ON Cloudswift 3 review

8 expert score
0 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 17th July by Jeremy Yoder Jeremy Yoder lives in Marietta, PA with his wife and 2 kids. In an earlier life, he used running to stay fit for his soccer career, where he was a co
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ON Cloudswift 3 Verdict

The On Cloud Cloudswift 3 is a firm, smooth riding road shoe that can do a bit of everything. It incorporates a modern knit upper that looks good in casual settings as well. You can look good on your commute and have a respectable running shoe for when your work day ends.

The pros

  • These shoes look good!
  • Comfortable and supportive knit upper
  • Very durable midsole

The cons

  • Priced a bit high

Rating breakdown

Build quality
Sole unit
Value / Price

Facts / Specs

Cloudswift 3
Previous model
10.2 oz (289 g)

33 mm.
28 mm.
Heel drop
5 mm.
Carbon plate
Plate in other materials


Buy half size bigger
Heel fit
Midfoot fit
Toebox fit

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Amount of cushioning
Medium cushioning
Some stability


Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the ON Cloudswift 3 ?

Ideal runners for the Cloudswift 3 are those looking for a medium/firm cushioned, responsive daily trainer. This shoe will handle various running styles ranging from slow to moderate paces and 5k to half marathon road races.

Who should not buy the ON Cloudswift 3 ?

They might look plush but there’s very little give to the midsole. Steer clear if you require shoes with soft cushioning. I also wouldn’t recommend this shoe if you plan to use it on surfaces other than sidewalks or pavement.

ON Cloudswift 3 Introduction

Picture of On Cloudswift 3

On Cloud released the 3rd edition of the Cloudswift which is designed for runners in urban and suburban environments. Their website references “Made for city running” and “Crush it on concrete”, so it’s clear the audience that On is targeting. These shoes are versatile and can handle a range of different workouts. From long distances, to quick runs and even the occasional gym workout. This shoe can do it all.

A very comparable shoe to the Cloudswift 3 is the Hoka One One Mach 5. Both are responsive, daily trainers with similar specs. I’d give the edge in style to the Cloudswift 3 but the Mach 5 comes in at a slightly lighter weight.

The price for these shoes is $160, which seems about right. If anything, you’re paying a small premium for the modern design coupled with performance capabilities.

On sticks with much of the same technology from the previous versions. CloudTec is standard in all of their running shoes as is Speedboard technology. The one big change in the Cloudswift is that they moved away from a two-layer mesh upper in the two previous versions, to a one-piece knit that offers more comfort.

ON Cloudswift 3 First Impressions

Picture of On Cloudswift 3

The Cloudswift 3s were the first pair of On Clouds that I’ve had the opportunity to wear.

Opening the box and checking them out for the first time did not disappoint. I could tell immediately, the quality and craftsmanship that went into this shoe and the brand.

A high quality knit upper that came in an attractive Midnight blue combined with the white midsoles gave this shoe a sharp appearance.

Fit and feel on the shoes were just as good. There was no break-in period required. My first run in the Cloudswift 3 was a flat 5 mile “out and back” which quickly turned into a tempo run because of how smooth the ride was.

ON Cloudswift 3 Upper

Picture of On Cloudswift 3

The most noticeable change to the 3rd edition of the Cloud Swift is the new and improved upper. On moved away from a two-layer mesh and upgraded to a zonal knit material. I really liked the comfort and full foot security that the knit provided. Just as in the first 2 versions, the Cloudswift 3s incorporate lacing overlays that wrap the midfoot which adds a necessary support to the upper.

My only real criticism of this shoe is the knit design, on the heel collar and tongue. The material was slightly abrasive so wearing low socks caused blisters on my heels and the front of my ankle around the tongue.

Even after 60-70 miles this area did not soften or break in further. The easy solution for this is to wear socks that cover your ankles which gives you more protection from rubbing.

Eventually with wearing longer socks, this became a non issue.

One point to mention was that the size 11s felt the slightest bit small compared to other brands. This was not an issue for me because of the stretchiness of the upper. After the first few runs, this became unnoticeable.

For runners that are in between sizes, it might be good to half size up.

ON Cloudswift 3 Sole Unit

Picture of On Cloudswift 3

There’s no lack of technology in the Cloudswift 3, particularly in the midsole.

By now, most people are familiar with the unique looking midsole design of On Clouds. They call this CloudTec and it’s found in all of On Clouds running shoes. CloudTec features small tubular sections of foam that contact the ground as you run. Their claim is that this design absorbs impact and launches you forward into your next step.

The material in the CloudTec design is dual-density Helion superfoam. On Cloud touts that this superfoam combines two different foam materials into a single end product. It’s rigid and stable, yet also has the right amount of flexibility.

The last bit of tech to mention is the built-in Speedboard. The Speedboard sits within the midsole and is designed to help generate more forward momentum with less energy, therefore, making you run faster. Speedboard is not one size fits all. It’s designed differently in each of On’s shoes to specifically deliver what the runner needs.

Picture of On Cloudswift 3

The outsole traction was better than expected on asphalt and cement. Even in wet conditions, the rubber outsole held up well and didn’t cause me to slip or feel unstable.

All of these components make for an ultra smooth ride for runners looking to put on mile after mile. From forefoot strike to push off, these shoes transitioned through my gait with no hesitation. There was a noticeable rolling forward of the shoes just like On describes. The cushioning was firm but energetic, always begging you to run a little further.

ON Cloudswift 3 Conclusions

Picture of On Cloudswift 3

Up to this point, I’ve thought of On Cloud shoes as mostly leisure and lifestyle shoes. They always look good but could they actually perform? After thoroughly testing the Cloudswift 3, I can confidently say the answer is yes!

This shoe looks great and also stands up to the rigors of daily training, commuting and pretty much any urban activity you throw at it.

If you’re in the market for a reliable and stylish daily trainer, you need to consider the On Cloud Cloudswift 3. You won’t be disappointed!

How does the Cloudswift 3 compare?

ON Cloudsurfer 7
ON Cloudswift 3
Hoka One One Clifton 9
Expert score
User score
Best price
Retail price
9.1 oz
10.2 oz
8.7 oz
Heel Drop
10 mm
5 mm
5 mm
Recommended for
Daily training
Daily training
Daily training, long distance racing
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
some stability
some stability
very stable
true to size
buy half size bigger
true to size

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.

Reviewed by Jeremy

This review was written by Jeremy Yoder on 17th July.
Jeremy Yoder lives in Marietta, PA with his wife and 2 kids. In an earlier life, he used running to stay fit for his soccer career, where he was a collegiate All American. Jeremy is an avid hunter and now running keeps him prepared for outdoor advendutres. He and his wife Olivia enjoy competing in trail races in the mountains of Pennsylvania. If he could pick, every run would be on a trail run but when life gets busy, the road will do just fine.

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