Lifestyle

On Cloud X3 Shoes Say They’re for Running and Lifting—Here’s What It’s Like to Wear Them

We put the On Cloud X3 through its paces (and lifts) to see if it could help us whittle down our shoe closet.
By Elspeth Huyett
December 5, 2023

Fast Facts

If your typical workouts are a combination of weights, cardio, and HIIT—the On Cloud X3 are the only shoes you need. The cushioning gives you enough padding to feel comfortable on a run while helping provide a stable base for fairly heavy lifts. You can set your gym bag aside and run out the door with just this pair of shoes.

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I have always hated having to head to the gym with my lifting and running shoes and having to pause during my workouts to shift as I transition from squats to box jumps. I’ve always been searching for the shoes that would be my “quiver killer,” the one shoe that could do it all. I found that with the On Cloud X 3

The On Cloud X 3 are the company’s lightweight, do-it-all solution for people who train in a variety of different ways. They shine brightest in the gym and during low-impact cardio, as the proprietary cushioning provides enough to keep you comfortable without impacting heavier lifts—and it can even hold up to shorter runs. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why Trust Me?

I come from the world of professional cycling—I raced for 20 years and even netted myself a National Championship. Alongside the pedaling, there was a lot of cross-training, including running and lifting. After I retired from cycling, I dabbled in CrossFit and marathon training, and I stayed involved in cycling as a Level 3 USA Cycling certified coach. 

I ran in the On Cloud X3s three times a week for 1-4 miles and also wore them to lift in the gym three times a week for November. I gave these pearly white shoes a bit of a beating and put them through their paces. 

On Cloud X 3

Pros
  • Multifunctional
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish
Cons
  • Lack of arch support
  • More expensive than similar shoes

What Are the On Cloud X 3 Shoes?

The Swiss brand On, launched in 2010, has primarily focused on creating running shoes until recently. The On brand is known for its CloudTec technology—this proprietary cushioning is made of open tubes of foam or rubber designed to compress with your stride. The build saves significant weight, which you can feel as soon as you pick up the shoes. On has expanded its offerings into hiking, casual shoes, and these great crosstainers.

The Cloud X 3 shoes are “born from running, but made for everything,” On says. They feel like a minimalist shoe, weighing in at just 201g. The three-layer mesh offers breathability, and a wider platform claims improved stability and support. The Speedboard® cushioning claims to propel you into your next step or movement with ease. Together, these elements aim to create a superior cross-trainer to help you through HIIT workouts and short runs.

What’s Good About the On Cloud X 3 Shoes?

Multifunctional

I’ve been looking for a pair of shoes that I could feel comfortable doing a workout on the treadmill and squatting—bringing two shoes to the gym felt like too much, but lifting shoes were too stiff to walk in, and running shoes were too squishy to lift in. The Cloud X3s had enough cushioning for my 1-2 mile run to the gym, and the stability of the shoes came in handy for my deadlifts and squats. I wouldn’t want to run more than five miles in these because they lacked arch support and ample cushioning, but they were perfect for short, easy runs.

Lightweight

The On Cloud X3s come in at just 8 oz, whereas competitors are typically weighing about 11 oz. When the box arrived in the mail, I could barely believe a pair of shoes was in there. For me, the weight made up for some of the lack of cushion—the shoes helped my feet feel light and nimble on my shorter runs. In the gym, the weight helped me feel like my box jumps and burpees were easier than ever. 

Stylish

Many athletic shoes I’ve used in the past did not leave the inside of the gym—the styles were bulky, or the colors were outlandish. With these shoes, I found myself wanting to wear them out of the gym. They are the perfect transition shoe from the gym to coffee or errands. 

Rated & Reviewed

What’s Not Good About the On Cloud X 3 Shoes?

Lack of arch support

My biggest complaint when wearing these was the lack of arch support. I didn’t feel it too much during my workouts or runs, but it was noticeable when I had the shoes on for extended periods. I wore them for a day of running errands, and the arches of my feet were sore when I took the shoes off. My longest run in them was 3 miles, and I had no complaints, but I wouldn’t recommend these for long runs or long days on your feet. 

More expensive than similar shoes

The On Cloud X 3s come in at a whopping $150. There are shoes designed for similar purposes from Nike at $80 and Reebok’s at $60, but even those brands’ top-tier cross trainers—the Metcon and the Nano X3—are cheaper than the On Cloud X 3 (not to mention the increasingly popular No Bull’s at $130). These shoes all have similar features—so, with the On Cloud, you’re paying for the stylish look and proprietary cushioning, which may or may not be worth it, depending on your budget. 

This slightly more premium pricing structure is fairly typical for the brand as well. 

The Bottom Line

The On Cloud X3s are a great pair of do-it-all trainers. We found them comfortable for shorter runs and HIIT workouts and stable during lifting sessions. They are featherlight and help you feel nimble during your workouts, and they get extra style points. The only downside for us was the lack of arch support, which we did find worsened with longer runs and time on your feet, and the cost was higher than that of competitors.