Which Shoes Are Better on Cloud or Hoka

Which Shoes Are Better On Cloud or Hoka?

Choosing the best brand of running shoes can be a daunting task, especially when determining which fit and qualities best suit your needs. Both Hoka and On Cloud have emerged as popular brands in the running community, each boasting a distinctive appearance across various models in their lineup. 

This article aims to compare the notable characteristics of Hoka vs. On Cloud, shedding light on which brand might be the best fit for your feet. Comparing these two can be challenging, as each brand offers shoes that feel, fit, and function in unique ways. Recognizable and distinct, both brands have been tested extensively by runners worldwide. 

By delving into the details of construction, fit, feel, and fabric, we hope to provide a comprehensive breakdown that will help you decide which shoe to slip onto your foot. While personal biases and opinions will always play a role in such decisions, this comparison aims to present an unbiased round-up of both brands.

Which Shoes Are Better on Cloud or Hoka?

Both On Cloud and Hoka shoes are renowned for their cushioning and comfort. On Cloud shoes, often referred to as “Cloud by On,” are celebrated for their lightweight design and superior impact absorption. On the other hand, Hoka shoes are known for their stability and unique features. When deciding between the two, it often boils down to individual needs. Which Shoes Are Better on Cloud or Hoka

For instance, if you prioritize lightweight design and maximum impact absorption, Cloud by On might be your go-to. However, if stability and great cushioning are on top of your list, Hoka could be the better choice. Factors such as weight, cushioning, stability, and impact absorption play crucial roles in the comparison. 

While Cloud shoes are generally lighter, Hoka tends to be on the heavier side. In terms of cushioning, Cloud offers good cushioning, whereas Hoka is known for its exceptional cushioning. Stability-wise, Hoka takes the lead, but when it comes to impact absorption, Cloud by On stands out.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes Key Differences

When examining the key differences between On Cloud and Hoka, it’s essential to consider the features and models each brand offers to cater to various runners, from newbies to Ultramarathoners, and those with flat-footed or high-arched feet. Hoka One One initially gained popularity among Ultrarunners but has since transitioned to mainstream running. In contrast, On seemed to first captivate the triathlon market before making its mark in mainstream running. Delving deeper:

  • Hoka Running Shoes: These are maximal shoes, known for their larger sole that ensures stability and a smooth ride. They are generally more cushioned, and while some argue they run narrow, they compare favorably to brands like Nike. Hoka also offers casual shoes, gym shoes, and recovery sandals.
  • On Running Shoes: Older styles tend to have a more narrow fit, but newer models offer a wider forefoot. Their distinctive CloudTec sole is designed to reduce muscle fatigue and enhance speed by minimizing ground impact. While primarily known for their running shoes, On also boasts an impressive range of running jackets, pants, and more.

Both Hoka and On Cloud have a distinctive appearance, with Hokas being recognized for their maximalist, cloud-like cushioning, and On Cloud living up to its “cloud” name. The differences between On Cloud vs. Hoka shoes in terms of fit, feel, and function are distinct. Each brand offers models suitable for various ability levels and foot structures, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes Features Comparison

When it comes to the world of running shoes, both On Cloud and Hoka have carved out their own niches, attracting a dedicated base of fans. The brands have made significant inroads in the market, offering a plethora of options tailored to the needs of different runners. For buyers contemplating their next purchasing decision, the comparison between these two giants often boils down to the comfort, support, and stability they offer. While both brands promise a unique feel underfoot, the components and cushion of each shoe can vary significantly. Especially when you’re shelling out around $150 for a pair, understanding the specifics of each model becomes crucial.

