review

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Let’s look at the new generation Cloud X training shoe from On Running.

On Running Cloud X - Upper
The new Cloud X training shoe from On Running promises versatility. Can this training shoe from a running shoe company hold it’s own in the CrossFit box? That’s what we’ll be discussing here.

On Running is known for their feather-light and highly cushioned running shoes.

On Running Cloud X - Stacked
The Cloud X has quite a bit of cushion (by training shoe standards) thanks to the numerous CloudTec pods on the outsole. How well do these work? Read on to find out…

Does their design fit into the cross training shoe market? That’s what we’ll review here.

Here’s some of the styles available now:

Cloud X Training Shoe (Black/Asphalt) The new generation Cloud X shoe from On Running is a training shoe. It combines several features from the On line with the stability you need for gym sessions and HIIT workouts.

Cloud X Training Shoe (White/Black) The Cloud X uses materials high in quality and low on weight. Flexible but tough, the engineered mesh upper has a function-focused weave pattern for durability, breathability and agility. And the no-sew design maintains a perfect fit during any activity that gets you fit.

Cloud X Training Shoe (Storm/Tide) The Cloud X is for those who refuse to define themselves by one activity. A lightweight and ultra-agile shoe built to handle punishing paces and intense mixed-sport workouts. It's at home on the track, street and in the gym. Get stronger, run longer.

Cloud X Training Shoe – Video Review on our YouTube Channel

Why read when you can watch? Check out this video from our YouTube channel:

Cloud X Training Shoe – Overview

All right, let’s talk about the tech.

First of all, let me say this is a very light-weight training shoe.

A Men’s Size 11 (US) weighs in at only 9.2 ounces.

On Running Cloud X - Side by Side
This is a very lightweight shoe – by any standard – not just for training shoes.

That, in and of itself, doesn’t tell you much – but consider that a Reebok Nano X in the same size is in the 14 ounce range, as is the Nike Metcon 6.

Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6 - side by side
The Cloud X is 5 ounces lighter than the Nike Metcon 6 shown here. It’s a difference you feel immediately.

When you put these shoes on the lightweight feeling is immediately apparent.

How do they do this?

First of all the upper is thin and breathable.

On Running Cloud X - Another Upper Closeup
The upper is thin, lightweight, and very comfortable. It’s an “engineered mesh”.

It’s got perforations up front – you can see some ( a little) sunlight shining through in this photo.

On Running Cloud X - Light shining in
It’s hard to see, but there is some sunlight shining through the perforations up in front. It’s a single layer material.

What’s the upper made of? On Running calls it an engineered mesh with a weave pattern.

It’s soft, it’s comfortable. I like it.

The shoe uses regular laces and the tongue is what you’d expect in a running shoe.

On Running Cloud X - Tongue and Laces
Real shoes should have laces. I’m not a fan of the quick lacing and no lace systems that you sometimes see.

The upper doesn’t have any extra stuff on it – no extraneous bands or straps or anything extra – that’s how they keep it light.

But the other half of that equation is the cushioning.

This shoe uses On’s “CloudTec” technology and “Helion” foam.

Where’s the foam at? It’s in the midsole.

On Running Cloud X - Side Profile 1
You can’t see it, but inside the midsole is made from On’s Helion foam.

That’s the main part of the cushioning of the shoe. You can’t really see it, it’s on the inside. There is a simple, thin removable insole too.

The foam midsole works in conjunction with the CloudTec pods.

On Running Cloud X - Outsole
The CloudTec pods are part of the cushioning system too. You can see they are spaced widely apart – this shoe has good flexibility as a result.

These are relatively firm, and hollow (see photo below).

On Running Cloud X - Cushion
The CloudTec pods are hollow. That helps save weight.

You can imagine how these help supplement the cushion from the foam in the midsole.

The bottom most layer of the outsole is a tough rubber.

On Running Cloud X - Outsole Forefoot
The bottom most layer of the outsole is a durable rubber. It is squeaky when it gets wet – more so than your average shoe.

This isn’t a long term test, but it seems like the outsole will hold up for quite some time. Some shoes have exposed foam on the bottom – and that wears out quick.

How well does it all work?

I’ll be honest – it’s nice to have a lightweight training shoe that has some cushion.

On Running Cloud X - Side by Side 2
Overall, it’s nice to have a training shoe that is lightweight and has some cushion to it!

It has more cushion than the other cross trainers that are popular in CrossFit (the Nike Metcon and Reebok Nano lines).

How cushioned are these?

It’s a training shoe not a running shoe – so there is some cushion, but not tons of cushion.

This shoe is targeted towards versatile workouts – in the gym, HIIT, cardio – and things like that.

The only negative point I have in regards to the outsole – this shoe is noisy (squeaky) when wet.

I often run or walk in the mornings, and once the dewy grass gets the underside of these wet – they squeak a lot, and for a long time.

Most shoes squeak a bit when wet – but these squeak lots.

On Running Cloud X - Outsole Heel
I can’t show you a picture of squeaking, so I’ll show you the outsole heel. This shoe is unusually squeaky when the outsole is wet – like when you walk through dewy grass, or after it rains.

