ON Cloud X 3 review

9 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 Olivia Yoder Ultrarunner, personal trainer and soccer coach.
33 other reviews

ON Cloud X 3 Verdict

The Cloud X3 is a shoe of many hats. It can be easily worn in the gym for various workouts, and can also be taken out for mid-distance runs and everyday wear. It’s a very stable shoe with a firm yet cushioned feel to them.

The pros

  • Multifunctional shoe
  • Stable
  • Durable and well made

The cons

  • Bunching when laces are pulled tight
  • A little pricey

Rating breakdown

Build quality
Sole unit
Value / Price

Facts / Specs

Cloud X 3
8.8 oz (249 g)

27 mm.
19 mm.
Heel drop
8 mm.

Size, fit and comfort

True to size
Heel fit
Midfoot fit
Toebox fit
Amount of cushioning
Medium cushioning
Very stable

Best for

Running short distances  
Running on treadmill  
Dance classes  
HIIT / Crossfit  
Agility Training  

Who should buy the ON Cloud X 3 ?

This shoe is for the individual who wants a shoe that does it all. It performs exceptionally well in the gym for those grueling workouts but also transitions flawlessly to some runs.

Who should not buy the ON Cloud X 3 ?

This shoe is not for the runner that is looking for a plush long-distance running shoe. I also wouldn’t suggest this shoe to an athlete who is into powerlifting. It’s great for all other types of workouts.

ON Cloud X 3 Introduction

Picture of On Cloud X 3

The On Cloud X3 is a lightweight and extremely versatile shoe. On has done a great job with this one.

Currently, it’s my top choice for a cross-training shoe. You can get yourself a pair for $150.00.

It’s a little on the pricier side but all On shoes fall into that category. At first, I was skeptical of the brand On, but their quality and durability are worth spending a bit more. Also, for that price, you’re getting a shoe that can be worn almost for everything!

With some other On shoes in the past, they have run fairly narrow on me but the Cloud X3 fit true to size. They weigh in at 7oz (W)/8.5 oz (M) and have an 8mm heel-to-toe drop.

On uses very innovative technology in their shoes. You’ll notice the CloudTec cushioning that runs the full length of the midsole but it’s not as cushioned as you may expect. If you’re looking for a plush ride this might not be the shoe for you.

It’s a minimalist-style shoe that does offer some cushion but is pretty firm. This makes it a solid choice for a gym-goer shoe.

ON Cloud X 3 Impressions

Picture of On Cloud X 3

My first impressions would be that I thought they were going to be narrow and a lot firmer than they are. Many On shoes have that reputation and that was not the case for these. They have plenty of room in the toe box and have an all-over plush feel, not just in the midsole. They look fantastic too. The colorway I bought was black and white. I have revived many compliments on them.

Putting them on for the first time, I instantly felt connected to the ground. I like to lift and do some HIIT training in my bare feet due to stability and these give me that feeling. They make my feet feel more supported.

I have run all kinds of distances in these shoes, with an 8 miler being my longest. I would suggest only using them for around the 5k distance or short bouts of running. When you take them past their intended threshold, you’ll notice the lack of responsiveness in the midsole.

One of the top areas of the shoe that I was drawn to was the wider platform. The midsole bows out near the heel and as well as the toe now area. This ensures that your feet stay grounded and no chance of being thrown off balance.

Putting them on for the first time felt great. At first, they kinda reminded me of the budget-friendly Under Armour Charged Assert 10s but they are a better-made shoe.

On has marketed the Cloud X3 as a gym goer, everyday wear shoe. When I was testing them out I kept that in mind and adjusted my daily runs to more cross-training workouts. They shine across the board.

ON Cloud X 3 Comfort and fit

Picture of On Cloud X 3

The X3s are a very comfortable shoes. I have spent full days in them with experiencing absolutely zero irritations.

Taking a look at the midsole, you’ll see that the Cloudx3 is built on the signature CloudTec cushioning.