Diving deeper, both brands have been successful in catering to the running community by focusing on the intricate details of shoe design. Whether it’s the cushion that provides a plush landing or the stability components that ensure a balanced stride, both On Cloud and Hoka have their strengths. The comparison between the two often comes down to personal preference, with some runners swearing by the cloud-like comfort of Hoka, while others are drawn to the unique feel and responsiveness of On Cloud shoes.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes: Durability

Durability is a paramount concern when investing in running shoes. However, the lifespan of a shoe isn’t solely determined by its construction or the quality of materials used. Individual factors play a significant role, including a runner’s body weight, size, gait, and foot strike. The terrain you run on, the climate, and even the weather conditions can influence how long your shoes last. Both On Cloud and Hoka as companies suggest that their shoes, depending on the model, can last between 300 to 500 miles (or 500-800 km).

However, durability isn’t just about the number of miles or km you can clock in a pair. It’s also about how the shoes respond to different surfaces, whether you’re swapping between trail runners and everyday trainers or sticking to the road. The material’s ability to rebound after each run, especially if you rotate your shoes, can also impact their lifespan. For instance, the Cloudflash model from On Cloud is tailored for short, speedy runs, making them less durable than some other models.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes: Cushioning

The cushioning battle between Hoka and On Cloud is intriguing, given the distinct materials and technologies each brand employs. On Cloud’s CloudTec technology features hollow pockets at the bottom of the shoe, designed to attenuate shock and absorb impact. While they offer commendable cushioning, they don’t necessarily exude the plush, pillow-like feel that Hoka’s maximalist midsole provides. Hoka achieves its renowned marshmallow softness through its PROFLY technology and EVA foam.

Diving into the specifics, On Cloud shoes aim to strike a balance between cushioning and responsiveness with a firmer midsole. In contrast, Hoka shoes, with their maximalist design, prioritize comfort, ensuring a soft landing and smooth heel to toe transition. The Hubble Heel in Hoka shoes further enhances this transition, making each step feel more natural.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes: Stability

For those concerned with stability, especially overpronators, the choice between On Cloud and Hoka can be pivotal. While neither brand primarily targets severe overpronators, they do offer some stability shoes. On Cloud shoes, for instance, have specific material placement under the arch to guide the foot. Hoka, on the other hand, incorporates J-Frame technology and a firmer foam on the medial side to counteract excessive pronation.

The broader, more expansive platform of Hoka shoes naturally offers more stability, acting somewhat like a bucket seat for the foot. This design minimizes the inward roll of the foot, reducing the risk of injury. In comparison, On Cloud shoes might not provide the same level of stability, but they do ensure a balanced foot motion, thanks to their unique design and muscle-supporting features.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes: Fit and Feel

When it comes to fit and feel, both On Cloud and Hoka have their distinct characteristics. Generally, both brands tend to lean towards a narrow fit, though there’s variability across models. For instance, Hoka’s Bondi models offer a wide-width option, which can be a boon for those seeking a bit more room. The standard-width shoes, B for women and D for men, might feel snug for some, especially when compared to other brands.

The real differentiation, however, lies in the feel. Hoka shoes, with their thick soles, feel plush and forgiving. In contrast, On Cloud shoes, equipped with a speed board (akin to a carbon fiber plate), feel firm yet springy, optimizing energy return. This difference in feel can significantly influence a runner’s experience, from impact to push off, making the choice between Hoka and On Cloud a matter of personal preference.

On Cloud vs Hoka Shoes: Price

In the competitive realm of the running shoe market, both Hoka and On Cloud are positioned as premium brands. Their prices typically range between $130 and $170, with popular models hovering around the $150 to $180 mark. While price is undoubtedly a factor, it’s essential to consider the shoe’s features, such as cushioning, responsiveness, and stability, before making a purchase. Whether you’re browsing a big box store, visiting a local running store, or searching for brand comparison guides, understanding the value each brand offers is crucial for dedicated runners.