To be honest, it’s distracting.

If you are using the indoors, or in dry conditions, there’s not really any noise to speak of though.

The heel to toe drop on these is 6 mm. Your heels will be 6 millimeters higher than your toes.

On Running Cloud X - Side Profile 2
Heel to Toe Drop (“Drop” or “Offset”) is 6 mm.

(This is a typical offset or drop for versatile training shoes).

The shape of the shoe provides stability too.

See the wider base?

On Running Cloud X - Heel with Reflectors
The base of these shoes is wide – for lateral support. There’s lateral support from sidewalls that extend up from the outsole too.

That provides stability, security, and support.

The outsole extends up to give a sort of “sidewall” too – so your foot is nestled down in the shoe.

This gives medial and lateral support – and helps for dynamic side to side movement.

The heel cup is firm and I get no sensation of heel slippage with this shoe.

On Running Cloud X - Logo
This OC logo on the side is reflective, as is the logo on the back of the shoe. This helps with safety at night, and outdoors.

There’s a reflector on the back (the logo) – so you can workout outside in the dark with these.

Cloud X Training Shoe – Fit and Sizing

These have a very light-weight, comfortable fit.

As mentioned earlier, they are very lightweight.

They run true to size.

On Running Cloud X - Side by Side
My normal size of 11 fits me fine with the On Running Cloud X – It runs true to size, so order your normal running shoe size.

These Men’s Size 11 fit me perfect – length and width are both good – with no heel slippage or any negatives.

That is the normal size that I wear in the vast majority of shoes that I own (and test).

Cloud X Training Shoe – Good for Running?

Can you run in these?

Yes, absolutely. In fact, I’ll say they are one of the more pleasant training shoes to wear for running.

Why? Because they are lightweight and they have some cushion to them in the forefoot and the heel.

These shoes have more cushion in the heel than the Nike Metcon or Reebok Nano line.

And that makes them better for all that repeated heel striking you’ll do as you run – whether on asphalt or anywhere else.

Just remember, they aren’t purpose designed running shoes though…

Cloud X Training Shoe – Good for Lifting Weights?

Training shoes normally have a very firm, stable heel – so you can lift heavy weights with them safely and securely.

(Think heavy like barbells – squats, deadlifts, cleans, etc).

Cloud X Versus Reebok Nano X - Training Shoes - Side by Side 1
Can you lift HEAVY in the Cloud X? I don’t recommend it, you’d be better off with the Reebok Nano X as shown here. The Cloud X is great for bodyweight HIIT, dumbbells, and kettlebells though.

And while these have more cushion than your average CrossFit shoe – I think these would do ok with MODERATE weights.

Lighter barbells – like the high repetition stuff often done in the CrossFit WOD, dumbbells, and lighter kettlebells give these shoes no issue.

They have too much compression in the heel for really heavy squats and deadlifts though, in my opinion.

I also wouldn’t recommend any serious Oly lifting in these for the same reason.

They are decent gym shoes – don’t try to break your 1RM on the squat in them though – that’s not what these are for.

Cloud X Versus Reebok Nano X - Training Shoes - Heel to Heel
The Cloud X is much lighter than the big and bulky Nano X.

Cloud X Training Shoe – Good for Cardio and HIIT?

Cardio, classes, and HIIT style (bodyweight) training are really the sweet spot for these, and I think that’s what On Running intended.

They are firm but cushioned, light-weight, and have good lateral support.

I’d rather not have big heavy shoes weighing me down like concrete blocks.

On Running Cloud X - Front View
Good for HIIT classes, cardio, and bodyweight workouts in the gym? Yes

And as I mentioned earlier, these aren’t just light by training shoe standards – they are light by running shoe standards!

(As a comparison, my React Infinity Run Flyknit shoes in the same size are over 12 ounces – that’s 33% heavier than the Cloud X).

Cloud X Training Shoe – In Summary

It’s light, it’s got some cushion – but not too much, and it fits well.

I like this shoe as a cross-trainer option with a little more heel cushion than the Nike Metcon and Reebok Nano.

Just remember, it’s not meant for heavy weights.

It’s also very squeaky when wet – you’ve been warned.

(For these reasons, the Cloud X did not make the cut for our Best CrossFit Shoes for 2021 review.)

On Running Cloud X - Upper Closeup 1
Here’s one more closeup of that upper.

Photo Credits

Some product photos on this page are property of On Running.

This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

Cloud X Versus Reebok Nano X - Training Shoes Side by Side 2
Nano X Versus Cloud X. The Cloud X is light and comfortable. In comparison the Nano X feels big and bulky – but is better for heavy weight lifting.

Affiliate Disclaimer

We are an affiliate of various sellers of this shoe. If you buy Cloud X shoes after clicking the links in this article, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us to bring you in-depth information and content on these great training shoes.

Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side 3
Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6. The Nike is heavier (but tougher) and better for heavy weights. Cloud X is better for running and HIIT bodyweight classes.

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