ON Cloudstratus 3 review

8 expert score
7 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 03rd October by Olivia Yoder Ultrarunner, personal trainer and soccer coach.
35 other reviews

ON Cloudstratus 3 Verdict

My verdict of the On Cloudstratus 3 is that it's a plush everyday trainer that looks fresh and keeps your feet feeling the same. If you don't mind spending a pretty penny, these will definitely become one of your favorite shoes to wear.

The pros

  • Plush and comfortable
  • No break in period
  • Very stable

The cons

  • Expensive
  • Durability on outsole

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Rating breakdown

Build quality
Sole unit
Value / Price

Facts / Specs

Cloudstratus 3
Previous model
10.3 oz (292 g)

37 mm.
31 mm.
Heel drop
6 mm.
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials


True to size
Heel fit
Midfoot fit
Toebox fit

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Very stable


Daily training  
Long distance racing  
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the ON Cloudstratus 3 ?

This shoe is for the runner who is looking for a daily trainer that offers overall total comfort. They are made for anyone but I would suggest using them for easy effort mid to long-distance runs.

Who should not buy the ON Cloudstratus 3 ?

This shoe is not for the runner who is looking for a speedy shoe. Although I have done a few speed workouts in them, they are on the sluggish side. This would not be a shoe I would pick to run a PR.

ON Cloudstratus 3 Introduction

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

The On Cloudstratus 3 is one of On’s most popular shoes on the market. I tested out the previous version and I can without a doubt say that the Cloudstratus 3 is designed with even better upgrades.

I have tried my fair share of On shoes and this is my favorite. Looking at them at first glance, they do resemble last year’s model but they have some differences that set them apart. They offer not one but two layers of On’s Cloudtec cushioning. It’s loaded with new technology that provides you with a smooth, cloudlike run. Most notably you’ll see a difference in the upper when comparing them to the Cloudstratus 2.

Weighing in at 8.9 oz (W), and 10.5 oz (M), they are slightly lighter than the last version. The heel-to-toe drop is 6mm and the stack height is 32 mm (W)/26 mm(M).

They will cost you a pretty penny around 180 dollars. Do I think this is a fair price? It is a tad high but it is consistent with other On shoes and they are very well built.

A comparable shoe would be the ASICS Novablast 3, which has a balanced springy/firm ride to them.

ON Cloudstratus 3 First Impressions

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

My first impression of the On Cloudstratus 3 would be that they look pretty cool. On is known for its distinct sleek design and these shoes fall right into the same category.

Having the Cloudstratus 2 pair sitting right next to them, I was able to compare right away. The biggest change is the upper and tongue. The tongue has the most padding out of any shoe I currently own.

When I first placed my feet into them I noticed right away how lush they felt all over. It’s like walking on pillows. I understand why they are called Cloudstratus. Lacing them up was different too, you’ll see how much padding there is but once you pull the laces tight that tongue melts into the top of your foot. It’s very comfy!

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

My first run in them was a 10k. I thought I was going to have a problem with the collar being higher but I had zero problems.

There is no break-in period. I felt what they had to offer that first run and I can tell you that I was hooked. I enjoyed the previous model but these are on another level of comfort.

I run in the wash/nimbus colorway and they complement each other well. They come in various other color schemes that stay in the neutrals. Nothing flashy.

ON Cloudstratus 3 Upper

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

On is typically known for its esthetically sleek-looking shoes, with minimal baggage. The Cloudtratus 3 lacks nowhere in this area.

The thick engineered upper keeps your foot nice and snug but also lets you have enough wiggly room for your toes. These are my go-to all-day wear shoes for this reason.

The heel counter is very built up, especially when you see the plastic piece that wraps around the heel. You may think it’s going to be very stiff but that is not the case, there’s plenty of padding that helps prevent any rubbing or discomfort.

Looking at the lacing system, they are standard. On either side of the laces, some reinforcers help to keep the laces in place and to make sure you get that secure locked down.

I love this upper but it’s not very breathable. It has tiny ventilation holes all over the upper that you can see but there is another layer of fabric that prohibits airflow. This added layer does add comfort that I don’t know if I would trade off.

Wearing during some hot runs made me realize this and if that’s something that is a deal breaker for you and you want to stay with the On brand, then I would go with the On Cloudswift 3.

ON Cloudstratus 3 Sole Unit

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

Looking at the sole they very noticeably have the cloud pods that run that length of the shoe. It’s two layers of the pods. It looks pretty neat. On states on its website: Results of an independent study conducted with Progressive Sports Technologies based at Loughborough University showed that the double CloudTec® reduces both the onset and duration of muscle soreness. So you can just keep going and going.

When you run the pods compress when you land and when you take off the speedboard engages to propel you forward with a springy stride.

The technology On uses in their shoes is top-notch. That midsole that makes up the pods consists of On Helion superfoam. This foam gives you both flexibility with a slightly firm feel. Inside the foam, you’ll find the Speedboard. It’s a firm nylon plate.

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

A side note that is important to include would be that the base, which is Swiss-engineered, is 100% made from recycled materials. Leaving the whole shoe made from 23% of recycled content.

The sole of the shoe is a hard rubber material that is very grippy. I ran in various types of weather and on many surfaces, without slipping. I have worn them for around 60-70 miles so far and I can already see some wear on the sole.

ON Cloudstratus 3 Conclusions

Picture of On Cloudstratus 3

My conclusion of the On Cloudstratus 3s would be that I would highly recommend them. It’s a nice improvement from Cloudstratus 2.

You’ll still get that bouncy ride but with more cushioning and shaving weight off. I love this shoe for an everyday trainer and also it’s a great pick for all-day wear.

They will leave your feet and legs feeling comfortable and pain-free.

Not only do they perform well, they also look fantastic. The amount of compliments I get for them is by far the most out of all my running shoes.

How does the Cloudstratus 3 compare?

ON Cloudswift 3
ON Cloudstratus 3
Asics Novablast 3
Expert score
User score
Retail price
10.2 oz
10.3 oz
8.9 oz
Heel Drop
5 mm
6 mm
9 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training, long distance racing
Daily training
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
some stability
very stable
very stable
buy half size bigger
true to size
buy half size smaller

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of ON at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
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ON Cloudstratus 3 price comparison

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Reviewed by Olivia

This review was written by Olivia Yoder on 03rd October.
Lives in Marietta, Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and dog. Olivia is a personal trainer and soccer coach. She has been running for 10 years and competes in various distances. For the past few years she has been concentrating on the ultra distances. She never would have thought that one sport would change her whole outlook on life like running has.

User feedback (1)

  • avatar-comment-1032446
    Bob S
    5 months ago
    7 score

    Thx for the review. You do comment that these have more cushion than v2, but did not see a comment comparing the sole unit. Is there more stack or did the sole material change? Thx

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Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

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