On Cloud vs Hoka Running Shoes

Neutral Running Shoe

On Cloudsurfer

The On Cloudsurfer, now in its 7th model, has been a game changer in the realm of neutral running shoes. This improved version offers a soft landing, making it ideal for road running. Its design is particularly tailored for speed training and medium-distance runs, ranging from 5Ks to half marathons. The Cloudsurfer’s unique design emphasizes a springy push-off from the ground, reminiscent of popular low-profile, low-cushion shoes like the Saucony Kinvara. However, for those seeking a shoe for longer, easy-paced runs, the Cloudsurfer might not be the first choice due to its moderate cushioning and lack of extra padding typically preferred in marathon shoes. Weighing in at 7.8 oz for women and 8.6 oz for men, it has a 10 mm drop and is priced at $150. For a comprehensive look, check out the latest Cloudsurfer review.

Hoka Clifton 9

The Hoka Clifton series has been a trademark for the brand since its inception. The Clifton 9 continues the legacy, offering runners a taste of maximal cushioning. This shoe serves as an excellent introduction to Hoka running, allowing users to experience the brand’s signature higher stack height combined with the benefits of a lightweight, normally cushioned shoe. The Clifton 9 is not just about cushioning; it also offers stability. Its upper is designed to be both light and breathable, making it a top choice for marathon running. With a 5mm drop, the shoe weighs 7.6oz for women and 8.8oz for men, and is priced at $140. Despite its seemingly bulky appearance, the Clifton 9 feels lighter than many other models, making it a favorite for those 20+ mile long runs. Its wider base design naturally supports the foot, ensuring comfort and stability.

Stability Running Shoe

On Cloudflyer

The On Cloudflyer is a marvel in the world of stability running shoes. With its wider base, it ensures the foot is positioned naturally, providing a firmer ride that still feels plush. This shoe is not just about stability; it’s about the feel too. The rocker effect from heel to toe gives it a spring-like sensation, making every step feel like you’re floating on clouds. Weighing in at 8.8oz for women’s models and 9.88oz for men’s, with a 7mm drop, it’s priced at $110. However, some users have reported issues with rocks getting caught in the outsole.

HOKA Gaviota 4

For those seeking the highest level of stability, the HOKA Gaviota 4 is a top contender. This shoe doesn’t just offer stability; it wraps your feet in plush cushioning akin to the HOKA Bondi. It’s the heaviest shoe in the lineup, but the maximum cushioning ensures a smooth and cushioned ride, especially for long distances. Runners who need extra cushioning to recover from joint pain or after a long race will find solace in the Gaviota 4. With a 5mm drop, it weighs 9.3oz for women and 11.3oz for men, priced at $170. It’s highly recommended for overpronating runners on their long runs, ensuring support and cushion for both feet and legs.

Carbon Fiber Plate Shoes

Hoka Rocket X2

HOKA has been a prominent name in the running shoe industry, with models like the Hoka Carbon X and Hoka Bondi X making waves. After spending several weeks testing the Rocket X2, I’ve had mixed feelings. The shoe offers a fantastic bounce and cushion, reminiscent of the Nike feeling that many brands aspire to achieve. It also boasts the wider fit that HOKA enthusiasts adore and a 5mm drop that many prefer for its light feel. However, the heel doesn’t snugly cup the foot, leading to fears of blisters, especially during long runs. This concern might stem from the shoe’s all-gender design or the heel’s specific fit. Interestingly, the Saucony Endorphin Elite introduced a bit of padding to address a similar issue. Overall, while the Rocket X2 has a lot to offer, the apprehension around the heel might deter some from choosing it for their runs.

On Clouldboom Echo 3

The On Cloudboom Echo 3 is a continuation of the brand’s venture into carbon fiber shoes. It stands out from its predecessors and competitors, offering a feel closer to a daily trainer than the plush cushioning of models like the Vaporfly. The Echo 3 showcases improvements from the original Cloudboom, with a significant highlight being the absence of pods that trap rocks. This design change ensures a better fit than the original, though it’s worth noting that the HOKA Rocket still offers a slightly wider fit. The shoe has a 10 mm heel drop and weighs 7.6 oz for both men’s and women’s models. With each iteration, On seems to be inching closer to the perfect balance between speed and cushion, ensuring runners get the best without the Achilles injury concerns that some other models pose.