On states that it reacts according to your unique movements, compressing horizontally and vertically to cushion just where it should. This is a series of pods that run the length of a shoe. These clouds compress upon landing and spring up when you take off. The clouds are located on their signature Helion foam which is On’s very own specialized idea. They have found a way to combine two different elements to create a very unique performance. This gives you soft landings and powerful takeoffs.

All this combined with Speedboard allows you to engage the energy you create and also helps you to turn it into momentum. It flexes when you run or move to help propel you forward with less effort.

The outsole does a great job with traction on various surfaces. Per usual, if you take then on a gravely path you will be picking the pebbles out of your shoe due to the pods.

The upper is made with re-engineered, 3-layer mesh. Its breathability is superb. I loved wearing them during the summer months. You could wear them without socks and feel comfortable for those who are into that.

It does have an overlay that extends from the heel of the shoe to the midfoot. It’s extra padded and thicker than the rest of the upper. This extra layer wraps nicely up around the midfoot, so when you pull the laces together you’ll notice your foot being hugged in all the right places. They have a 5-star lacing system that helps keep your foot snug and you’ll never have a problem with them coming untied. Towards the toebox, the upper thins out and that’s where you have great air circulation.

One of my only complaints about the X3 would be that when you are pulling the laces tight, you’ll get some bunching in the upper. Not a huge fan of that but doesn’t make a difference in performance.

Looking at the heel counter you’ll notice how built up it is and has a great lockdown feel. Around the ankle is just the right amount of padding too.

Is the ON Cloud X 3 good for running?

I have run longer distances in them and saw no major problems but they are not my favorite. They get the job done but there are so many better uses for them.

If you are looking to use them on a treadmill for shorter distances, they would fill your need. I have a treadmill and some shoes just pound the belt and don’t feel that great. The X3s work well on the treadmill and a great choice to use indoors.

Is the ON Cloud X 3 good for HIIT / Crossfit?

This is where I believe the shoes shine. They are my favorite HIIT workouts. Transitioning from some dumbell exercises to plyos to ladder drills, you will experience everything this shoe has to offer.

Comfort and stability are felt throughout each workout. I love feeling connected to the ground when performing HIIT workouts, and the X3s give you that connection. Having ankle problems for years of playing soccer, I tend to be hesitant when planting hard from side to side.

I feel fully stable and secure doing all sorts of exercises and drills in them .

Is the ON Cloud X 3 good for weight lifting?

I would not suggest them if you are strictly doing heavy weighting. Because the pods on the bottom the heavy workout loads you will start to notice the stability becoming a little unhinged.

Is the ON Cloud X 3 good for dance classes?

I can’t say from experience but I would imagine they would work nicely for a dance class. These are a type of shoe that performs it’s best indoors.

Is the ON Cloud X 3 good for general gym use?

As I mentioned before, the X3s shine their best when kept indoors. Not saying they are bad when taken outdoors, but you will be able to fully appreciate all that they have to offer when used in indoor workouts. These are a great multifunctional shoe.

Is the ON Cloud X 3 good for other types of training?

Other activities I have enjoyed wearing them for would be taking them on all-day adventures to amusement parks. We live very close to Hershey Park and they are my go-to pick. They look great and give me all-day comfort.

ON Cloud X 3 Conclusions

Picture of On Cloud X 3

My conclusion of the On CloudX3 is that it’s my new favorite training shoe. Just from an aesthetic standpoint, it’s a great-looking shoe.

But that doesn’t even really matter when compared to how well it has performed in the gym for me. It’s an overall minimalist daily training shoe that is meant for shorter distances but does fine if pushed past.

It does have a firmer ride so if a very cushioned shoe is what you’re looking for this may not be the pick for you. If you’re in the market for a shoe that does it all, look no further check out the X3! On is gradually getting a new fan.

How does the Cloud X 3 compare?

Reebok Nano X3
ON Cloud X 3
Saucony Freedom Crossport
Expert score
User score
Retail price
8.8 oz
8.6 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
4 mm
Recommended for
Cushioning type
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
Medium cushioning
very stable
very stable
some stability
true to size
true to size
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 Olivia

This review was written by Olivia Yoder on 17th July.
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.

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