Walking Shoes

On Cloud X 3 Shift

Standing for long hours can be a real test for our feet. The On Cloud X 3 Shift, with its street-worthy style, is not just a great shoe to look at but also offers the comfort one needs for those long-standing days. With a model tested by many, this shoe has become a favorite for folks who wear it everywhere – be it work or a workout. Its neutral shoe cushion, combined with a 6.7 mm heel drop and weighing just 8.90 oz for women, ensures that your feet maintain alignment, preventing hip, knee, and back issues. The compression socks-like feeling it provides helps absorb impact, leaving your feet feeling less tired. Its draw? A comfortable wear that’s both stylish and functional.

Hoka Elevon

The Hoka Elevon is designed with extra care to support the midfoot and forefoot. It’s not just super comfy but also aids the body in maintaining a happy arch, preventing its collapse and the subsequent fatigue. This plush, cushioned shoe offers additional stability with its extra arch support. What’s more, its wider toebox is a boon for those wanting to prevent bunions. Weighing slightly heavier at 9.1 oz for women’s models, it comes with a 5mm drop. The additional weight offers more stability, ensuring alignment and reducing aches. The Elevon stands out for its combination of comfort and support, making it a top choice for many.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Which On Cloud or Hoka Shoes Are Better for Running?

When it comes to the exhilarating world of running, both On Cloud and Hoka shoes have carved a niche for themselves.

On Cloud vs. Hoka: The Running Rundown

On Cloud shoes, known for their lightweight design, promise a responsive ride that feels almost like running on air. Their cushioning system is adept at shock absorption, ensuring that every step is comfortable and full of energy return. On the other hand, Hoka shoes, with their robust cushioning, offer unparalleled stability, making them a favorite among those who prioritize a grounded and supportive run.

Which On Cloud or Hoka Shoes Are Better for Everyday Use?

Everyday activities demand shoes that can keep up, whether it’s walking the dog, running errands, or engaging in high-intensity workouts.

Everyday Excellence with On Cloud and Hoka

On Cloud shoes, with their grip and supportive ride, are perfect for a variety of walking activities. They seamlessly blend into the daily hustle and bustle. Hoka, meanwhile, with its superior grip, is ideal for those days packed with high-intensity activities, ensuring you remain steady no matter the challenge.

Which On Cloud or Hoka Shoes Are Better for Comfort?

Comfort is paramount when it comes to footwear. After all, our feet carry us through life’s many adventures.

The Comfort Conundrum: On Cloud vs. Hoka

On Cloud shoes introduce an extra layer of comfort with their unique air capsules embedded within the sole, offering a cushioned experience with every step. Hoka, on the other hand, is synonymous with comfort, ensuring that every stride is cushioned and every adventure is a comfortable one.

Which On Cloud or Hoka Shoes Are Better for Durability?

Durability is a non-negotiable when investing in a good pair of shoes. Both On Cloud and Hoka understand this principle well.

Durability Defined: On Cloud and Hoka

On Cloud shoes, crafted with durable materials, feature a rubber outsole that not only promises longevity but also ensures traction on various terrains. Hoka shoes, with their rocker sole, maintain the foot in a neutral position, ensuring wear and tear is evenly distributed, thus enhancing the shoe’s lifespan.


In the ongoing debate, “Which Shoes Are Better on Cloud or Hoka?” the ultimate answer may rest in the foot of the beholder. As brands, both Hoka and On Cloud have cemented themselves as frontrunners in the running community, each catering to specific needs and desires. Hoka offers unparalleled cushioning and stability, often appealing to those seeking a more protective and maximalist feel. In contrast, On Cloud’s lightweight design and unique cushioning system promise a near ethereal running experience. As with many things in life, personal preference dominates; what feels like running on a dream for one might feel overly cushioned for another. The journey of finding the perfect shoe is deeply individual, and while comparisons can guide, they can’t dictate the rhythm of one’s stride. As runners, perhaps the most important step is to keep moving forward, regardless of the brand beneath our feet.

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